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04/20/15 4:30pm
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO | Mimi Brennan posed for her profile photo in January, until the careful watch of her beloved granddaughter, Kara.

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO | Mimi Brennan posed for this Reporter’s Island Profile photo in January, under the careful watch of her beloved granddaughter, Kara.

Mimi Brennan passed away this morning at 7:30.

She wouldn’t be happy if we listed the year she was born, so our small tribute to the woman who headed the Island Seniors column for over 15 years will not include the year of her birth.

08/25/12 3:00pm

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Officers of the Senior Citizens Foundation, from left: Diane Anderson, Ruth Staehle, Reeves Thompson, Bill Seeberg and Judy Daniels. Seated: Sy Weissman

The Senior Citizens Foundation of Shelter Island Inc. held its semi-annual meeting at the Senior Activity Center last Saturday morning.

• “The Foundation’s financials continue to be healthy,” said Director Judy Daniels after reviewing the July 31, 2012 Statement of Assets prepared by the accounting firm of A & A Williams.

• Director Bill Seeberg proposed reinvesting the Foundation’s securities to increase yield. The current interest in the Foundation’s CDs is close to zero. Bill is looking for a seven-percent return.

• The board authorized the writing of the annual appeal letter for 2012, as well as the cost of its printing, mailing and secretarial services.

• At its May 2012 annual meeting, Director Judy Daniels proposed that the Foundation send a semi-annual “Newsletter” on senior affairs to a select group of past donors. She said she would write it. The Foundation agreed to pay the cost of printing and mailing.

• The Foundation has a large investment in the Senior Activity Center kitchen renovation. Last July it gave the Town of Shelter Island a check for $8,000, to be restricted to the purchase of appliances and/or equipment required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDoHS).

• Although the work outside the center on the well and septic system was completed on time, work on the renovation of the kitchen, which is extensive, seems to be slow in completion. President Weissman agreed to call Jay Card, the Commissioner of Public Works, to get a new estimate for the finish date.

If you recall, August 9, 2009 was the date the kitchen was closed by the SCDoHS.

• Judy Daniels proposed that the Foundation pay for the medical alert system that every senior who lives alone should have. The medical alert system consists of a call device worn around the neck and its call box. The two together make it possible for seniors to get emergency help as soon as possible. Payment would go only to needy, at risk seniors.

The Senior Citizens Foundation of Shelter Island, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization created in 1999. Its original mission was the acquisition of a structure suitable for a senior activity center.

By 2002, the town had inherited the lower part of the Medical Building off Route 114 south as part of a deal cut with the Shelter Island American Red Cross. The need for a senior center was eliminated and the Foundation’s mission changed.

Now, with the financial support of the Island community all over the world, it has made home-heating assistance available to needy seniors; “the File of Life,” which contains important information the 911 responders need on an emergency call; a 55-inch TV screen for the Activity Center; and the July 2011 donation to the town.

As President Weissman said at the close of a meeting last year, “We are a bank committed to caring for Island seniors.”

06/24/12 2:00pm

Summer is here and the following is an update on some popular programs for residents age 60 and over who live on Shelter Island. These programs are funded by the Town of Shelter Island, the New York State Office for the Aging and Suffolk County Office for the Aging.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, home-delivered meals go out to frail, disabled and homebound people who are striving to stay independent in their own homes. The need for this meal can be for long-term situations and also short-term situations.

Home-style hot meals are freshly prepared, often using fresh produce from local stands and Sylvester Manor. Our volunteers deliver them to the houses.

On Mondays and Fridays, a congregate lunch meets at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Fellowship Hall at 12:15 p.m.

Hot, freshly prepared meals are served along with friendly conversation; bring a friend! For both programs, a voluntary donation of $3 per meal is greatly appreciated. For more information, call me at 749-0291, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Now, are you looking around your house? Do you see a sagging curtain rod, any burned-out lights? Hear a drippy faucet somewhere, wondering if that smoke alarm really works anymore, or suddenly feeling a little humid and hot? The Residential Repair Program could be just the answer for you. The program mechanic can do small, non-emergency jobs such as installing a window air conditioner, changing bulbs, fixing simple leaks, checking the smoke alarm and changing its battery and other tasks as well. The labor is always free and you pay only for materials used, waste removal fees or material delivery fees. For more information call Barbara or Karin at 749-0291, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Another valuable program is our free Senior Transportation Program. Rides are provided for medical appointments, shopping and other errands. You can call Dana at 749-1059 and arrange your ride in advance of your appointments.

Please remember that June is File of Life month. These are compact magnetic folders that hold your current medical information.

In the case of an emergency at your home, the response personnel will look for this file in order to give you the best care possible.

The files are available free of charge at the Town Senior Services Office or by calling 749-1059.

Please take advantage of these excellent programs and have a great summer!

06/24/12 9:01am

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Picnickers, from the left: Gary Trout, Tom Damiani, Cinny Labrozzi, Maggie Ciaglo, Gale Holm, Karoline Kilb, Ken Latsch, Kay Corbett, Janice Schmitt, Mike Laspia, Jean Tuthill, Lois Charls, Cindy Belt, George Dawson and Diane Anderson.

The Silver Circle’s trip on Wednesday, June 15 to the Mashomack Trail House off Route 114 was a logistical coup.

The advance car bringing three volunteers, the picnic lunch, paper goods, utensils and garbage bags left the Senior Activity Center at 11:30 a.m. sharp.

Hugging its rear bumper was the town’s handicapped-accessible bus with club members and staff on board, driven by the intrepid Donna King, who had no idea where the Trail House was.

Raindrops pattered on the bus roof, but at least it wasn’t pouring the way it had the week before when we had to abort the trip.

Club members, staff and volunteers were warmly greeted by Preserve Director J. Michael Laspia, Education and Outreach Coordinator Cindy Belt and Volunteer Center Coordinator Tom Damiani. They all paused to pose for the ceremonial trip photo on the porch of the Education Building located behind the Trail House.

The picnic lunch was served directly after the photo op. Club members and staff provided their own sandwiches, which were packed in the cooler back at the Center, together with coleslaw from the Eagle Deli. The deli also supplied sandwiches for our hosts, Mike, Cindy and Tom. There was apple juice and bottled water to drink, exotic potato chips for a side snack, and grapes, strawberries and Chips Ahoy cookies for dessert.

Staffer Diane Anderson was in charge of putting all this together back at the Center and making sure that all her food handlers, both in the Center kitchen and at Mashomack, were properly fitted out with sanitary latex gloves.

By 1 p.m., the picnic debris and recyclables had vanished into the appropriate garbage bags and we were ready for the show — a PowerPoint presentation by Tom on Shelter Island’s beach nesting birds, especially the piping plovers and the least terns, both of which are listed as federally threatened species.

In the audience at this point were Jean Lawless, the club’s yoga instructor, her grandchildren — two-year-old Ophelia and seven-month-old “Dutch” — and their nanny. Jean has been working the plover exclosures on Shell Beach for at least 12 years.

We had time for a lively question and answer period and a trip to the Trail House, which has a magnificent bird viewing window.

Just watching the birds at the feeder through the window was Jean Tuthill’s favorite part of the trip.

By two o’clock, the advance car was packed with the picnic leftovers and garbage, carefully separated, of course. Donna King’s bus was warming up, and we were saying goodbye to Mike, Cindy and Tom. “See you next year,” we cried. And we will.

Please note: We left nothing behind but footsteps.

06/17/12 5:16pm


Summer is the time for family, friends, fun and sun. But, not so fast! Before you head for the beach, keep the following tips in mind for a healthier, happier time.

• Hydration Is Key. Water is essential to the human body’s optimal functioning. Even mild dehydration drains your energy, especially in the summer. So consume plenty of beverages and foods that contain water, but beware of the “designer” waters and soft drinks. They could contain as much as 32 grams of sugar per serving and thereby add extra pounds as well as contribute to other health complications. Read the Nutrition Facts Label as a guide to the contents. How much water should one consume? According to the Institute of Medicine, an adequate intake (AI) for men is 3 liters (13 cups) of beverages a day; for women, the AI is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of beverages a day.

• Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. These foods help you avoid dehydration. According to the National Cancer Institute, fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect bodily functions. Local, seasonal produce is best because they are highest in nutritional value when fresh-picked. Look for colored vegetables such as red, yellow, green and orange sweet peppers, and snow peas, all of which can be cooked or eaten raw. Green, leafy vegetables (kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach) are also high in anti-oxidants and Omega-3’s. Brightly colored fruits such as tangerines, cantaloupes, mangoes, papayas and all members of the berry family, are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants as well.

• Limit Sun Exposure. Skin cancer is on the rise and excessive sun exposure is one of the culprits. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that “one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime and 13 million Americans are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer.”

If you are going to be outdoors for an extended period, the foundation recommends using a “broad spectrum” (UVA/UVB) water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. The Mayo Clinic also suggests that you check skin for suspicious changes to ensure early detection of skin cancer.

Hopefully these tips will help you to be more mindful of your health as you enjoy the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer!

Questions/comments? Email [email protected].