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OpinionLetters

Just Sayin’: Blocked sidewalks endanger the public

A pile of hardened concrete obstructs the sidewalk

A pile of hardened concrete obstructs the sidewalk along Nichols Road near Darra Court in the Nesconset area of Smithtown on Oct. 18. Credit: Newsday/Lawrence Striegel

Blocked sidewalks endanger the public

It’s incredible that homeowners put their trash cans and garden waste along the few sidewalks available in Suffolk County, creating hazards for walkers who then must move into the street. Another pet peeve of mine are voluminous bushes, trees and weeds (some poisonous) that block narrow paths. Sometimes it’s necessary to step into the street to avoid brushing up against the growth.

On my regular walking route on Nichols Road in Nesconset, there is actually a huge glob of discarded concrete covering the sidewalk opposite Darra Court. The mound is high and wide enough to prevent me from pushing my mother on that sidewalk in her wheelchair.

Town of Smithtown officials should open their eyes and help pedestrians. Start issuing tickets for blocking public walkways and illegal dumping in our neighborhoods.

Chris DiFalco, Nesconset

Take every vital document to the DMV

My driver’s license was expiring, so I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Port Jefferson to get the new enhanced version.

Armed with the DMV form, my license, passport and a check, I waited 25 minutes at the first checkpoint, where the screener rejected me. She said I needed a Social Security card (even though it states “not for ID purposes”), and a second proof of residence. And I was told that the middle initial “A” on my passport and my old license were problematic. She needed a document to show that my middle name was Ann.

I came back with my Social Security card and birth certificate and a bank statement as another proof of residence.

Still not enough.

The birth certificate showed me as Phyllis Ann Reilly, my maiden name. I was told to go home again and get my marriage license to show why my name is now Phyllis Ann Foley. I gave up and opted for the old-fashioned driver’s license.

This is a cautionary tale for anyone who has changed his or her name. Check the DMV website for required documents. And if you’re a woman and have been married more than once, God help you!

Phyllis Foley, Stony Brook

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