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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, March 16, 2018

The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier, seen in

The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier, seen in the open position, protects New Bedford and Fairhaven Harbor in Massachusetts. Credit: Google Earth

Tidal gates would bring peace of mind

One of the recent nor’easters stressed out every homeowner south of Merrick Road and Montauk Highway on Long Island [“Second nor’easter piles on,” News, March 8].

There is a solution. Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy has proposed to install tide gates at Jones and Debs inlets. The technology is used with success elsewhere.

These gates would relieve the stress residents feel when a moderate- to high-tide surge is predicted. The gates also would stabilize flood insurance rates in flood zones and the volatile real estate market.

The gates could go so far as to save the federal government, which manages flood insurance policies, payments for future losses. They could eliminate the need to raise houses, which is also funded through government grants.

Christopher M. Re’, South Massapequa

Editor’s note: The writer co-owns an insurance agency in Freeport.

Use parade money to serve veterans

Newsday’s story “Gaps in care for veterans” [News, March 11] cites a RAND Corp. study which found that few of New York State’s health care providers, less than 3 percent, are fully equipped to meet the unique needs of veterans.

It will take much funding to train more health care providers to give our veterans the care they need, especially as the United States continues its endless wars.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon estimated that President Donald Trump’s Nov. 11 military parade in Washington could cost $10 million to $30 million.

Instead of wasting all that money on a militaristic parade reminiscent of spectacles by the Kremlin and North Korea, why not use those millions to improve health care for our veterans in the Veterans Affairs system, as well as to train more private health care providers?

If Trump truly wants to honor and serve our veterans instead of merely flattering his ego, this would be the wisest, most compassionate course of action.

Ed Ciaccio, Douglaston

Editor’s note: The writer is a board member of Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, an advocacy group that seeks sensible government spending.

Restaurant servers have many duties

As a woman who waitressed through college and nursing school, I take exception to the letter “Don’t calculate tips on the after-tax total” [Just Sayin’, March 3].

This calculation by a restaurant is a suggested tip, not a part of the bill. We all can minimize or maximize a tip, depending on the service. I usually leave double the tax, which in Suffolk County is a bit more than 17 percent.

The writer said “the function of the server ends with delivering the food.” I disagree. A good server returns many times to ask whether everything is all right, to accommodate diners as needed or to take further drink orders. Without a busser, waitresses clear and clean tables. They also heat bottles of formula and beg the chef to fulfill a special customer request.

State law allows tipped workers to be paid less than minimum hourly wage. The theory is that even the worst waitress will make it up with tips. This does not account for mandatory hours of setup, silverware drying, and even, yes, bathroom and serving-area cleaning.

Bernie Kettenbeil, Southold

Mental health, guns and prevention

It was disappointing to read that many of our local Republican and Conservative representatives accept support from the National Rifle Association through party accounts [“The indirect way NRA funds NY candidates,” News, March 1].

We need to hold local and federal legislators accountable. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in 2017, based on a poll of 1,200 adults, that 42 percent worried about the possibility of being the victim of gun violence.

It’s disingenuous for elected officials to claim that they are simply supporting Second Amendment rights, when the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated in the District of Columbia vs. Heller that the right to bear arms does not apply to any and all weapons. It’s untrue that a semi-automatic weapon is needed for hunting or self-protection.

The most offensive diversion by these politicians is that mass shootings are a mental health problem. While we definitely need additional mental health funding, one of the greatest problems seems to be men with anger management issues, a history of violent behavior and access to guns.

Cynthia Lovecchio, Glen Cove

When I drive my car, I always use my seat belt. I haven’t been in an accident in more than 30 years, but I still use the seat belt as a precaution.

Precaution reduces risk. Therefore, let’s ban assault weapons, just as a precaution [“Schumer vows Hill action on guns,” News, March 5].

Ralph Daino, Wantagh

Correction: The photo caption on the photo of the New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier has been corrected to explain that it is in Massachusetts. An earlier version of the caption gave the wrong state.

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