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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Sept. 9-15

Making a difference

To the Editor:

Last Tuesday evening, I attended a candlelight vigil to honor and bring awareness to those we have lost to addiction. One of those people was my husband, Evan. Recently, the East End was rocked by a series of overdoses and losses, but sadly this issue has been a part of our community for decades.

I imagine most people reading this have been affected personally, known someone who has dealt with addiction, or has lost someone to an overdose.

People have often said to me, “I wish Evan would have said something to me.” And I used to just get quiet. Now my response has become, “What would you have done differently?” And then most of those people fall silent. Many of us have no idea. And that’s the thing, so many of us don’t know how to handle a situation like this. Why would we?

But, as with anything else in life, we all have to find a place to start. It’s not enough to learn how to revive someone from an overdose. We need to educate ourselves about the root of the issue, the resources and how to help those who are struggling. But most importantly — shed the stigma. Addiction does not discriminate. Remember that these people had families. They were someone’s child, sibling, or spouse, and those people are hurting, too. I am, and always will be proud to be Evan’s wife.

We cannot go back and change the circumstances we’ve experienced, or bring back those who we’ve lost. But we can change the future. What will you do now, going forward? What will you do to help the next person you encounter in a similar situation? What if it happened to you?

While these people were so much more than their addiction or drug use, it is the reason we were brought together at the vigil. We should do everything in our power to keep the memories of those we love alive, and we can do that by honoring them.

Doing something to further everyone’s understanding of addiction, and having services more accessible, is a place to start. So I challenge you, when you finish reading this, remember your person with love, but also take a step to help those in a similar situation. Make a difference, because if we can save just one life, that is a difference.

EMILY KRAUS, Shelter Island

Ensuring voices are heard

To the Editor:

I love Shelter Island. Growing up here was a unique and wonderful experience.

As the oldest of five children, we spent all our time outdoors, exploring everything this wonderful island has to offer. After I received my BA from Boston College and an MS from Old Dominion, I worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. and West Virginia for several years before the Island called me back.

When I was asked to run for Town Council, I was honored that the work I had been doing on the Comprehensive Plan, Planning Board and Water Quality Improvement Board had been recognized and appreciated. I’ve made it a priority to attend and participate in every Town Board work session and Town Board meeting. Everybody who calls this island home, understands we have a multi-faceted water problem. Working in my family’s business has given me a unique and valuable perspective on how to deal with this environmental crisis.

The knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated, along with my work on the Suffolk County Wastewater Management District Task Force, has led to the understanding that the environmental problems we face have effective and efficient solutions.

Being elected to the Town Board is a significant responsibility and not one that I take lightly. I can say with all confidence that I am up to the task. I’m willing to voice a dissenting opinion when necessary and welcome opposing viewpoints. It is vital to understand all sides of an issue. Decisions must be made with long-term outcomes in mind for the community.

I believe in transparency, “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.” I will bring a practical, common-sense, problem-solving approach to all that I do. As our community moves forward, it’s essential that we evolve without losing the fundamental characteristics that make our island so special. To achieve this goal, we need to end the divisiveness, work together, listen to our neighbors and committees to ensure everybody has a seat at the table where their voice is heard.


Funding dreams

To the Editor:

I want to express my gratitude to the Reporter, the Ram’s Head Inn, and most importantly the supporters of the Shelter Island Educational Foundation (SIEF) for their flexibility in rescheduling our 25th Anniversary Garden Party. Twenty-five years of supporting the dreams of our Shelter Island children certainly deserved to be celebrated.

Our event on August 29 at the Ram’s Head Inn was amazing. Our founder, Dr. Lydia Axelrod, drove seven long hours from her home in Pennsylvania to attend. She was greeted by former colleagues Phyllis Power, Ginny Gibbs and Stephanie Sareyani, past school board president Bob Reylek — who hired her for our community — and the first SIEF President Theresa Andrews. It was a delightful reunion.

We had many generous sponsors in our community. The Sherwood House Vineyards provided the wine, Robert Secrist serenaded our guests with his classical guitar, and Erica’s Rugelach and Baking Company provided take-away sweets for all in attendance. Their donated services are greatly appreciated. The tireless work of our SIEF Board members, and the fantastic staff at the Ram’s Head do not go unnoticed as well.

One attendee, aged 5, was dressed as a princess. Her grandmother brought her along to say “Thank you” for the grant she received to attend Sylvester Manor Farm Camp this summer. A mother expressed her gratitude for the dance classes provided during the COVID lockdown, while another parent was excited to share pictures of the project from the science kit her son completed. 

I am delighted that over 120 supporters gathered to celebrate with us. I am humbled by their generosity, and can’t wait to open the fall grant cycle soon, so that we can help to fund the dreams of our kids.

JANINE MAHONEY, President, Shelter Island Educational Foundation

A huge success

To the Editor:

The members of the American Legion Mitchell Post #281 would like to thank everyone who supported our barbecue cook-off and made it a huge success.

This event would not have been possible without the help of the Legion Auxiliary, Fire Department, Carla Cadzin and Mark Keerans and, most of all each of our contestants. We look forward to seeing everyone next year as Team Mundy/Gross/Crittenden defend their title.

We would also like to recognize the selflessness and sense of community displayed by several young, local patriots. In learning about the events of 9/11, Sebastian, Vincent, and A.J. Rando decided to start a lemonade stand in honor of 9/11. In doing so they raised $346 and donated 100% of the proceeds to the American Legion in honor of all those who have served.

Bravo Zulu to the Rando family, thank you.