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Letter: Steroid use not big in high school

Newsday's recent cover story "Steroids on LI: Growing concern" [News, Aug. 18] suggests an apparent uptick in steroid use among 17- to 25-year-olds on Long Island.

The good news is that this is inconsistent with a trusted national survey of teenage drug use, Monitoring the Future, which surveys teens in eighth, 10th and 12th grades.

It shows that teen use of anabolic steroids has fallen in recent years. Overall, only about 1.5 percent of teens now report ever using steroids. Cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and tranquilizers are all more prevalent in high school. There is nothing to suggest that Long Island's kids are a national anomaly, notwithstanding the anecdotal claims of politicians or ex-user activists.

None of this is to diminish the problem of teen drug abuse. The abuse of any drug, steroids included, is a serious societal problem, and drug abuse by adolescents is of particular concern. But narcotics, cigarettes and alcohol intoxication still represent far greater dangers to our children.

Rick Collins, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer concentrating in the area of performance-enhancing-drug cases, including athletes accused of doping.

Don't compare Israel and Ferguson

I found myself in full agreement with David A. Love's "A police state threatens all of us" [Aug. 21], regarding the militarization of police around the country, as funded by the federal government. This is, at the least, very troubling and encourages overly aggressive action by police.

However, he made a needlessly incendiary attack on the Israeli National Police and Israeli Defense Force, which have trained U.S. police in anti-terrorism techniques. Love asserts the Israelis "have years of experience occupying Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and suppressing their rights."

To equate the unconstitutional manner in which some police in our country have handled relationships with black and Hispanic communities with the methods that Israel needs to apply to suppress terrorist attacks is misguided at best. Unfortunately, it has become politically correct to attack Israel and paint Israelis as oppressors.

Love should also recall the field hospitals that Israelis set up around the world in places of catastrophes, and the tens of thousands of Palestinians, Syrians and others that Israel treats in its hospitals for free, before he calls them an exporter of human rights suppression.

Michael D. Brofman, New Hyde Park

Prevent explosions by venting boats

The story about the boat explosion in Manhasset reminded me of an almost identical event one summer in the early 1970s in Huntington ["Gas fumes eyed in fatal boat blast," News, Aug. 22]. I was a seasonal bay constable at the time.

There were no fatalities, but the blast threw everyone overboard into the water. The explosion occurred at a gas dock after refueling. We towed other boats from their moorings, away from the flames, while the Suffolk County police extinguished the fire. The boat burned to the waterline.

Please remind all boaters to vent their bilges, clean up spills and open hatches after refueling. It only takes a few minutes.

Don Huber, East Northport

Oyster Bay taxes too high already

I read "Oyster Bay formula failing" [Editorial, Aug. 19] about the Town of Oyster Bay potentially piercing the property tax cap for a second year. If Town Supervisor John Venditto and his one-party town board pierce the tax cap, they will forfeit the property tax rebates for residents promised by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for staying below the cap. While neighbors are receiving rebate checks in the mail, Oyster Bay residents will once again be left out to dry.

Let me be the first to say, the well is dry. We have no more tax dollars to send to Oyster Bay, and we cannot afford to borrow any more money and increase our debt.

Brendan Mahoney, Farmingdale

National Guard helicopters noisy

I can relate to the problems of the people on the East End ["Chopper foes making noise," Editorial, Aug. 25].

I live a few miles from Long Island MacArthur Airport, and the Air National Guard flies its helicopters over our homes as it chooses, at any time of the day or night. The helicopters fly so low, you'd think they're coming in the window. They fly around in circles all over the neighborhood, sometimes as late as 11:30 p.m.

While I have tried several times to get the Town of Islip to reroute the helicopters over the ocean, where the noise would not bother anyone, all I get is, "It's the National Guard; we can't do anything about it."

No one at Federal Aviation Administration has been helpful either.

Mary Rossi, Holbrook