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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Feb. 8, 2024

More accurate

To the Editor:

Regarding Peter Waldner’s Paw Print cartoon in the Jan. 18 edition of the Reporter, I would like to suggest that a more accurate note on Uncle Sam’s chest could have been “the Constitutional Republic,” not “Democracy.”

As noted in a 1787 quote by Benjamin Franklin to Elizabeth Willing Powel’s question: “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” 

Franklin’s response: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

JOHN ROECKELL, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

There is no more important issue on the Island than water quality, but the online article on the Water Advisory Committee’s recent meeting obscures key facts and issues.

Buried in the 13th paragraph of the article is an acknowledgment that the EPA’s standard for nitrate in drinking water is 10 mg/l. What’s worse, the article does not reveal that well under 10% of the wells tested exceeded that standard and those wells are scattered over a wide area.

Not mentioned in the article is that, in response to my questions, the town engineer indicated that, rather retest the few wells that had unsafe readings and do additional testing to determine the effect, if any, of installation of I/A systems at the school, or identify the sources of the scattered high readings, he is relying on a model that predicts that conditions will worsen.

Missing from the article is any sense of the big picture: town personnel and committee members, well-intentioned, but all lacking the credentials of a hydrogeologist, relying on incomplete data on a path toward the thinly-veiled action plan of extending public water to the center, at significant cost to the town and prospective rate payers.

STEPHEN JACOBS, Shelter Island

Cancer prevention

To the Editor:

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Almost half of all cancer cases can be prevented. The Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) program at Stony Brook Cancer Center wants to share how you can prevent cancer for yourself and your loved ones.

• Vaccinate: The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine can reduce your child’s risk of six types of cancer later in life. HPV is a common virus, responsible for about 36,000 cancer cases annually in the U.S. The HPV vaccine can prevent 90% of these cancers by preventing the virus that causes them. If your child is 9 or older, talk to your child’s healthcare provider to schedule.

• Get screened: Cancers such as breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers can be detected early through cancer screening tests. Finding cancers early can save lives, as treatment is more likely to be successful. Examples of cancer screenings are mammograms, pap smears, fecal tests, and colonoscopies. Talk to your healthcare provider about what screenings are recommended for your age and risk factors.

• Sun Safely: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the primary cause of all skin cancers. The use of indoor tanning beds has been linked to increased rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and should be avoided. Protecting your skin from the sun when outdoors, even in the winter months, can also help reduce your skin cancer risk.

• Live healthy: Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and staying physically active are all forms of cancer prevention.

In New York State, nearly one in four deaths is due to cancer. CPiA is working to change this.

To learn more or to get involved, visit takeactionagainstcancer.com or contact us at 631-444-4263 or at [email protected]

KALI CHAN, Director of Media Relations, Stony Brook Medicine