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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Feb. 9, 2018

In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouts, "You

In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouts, "You lie!" as President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress at the Capitol. Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Community must fight opioid crisis

In November, I attended a seminar about the opioid epidemic on Long Island. The event was educational and informative, and I was shocked to learn that fentanyl was a driving force in opioid overdoses here.

Local authorities project that in 2017, as many as 600 people died from opioid overdoses in Nassau and Suffolk counties [“LI’s opioid death toll,” News, Feb. 4]. This is an increase from 2016, when opioid overdoses killed a record 555 people in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Enough is enough.

I was also shocked by the small number of people at the November seminar. I thought there would be hundreds of residents from our community. Instead, a mere 30 people stayed and participated in an overdose prevention class.

I understand that many people think, “Not my child.” But unfortunately, this epidemic is only worsening, and it has the potential to affect any of our children.

I propose that more people attend these seminars and get trained in the use of Narcan, which can reverse an opioid overdose. We can come together as a community to fight this crisis.

Joseph C. Columbo, Islip

Schaffer should have expected blowback

Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer defended his decision to hire Lindsay Henry as a town attorney by stating that he “cannot support the conviction of someone in the court of public opinion” [“Babylon official will be fired if convicted,” Letters, Feb. 7].

That’s fine, but it still leaves me wondering why Schaffer would hire someone with a pending domestic assault case without interviewing other candidates. If Schaffer did not consider the potential for political blowback, then he is either extremely arrogant or incredibly tone-deaf. Either way, he made a poor decision.

This whole affair reeks of political patronage. I recommend that Schaffer find a more productive way to communicate with his dissenters who are seeking a more accountable and transparent Democratic Party in Suffolk County.

Sandra Levine, Babylon

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the political activism group 2nd District Democrats.

Republicans gave Obama a cold shoulder

The letter writer who criticized the Democrats’ demeanor during the president’s State of the Union speech apparently didn’t watch President Barack Obama’s speeches before Congress [“Perspectives on the Trump presidency,” Letters, Feb. 5]. The lack of enthusiasm for Trump from the Democratic delegation mirrored the behavior Republicans displayed during the Obama presidency.

At least no Democrat shouted out, “You lie!,” as did Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina during Obama’s 2009 speech to Congress on health care. The Democrats had many opportunities during the speech to object in a similar manner, especially after President Donald Trump’s comments on “beautiful, clean coal.”

Barnett Behrenfeld, Plainview

President Donald Trump declared that the Democrats’ refusal to stand and applaud his State of the Union speech is “treasonous” and “un-American.” You can’t make these things up. Even “Saturday Night Live” could not have come up with this Trumpian episode.

Trump, unquestionably the most ignorant president in our history, has no clue what treason means and no comprehension of what it means to be American. His comments in this case were clearly those of a would-be dictator. Is there no end to the insanity and horrors of this presidency?

Bob Arrigon, Setauket

Article didn’t reflect diversity of the Island

I read with interest the article “LIers judge Trump’s first year” [News, Jan. 28].

It was notable for its lack of diversity in the sample of Long Islanders who were interviewed.

This article was not a true representation of those who live here. In the future, please acknowledge Long Island as the diverse, multiracial, multicultural community that it is.

Joann Piché, Aquebogue

Bellone’s personnel savings are small

Some of my most pleasant memories of growing up were our family trips to Nunley’s Carousel in Baldwin. We always tried to grab the brass ring and get a free ride.

I think Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has taken this concept to a new level with recent appointments to his administration [“Budget chief leads 11 named to Bellone team,” News, Feb. 4]. He is handing out numerous six-figure salaries during a fiscal crisis.

Here’s a unique concept: replace the carousel with a gravy train!

Jason Elan, Bellone’s spokesman, downplayed these expenses, calling them a “long-term reorganization strategy that will result in savings for taxpayers.” He estimated this would save $29,581 annually.

With the fiscal crisis Suffolk County is experiencing, those savings will be like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic. It looks good, but the ship is still sinking.

Warren Healey, Rockville Centre