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Letter: Speed cameras jeopardize elections

Isn't it a shame that our elected officials have to see their re-elections in jeopardy to do the right thing? ["Speed cameras in peril," News, Dec. 9]. Wouldn't the public be better off having a representative government that works for the people who elected them and not their own selfish ambitions?

It's time to remove the speed cameras and admit that they were installed to raise our taxes. They had very little to do with safety. It's time to revamp the county government, cut the waste, start with a blank piece of paper and rebuild from scratch.

Gary Peckett, Baldwin

Editor's note: The writer is a former employee of Nassau County's Office of Management & Budget.

Reduce, don't ban plastic grocery bags

When banning plastics, why stop at supermarket shopping bags ["Bag-ban debate gets theatrical," News, Nov. 28]? How about plastic food bags? Food wrap? Leaf bags? Kitchen bags? Do these bags degrade quicker? I doubt it.

I've used canvas shopping bags for more than 15 years; however, I need plastic bags from the supermarket. I use them to return water bottles and soda cans. I use them for emptying the litter box.

Will I purchase garbage bags for this purpose? I don't think so. Sure, bags are thrown out with the litter, but what is the difference if I am forced to purchase other bags?

More should be considered before banning these bags.

Marguerite Connell, Wantagh

Obamacare won't cover acid reflux

I followed the stories of President Barack Obama's ailment ["Obama has acid reflux," News, Dec. 7].

Under the health care plan that I lost because of the Affordable Care Act, I, too, would have gone for diagnostic care. Sadly, today I could not.

Having lived with my ACA-compliant coverage for nearly a year, I've paid more than $6,000 in premiums, with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield paying out a grand total of more than just $500 for preventive benefits. If I need to see my physician for an ailment, it is at my cost until the deductible is met. After that, there is a menu of copays and coinsurance.

I guess this is the litany of a loser under the ACA.

Susan E. Hopkins, Kings Park

Stairwell shooting doesn't add up

It's difficult not to second-guess NYPD Officer Peter Liang's perceived need to unholster his service handgun in the apparent absence of a direct threat ["Tragedy in stairwell, anger at his funeral," News, Dec. 7].

However, one thing can be certain: Modern handguns do not discharge if dropped or jostled, despite what you see in fictionalized TV gunplay. Handguns have passive safety mechanisms built in to prevent discharge unless the trigger is both pulled and held to the rear.

Standard training in every law enforcement academy in America instructs students to keep their fingers off the trigger unless they intend to fire. The resulting unintended fatal shooting is a tragedy for both Officer Liang and his victim, Akai Gurley.

Paul Caparatta, Oceanside

Editor's note: The writer is a retired senior firearms instructor with the U.S. Treasury Department.

Islip board deserves criticism, not praise

I was amused, then amazed, and finally appalled when I read that town Islip GOP leader Frank Tantone said, "By all counts, they did a pretty good job" -- about the very town board members on whose watch hundreds of truckloads of contaminated fill was illegally dumped at four sites.

One member, Councilman Anthony Senft, was the board's liaison to the parks department. He failed to prevent Roberto Clemente Park from being poisoned with pesticides. Another member, Deputy Supervisor Eric Hofmeister, who acted as chief executive while Supervisor Tom Croci was deployed overseas in the Navy, was also Islip's commissioner of environmental control.

How could these governmental "watchdogs" have allowed such environmental desecrations to take place right under their noses? Couldn't they smell that there was something rotten in the Town of Islip?

Richard Siegelman, Plainview