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66° Good Afternoon

Letter: Home heating prices too high

I am a senior citizen who is freezing in my own home because of the cost of heating oil ["LI heating oil rises 15 cents, hits new season high," Business, Jan. 30].

As of Feb. 3, the average price for gasoline in our area was $3.41 a gallon for regular, but to warm your home the average for oil was $4.42.

It looks as though the global gang of greed -- including OPEC, Wall Street, oil companies, politicians and gas station owners -- has inducted local fuel dealers into the club. Our elected officials should try a fix that helps everyone.

Dahlia Marie Williams, Melville

Better addiction care is available

I read with interest Lane Filler's column regarding the good and bad news in the fight against the opioid drug epidemic ["A tragic silver lining in drug numbers," Opinion, Jan. 29].

Filler writes that the relapse rate after coming out of rehabilitation is at least 75 percent. He concludes that "we're not doing enough, but in many cases, nothing helps." I disagree. There is effective treatment for a great majority.

Well-established medical interventions are being used by just a minimal number of health professionals. Suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate addiction, is the best-known intervention. It works well in about half of patients; however, the quality of Suboxone providers varies greatly.

Many health professionals overlook that the patient is using another drug at the same time. Or they also prescribe sedatives or sleeping pills, which leads to poor outcomes.

In addition, there is a general lack of awareness and use of naltrexone, another medication, which can profoundly help patients reduce cravings and maintain abstinence. A knowledgeable provider will know of other interventions, too.

Filler goes on to discuss the benefits of more rehabilitation resources. While this would be beneficial, we really need better rehabilitation treatment that is evidence based, incorporates the full scope of medical and behavioral therapies, and avoids having traditional psychiatric and addiction care split among several providers.

Dr. Stuart Wasser, Rockville Centre

Editor's note: The writer is an addiction specialist.

Common Core work frustrates student

I would have chuckled at the irony had I not been so enraged by my 9-year-old daughter's homework assignment ["Lawmakers demand: Delay Common Core," News, Feb. 5].

She was to read a poem titled "Can't," by Edgar Guest. "Can't" is the way she feels on a daily basis at school since the Common Core curriculum was instituted.

She was to interpret the meaning of words based on their context in the poem, originally published in 1916. One of the stanzas reads:

Can't is the father of feeble endeavor,

The parent of terror and

half-hearted work;

It weakens the efforts of

artisans clever,

And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.

It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,

It stifles in infancy many a plan;

It greets honest toiling with open derision

And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of man.

My daughter could not understand the underlying meaning of the poem, never mind infer the meaning of words such as "blight" or "lodgment."

We risk losing a generation of naturally curious, enthusiastic students due to a poorly implemented, developmentally inappropriate, mandated curriculum.

Therese Regan, Smithtown

Flights out of Islip inconvenient

Long Island MacArthur Airport is a good facility with easy parking ["Upgrade for foreign fliers," News, Feb. 10].

I would drive the additional distance from western Nassau to avoid the other airports if the flights were convenient. Unfortunately, most are not.

Southwest has few nonstop flights. Most require a stop or change of flight. I've had to wait two or three hours for a connection. I go elsewhere and pay more for a direct flight to avoid these connections.

MacArthur serves a large enough population to be successful. Unfortunately, convenient flights are lacking.

Steve Greenlick, Manhasset

Death penalty for Boston bomb suspect

Newsday's editorial opposes the Boston Marathon bomb suspect facing the death penalty ["Death penalty and Tsarnaev," Jan. 31]. Why so much concern about the life of one person with so little regard for the life of others?

This individual allegedly killed a little boy and two adults, and maimed 260 people -- some permanently, with loss of limbs. This was a planned attack with intent to harm innocent people.

The death penalty is not good for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but it might good for us and for the families that have suffered from this tragedy.

Lawrence Harkavy, St. James


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