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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, May 25, 2018

A hatchery technician holds an oyster to demonstrate

A hatchery technician holds an oyster to demonstrate the shellfish growth. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

Provide public toilets at fields

I applaud the Town of Hempstead’s proposal to ban public urination and defecation [“Banning public urination proposed,” News, May 21]. In a civilized society, such behavior is repulsive.

However, I have some issues. I participate in a senior baseball league in Melville. We play about 15 games from April through August at parks and schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties. We pay fees, and our league compensates towns, counties and schools to use the fields. The problem is that most schools are not open on Sundays, and most venues do not provide portable toilets.

Staying hydrated and having no access to public toilets for more than three hours can present problems, particularly for older men. If the public facilities receive taxpayer money and are compensated for the use of the fields, they should provide portable toilets so we can avoid public indiscretions!

Richard Jones,

Dix Hills

Different school rules, same results

Thanks to reader Barbara Wagner for the Expressway article about Dominican Commercial High School [“Where we learned to be strong women,” May 20].

I attended that school 13 years before her. In my day, we wore brown oxford shoes, berets and white gloves! No makeup was sanctioned.

We, too, learned to be strong, independent women who learned how to care for ourselves and others. And we are still doing just that. May that spirit continue!

Joan McCarthy Porto,Long Beach

U.S. needs King to stand up to Trump

“Earn this. Earn it.”

These dying words of Army Capt. John H. Miller to Pfc. James Ryan at the end of “Saving Private Ryan” were a command that Ryan honorably live the rest of his life to repay the blood sacrifice others had made in saving him.

There’s a lot of wisdom in those words as well for those on the front lines in the current assault by the Trump administration on the Justice Department, the FBI and, more generally, the rule of law. Among them is Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), a member of the House Intelligence Committee [“FBI, DOJ will ‘review’ probe info pols seek,” News, May 22].

Unfortunately, instead of being a check on committee chairman and President Donald Trump sycophant Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), King has chosen the role of uncritical enabler. King takes pride in his image as a no-nonsense questioner of authority, as in his defense of the Rev. Patrick Conroy against Speaker Paul Ryan’s unsuccessful attempt to oust Conroy as House chaplain.

If only King would show equal passion in fighting Trump’s ongoing effort to subvert our constitutional democracy. But, instead, King’s strategic public silence at this pivotal moment in his pivotal position demonstrates his failure to “Earn this. Earn it.”

Chuck Cutolo,


Editor’s note: The writer worked as a Democratic legislative director on Capitol Hill for 12 years.

Wise move to protect from mistakes of GPS

I was relieved to learn that finally something may be done about the problems with GPS directions and the havoc this can cause to the Long Island Rail Road [“Safety fixes for every LIRR crossing, News, May 14].

Driving home one night in March, my brother and his wife saw a car stuck on the tracks at the Willis Avenue crossing in Mineola. With quick thinking, they bravely got the student out of the car and away from the tracks 30 seconds before the gates went down and a minute before a train struck the stuck vehicle. The car exploded into a fireball.

My brother and sister-in-law were forceful in making sure law enforcement understood that the driver of the car, a foreign student studying at a Long Island university, had merely followed GPS directions. Their swift action saved her life. Now it is time for the powers that be to make sure this near tragedy — or worse — does not strike again.

Pat Anderson,Howard Beach

How can shellfish be safe to eat?

The May 17 news story “Shellfish permit OK stirs wrath” indicates that Frank M. Flower & Sons Inc. is licensed to harvest shellfish in parts of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor, and is not subject to state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations regarding water quality.

How is this possible? So many shellfishing areas on Long Island, including these two locations, are closed to recreational shellfishing from May through Nov. 1 because of poor water quality.

I am a recreational shellfishing enthusiast who braves the cold air and water beginning in November to enjoy this valuable Long Island resource. Either the prohibition on shellfishing for the rest of the year is based on faulty data, which I doubt, or the technicality of being exempt from provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act and state regulations is allowing this company to harvest what may well be contaminated shellfish.

Think about that the next time you purchase clams and oysters at a fish market or order them on a restaurant menu. Something is very wrong here!

Ralph Brady,Mount Sinai