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03/02/15 8:00am
Clarissa Williams

Clarissa Williams

Cheers, Clarissa
To the Editor:
I took note of the unfortunate death of Clarissa Williams and wanted to tell a short story. Clarissa was one of the great personalities on Shelter Island. I knew her well before she went to work at Pat and Steve’s and there is little doubt that she was a very important part of their great success. (more…)

01/26/15 4:30pm
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Snow glistening the trees in Silver Beach.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Snow glistening the trees in Silver Beach.

Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty declared and signed  ‘a state of emergency” document this afternoon.

The declaration gives the town certain necessary powers during emergencies and implements the town’s Emergency Operations Plan.

Below is a copy of the official document. (more…)

07/30/12 1:00pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Breast cancer screening legislation passed in Albany was lobbied for by the late Teresa Montant of Shelter Island.

It’s a bittersweet reality for Shelter Islander Townsend Montant that the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have finally taken steps to improve breast cancer detection by requiring that patients with dense breast tissue be informed that they may be candidates for further testing.

Less than a year ago, Mr. Montant’s wife, Teresa, lost her battle with metastatic triple negative breast cancer — a battle she might well have won had the new law gone into effect a few years earlier. The legislation was signed by Governor Cuomo on July 23.

What the law will require when it takes effect in six months is that patients whose mammograms show dense breast tissue be informed that they should speak with their doctors about whether further screening is appropriate. Dense breast tissue can hide early detection of cancer cells that may be life threatening by the time they show up on a mammogram. Such was the case with Teresa Montant.

She dutifully got annual mammograms, her husband said. But by the time a mammogram showed breast tumors in 2009, the disease had progressed.

While battling the disease, Ms. Montant became an activist working for exactly the kind of legislation that might have saved her life. And when she lost her life last October, her husband carried on the campaign, working with other activists throughout the area, not just lobbying for legislation, but doing his part to inform women he encounters about the possibility that they may need more than a simple mammogram each year.

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06/14/11 3:35pm

If the bill to legalize gay marriage in New York is voted on in the Senate this week it will not have local support.

Drew Biondo, a spokesperson for Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), said in an email Tuesday that the Senator has not changed his position on gay marriage. Mr. LaValle voted in opposition to a marriage equality bill that passed the Assembly, but was shot down in the Senate in December 2009.

“He fully supports equality and civil unions, though not gay marriage,” Mr. Biondo wrote.

Mr. LaValle was one of 38 Senators to vote in opposition to gay marriage in 2009, when no Republicans crossed party lines to support the bill.

This time around though, Republican Senator James Alessi of Western New York has stated publicly he will support the gay marriage bill when role is called, something that could happen before the legislative session ends this week. Several media outlets say there is already enough support for the bill, and Senator Alessi has been quoted as saying the bill could pass with 35 votes in the 62-member Senate.

At least one Democrat, Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx, has publicly opposed the bill, sponsored by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Mr. LaValle, who represents the entire East End, told The Reporter in the days following the 2009 vote that he didn’t think his constituency was prepared to accept gay marriage.

“What I have heard from a lot of people is that we are just not ready for it,” he had said. “It could happen someday in the future, but just not right now.”

New Yorkers United for Marriage, a gay marriage advocacy group, recently launched an aggressive advertising campaign that included direct mailing to encourage constituents to call Senator LaValle to urge him to support gay marriage.

Mr. Biondo said that as of Tuesday morning about two-thirds of the phone calls the Senator’s district office has received have been opposed to the bill.

“The mail campaign from New Yorkers United for Marriage had an opposite, unintended result,” he wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon.

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