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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, June 29, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Craig Williams, who was convicted of leaving the

Craig Williams, who was convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal accident that took the life Thomas Wik in 2012, is taken into custody after a sentencing hearing in Riverhead, Feb. 17, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Air controllers are dedicated to safety

I’m a veteran air traffic controller in New York [“Air control plan could fly high,” Editorial, June 12].

Controllers are busier and more productive than ever, handling 7 percent more traffic since 2010, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. However, I can tell you that the primary focus of all controllers every day is safety. This passion helps keep American aviation safe and efficient.

Because of this commitment, we insist that any proposal to reform the system ensure that safety and efficiency remain top priorities. Any reform also must protect the rights and benefits of the workforce, provide a stable, predictable funding stream, and maintain service to all segments of our nation’s diverse aviation community.

We share the White House’s commitment to infrastructure modernization and providing the system with a stable, predictable funding stream. However, we’re proceeding cautiously. We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our union’s principles.

Dean Iacopelli, Westbury

Editor’s note: The writer is the eastern regional vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Due consideration for 9/11 workers

My thanks to Newsday for its editorial “9/11 officers are due our support” [June 19].

May 30 marked the 15th anniversary of the conclusion of recovery operations at Ground Zero. Should a 9/11 responder who is no longer employed by New York City, but by another agency, be caught in the middle of this issue without recourse? The result is he or she is not provided the same line-of-duty considerations.

These people can lose sick time because their illnesses might be not treated as line-of-duty service. This can mean decreased wages.

I commend the State Legislature for diligently garnering the necessary political support to pass this bill.

Michael P. Mulhall, Rockville Centre

Fix New York’s hit-and-run laws

It was with great sorrow and anger that I read about Marine Cpl. Nathan Valle, who was injured in a hit-and-run accident [“Dad: Jogger hurt in hit-run is a Marine,” News, June 16].

This must stop. Too often drivers hit someone with their vehicles and just keep going. Families are left behind to live with tragedy.

My 23-year-old son, Thomas C. Wik Jr., was hit and left to die on the side of Route 347 in September 2012. The man convicted of killing him, Craig Williams, drove home. He had been drinking.

The law says that if you are impaired, kill someone and stay at the scene, the penalty is up to 25 years in prison. If you go home, sober up and then turn yourself in, the maximum sentence is just seven years. There is something wrong with a system that rewards a driver for leaving a victim alone after hitting them. How many lives could have been saved if drivers had stopped and gotten the victims help?

When my son was killed, there was a big push to get laws changed and increase the penalty for leaving the scene. It went nowhere. Maybe now is the time to start the ball rolling again.

Joanne Piotrowski-Wik, Nesconset

No more new taxes in New York State

A temporary income tax surcharge on millionaires to help fix mass transit? That failed bill in Albany was a joke [“Pol: Tax wealthy to fix MTA,” News, June 20]!

Isn’t there a payroll tax that goes to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority? What has happened with all that money?

When are New York politicians going to stop taxing, taxing, taxing? When all the people with any wealth move out of the state?

Enough is enough!

Audrey Ruttura, Huntington

Better gun control can prevent violence

Before we argue about which is more dangerous, the left or the right, maybe we can agree that if a deranged individual like James T. Hodgkinson had not obtained guns, people would not have been seriously hurt on that baseball field in Arlington, Virginia [“A shocking shooting and our nation’s toxic politics,” Letters, June 18].

What we need in this country is strong gun regulation.

Joseph J. Malone,Syosset


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