What's happening with Gabreski?

I often pass Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach and observe an unutilized wasteland. Why is it that instead of being an active landing strip, it looks like an abandoned tarmac?

Shouldn't Suffolk County be asking the federal government for some of that shovel-ready project money to renovate and turn this region into a productive gold mine? Just think of the revenue that can be raised from helicopter tours, private jet landings and flying lessons.

Just think of the new employment that could be created, especially if the Shinnecock casino goes up in that same vicinity.

Chloe Mack

Sound Beach

The proper role of school athletic trainers

As an athletic director and a former student athletic trainer, I agree with most of the comments made by Nassau Community College's head trainer, Tim Prohinsie ["Athletic trainers help avoid damage," Letters, Nov. 14].

However, he failed to consider the actual State Education Department's regulation that requires any student-athlete who is diagnosed with a potential head injury to be cleared by the chief medical officer of the school district before he or she may return to play. Athletic trainers may certainly identify and evaluate head injuries, but the "return to play" authorization may only come from the chief medical officer.

I also feel that Prohinsie is oversimplifying how schools treat injured athletes. If there is a physical therapy clinic involved, chances are that group offers student-athletes access to doctors, physicians' assistants, athletic trainers and therapists who under normal circumstances would not be there if the school district employs a general practitioner.

Prohinsie is correct when he says that athletic trainers should be given adequate compensation, but even that does not always guarantee a district will find a qualified person. The hours are brutal (2 p.m. until the last team leaves, nights, Saturdays and an occasional Sunday), and if that athletic trainer is like most, he or she works a morning stint in a clinic similar to the ones described earlier.

Those factors make for a high rate of burnout. To help with the availability of trainers, the Suffolk County High School Athletic Trainers Association provides access to qualified professionals.

Jim Wright

Huntington Station

Editor's note: The writer is the supervisor of physical education, athletics and recreation for the South Huntington school district.

This letter stated that contracting with a physical therapy office to provide athletic trainers is a "worse" option. It is actually a better solution.

Most physical therapists hold either a master's degree or a clinical doctorate and many are board certified in different practice areas, including orthopedics and sports. Specialists in sports physical therapy are equipped to be immediate on-field responders during athletic events due to their emergency response training. This high level of specific training allows for further detailed evaluation of the neuromuscular system and avoids delay in treatment that may lead to disability.

Allen Eshmoili

Great Neck

Editor's note: The writer is a vice president with Reddy-Care Physical Therapy.

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