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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Jan. 5, 2022

Get involved

To the Editor:

There’s a deep need in Shelter Island for affordable housing. Many in our community cannot live and raise their families here despite working and contributing to our Island every day. It’s routine, when getting together with friends, for the conversation to quickly turn to how to help someone in our circle find housing — mostly young working families.

If we want to maintain our vibrant environment, and have more year-round residents, then the town needs to do something. The first step in any issue is to admit you have a problem, and the town has!

The pandemic has only accelerated the drying up of normal affordable housing. One understands why: There’s no financial incentive. With so many folks coming from off-island to rent or buy second homes or primary homes, it’s hard to stomach renting or selling at an affordable price when a landlord or seller can get so much more from a renter or buyer making city wages.

Our summer residents are important, but not more important than year-round residents. It’s the mix of hareleggers, summer folks and retirees that make this such a wonderful place. This is a problem that won’t get better without intervention, which is why the town is, and must be involved.

The town is working on a multi-pronged approach, with homes to sell, rentals, accessory developing unit permitting, and other ideas. It will be, of necessity, part public and part private. All the projects must be held to the same high environmental standards. The whole point of this work is to maintain our beautiful Island in every way, socially and ecologically.

The proposed Suffolk County legislation requires us to create a housing advisory board and a housing plan. Regardless of whether the measure is finally approved, there is an incentive to make a comprehensive and long-term plan for housing on the Island. The Community Housing Board’s work is to find a balance that works for our unique community.

My favorite part of this community is our kindness and interdependence. Living here, a boat ride away from the rest of the world, we have to rely on and take care of each other.

The Community Housing Advisory Board, which I am so proud to have recently started working with, is soliciting members. If you’re interested in finding tangible solutions to these hard problems, we’d love to have you get involved.

LIZ HANLEY, Shelter Island

Forever grateful

To the Editor:

Around 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, we had a fire emergency at our home and called 911.

Within minutes, the Shelter Island Fire Department responded and spent the next two hours working diligently to make sure that we were safe.

Police Sgt. Anthony Rando and Fire Chief Anthony Reiter and his team of firefighters were all so kind, respectful and professional as they worked through a complicated situation at our home.

We are so grateful to them all — they gave up their Christmas Eve, saving us from a potential disaster, so that we could have a safe Christmas morning with our family. 

We are forever grateful.


Be aware

To the Editor:

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

It is estimated that 11,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year. Did you know cervical cancer can be prevented with screening and the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination? Stony Brook Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) Program is here to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe with these cervical cancer prevention tips:

• Schedule your screening: Cervical cancer screening tests can find the cells that lead to cancer so they can be removed before cancer grows. Regular screening is recommended from age 21 to 65.

• Get vaccinated: Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the HPV. The HPV vaccine is recommended for children of all genders at ages 11 to 12. The vaccine is safe beginning at age 9 and through age 26 for those not vaccinated in childhood.

• Raise Awareness: Cervical cancer is preventable. Spread the word to raise awareness that cervical cancer can be eliminated through vaccination and screening.

• The CPiA program at Stony Brook Cancer Center works to increase HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening rates to reduce cancer on Long Island. CPiA provides education to health care providers, community organizations, parents and young adults about the benefits of the HPV vaccine.

If you would like to learn more about how to prevent cervical cancer for yourself or your organization, call the CPiA program at Stony Brook Cancer Center. CPiA can provide education, strategies and resources to help you put cancer prevention into action.

Regular screening and getting the HPV vaccine can prevent, and possibly end, cervical cancer. To learn more about how the CPiA Program can help you take action against cervical and other cancers, go to: totakeactionagainstcancer.com. Or contact us at 631-444-4263 or at [email protected].

ANNALEA TRASK, Program Coordinator, Cancer Prevention in Action Program