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Letter: Party chairman's comments 'scary'

The comments by Mike Long, chairman of the New York Conservative Party, on SUNY's "yes means yes" policy to deter sexual assault left me outraged and speechless ["SUNY OKs 'yes means yes' consent policy," News, Dec. 3].

Did he really say, "Before long, they'll be asking for written consent. Why don't they just print forms and have people sign them?"

I found this disgusting and scary.

Kathie Greenberg, Wantagh

NYS could model single-payer plan

As a senior health care executive, I found your article about the New York State Assembly again considering a single-payer option interesting ["Single-payer plan still an ideal," Editorial, Nov. 30].

New York State could serve as a model for the rest of the nation by being the first state to offer Medicare as its single-payer option. New York could purchase Medicare benefits from the federal government, allowing the state to take advantage of the federal government's claims-processing capabilities and its extensive network of participating hospitals, physicians and other health care providers.

New York would provide our nation with a socioeconomically and geographically diverse population base for this experiment.

Ellen Dank Cohen, East Setauket

Mourning boy hit on way to school

The tragic passing of Zachary Ranftle, who was hit by a car in Valley Stream, strikes me particularly close to home ["A boy's last mile," News, Dec. 13]. Nearly 40 years ago, I was almost killed only about a mile from that location, on my way back from Memorial Junior High School. I was hit near the corner of Fletcher and Hendrickson avenues. For two days, moms filled the street in protest, demanding a traffic signal, which they got.

Lost in the reportage of this newest traffic tragedy, and barely commented on otherwise, is the increase in traffic on our local streets. Houses that normally held one family are now occupied by two, three or even more families. Often, this overcrowding violates local zoning and other rules.

The increase in population has led to the use of many more cars. Long Island streets that once were easily passable are now often congested with rows of cars parked, jampacked, on both sides. Surely there must be a way to fund more crossing guards at busy intersections to prevent future catastrophes.

James H. Burns, Franklin Square

I'm a parent of a child at Memorial Junior High School. Students held a candlelight vigil for Zachary Ranftle at the school.

I would like to make the community aware of the love and respect he holds in many hearts.

Veronica Everette, Valley Stream

What's money got to do with speeding?

Why are people so obsessed with the financial motivation of officials who support speed cameras ["Cams leave $30M hole," News, Dec. 15]? Why do drivers need to be warned that laws are being enforced? When there are police cars around the corner, do we have signs saying so?

Just obey the law. Slow down.

Steve Landis, Hampton Bays

Sympathy for cops who killed suspects

At the risk of being vilified as a voice in the wilderness, let me say that I feel sympathy for the officers involved in the killings in Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island and East New York ["Debating decisions in Garner, Brown," Letters, Dec. 17].

It may be trite to say that no officer ever went to work with the desire to take action that resulted in someone's death. I'm a retired deputy inspector. In my 32 years with the New York City Police Department, I never met an officer who did not dread having to do so.

What I did meet were dedicated men and women who tried to do an often difficult job and hoped to return to their families after each tour of duty, without injury to themselves or others. Each year there are more than 60,000 assaults on officers resulting in 15,000 injuries and more than 100 deaths.

I do not judge these officers because I wasn't in their situations, did not feel the rush of adrenaline in the seconds they had to take action, and did not sit on the grand juries that heard the evidence. I feel empathy because I know those few seconds will be parsed and analyzed forever by those with even less knowledge than me.

Eugene D. Guerin, New Hyde Park