Letters/Comment 5-24-13

0:00   Sandy Hook Moms Forge Friendship With Rye Moms   I grew up in Rye in the 70s and 80s and spent my entire childhood […]

Published June 5, 2013 4:50 PM
6 min read



Sandy Hook Moms Forge Friendship With Rye Moms


I grew up in Rye in the 70s and 80s and spent my entire childhood there. I went to Osborn, then Midland, and graduated from the high school as a devoted Rye Garnet, class of ’85. I was a kid from Rye, but now I’m a Sandy Hook School mom. 


On May 15, an extraordinary group of moms from Rye gave over 100 Sandy Hook School moms a love-filled gift of friendship and fun, relaxation and peace, kindness and healing. They brought tears to our eyes as we arrived in two buses, friends we didn’t yet know waving us welcome beneath an arch of green and white balloons declaring We Choose Love. They opened their arms and their hearts, pampering us with an offering of fun and peaceful activities throughout the morning amid the beauty and serenity of Rye Town Park and beach in the springtime. There were smiles and laughter and hugs and more laughter. After a lovely lunch under the pavilion, tears came again as we listened to the moving dedication to Sandy Hook families of a bench in the park, where friends can sit together with a view of the water and the joy of leisure all around them.


Every detail of the day was so thoughtful, from the bag with water, mints, and gum that awaited us on our bus seats to the rubber duck, with the green memorial ribbon, nesting in the bow on the Sandy Hook park bench. Tears welled up once more when our new Rye mom friends lined up along the sidewalk to wave goodbye as our buses departed, this time tears of thankfulness for their kindness, compassion, and generosity.


Coming from Rye has always been something of which I am proud, but I have never been more honored to be connected to this town as I am now. This beautiful gift began after December 14 with a seed that bloomed in the mind of Rye mom Cliona Cronin, who gathered friends and spent months planning and preparing.


On behalf of all the Sandy Hook moms who were there, I want to thank Cliona Cronin, Jo Bryan, Carrie Donahue, Alexandra Hickey, Laura Kelleher, Kristine Kennedy, Jannine Moran, Kim Mulcahy, Kim O’Connor, and every single one of the nearly 100 Rye moms who graced us with the warmth of your smiles and hearts that day, along with all in your community who contributed to making our day in Rye so truly memorable.  


Your loving kindness and generosity of spirit inspires and helps us heal.  We Are Sandy Hook and We Choose Love. The moms of Rye have shown us that they do, too.   


In peace and gratitude.


Lynn Edwards

Sandy Hook, Connecticut


A Win for Rye


Dear Editor,


Congratulations to residents of the Rye City School District. You have elected two outstanding candidates (Katy and Nicole) to the Rye Board of Education. They’ll do a great job including helping raise the level of civility in our public discourse!  


We are all blessed to have people with strong qualifications who are willing to devote their spare time to our kids.



Bob Zahm


Beware of Megadose Supplements


Dear Editor,


Dr. Ameet Goyal recommends, in an article in the April 19 issue of The Rye Record, that people take Ocuvite. 


Ocuvite, which is also called “Preservision,” is a pill made by Bausch and Lomb that is supposed to prevent macular degeneration. It contains four dietary supplements: Beta Carotene, vitamins E and C, and zinc. These supplements are all in megadoses, up to 15 times greater than the recommended daily intake. 


The “evidence” that these pills are effective comes from study that was published in 2001. The study does not explain why the researchers chose these four supplements. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables seem to protect against macular degeneration, but we have no idea which of the thousands of different substances is producing this effect. In other words, there was no scientific justification for this study.


There was conflict of interest in this study. The principal investigator has the patent to this drug, and the study was financed partly by the company that manufactures these pills.


When the results were analyzed at the end of this study, they were negative: the pills had no beneficial effect on vision. Then the researchers arbitrarily threw out one group of patients, and they changed their definition of “success” from preventing vision loss, to preventing certain events, which they chose.


After these manipulations, the data seemed to show that one subgroup of patients had fewer of these events. The study did NOT show that these patients had any vision benefit from taking this drug.


This manipulation has caused a storm of criticism in scientific meetings, and in the scientific literature. Scientists are not supposed to throw out a negative result, and then report on a small subgroup that seems to have a positive result. It does not conform to standard scientific practice. In short, the value of Ocuvite has not been proven by accepted scientific methods.


Ocuvite is dangerous. Vitamins are drugs, and all drugs, including vitamins, must be taken at the proper dosage. We all know that taking two aspirins cures a headache, but taking 20 aspirins kills you. All of the four supplements in this study are toxic at the doses in these pills. Beta Carotene causes lung cancer; vitamin E causes lung and prostate cancer and increases the risk of heart failure; vitamin C causes kidney stones, stomach ulcers, and diarrhea; and zinc, a heavy metal, doubles the risk of prostate cancer in men, and incontinence in women.


So spend your money on fruits and vegetables, and stay away from all megadose supplements, including Ocuvite.




Dr. Cynthia MacKay, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Emeritus


How Do You Say Goodbye


Dear Rye Community,


I am in the unenviable position of having to figure this one out for myself. I have served as the Elementary School Youth Advocate on behalf of The Rye Youth Council for twenty-five years, and have felt so fortunate to have had the opportunity. The lyrics from a song from the musical “Wicked” keep playing through my mind:


“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason


Bringing something we must learn and we are led


To those who help us most to grow if we let them


And we help them in return….”


This describes my work in this community. I have loved meeting you and working with your children and my colleagues, and I have learned and grown along the way as a result. 


There are not enough accolades to describe the role the Rye Youth Council plays in the community and I have treasured being one of its ambassadors.  It is rare to have a community organization so committed to the social and emotional well being of the young people in the community with a primary focus on character and emotional health. As an outside agency, we have been able to provide the services that the schools are not in a position to offer. 


I thank the Rye citizens who had the vision to create such an organization and to all of you who have worked tirelessly on our behalf and have contributed in so many ways.


You’ll be in my heart….




Stephanie Low


Editor’s Note: The Rye Youth Council staff and board members said Stephanie Low would also be in their hearts! They are planning a farewell party for her on Thursday, June 13 from 4-7 p.m. at Wainwright House. They invite the community to come say goodbye to a special individual.


“Stephanie has worked tirelessly on behalf of the students, families, and community. Saying goodbye is never easy; the Rye Youth Council and the community will sorely miss her guidance, thoughtfulness, and compassion.


“She is a special individual, and this was evident throughout her twenty-five years in Rye and the dedication with which she served as Rye Youth Council Elementary School Youth Advocate. Not only has she taught the students, but she has also provided life lessons to her colleagues, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. We wish her much success and continued fulfillment in her future endeavors. 


“We are planning a farewell party for her on Thursday, June 13 at Wainwright House, 4-7 pm.  We would like to invite the community to join us at this open house to help us say goodbye.”


Crossing to Safety at Blind Brook May Necessitate a Stop Sign


Dear Editor,


In anticipation of the sale of the Methodist Church in Rye, the board of Blind Brook Lodge that represents the owners of units in the Lodge began planning for accommodating those owners renting car spaces from the Methodist Church.


The Board has received approval from the City Planning Commission and the Zoning Board to proceed with land development for 80 additional parking spaces on land formerly occupied by the ancient barn, a few garden plots, and a tennis court.


Pedestrian crossing safety will become an even bigger concern for those crossing to and from the apartment complex to the expanded parking area, not only for residents, but for all who use Rye Recreation and park in spaces at the Rye Arts Center. Vehicular access in and out of Blind Brook Lodge itself will continue.


A final answer for the safety of all may be the Full Stop remedy as applied recently on Midland Avenue.




John Carolin


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