After a recent vacation, we returned to find that in our absence, neighbors had been making unauthorized repairs to the fence that separates our properties -- on our side of the fence. Our security cameras captured the activity.

We spoke to the police, showed them the video, and were shocked to learn that unless we specifically told the neighbors not to enter the premises, they were not trespassing. Other criteria for a trespass violation include having "no trespassing" signs posted and locked gates.

Since we have natural gates -- bushes and trees -- and no signs, we didn't qualify to have a trespassing violation issued. We confirmed this with the Nassau County district attorney's criminal complaints unit.

We encourage Long Islanders to lock their gates and post their signs!

Barbara S. Schwartz, East Meadow
 

 

Some courtesies are uncommon

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I've been thinking about common courtesies, with the arrival of new neighbors. They must be reminded that their dogs must be leashed, and the term "curb your dog" means the owners must keep their dogs from soiling buildings, sidewalks, public parks and walkways.

Also, I would like to remind people that beer cans, food wrappings, cigarette butts and other debris are not to be thrown from car windows onto others' property, private or public.

Finally, if you have a yard sale, you are responsible for the removal of signs on poles soon after the sale.

Walter J. Hilsenbeck, Massapequa
 

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Dental care for people with medical conditions

 

The letter "Runaround to get dental care" [Just Sayin', Aug. 1] points to the problem of access to dental care for developmentally disabled and other "special needs" patients, some of whom require a hospital or operating room.

Special needs patients include those with medical or physical disabilities, such as stroke patients and people with cerebral palsy or Parkinson's disease. Their issues make treatment in a regular dental office difficult or impossible.

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A number of years ago, a college friend's father who was undergoing chemotherapy for terminal cancer had a dental emergency that his longtime family dentist refused to treat because of the cancer. We were able to help him, and he was able to eat normally until he died a few months later.

Resources do exist, but as your reader noted, they are hard to find. A number of hospitals have closed or merged over the last few years, among them Mary Immaculate in Queens and Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. Patients frequently travel for miles to go to the sites that remain, causing further delays as waiting lists grow.

Funding to treat special needs patients is scarce. Neither the government nor insurance companies are willing to fully recognize the difficulty and increased cost of treating these patients. Until funding increases, treatment will likely remain limited.

On Long Island, the largest hospitals treating special needs patients are: Stony Brook, which has a dental school clinic; Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park; North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset; and New York-Presbyterian/Queens, formerly New York Hospital Queens, in Flushing. If the problem is acute, NYPQ has a dental emergency room that might be able to stabilize the patient until more definitive care can be rendered.

Alan N. Queen, Flushing

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Editor's note: The writer is a dentist, the director of the Special Needs Dental Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Queens and a past president of the Queens County Dental Society.