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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

Reach out
To the Editor:
How fortunate Shelter Island is to have Dr. Ryan Sultan and several other Island professionals willing to volunteer their time and expertise to help Islanders navigate this stressful time.

In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for helpful information and tips from these folks on how to manage through COVID-19 no matter what you’re dealing with. Be sure to check the Shelter Island Town Facebook site, the official town website, this newspaper, and Channel 22 regularly for updates regarding COVID-19 related information. A town Instagram account is also in the works.

Dr. Sultan makes some wonderful points in his Reporter column about how we are all faced with the same uncertainty.

However, the “Rock” has a history of being known to pull together during tough times. Islanders are a resilient and resourceful group of people. I fully expect that this challenge will also be overcome by all segments of the community who have a vested interest in keeping the Island solid and strong.

If anyone would like help in dealing emotionally with the stress that you might be feeling, you can contact me, Lucille Buergers, the Shelter Island Town social worker by phone or e-mail. My number is 631-749-0302 ext. 151, or email at social [email protected]

Lucille Buergers
Social Worker, Town of Shelter Island

Blame game
To the Editor:
While it is fashionable to blame the president for all the problems we’ve had with the coronavirus response, I think it’s not only unfair, but unwise, and a bit too easy. No matter how much the man may deserve the flogging, it’s in our own best interests to understand where blame truly belongs.

If you want to inform yourself on just how far back the failures go, there is a good article on the Politico.com website, called “Inside America’s 2 Decade Failure to Prepare for Coronavirus.” You’ll find plenty to think about as officials from the last three administrations talk about the problem with preparedness.

Other culprits include the medical establishment. That we have had published warnings about this type of contagion for decades would, one would think, lead hospital administrators to stockpile certain things. Apparently “just in time” inventorying is not the exclusive province of retailers, however.

The Press, with all its extraordinary clarity in hindsight and conviction in second guessing, might well have pushed the issue when it came up at different times. It’s always fascinated me that a press corps bulging with brains is rarely able to put together a plan, only pick it apart after the fact.

Then there’s the absurdity of outsourcing virtually everything to some country across the world. If we made more stuff here, we’d have a better shot at having it when we needed it.

But maybe the real fault lies with us. Ever the optimists, Americans are better at crisis response than its prevention. To paraphrase someone in the above-mentioned article, in advance of a crisis, everything you say sounds alarmist. Once one starts, everything you do is inadequate.

Anyway, here we are, and I’d like to thank the many people who stood their posts, doing their jobs when instinct would surely be screaming, in its best Monty Python voice, “Run away! Run away!” Given the near hysteria whipped up by the media, I’m truly grateful for the dedication of those who serve us.

I only hope our national leaders use any hiatus, however long it might be, to get us up to speed for response to the next wave of infection, which is surely coming. It seems doubtful we can expect working people to stay home for a second round of all this. As a nation, we are going to have to suck it up and go forward.
Good job, Shelter Island.

Paul Shepherd
Shelter Island

Different gear
To the Editor:
By most estimates 15,000,000 Americans will be out of work by this time next year. This month alone, 31% of renters nationwide did not pay their rent.

And I’m seeing houses listed for $200,000 and $300,000 on the East End. Do you know who sell houses for $200,000? People who are one electric bill away from living in their cars.

Now, the town’s leadership, at this time of national crisis, the town’s leadership think this is the right time to talk about how they can take more money out of Islanders’ pockets with this short-term rental law (“Town Board hears pitch from STR tracking service,” April 9) Why? Because maybe somebody, someday, might hear music next door they don’t like?

Seriously, the Town Board must be super, super smart.

Because honestly, that fly ball is way over my head.

By this time next year, more than half of the businesses on the Island will be boarded up. Please remember that you read that here first.

Board members better find a different gear to operate in. And fast.

Mike Gaynor
Shelter Island

Helping the Post Office employees
To the Editor:
It might be a good idea to give the Post Offices some relief.

I have a summer house here on Shelter Island. I’ve been ordering food and necessities off Amazon thinking that they would just be delivered by UPS. I didn’t realize that some of the people sending the merchandise are independent sales people who have been sending packages through the U.S. Postal Service.

Many of my packages have been sent to my P.O. Box without notice and the Post Office has to go through the painstaking process of matching address to the P.O. box. I will change the address on my Amazon account to have both addresses from now on. One of the Post Office employees told me if I didn’t add the P.O. box my packages would be sent back right away.

She seemed upset and overwhelmed.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has made this mistake.

Please help relieve the Post Office employees and also ensure that emergency packages will not be sent back to sender for lack of P.O. box number.

Audrey Myers
Shelter Island

Thanks to the Highway Dept.
To the Editor:
We want to thank the Highway Department for their speedy response to our call when a tree fell across our driveway and into the road Monday during the storm.

Within minutes of our call, Highway Department employees arrived in full force and did an outstanding job clearing away the tree from the road and driveway. Thank you to these hard-working men who came out in the wind and rain to keep us safe.

Susan and Jonathan Schrott
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
Just a thought: Old movies show Native Americans using a raised hand as a greeting. If today’s Native Americans would not mind, their old traditional greeting would be perfect in the COVID-19 era.

Edward F. ODee
Shelter Island