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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor, Nov. 25, 2022

Gift of Life

To the Editor:

As the Holiday Season fast approaches, the Island Gift of Life Foundation is reminded that many among us are presented today with obstacles brought about by serious health and wellness challenges, including mental health.

For over 20 years the Island Gift of Life Foundation has channeled the generosity of donors to provide financial assistance to our extended community. 

The Foundation stands ready to assist you or those you know. We can help to fill the gaps in areas such as health insurance deductibles, transportation and accommodations expenses needed to secure treatment, child care, and even to provide direct financial assistance when individuals are uninsured or under-insured.

Rest assured that all inquiries and subsequent grants are handled on a strictly confidential basis.

If you are struggling even a little to meet the costs of necessary health care, please refer to our website at islandgiftoflife.org for more information, an application form, and application instructions. If you are fortunate enough to be able to donate either your time or your money to this cause, you will find relevant information on our website as well.

Thank you.

JOSEPH KELLY, Board of Island Gift of Life Foundation,


To the Editor:

Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to begin the process to provide affordable housing on the Island. Many of us are grateful to all the Shelter Islanders who supported the passage of the affordable housing referendum.

What is worrisome is the sheer number of Shelter Islanders who voted against it. When I was canvassing for the referendum door-to-door, I often met voters who said they would not vote for the referendum and the reason was the Town Board. “I don’t trust the Town Board,” was a common refrain. And when I inquired further, I would get this response — “They don’t communicate, decisions are made behind closed doors, and we don’t know how decisions are made.” Much of the criticism centered on the town supervisor.

This is a very serious issue which we must confront as voters. Whether or not the perception is accurate, Shelter Islanders perceive it as real, and that perception is having a strong negative impact on our decision-making processes as a community. The vote on funding affordable housing is just one example of the problem. 

Leadership requires making the right decisions and it requires inspiring confidence. Our community does not have confidence in our leaders. 

Shelter Island need not be a divided community. In the next election, we need to vote for representatives whom we trust. And the first step is to encourage people whom we trust to step forward as candidates for the Town Board. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue; this is an Island-wide, community-wide issue.

LYNNE WEIKART, Shelter Island

Hate crime

To the Editor:

I was dismayed to see, buried in the police blotter, the following information: “Police were told on November 12 that several swastikas had been carved into benches in the Heights.” This is in between a phone call about a fire pit and two motorcyclists speeding in the Center. This is front page news that deserves a police investigation as a hate crime. It is not simple vandalism.

When I think of the ridiculous kerfuffle about housing signs during the election, I can’t help but think we have our priorities wrong. Putting up signs, taking signs down — that’s basically in the pranks category. Carving swastikas into a bench in the Heights is a dangerous and repellent action that should have public consequences.

Who would do this? Dumb teenagers who don’t know what it means? Someone who harbors virulent anti-Semitic views? A visitor to the Island? All or none of the above, but certainly an answer to this question matters. In case anyone needs to be reminded, the swastika was used by the Nazis who exterminated six million Jews. This is in addition to other groups they perceived as racially or biologically inferior; the Roma, the disabled, gay men and lesbians. And let us not forget the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Socialists and Communists who were targeted for their political beliefs.

We are in a time of great conflict, anger, despair and worry. Let’s come together to educate those who are not aware of history and let’s hold those who engage in hate crimes accountable for their actions.

MARIA MAGGENTI, Shelter Island

St. Mary’s and the community

To the Editor:

On Nov. 7, a tradition (50 years in the running) took place at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Each year, on the eve of Election Day, St. Mary’s cooks up a ham dinner for the community. As in the past, the event was successful, serving 105 dinners at two separate seatings. A special thanks to Sebastian Bliss and Gardiner’s Bay Country Club for stepping in and saving the day, and thank you to all the other volunteers.

On Dec. 3, 2022, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., St. Mary’s will hold its St. Nicholas Day Craft Fair. Vendors will have a variety of items for sale. The popular  “Cookie Walk” will again appear with a assortment of homemade cookies, soups, too! Donated items for the silent auction include a pair of Metropolitan Opera tickets for La Boheme on May 5, 2023, at the 1 p.m. performance. Several other items are also available for bidding.

JANE C. BABINSKI, Shelter Island