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Letter: Life with ALS has taught kindness

I have watched media reports of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and I've been touched to the core by the caring and the fervent hope that we will soon find a cure for this devastating Lou Gehrig's disease ["Teachers soaked to support charity," News, Sept. 19].

I have this disease and at this stage of my life have learned so much and have changed in innumerable ways. Who would have thought a woman so set in her ways, so fiercely independent and stubborn in all things, could now embrace situations and differences? I attribute my evolution to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

My life has not been the same, even for one day, since being diagnosed three years ago. My body has been sabotaged and assaulted in cruel ways. Each day is a struggle. Accomplishing minor day-to-day necessities has required major problem-solving.

However, through it all thus far, I have become a new and improved person thanks to the love and kindness of my wonderful sons, family, friends, neighbors and strangers.

I have received such incredible acts of kindness that I ask myself, if the roles were reversed, would I be as compassionate and caring? I sure hope so. Others have made me a better person by the power of good.

Terry Sherwood, Farmingville

Resisting arrest can lead to violence

I'm disappointed that an attorney with the stature and intelligence of Sanford Rubenstein would use inflammatory and misleading comments to further his agenda ["Call for probe in cop video flap," News, Sept. 25].

He stated, "There's no question that police-community relations are at an all-time low in this city because of the actions of police officers."

After reading the Newsday article, it was apparent to me that it wasn't the actions of New York City police officers that led to subduing a pregnant woman in Sunset Park. Jhohan Lemos started the incident by publicly displaying a knife, according to the criminal complaint, and by allegedly resisting arrest.

Also, Lemos' father and another man, who are charged with assaulting and obstructing the officers, are to blame. Finally, Lemos' mother, Sandra Amezquita, seems to have put herself and her unborn child at risk by getting involved in the violent struggle.

If the person the police were looking to arrest would have complied with the officers' lawful orders, then a lot of disharmony would have been avoided. People would not have gotten hurt.

The place of arrest is not where you argue the validity of an arrest; the courtroom is.

Anthony Surdich, Port Washington

Editor's note: The writer is a former New York City police officer.

Releasing public details about Ebola

Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital ["A bid to halt Ebola," News, Oct. 9]. He entered the United States after lying on his airport screening form about his contact with Ebola patients.

The Centers for Disease Control gave United Airlines, but not the public, the carrier and flight information. United Airlines did the right thing and released that information.

I'm sure the airline felt a responsibility to Duncan's fellow passengers -- unlike our government.

Ray Lahovitch, Port Jefferson Station

School speed cams hurting Nassau

My wife and I have already gotten three school speed-camera tickets ["Getting cameras' info up to speed," News Column, Oct. 9]. Many Nassau County residents are suffering the same fate.

Aren't school crossing guards enough? Were children getting hit by cars before? Did that prompt this action, or are the cameras just another way to raise money for Nassau? Right or wrong, that's what most residents feel.

Just when we seem to be getting back on our feet, the government seems to want to hurt us financially again.

Ken Rott, Levittown

The school speed-camera program is really a stealth tax masquerading as a safety program. Also, county officials have refused Newsday's request to turn over data about fines and number of tickets issued, claiming that this information is exempt from the state's Freedom of Information Law.

I will not vote for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and those who approved these cameras, though I have been a registered Republican and ardent supporter all my life.

There are negative and dangerous side effects to this program, such as a fire engine or ambulance trying to get through while we taxpayers are doing the crawl. Or an accident or rear-ender because we are paranoid about the cameras and keep checking our speedometers.

Joyce Grabowski, Valley Stream


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