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Letters: Ex-cop's misconduct on duty

Why is it that former Police Officer Michael Tedesco ["Ex-cop's guilty plea," News, May 13] faced all sorts of departmental and criminal charges for having sex with a mistress while on duty in Nassau County, yet then-Sgt. James Burke had sex while on duty with his prostitute girlfriend and eventually got promoted to chief of department in Suffolk County ["50 LI Police Misconduct Cases," News, Dec. 19, 2013]?

What a difference a county line makes.

Jim Brennan, Rocky Point

After ex-Police Officer Michael Tedesco's guilty pleas to misconduct charges, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said it was "a win for taxpayers" that he forfeited $195,000 in termination pay and paid $3,700 in restitution. However, state law allowing him to collect his pension for the rest of his life was a mistake that the taxpayers will pay for.

Let's support our dedicated professional police, but not reward a dirty cop with a pension that will permit him a comfortable retirement.

Michael Greenfield, Oceanside

Cats responsible for bird deaths

While walking around my neighborhood in Hauppauge on a recent morning, I counted no fewer than six pet cats free to roam and hunt. Cat owners need to know the damage that their pets are doing to wildlife.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, domestic cats let out to roam kill 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds a year in the United States, and 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion small mammals.

Experts also tell us that cats are the single biggest reason for the demise of ground-feeding birds like bobwhite quail, a species that has largely disappeared from Long Island. The irony is that these birds eat ticks. Cat owners must keep their pets indoors or on a leash.

Christopher Duffner, Hauppauge

GMO labels would be confusing

The New York State Legislature should avoid the mistake of voting to label genetically modified organisms ["A kernel of truth about what we eat," Opinion, May 2].

Scientists at organizations such as the American Medical Association, the Royal Society of London and the World Health Organization agree that genetically improved foods are safe -- even if organic food companies and environmentalists want us to believe otherwise because labels will help their bottom line or their scare campaigns.

Rather than driving up food costs with arbitrary labeling laws, we should reserve labels for things that are actually noteworthy. Otherwise, we risk desensitizing consumers who would see confusing labeling about genetically improved ingredients on 70 percent of the processed food they buy in the supermarket.

Will Coggin, Washington, D.C.

Editor's note: The writer is a senior research analyst for the Center for Consumer Freedom, focusing on food, alcohol and tobacco interests.

Isn't almost all the food we eat genetically modified, since the time of Gregor Mendel and his experiments crossbreeding peas in the mid-1800s?

What concerns me is the use of hybrid seed. The plants from hybrid seeds do not usually produce seeds that will germinate and provide another year of food for the future.

The abuse of hybrid seed is more important that the identification of genetically modified organisms.

Gene Scanlon, Southhampton

Clean up trash along LIRR tracks

Back in May 2011, the Long Island Rail Road admitted that it had dumped heaps of wood and steel alongside the tracks, and that cleanup would become a priority ["Trash by the tracks," News, May 1, 2011].

I have not seen one change in the debris that is along the tracks, right down to shovels, buckets and other still-usable work material.

The LIRR should use these discarded materials or reinstate its Trash Into Cash scrap metal program.

Christine Nowak, Farmingdale


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