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Just Sayin': Water sprinklers are a hazard

Lawn during the summer.

Lawn during the summer. Credit: iStock

Walking in the suburbs in summertime frequently involves dodging lawn sprinklers that spray onto sidewalks, or getting wet if you don't notice them in time. This can result in unnecessary risk to pedestrians from traffic as they step into the street to avoid being sprayed.

Searching through the Hempstead Town Code, I found nothing that explicitly addresses this issue. Section 181-11 requires that the sidewalks be kept clear of "obstructions or encumbrances." Water spraying onto the sidewalk effectively creates a barrier to pedestrians and thus is against the spirit of the law, if not an actual violation.

Some measure should be taken to get people to be more careful about how they place and aim their sprinklers. At the very least, they should be more aware of the inconvenience and potential hazard they create.

Peter Crisci, Uniondale

Re-test drivers over age 75

Recently, I read another story about a car crashing into a storefront at a shopping area. I've read about many such crashes, and it seems often the driver is well into his or her senior years.

It reminded me of when I turned 78 a few years ago and went to the motor vehicle department to renew my driver's license. I passed the eye test, but I expected to take a driving test. Not so! They renewed my license for eight years!

I suggest that drivers past the age of 75 be required to pass a driving test before having their licenses renewed. "Stuck gas pedal" or "I thought I was stepping on the brake" excuses should no longer be accepted.

Samuel Ango, Baldwin

College loan options confusing, expensive

In response to "Lighten student loan burden" ["Just Sayin'," Sept. 5], the writer is absolutely correct that the burden of student loans is becoming a new time bomb, equal to the mortgage crisis of a few years ago.

The complexities of Stafford and Parent Plus loans issued by the U.S. government are almost impossible to navigate in a way that gives students repayment solutions to fit their financial needs.

There are six traditional repayment plans to help parents and students avoid default. There are also forgiveness features, upfront interest rate reductions, and options such as deferment and forbearance. Students and parents may qualify for loan forgiveness, cancellation and discharge as well.

Another option is loan consolidation offered by the federal government, which may simplify repayment if you are making separate payments to different loan servicers. This would allow borrowers to have only one monthly payment.

It's also important that borrowers do not miss payments, as their loans may be considered delinquent, and late fees can be charged.

The writer is correct that the interest rates are unconscionably high and can range up to 8.25 percent. It is imperative that the federal government authorize the Department of Education to lower these interest rates.

For most of the last eight years, interest rates have gone up on student loans. This is contrary to most other rates, which have significantly decreased. I think it would be correct to speculate that the U.S. Department of Education uses the revenue from these loans to finance other programs.

Barry Fox, Merrick

Editor's note: The writer is a college financial aid consultant.