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Shelter Island Reporter editorial: Not all bad

A common refrain heard by every media outlet: Why don’t you bring us some good news for a change?

Which reminds us of a seasoned editor, telling a group of young reporters that there is no good news and no bad news. There’s just news.

We’ve had some news lately — the old editor should not take offense — and it’s really good. This week, we spotlight two Islanders who are making a positive difference, and a group of women who contribute greatly to the community all year round.

The latter is the American Legion Auxiliary, which usually is recognized only at Memorial Day and Veterans Day, when the group organizes the ceremonies, ensuring that they are inclusive for all ages, and proceed with dignity, honor, pride and appreciation for those who have worn and wear their country’s uniform.

In our story this week we list the numerous charitable works the Auxiliary performs with little fanfare. To show your appreciation of this dedicated group of women, and the causes they support, get your order in for poppies for National Poppy Day, Friday, May 26. Contact Pam Jackson at 631-965-0860, or Rita Gates at 201-264-3056. The prices are: one lawn poppy for $20; two for $35; three for $55; and five for $85. Cash or checks payable to ALA Unit 281, PO Box 852, Shelter Island, NY 11964.

Order now because there are a limited number available.

And we bring very good news for one young man, and Shelter Island, in our story on Maksym Moroz, known by everyone as Max, who will graduate with an associate of science degree in nursing.

Maksym Moroz in his scrubs and with his ID, will become a full-fledged nurse on May 19. (Courtesy photo)

It has been a dream fulfilled by Max, an employee of the Highway Department, who has put in long hours of study, in addition to his job, and longer hours training in hospitals to become a nurse.

The tributes that are given to Max in the story by those who know him reflect well on him, but more importantly, also on family and friends who have given their testimonials, revealing their own generous hearts.

And we have a story introducing Alexandra Hakim, the town social worker to our readers. Ms. Hakim had big shoes to fill when she started in January, taking over from Lucille Buergers.

Alexandra Hakim is the Town Social worker. (Courtesy photo)

Ms. Buergers was a remarkable asset to the community. As a social worker, she was present during one of the most difficult times in memory — the onset of the pandemic — when illness, death and a feeling of unease seemed to dominate the life of the Island.

Ms. Buergers’ calm, informed and dedicated way of working with social ills brought to her by Islanders of all ages will never be forgotten.

Ms. Hakim has hit the ground running, working on problems such as domestic strife, food insecurity, affordable housing, and paralyzing loneliness — experienced by residents, especially the elderly.

Our luck has held with a professional in place who will continue the fine work of Ms. Buergers.