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Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO The Center Post Office.
The Center Post Office.

To the Editor:
One beautiful, wonderful weekend in Shelter Island has for the foreseeable future ruined my life.

I stayed at Sunset Beach motel for a weekend over one-and-a-half years ago. Soon after, I began to suffer from a variety of ailments. I finally ended up in the emergency room during a commute when I practically collapsed. My limbs were numb, my body was in spasms, I was losing my memory, I was in constant pain.

I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.

I won’t go into all the horrible details here that I am still experiencing, but I want to ask: Why on earth are visitors not warned? In New York City we warn people not to stand at the edge of the subway platform, we warn people where rat poison was been applied. When I was in Colorado, the hotel left a memo right on the bed about being in “bear country” and the proper precautions to take. Why are informative brochures not placed in the ferry waiting area? Why is a memo not in the hotel room? Why are signs not placed along the path? I could have saved so much time, money and suffering.

I really hope you consider this.
New York City

To the Editor:
I am overwhelmed by the incredible coverage of social worker Jennifer Olsen(“SOS for Islanders in need,” January 15) and by the unbelievably kind words in the editorial. I actually have a lump in my throat as I write this, I am so touched.

Thank you, thank you for the beautifully written article on Jen and for the very unexpected kudos for me.

I am humbled.
Now let’s all hope this new service provides some real help for our great community.
Coordinator, Communities That Care of Shelter Island

Thank you, Bridg
To the Editor:
This past Monday a friend of ours left our residence without her purse. Headed towards the North Ferry, there was no way we could contact her since her cell phone was inside her purse. I want to thank North Ferry General Manager Bridg Hunt for going out and flagging her car down after I called him and gave him a description of her car before she got on the ferry.

This saved a ton of inconvenience for her.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
As we welcome in the year 2015 we would like to thank you for assisting Shelter Island Environmental in achieving our goal. We are proud to announce the opening of our Peconic Recycling and Transfer Station. It has been an honor becoming a part of the community. We could not have done it without your support.
Shelter Island Environmental

A dog’s life
To the Editor:
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Susan Kotula Cronin and Bre Rietvelt for all of their hard work organizing the successful fundraiser last month for our dogs. I would also like to thank the many businesses, families and individuals who gave so generously.

And a special thanks to all who have opened their homes and hearts to one of our dogs … You have all made a big difference.
Co-founder, Sweetest Dog Rescue
Shelter Island

Making a difference
To the Editor:
We are the Shelter Island High School National Honor Society. Like many people on Shelter Island, we are passionate about giving back to our community and making a positive impact in the lives of others.
As hard as it may be to believe, the problems of hunger and poverty exist right here on Shelter Island, and we often feel that as regular citizens, we can’t make a difference. But we write today to tell you that through the “Souper Bowl of Caring,” everyone here can help care for our neighbors in need.

Will you please help us invite all classes, congregations and businesses to take up a collection on or near Super Bowl Sunday? Every penny and can collected will be donated directly to the food pantry at the Presbyterian Church. Please drop donations in the main lobby of the school, or send it to school along with your favorite student. The Souper Bowl of Caring will help show us the impact our individual efforts have made as they keep a national tally and share it on their website.

While in school we are pitting the odd numbered grades versus the even numbered grades for food collections. Everyone can get involved and find more information at souperbowl.org. Thanks for helping us share this wonderful NHS tradition. We will keep you posted on the results after Super Bowl Sunday — collections will be gathered until February 6th.
Caity Mulcahy, Tommy Card and ))Olivia Garrison
NHS Senior Members

Morality, not money
To the Editor:
Last week’s letter from Claudia Lauren (“Consideration,” January 22), asked why there are no warnings given to visitors to Shelter Island about the dangers of Lyme disease. It’s for the same reason our Town Board refuses to warn tourists about the fact that Fresh Pond’s water is polluted, not monitored and might have high levels of bacteria or harmful algae blooms. Each year I see families bring their infants, toddlers and pets to the pond, falsely believing that the water is pure and safe.

Surely there would a sign warning us if it was otherwise. After all, we assume that our elected officials will ensure public health and safety. It is government’s primary obligation, except here on Shelter Island.
Councilwoman Chris Lewis has stated that no one that she knows has a problem with the pond. Therein lies the problem. The folks that she knows are locals who know when and where to swim and are familiar with Lyme disease. It’s a reasonable assumption that many tourists aren’t so aware. But the indifference towards anyone who is not a “friend or neighbor” is more than obvious.

The Town Board agrees that there are risks, but decided it’s not their job to protect or inform the unaware. They remain willfully blind and allow the public at large to be perilously deceived.

So why is a simple “ounce of prevention” such a problem? If it is the fear of being honest about environmental health issues negatively affecting tourism or real estate, then we are no better than the auto maker that ignores safety issues. Being open and proactive about these issues will give people more confidence, not less.

I don’t know Ms. Lauren. We just know that she is a woman from the city with a devastating illness that could have been easily avoided.

How many others have unwittingly contracted a tick-borne disease here or a waterborne illness from Fresh Pond? Not everyone might write a letter to the editor or realize how they became ill. I thank Ms. Lauren for writing and wish her well. Informing those we invite to this Island about specific health risks is the right thing to do. Our Town Board has deliberately refused to do so.

Is this continuing policy of needlessly risking the health of children and others, no matter their race or religion, truly condoned by this community? It is a question of morality, not money.
Shelter Island

Taking pride
To the Editor:
Thank you for your excellent news coverage and follow-up editorial crediting all those who worked on the wonderful new map depicting the open spaces on our beautiful Island.

There are two more groups of people who must be recognized and thanked, because without them, there would be no open space to map: First, there are the thoughtful and conservation-minded landowners who saw the enduring beauty in their legacy by selling their private open space to our town for all to enjoy.

And last, but possibly foremost, a large debt of gratitude goes to everyone who purchased homes or property here since 1999. They paid the 2 percent Land Preservation Tax that funded the acquisition, preservation and protection of these open vistas, precious woods, meadows and wetlands.

All these good folk can rightfully take pride in the fact that they made it possible to help preserve these open spaces, which, fortuitously, is probably the main reason why they came to Shelter Island.
Peter Vielbig
Chairman, Shelter Island Community Land Preservation Board

Invaluable expertise
To the Editor:
The Green Options Advisory Committee would like to raise a glass to committee member Don D’Amato for his invaluable technical expertise and more in the creation of the Town’s Map of Walkable Open Space and Preserved Lands.
Tim Purtell
Chairman, Green Options Advisory Committee

Kudos to Cara
To the Editor:
I hope my letter is only one of several you receive after sharing the news that Cara Loriz is leaving her post at Sylvester Manor. Cara deserves to be publicly thanked for the stewardship she provided in the early years of this new life of the Manor.

After watching the development of Sylvester Manor in person and through the pages of this newspaper, I conceived a creative plan that I presented to Cara four years ago: I wanted to bring college students from around the world to lend their service to the Manor during their spring break. It was welcomed with open arms and seven students from Skidmore College spent their spring break on Shelter Island volunteering their time with the staff of this wonderful educational farm.

Students from Cameroon, Zimbabwe and China joined Americans from California, Texas and New York to hoe fields, plant peas and excavate the site that was revealed as the concrete floor of the original farm stand.

Cara and her staff were welcoming, collaborative and encouraging of this crew that made up the inaugural group of college “Woofers.” Our time on the farm, staying in the former home of Leon Uris on Chase Creek and exploring the East End, created memories that my students reminded me of regularly throughout the rest of their career at Skidmore.

Thank you, Cara, for the spirit that you lent to initiate programs and development to this very special place. We thank you; my students thank you.
Saratoga Springs, New York