This new feature invites readers to comment on public policy issues beyond what you're seeing in news stories, editorials or op-eds.

Keep your contribution to 200 words, send it to letters@newsday.com, and mention Just Sayin'. Or write to us at Newsday Opinion, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747.
 

Kindness at a library outing

Unsung heroes! While in the Elmont libary, I witnessed kindness, care and concern given to two groups of mentally challenged youths by their attendants. You never hear of all the goodness, day in and day out, given by these health care workers, who face such stressful conditions.

There were 15 or 20 young people, about age 18 or 19. One of them had a condition in which he made loud noises and yelled out. I thought, that's certainly anti-library. But people seemed OK with it. I looked around to see whether anybody was annoyed.

I mentioned the groups to the ladies behind the library desk, and one of them said, you think you've got it bad with your kids until you see something like this.

The kid who kept making loud utterances was big, tall and handsome. One of the health care workers took him to a corner of the library to calm him down, but eventually they had to take him outside. I thought, what kindness, and almost nobody sees it.

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The parents must be very grateful for the hours these young adults are in someone else's care.

Pat Judge, Stewart Manor
 

Tickets for snow 'emergency'

The Village of Williston Park declared a snow emergency on Feb. 17 and gave my 83-year-old mother and numerous neighbors $150 tickets. There was, to their knowledge, no announcement made declaring this an emergency. The sun was out and the street had no snow on it. This is what constitutes an emergency?

We were told it was posted on the village website, but as my mother is 83, she has no knowledge of website announcements, so this is quite a pathetic excuse.

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The entire situation is pathetic, shaking down hardworking, taxpaying citizens who live in this village. These are the same people who, when there is a legitimate snow emergency, get home from work and, after shoveling out their homes, have to park their cars blocks and blocks away to avoid getting tickets. And in the morning, they have to shovel again, walk blocks and blocks to get their cars, and then go to work.

The people who declare emergencies are a disgrace. Now, on a sunny Tuesday at noon, an elderly woman home alone, with no knowledge of any of this, is on the hook for 150 big ones.

Lorraine Olkuski, Williston Park
 

Cruise ships trash the shore

About 15 years ago, I went to a small island off the coast of Belize to count dolphins as a volunteer with a group then called Elder Hostel.

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Every morning, the 10 or so of us in the program were asked to take a green garbage bag apiece. We picked up garbage that had accumulated on the beach in the last 24 hours. We did it every day for the seven days we stayed in this beautiful place.

The same amount of garbage appeared every day. Bottle labels were written in languages from many countries, although not in English, as I recall. We were told that cruise ships did the dumping. I read recently that this behavior is still going on!

Lucille McCue, Bay Shore