Letters to the Editor – 7/31/15

To the Editor:CLARIFICATION OF O.B. COMMUNITY FUND’S WINDSWEPT DONATION GOALSThe Ocean Beach Community Fund will be holding our annual fundraising Gala on August 1, 2015 at 7:30PM, “DREAMS OF WINDSWEPT”.It is so important that the entire Ocean Beach community, as well as our surrounding towns help restore Windswept to a viable center, a multi-use facility, one which will be used by and benefit all the members of our various communities.With this in mind, we, the O.B. Community Fund, is attempting to raise funds that will go directly toward the building Renovation & Rebuilding of WINDSWEPT. Currently, the funds are in a separate account designated solely for Windswept. All donations earmarked for Windswept, will be made as a contribution to the Inc. Village Ocean Beach, to be used to restore this building. (similar to how we fundraised toward the reconstruction of the O. B. Community House and the Playground).Our notice is to clarify any questions you may have regarding how the funds will be collected, allocated and utilized.We hope you will join our effort, by purchasing tickets and raffles or making a generous donation, and help designate this as the biggest fundraising effort yet!Directors of the O. B. Community FundTo the Editor:As a 30-year resident of Kismet, Fire Island and an attendee at the open meeting last Fall (2014) in regard to deer management organized by FINS’ Superintendent Soller, I vehemently object to his methods that include sharpshooting, hunting and especially the killing of ‘friendly’ deer living in the communities.When I asked Superintendent Soller, he had not taken a count of the deer population nor could he give us a number of an acceptable population on Fire Island.When I questioned his employees on the immunocontraceptive darting (PZP) of the deer, they were vague and uninformed on the practical aspects of the process which took place with great success in my backyard.In the late 1990’s our Kismet Community Association overwhelmingly supported Immunocontraception and donated money to the trial.After meeting with friends and neighbors at 3 social gatherings (approximately 60 people), all without exception were aghast, angry and horrified at extermination to reduce the deer population.I ask that FINS, on behalf of Kismet residents and myself, not reduce the herd by these inhumane methods and revert to the efficacious and cost-effective PZP immunocontraception which has worked so well on Fire Island in the past.At an additional meeting of the Fire Island Wildlife Association and the Humane Society of Long Island, all those in attendance heartily concurred.Sincerely,Marilyn Puccio – Kismet, NYTo the Editor: While FINS deer management plan has not been finalized, I am concerned that FINS may have already contracted with an outside organization to hold a deer hunt this fall – in other words, after most of us have left the beach. The FINS draft management plan strongly advocates lethal solutions to what the agency asserts is a problem of deer overpopulation. Deer are to be moved or killed, particularly the friendly deer in the communities.Surprisingly, there was no direct mention of the plan in FINS’ innocuous Newsletter of March, 2015 which has a “kumbyya” let’s all join hands and work together for a brighter future tone. Could proposing to take “an aggressive approach to managing non-native, invasive species…” be taken as a vague reference to deer as well as bamboo?FINS deer count is so vague that I’m not at all sure there is deer overpopulation at this time. There certainly are more births. This was not always so. The number of births was drastically reduced after the very successful PZP Immunocontraception project. This is verified in peer-reviewed scientific literature. In “Field testing of Immunocontraception on White-tailed deer on Fire Island National Seashore 2002”, R.E Naugle, H.B Underwood, J.W.Turner, I.K.M Liu, and A. T. Rutberg, state that the deer population was reduced by nearly 70% from 1993 and 2010. Even FINS acknowledges a reduction in the deer population from 257 per square mile in the mid-nineties to 106 in 2012.Now FINS rejects any fertility control agent as being “10 years away” from government approval for population management. However the same PZP that we used is currently successfully contracepting many species of animals at almost 200 sites, most astonishingly, on the small horses that inhabit another National Park, namely the Assateague National Seashore.Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly, 2011) points to the strong political opposition to Immunocontraception from “hunters and allied organizations who view such a solution as a threat to the tradition and culture of hunting (or the revenue generated by hunting)…and a threat to “one of the fundamental organization principles of North America wildlife management agencies: that wildlife management and hunting are synonymous.” (Allen T. Rutberg, Ph.D., Director, Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University 2013).Many Fire Island residents have drawn the same conclusions and have expressed opposition to lethal solutions. Is there nevertheless and despite community opposition, a stealth plan in the works to deal with the deer when most of us have left for the season? Residents should be aware of this possibility and voice their opposition now – in the summer – when we are here and may be heard.Bradlee WhiteKismet, NYTo the Editor:The annual Ocean Beach Community Fund (OBCF) party to raise funds to renovate Windswept will be Saturday, August 1, at 7:30 p.m. The theme is “Dreaming of Windswept” and the dress is pajamas!Restoring Windswept to a viable multi-use center will benefit all the members of our various communities.Despite any conflict or misalignment, the OBCF is and has always been a non-profit, non-political, community- building entity, I am proud that we are raising funds that will go directly toward the restoration of WIndswept in the same way we raised funds for the reconstruction of the OB Community House and playground.Currently, the funds are in a separate account designated entirely for this imperative restoration project. All monies raised will go directly to the Inc. Village of OB for the restoration. A confirmation of your donation can be emailed you for tax purposes, as we are a 501(3)C.As a former member of the OBCF, I write to clarify questions regarding the purpose of this fund-raising event. We hope everyone will join our effort by purchasing tickets and raffles, making generous donations, and designating this as the biggest fundraising effort yet! See you on the dance floor!Namaste!Lisa Benson PrendergastHave Something to Say? Write us at [email protected]. Please submit your letters by August 6, 2015, in order to be considered for the next edition. Opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are not necessarily those of Fire Island News.