In "Leader helps cover Dems' bills again" [News, Oct. 4], Suffolk County Democratic Party chairman Richard Schaffer claims the Bellone administration should receive credit for reducing the size of the county payroll by 1,000 employees, as well as having privatized county health clinics.

But Schaffer and Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone are taking credit for things that were accomplished by the previous administration. The budget that cut the jobs was the one Bellone inherited. This is verified in the county legislature's analysis of the 2012 budget, which was prepared in the autumn of 2011.

Bellone also disingenuously takes credit for lowering police salaries, when that reduction was accomplished before he took office. However, Bellone deserves all the blame for crafting a deal that will pay the average Suffolk County police detective more than $227,000 by contract's end.

Edward Kitt, Riverhead

Why not reasonable gun controls?

I had to comment on the Oct. 12 letter "Right to bear arms from a different era." The problem is not owning guns, but who owns them. We don't need to abolish the Second Amendment, just ensure that gun owners are law-abiding, responsible people. We regulate car ownership and operation because irresponsible operation can be just as dangerous as gun ownership.

The spate of recent tragedies does show we need to do a better job of controlling who can get guns, but it must be done while protecting our rights.

I am not a gun owner, nor do I wish to be. But I see that nothing will get done if legal gun owners feel threatened by reasonable gun licensing and registration laws.

Scott Diamond, Levittown

Working wonders for cancer patients

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As a cancer survivor, I can say firsthand what a beautiful and caring job Racine Salon & Spa does ["Mondays at Racine," exploreLI, Oct. 12].

While going through chemotherapy, I wasn't aware of its services until I was at the end of my treatment. I was offered a massage, facial, manicures and pedicures -- and, mostly, the compassion of the owners and staff.

It's so true about how you feel about yourself. For a woman, losing her hair is devastating. No one realizes that until it happens to her, I know.

I'm going into my third year of being a survivor. I urge all women going through cancer treatments to take care of themselves and go and get pampered.

Camille Morselli, Islip Terrace

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Crime shouldn't be a laughing matter

Wow! That was some role model in New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who sent a tolerant message to all teenagers who believe that it is lawful and cool to light up a joint on the street ["Bratton counsels pot puffer," News, Oct. 10].

This is why I feel sorry for the NYPD. Bratton was actually laughing when he retold the incident to the liberal media, which treated this like a human interest story instead of a crime. Now, pot-smoking teenagers will view this with a light, comic approach.

How ironic that this transgression took place on Wall Street, where some of the biggest criminal enterprises and banksters likewise got a free pass from President Barack Obama.

Richard C. Iritano, Ozone Park

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Progress means working together

Michael Dobie, you may say you are a dreamer, but you're not the only one. Amen to your column "Go ahead, call me a dreamer" [Opinion, Oct. 11].

I would love to think your last line referring to all working together might fall on some receptive ears. Extremists, whether they be ultra liberal or hard right wing, work against any progress we make as a country or as humans in general. Our only hope is to eventually see flexibility prevail and that living together, working together, and respecting each other's differences will become the norm. This will be our only salvation.

Janet Haff, East Northport