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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor:

Board of Ed candidate
To the Editor:
My name is Dawn Hedberg and I would like to formally announce my candidacy for the Shelter Island School Board of Education for the term beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2023.

I have been a full-time resident of Shelter Island for 14 years, moving here just prior to my son starting kindergarten, largely because I wanted him to have the kind of small school and community experience that I had growing up in Sag Harbor.

Jonas will be graduating this year, a National Honor Society member with 12 years of special memories, classmates and teammates that are like family, and having grown so much as a person under the guidance of many exceptional teachers, coaches and faculty.

It wasn’t always easy, as every parent knows, and we had our own challenges along the way, mainly working with academic plans that at times felt very “one size fits all” and did not easily allow for growth or encourage a gradual transfer from standard classes to honors classes for students who excelled in some but not all subjects initially.

I think that this experience and how we worked it out will help me bring a fresh perspective to a board that is already moving in a positive direction in terms of inclusion and empowering students to find their own paths forward.

I believe the qualifications that I bring to this position have been honed by running my own business, Black Cat Books, for 25 years. Prior to that, I worked in management. My years of management taught me to listen to people, to work with large groups and to find common ground and amenable compromises.

My years in business have taught me to adapt, to prepare for the unexpected and to work with a budget with many variables that plans long term expenses.

Lastly, I have been a parent, a PTSA member and a frequent volunteer over the last 12 years. I love this community and school and recognize what a special thing we have here. I have a passion for public education and have long been an advocate of it.

I have seen so much progress in the last few years that directly benefits each and every student and want to be a part of helping to keep making our school better for every child in this community.
Dawn Hedberg
Shelter Island

John Reilly
To the Editor:
The profile of John Reilly (“An Island professional at the COVID-19 epicenter,” May 7), whom I’ve known forever, was outstanding.

His description of the smells from vomit, feces, and urine that greeted him every day was so honest and true, I was moved to tears. His analysis that the situation was always under control was also enlightening.

Everyone is talking about heroes. He’s one of our island’s. Thank you for sharing John’s reality with us.
Jonathan Russo
Shelter Island

Mask up
To the Editor:
While most East Enders have been following our scientists’ guidelines during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of people who do not wear a mask as recommended.

Some, no doubt, are ignorant as to how the virus spreads and just need education. But a number of these folks seem to be making some sort of statement.

A few I have encountered brag that they are not afraid of the virus and don’t need to wear any mask. To them I would say the virus doesn’t care whether you fear it or not. If courage could inoculate one from it, we would not be losing so many doctors and nurses serving in our emergency wards.

I would suggest that if you feel compelled to show the world how fearless you are, maybe you should take up bullfighting or alligator wrestling.

Other anti-mask people say they are refusing to wear a mask because they are patriots standing up for their constitutional rights.

To them I would say that true patriots do not help the enemy. Right now our common enemy is the virus. Wearing a mask has been shown to diminish the spread of this enemy. Not wearing one allows that enemy to gain an even stronger foothold in our community.

No matter the statement these non-mask wearers think they are making, one message from them comes across loud and clear: “I do not care if anyone I meet is infected by me. I do not care if I become infected and pass it on to my friends and family members. I do not care if my actions put even more strain on our health care workers. I do not care. And that makes me a patriot.”

I don’t think so. Mask up.
John Neely
Westhampton Beach, New York

Gov. Cuomo considers letting people plant flowers in their yards, buy booze, play golf, and open horse tracks all to be essential, but he won’t let builders put a roof over your head (unless subsidized as affordable housing).

Most arbitrary governor ever!
Peter Reich
Shelter Island