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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a news

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a news conference at his Manhattan office on March 6, 2016, calling on phone companies to adopt technology to reduce the number of robocalls. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

No county facility for some activities

Writer Jas Chana has it wrong [“Revival of the blacklist in Nassau?” Opinion, Aug. 6].

No one, including me, is trying to impede the right of Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters to freely express an opinion. Chana misses the entire point of what I and the rest of the Nassau County Legislature are trying to accomplish.

Nassau County passed a local ordinance in May 2016, the purpose and effect of which was never to prevent protected speech. Rather, it simply prevents the flow of taxpayer dollars to purveyors of hate speech and reprehensible activities that violate accepted standards of decency and conduct.

The Nassau Coliseum is a taxpayer-owned facility. Nassau County should not provide a stage and microphone to an old-fashioned anti-Semite masquerading as a social justice advocate.

If allowing Waters to spew his hate speech in the Coliseum is OK, is it fair to ask, what’s next?

Perhaps we can have a Nazi rally, or a Boko Haram and Taliban barbecue? How about a Ku Klux Klan convention, with the compliments and assistance of the county?

It is richly ironic that someone claiming the protection of free speech, in seeking to advocate harm to people through a boycott, should now complain when Nassau County wants to boycott him.

Howard Kopel, Mineola

Editor’s note: The writer represents the Nassau legislature’s 7th District.

Possible solutions to reduce robocalls

One problem with constant robocalls is that we have developed a resistance to them [“Please stop the plague of robocalls,” Letters, Aug. 13].

We get in the habit of hanging up at the first few robotic syllables. So when our county executive or mayor wants to warn constituents about an emergency, we tend to hang up before we hear the message. They may want to take a close look at this situation.

Nancy Dwyer, Valley Stream

We need legislation to address these invasive calls. I don’t know where these folks get our numbers.

I’ve invested $99 for a landline system that can block up to 200 numbers and restrict those blocked numbers to one ring. I have blocked 133 numbers. At times, I return calls that are repetitive and tell them off. Of course, I’m retired, and not everyone has the time to be as proactive with these callers.

Peter Kraeker, Hicksville

To the frustrated letter writers who are understandably fed up with nonstop robocalls, please take hope: There are solutions.

Services such as Nomorobo (for landlines and mobile) and Should I Answer (free for mobile) do a good job of stopping the madness. I have been using Nomorobo on my Verizon landline for about a year, and the calls have dropped dramatically.

Should I Answer notes all of the legitimate numbers in your mobile phone contact directory. When a number comes up that is not included, it prompts the recipient to either answer or block the number.

The government apparently can’t stop this idiocy, but individuals have the means to greatly minimize it.

Arthur M. Shatz, Oakland Gardens

I was floored to read that I was not the only one plagued by robocalls and unwanted solicitors. I’ve used an app to block many unwanted calls to my cellphone. I ran out of space on the app, so I contacted my carrier, Verizon. I was told there is capacity to block only five calls. Sometimes I get five calls an hour!

It would be grand if the carriers could dismiss and block the intrusive calls. These calls are really unbearable. It is so bad that I turn my phone to vibrate and barely answer the real messages I do receive.

Judy Shivers, Aquebogue

Teach students and parents about opioids

I agree with the Aug. 4 full-page advertisement “American in Peril” by Christopher B. Smithers, whose foundation educates the public about addiction. The ad covered so many aspects of the heroin and opioid addiction crisis.

Hopefully, it educated some. But more important, I commend Smithers’ recommendation to institute courses in high school and beyond. These should address the horrible effects of heroin and the risk of death.

Just as lawyers, doctors, nurses and teachers have to take continuing education courses in their fields, our students and parents should, too.

Donna Daniels, Garden City