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Letters: Huntington aid squad among best on the Island

I must object to criticism by Huntington town officials disparaging the operations of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad ["Huntington aid squad needs change, study says," News, Oct. 12].

I'm not a member of the squad, but I'm a longtime emergency medical service provider, serving as both a volunteer and a paid emergency medical technician. I've found the Huntington Community squad to be one of the finest EMS agencies around.

Its volunteer members went into harm's way to rescue people from a carbon monoxide emergency at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at Walt Whitman Mall in 2014. Several responders were hospitalized.

Huntington Community First Aid Squad is the gold standard against which EMS agencies judge themselves on Long Island.

Articles based on a flawed study commissioned by the Huntington Town Board would have one believe that the squad can't get an ambulance out the door, leaving residents of the district gasping. It would be hard to get further from the truth. The study cites 41 times in the first part of 2015 when it was necessary for the Huntington Community squad to call for help from another agency, referred to as mutual aid.

What didn't make its way to the front of the report was that 41 represents just a little over 1 percent of the agency's more than 4,000 alarms -- a mutual aid rate that any agency would be proud to display.

Thomas Cronogue, Wheatley Heights

LI dangerous for cyclists, walkers

I was heartbroken by the news that Kenneth Rich, a Smithtown doctor, was killed by a vehicle while crossing the street ["DWI charged in crash that killed LI doctor," News, Oct. 11].

I've been keeping a log of traffic crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists hit by vehicles that result in critical injury or worse. Long Island is deadly for cyclists and pedestrians, and we need to do something about it. We need a significant investment in infastructure, such as biking and walking lanes or paths, preferably away from traffic.

We also need an emphatic public awareness campaign about vehicular responsibility toward cyclists and pedestrians. I've almost been hit on several occasions. In some cases, drivers seem unaware when turning or racing through stop signs that that there might be a pedestrian in the road.

Pedestrians and cyclists need to be on the minds of every driver on Long Island.

Sylvia Silberger, Hempstead

Editor's note: The writer is the founder of Car-less Long Island, an alternative transportation advocacy group.

Drive carefully near chicken restaurant

There is nothing more ubiquitous on Long Island than fast-food restaurants; however with the lines at the new Chick-fil-A in Port Jefferson Station, you would think that we had never seen a chicken sandwich ["Fans flock on LI," News, Oct. 8].

I'm concerned about the unsafe driving conditions near there. People make U-turns on Route 347 to get to the Chick-fil-A. I was in the left-most turning lane, and people in the turning lane to my right were making U-turns across my lane to get there. That's dangerous. These people think everybody wants chicken and are risking their lives.

Maybe someone will look at this intersection. In the meantime, enjoy your chicken, but please drive safely.

Neil Bellovin, Port Jefferson

Pacific trade deal bad for Americans

For decades, Republican and Democratic presidents have promised that their free trade agreements were different from every other one that preceded them ["Clinton opposes Obama trade deal," News, Oct. 8]. American workers continue to be put in competition with the lowest-paid workers in the world, with slave labor and with child labor.

The North American Free Trade Agreement was supposed to be a boon for Mexican and U.S. workers, but it failed both. Even with NAFTA, we have an immigration crisis in this country. The loss of American factories stagnated U.S. jobs and wages, leaving us with a labor participation rate at historical lows. This has hurt workers across the economic and educational scale. Today's college graduates will not fare as well as most blue-collar workers of past generations.

Major consumer, environmental and labor organization opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. It's only good for multinational corporations, which stash their profits in tax havens.

Joel Herman, Melville


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