It has puzzled me throughout my nearly 40-year career as a registered pharmacist that retail pharmacy owners can reconcile their roles as health care providers while selling tobacco products ["CVS to stop selling cigs, other tobacco," News, Feb. 6].
So I was very happy to see that CVS, one of the largest chains of retail pharmacies in the nation, has decided that its stores will no longer sell tobacco products. Even though this will cost the company revenue, it has decided that its role as the first line of defense in protecting the health of the public is far more important.
Congratulations to CVS on this important decision!
Leonard Cohen, Wantagh
Health exchange can't claim excellent care
The New York State Health Exchange has been promoted as one of the most successful to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Media reported on Feb. 4 that 657,000 New Yorkers have completed applications.
However, the article "Shut out at Stony Brook" [News, Feb. 5] mitigates the claim of success. It's disgraceful that the tertiary hospitals -- those that provide a full complement of services in Suffolk and Westchester counties -- participate in none of the exchange insurance plans.
Promoting the plans as insurance with access to excellent care is deceitful. Unfortunately, most patients do not realize this until they require specialized care.
Dr. Robert A. Klein, Mineola
Editor's note: The writer is a gastroenterologist in private practice.
St. Patrick's Day parade politics
No one said that people who are gay cannot march in New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade ["Mayor's marching orders," News, Feb. 5].
The only rule is that they not carry signs or otherwise display their sexual preference.
Heterosexuals do not carry signs or advertise their sexual preference. Everyone should be able to live their lives as he or she wishes, but what is this need to tell the world?
Adrienne Brownstein, Beechhurst
I am outraged that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio refuses to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade because gay people are not permitted to display anything referring to sexual orientation.
What is missing here is any cogent thought on the matter.
It is a parade honoring a Catholic saint, not a venue for people to express views.
The organizers are free to invite whomever they wish.
It's funny, but when de Blasio marches in gay pride parades, there is no outcry from straight people.
More ludicrous was the demand by Public Advocate Letitia James to prohibit police or firefighters from marching in uniform.
I bet she would not turn away a uniformed cop or firefighter who came to her aid.
John Savin, Massapequa
So Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen to thumb his nose at the St. Patrick's Day Parade this year.
Well, the Irish have marched proudly for hundreds of years and will continue after they say good riddance to de Blasio.
You can't stop Irish pride or beliefs.
Kevin J. Mullen, Holtsville
Plows push snow onto sidewalks
I've read complaints about snow plows filling in driveways ["Plows block driveways and endanger residents," Letters, Jan. 12]. There may be nothing they can do about that, but they can slow down.
On the afternoon of Feb. 5, after I spent a couple of hours cleaning up, three plows came through so fast that they not only filled in my driveway, they threw snow up onto the lawn, covering the sidewalk.
I am 82 years old and can't be cleaning the sidewalk two or three times because the plow drivers don't know how to do their jobs right.
Jerry McCarthy, Hicksville
Little success rescuing treed cats
Regarding "Given the runaround to rescue cat in tree" [Letters, Feb. 6], I'm a firefighter who has attempted to get cats from trees many times, with little success. The cats freak out and either jump or run down the tree.
I understand the writer's concern, but it's not that we don't want to help; it's that the results are usually poor.
By the way, have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?
Tim Sonnenberg, Babylon