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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, July 30, 2018

Matt Davies cartoon on nitrogen pollution.

Matt Davies cartoon on nitrogen pollution. Credit: Newsday / Matt Davies

Youthful misdeeds might be to blame

The story “No-gun list by the numbers” [Opinion, July 14] — about people barred by the state from buying firearms because they were flagged by health professionals as potential risks — said it was unclear why a disproportionate number of people ages 20 to 29 are on the list.

This is usually because they committed a crime or used illegal or psychotropic drugs close to the present. With not enough time passing to ensure the person has matured or aged beyond these mistake-prone years, the cautious thing to do is prohibit gun ownership.

People in their thirties and older who made the same mistakes but have remained clean of drugs and committed no crimes in the previous 10 or more years are thought to be more stable and not as much of a risk.

Art James, Massapequa Park

Editor’s note: The writer, now retired, worked for the federal government for 35 years and did national security background investigations for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Self-serving nature of politicians

So let me understand this: State law lets elected officials use campaign funds to pay legal defense bills [“$900G for Mangano defense,” News, July 18]. Funds donated to a party to help its chances on Election Day can instead be used to defend a politician accused of wrongdoing, which might include inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

Who passed that law? Oh, I know, politicians.

Susan Zecca, Levittown

New recreational trail will be a winner

Rail-to-trail paths like the one proposed from Port Jefferson to Wading River are loved throughout the country [“Suffolk rec path borrowing OKd,” News, July 18]. They are a boon to property values and the economy wherever they are built.

Who would not want to live next to a trail where you can ride your bike, run or skate for hours without being threatened by a 3,000-pound car bearing down on you at 50 mph? Kids can ride their bikes again.

Long Island should have many more of these trails. There should be some along the main lines of the Long Island Rail Road throughout Suffolk County.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Cartoonist strayed beyond his element

Matt Davies’ editorial cartoon July 19 showed a man running out of the water from a nitrogen shark. It was funny but incorrect.

N2 is nitrogen gas that makes up 78 percent of our atmosphere and is relatively nonreactive and doesn’t dissolve well in water.

I think what the cartoonist was trying to show was nitrates (NO3 -1), nitrites (NO2 -1) and ammonium (NH4 +1), which are the nitrogen sources that are polluting and the cause of the algal blooms that show up each summer. These come from fertilizers and septic systems and are soluble in water.

As a high school chemistry teacher, I feel it is important to make sure that the correct information is used, even when trying to be funny.

Kathy Dubuke, Farmingdale

Iowa’s Gov. Ray took the right approach

While reading the obituary “Ex-Gov. Robert Ray, helped relocate refugees to Iowa” [News, July 14], I was impressed by Ray’s philosophy of leaving politics out of the decision-making process. Politicians should take note of his approach to decide the right thing to do and not “start talking about politics.”

Ideologues on either side miss opportunities to do the right thing. There are some really terrible ideas on both sides of the fence. Let’s start voting for the person and not the strict party line. We’ll all be better off for it.

Roy Steiner, Central Islip

Garner case officers won’t get justice

During the Obama administration, the Justice Department began its probe of the alleged police chokehold killing of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014 [“Call for full justice,” News, July 27]. There have been no Justice Department arrests and no criminal indictments, but New York City paid several million dollars to settle before any trials. Why?

If the Justice Department had a case, it would have paraded Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who used the alleged chokehold, before the cameras and for all to see. I am convinced he will be fired, and Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, the supervisor at the scene, will be demoted to appease the family and community. But is this fair? Will Mayor Bill de Blasio let her go unpunished? When I was a police officer, we called it the “kangaroo” court. These officers cannot expect a fair decision.

The Garner family has been making its case before the media, demanding justice. But what if the officers are exonerated in NYPD proceedings?

Not every situation is racial or biased, but sometimes the result of an officer trying to make an arrest. Let me ask, how do you arrest a man who doesn’t want to be cuffed? Why didn’t Garner comply with the officers?

Larry Lombardo, Lynbrook

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired New York City Transit Police sergeant.