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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018

Dr. Howard Fillit: "Even though we don't yet

Dr. Howard Fillit: "Even though we don't yet have a cure for Alzheimer's, I've never been as optimistic as I am now that it is within reach." Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / macgyverhh

I read with great interest the Nov. 12 news story “Fighting Alzheimer’s on LI,” about scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset developing a protein antibody that is the basis of an experimental medication.

Alzheimer’s disease research did not result in real progress until the mid-1980s. It typically takes at least 30 years for drugs to be developed out of basic research.

Even though we don’t yet have a cure for Alzheimer’s, I’ve never been as optimistic as I am now that it is within reach. In the nearly 40 years I’ve been in this field as a neuroscientist and geriatrician, we have more definite ways to diagnose the disease, better ways of doing clinical trials, more novel drug targets being studied with 120 drugs in clinical trials, and scientific evidence that supports prevention and lifestyle modifications. I see the next decade as a transformational time for drug discovery and development.

Dr. Howard Fillit, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is founding executive director and chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

Restrictions on pot sites are arbitrary

I do not believe that your Nov. 22 news story “Reins put on pot sites” adequately described the arbitrary nature of many provisions in proposed amendment to the Town of North Hempstead code.

For example, in addition to zoning and distance restrictions, the amendment would require medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in a building with at least one medical office. That provision does not require the medical office to be licensed to prescribe marijuana or to work with the dispensary in any way. It also does not specify any particular type of medical office. This is restriction for restriction’s sake.

Another provision would bar patients or caregivers from taking or administering their medication inside or outside a dispensary. If a patient had a seizure or sudden bout of intense pain, what sense would it make to force that patient to step away from the premises for relief?

Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board can repeat how they believe in preserving access to medical marijuana and respecting the dignity of patients, but this proposed legislation suggests otherwise.

Matthew Zeidman, New Hyde Park

More important to serve needy people

In a time when there is such a need to house the homeless, and feed the needy (many our own neighbors), I find it sad that the Montauk Lighthouse Committee is seeking donations to defray the cost of lighting up the lighthouse for the holidays, an estimated $50,000 [“A beacon of holiday cheer,” News, Nov. 25].

Too bad this committee did not instead see fit to bless the less fortunate with meals, housing or gifts. How frivolous and unnecessary. I hope people will think twice before supporting this cause and decide instead that there are children and families that desperately need their help.

Robin Paetz, Yaphank

Trial was about theft of municipal services

In regards to the Nov. 30 letter “Oyster Bay trial a waste of time,” I would like to clarify that the trial of the town’s highway maintenance supervisor and his uncle, a former public works commissioner, was not about a dead tree, which was removed by Oyster Bay legally, as it belonged to the town.

Rather, the trial was about the town’s repair of a sidewalk for a friend of the former commissioner. Town code requires that sidewalk must be done by a contractor hired by the affected homeowner. Official misconduct and theft of service occurred when the highway maintenance supervisor had town employees do the work and tried to not have the town bill the homeowner. He confessed to doing this to an investigator.

Irwin Bergman,Roslyn Heights

Editor’s note: The writer was a juror in the trial.

Skeptical of work by Long Island’s IDAs

Syosset taxpayers are again held hostage by a liquor distributor that threatens to expand in New Jersey instead of Syosset, and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, which seeks to appease the company and preserve jobs [“Seeking more tax aid,” News, Nov. 27].

The IDA system is rigged against residential taxpayers.

Laura Schultz, Syosset

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, a civic group.

What have our industrial development agencies done for the economy?

The Suffolk County IDA is considering giving a storage company tax breaks for an East End warehouse [“Tax breaks for PODS building,” Business, Nov. 20].

The Nassau County IDA is giving a large HVAC company breaks so it will move from Westchester to Woodbury and New Cassel [“HVAC firm moving to LI from Westchester,” Business, Nov. 21]. With this added competition, the full-taxpaying heating and air-conditioning companies could go out of business. Can someone compare the jobs have been lost to the jobs that were actually created?

Gary Maksym, Massapequa