I coached Tommy Cutinella in a weekend baseball tournament, with his dad, when Tommy was about 9, and my son was 10 ["Comfort for broken hearts," News, Oct. 8].
Since then, I'd seen Tommy just a handful of times at various school functions. I always walked away thinking, "Wow, this kid still remembers me, that's special." This is who Tommy was. He made everyone he met feel special.
I asked my son, "Who were Tommy's best friends?" and with no hesitation he said, "Everyone."
Tommy is gone now. He was playing a game he loved. That's it, just playing a game. As human beings, we try to explain it, come up with a reason. There is no reason, at least not one that we mortals are privy to.
Our attempts to understand his death will always start with maybe. Maybe Tommy was put here to infect us with kindness and a smile. Maybe his presence in our children's lives taught them more than we could do on our own.
Tommy's parents raised one heck of a boy.
Rob Keller, Shoreham
"He was a good kid" are the saddest words. The story about the injury and unfortunate passing of Tom Cutinella, a member of the Shoreham-Wading River High School football team, is beyond gut-wrenching.
I find myself beyond perplexed as to why in a world of daily breakthroughs in technology, science, medicine and so on, someone in the business of manufacturing football helmets has not been able to make ones that prevent the disastrous outcomes of helmet-to-helmet contact injuries. The official cause of Tom's death has not been given, but police and school officials believe it's the result of a head injury.
I can take my own picture with a phone, which means that someone saturated with smarts took an idea and executed it. A similar drive for excellence seems long overdue in making football helmets that protect young men like Tom.
Donald Benenson, Huntington
Dislike new Suffolk marathon route
The proposed route for a Suffolk marathon is a very bad one, and Newsday's article implies that it's a done deal ["A marathon for Suffolk," News, Oct. 6].
Those of us living south of Montauk Highway would be virtual prisoners for the duration of the event. In case of a medical, fire or police emergency, would there be a means of entry or egress?
Was no opportunity provided for input from local residents or town representatives? The route should have been oriented north-south, if at all.
Richard E. Steinberger, Oakdale
Divorce mediation is wrong for some
I'm responding to the article "Using mediation to reduce stress of getting a divorce" [Business, Oct. 6].
As a matrimonial attorney, it may seem self-serving to say I don't endorse mediation. Over the years, I've seen people walk into my office with problems that have emerged from working with mediators.
Not everyone is a good candidate for mediation, especially in situations where the two people involved aren't equally motivated to resolve the matter. This stagnates the mediation process and can waste time and money.
Those who cannot compromise are also not good candidates for mediation. Those who cannot communicate or sit in the same room with each other, and those who are on opposite poles when it comes to child custody arrangements, support arrangements or property division should also stay clear of mediation.
As the litigation process develops and the court weighs in, a lawyer often helps the parties move to settlement.
Even for those who are good mediation candidates, hiring a lawyer is the right decision. It's important for people to understand who is representing their interests. A mediator is simply trying to get people to make a deal, and a good mediator will tell clients they also should have an attorney advising them during the process.
Sari M. Friedman, Garden City
Skeptical about Wyandanch Rising
It was interesting to see the story about the parking problems at the Wyandanch train station ["Rail riders: Project snarls parking," News, Oct. 6].
I use that station from time to time, and it should be noted that these problems have existed since early spring, with no visible input from the Town of Babylon on how to ease the traffic flow.
Of deeper concern is the larger town project of Wyandanch Rising. How can a parking garage cost $29 million? And why are free parking spaces being replaced by paid parking?
Wyandanch Rising is a $500-million project that cannot succeed unless basic underlying community problems are addressed. These problems include drug dealing along Straight Path, a poorly performing school district, abandoned and boarded-up houses, gangs that terrorize neighborhoods, the ratio of home ownership to renters, the lack of viable industry in the area and high crime.
The Town of Babylon has failed to address or propose solutions to these issues. Wyandanch Rising is doomed to fail.
Kenneth Brown, Deer Park