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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Dec. 23, 2021

We can assist

To the Editor:

The Island Gift of Life Foundation reminds all Shelter Islanders (and those throughout the East End) that help is available for individuals and families facing challenges stemming from serious health and wellness issues.

We can assist through direct monetary grants to the uninsured and, for those who are under-insured, we can help to fill gaps not covered by insurance. The Foundation can also help to navigate the health insurance process and provide referrals to other organizations.

If you need assistance or know someone who does, please reach out to the Island Gift of Life Foundation. Complete details regarding the Foundation, contact information, and an application form can be found on the Foundation’s website at islandgiftoflife.org. All inquiries, grants, and services are strictly confidential.

As we approach the holiday season and look forward to the New Year, we also encourage the more fortunate to consider a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Donations of any amount are welcome and details can be found on the Foundation website.

Finally, the Foundation board is actively organizing a number of events and activities for 2022 and beyond. Please watch the Shelter Island Reporter for details as they begin to fall into place.

Thank you for your continued engagement and support.

Corinne Wilutis. James Eklund, Linda Eklund, Edwin Hydeman, Allie Maurillo, Joseph Hoffmann, Gina Kraus, Joseph Kelly, Board Members, The Island Gift of Life Foundation

Affordable questions

To the Editor:

The word “affordable” has a positive connotation for most of us, but when you add the word housing — maybe, not so much.

What do we really know about the plans for affordable housing on Shelter Island? The Town Council, the Town supervisor, and the Community Housing Board have been extolling the necessity of providing affordable housing on Shelter Island for some time. On Dec. 2, there was a midday town meeting to discuss this topic at which, according to the Shelter Island Reporter, there were no dissenters and “no fireworks.” 

Apparently, this led the aforementioned parties to believe they have the green light to begin. The Town already has land it can use and may be able to obtain monies through a 0.5% transfer tax of property sales through a referendum to be voted on in November 2022. Mr. DiOrio of the Housing Board would have the Town begin construction now.

A year or so ago, a Council member told me about the need for affordable housing for young Islanders with children, and seniors with limited means. On Dec. 2, Mr. DiOrio spelled out an entirely different group of people. Before any affordable housing is built on the Island, a pragmatic examination is needed to address:

• What is the monetary cost of the proposed three-four houses for sale and the 16 rental units?

• What is the environmental impact — long and short term on Shelter Island water?

• What are the specific goals of the program — long and short term?

• Who are the targeted recipients?

• How does the Town choose the beneficiaries?

• Can off-Islanders apply?

• Once these houses are built and sold, what will the Town do about the perpetual issue of affordable housing?

It is time for an informed dialogue. An issue this large with such huge ramifications for all of us merits a large forum discussion by a fully informed populace.

P.J. HUDON, Shelter Island

An honor

To the Editor:

I am thankful for the opportunity to have run for public office and encourage everyone to do so at least once in their lives, it’s an incredible experience.

While I’m disappointed at the outcome, I do not mourn, for I have met so many incredible Islanders along the way. Islanders who volunteer, donate, educate, and most importantly, care deeply about our common love for our island. 

I congratulate BJ, Amber and Meg on their victories and offer my full support to them as they tackle the challenges we face today, the ones we have not yet envisioned, and the ones that require vision and leadership to solve.

Thank you to the many wonderful people who voted for me, and the Democratic Committee who gave me the opportunity to meet and work with so many volunteers whose concern and care for Shelter Island gives me lasting hope. I’m grateful to my wife Kelly, my children, my parents and my friends, for I’m nothing without their support and counsel.

I will continue to work for the people of Shelter Island as it has been, and will always be, my honor to do so.

BRETT SURERUS, Shelter Island

Christmas note

To the Editor:

It’s hard to wish every one a Merry Christmas when things are not so merry. There is a lot of sadness within many Island families and in the country.

Due to unusual and extenuating circumstances, we are closing Christmas at our house, or canceling, until maybe New Year’s Eve or Little Christmas, on January 6. Last year I was wondering: where are those Wise Men? This is not right, it’s Little Christmas. So, hopefully Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior will arrive this year and “All Will be Calm.” Hopefully.

We have our annual Christmas puzzle, and every year one person picks out the puzzle. After my grandson gave us a 1,000-piece puzzle a few years back (the little darling), the new rule is no more than 500 pieces. It was of NYC’s Times Square. Took us two years to finish. This year it is my turn.

Last week’s columnists were fabulous. And our award-winning cartoonist as well with a bit of tongue in cheek!

I’ll be reading “A Christmas Carol,” but in a different light. I just finished reading “A Christmas Carol” by M J Lee. I have found and discovered the true joy of Christmas, through Mr. Dickens.

And thank you to all our volunteer elves who have made our little island glorious. Hallelujah!

Santa checked out the chimneys last week with the help of the Shelter Island Fire Department and all chimneys are ready for entry.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.