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Just Sayin’: Prorate vehicle fines based on income

A parking ticket awaits a driver in Bay

A parking ticket awaits a driver in Bay Shore, Aug. 10, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Based on New York State or local codes, automobile parking and moving violations are subject to specific fines. Because of differences in individual wealth or income, the same penalty can be experienced in widely different ways. A $25 parking ticket is significantly more costly to someone earning $25,000 a year than a person earning $500,000.

The difference in the financial impact could be reduced by prorating fines based on income listed on a violator’s IRS tax return. If no return is available, a flat violation fee could be imposed.

Joel Reicherter, Huntington

Stop the flood of pharmaceutical ads

Have you noticed the avalanche of pharmaceutical ads on TV? I see them around dinnertime every night. They’re generally dreamy ads touting wonder drugs.

Using my remote like a six-gun, I flee to other channels, only to be met with a different huckster’s song. Like the zombies in the “Night of the Living Dead,” the ads creep toward me.

What is so disturbing in this era of opioid addiction is that the pharmaceutical industry is trying to talk me into asking my doctor about drugs. Instead of selling to the medical field, which is an informed entity, we on our couches are being sold on medications about which we know virtually nothing.

At least the government requires the disclosure of side effects — a recital that has become comically frightening.

In 1971, cigarette advertising was removed from the airwaves, which was a great step for public health. Eliminating this current assault on the public would be a step in the right direction in 2018.

Joy Flynn, Quogue

Annoying calls from mysterious numbers

A few weeks ago, we received a call at home, and the phone identified the caller as a beauty salon with a local number. I picked up and got a rather lengthy spiel about a resort we hadn’t stayed at. I asked where the call was from and mentioned the Federal Communications Commission. The caller hung up. I called back the number, and yes, it was a beauty salon.

A few days ago, we received another call, this time from another local number. Caller ID showed a woman’s name, but it was another call from a resort. I hung up, waited a few minutes and called the number back. A woman answered the phone and said she had no idea who had used her phone number to make this call.

I guess salespeople are starting to use live, local numbers. What can we do to prevent this?

Gary Schaefer, Manorville