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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, May 3, 2018

George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush attend the

George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush attend the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008. Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Stop seeing opioid addicts as criminals

Is anyone surprised that the man responsible for a series of robberies across Long Island has an opioid addiction [“12 years for knifepoint robberies,” News, April 27]?

How many times have we read about other serial robbers who were battling opioid addictions? It is obvious that addiction treatment as we know it is not working. We must change how we deal with it! Addicts need long-term treatment, with no interference from insurers on the length of treatment.

Prison is not a substitute for treatment; also, it is very costly because of high recidivism. Sadly, this cycle will continue until we stop viewing addicts as criminals instead of sick individuals who need treatment.

Robin Tierney,Massapequa

Nuance and the ending of one’s life

Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide. Suicide is committed by individuals who have severe clinical depression or are confronted with a crisis that makes them wish to terminate their lives [“Assisted suicide bill debated in Albany,” News, April 24].

Those who choose medical aid in dying are persons of sound mind with a prognosis of six months or less to live. They wish to continue living, but a terminal illness is killing them.

For them, death is not a preference. To not have to endure unbearable suffering at the end of life despite all reasonable medical interventions should be an option available to all. The legislation being considered to legalize medical aid in dying in New York clarifies that it is not suicide or assisted suicide.

Dr. Yale Rosen, North Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Compassion & Choices, which is advocating for a medical aid-in-dying law in New York.

Strong leaders need strong partners

I met Barbara and George H.W. Bush on a cruise in February 1993. I had served in the Marines under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush and considered them American heroes, so this was a magical moment for me. Bush was the first president I voted for, and I viewed their marriage as a true partnership.

The newly former president looked tired and sad, but Barbara Bush appeared behind him vibrant and energetic and pushed him to greet us. Later, I saw them holding hands in a large group. She nudged him into the crowd.

Another time, they entered the dining room to a standing ovation, and this time the president looked happy. I eventually introduced myself. He was very gracious, and when I asked how he liked the cruise, he said he had been opposed to it but Barbara had insisted, and she always knew what was best for him.

When I learned of Barbara’s passing, I realized she and the president taught me that every strong leader needs someone just as strong, if not stronger, to support and push him or her now and then [“Barbara Bush dies,” News, April 18]. They faced challenges together with dignity and courage.

Joe Campolo, Ronkonkoma

Correction: The name of the reader who submitted the letter above has been updated. An incorrect name originally appeared with the letter.

Expensive LIRR projects go on and on

The East Side Access fiasco will never be solved because it’s a great cash cow for the unions and the contractors who are feeding off it [“East Side Access overrun questioned,” News, April 26].

Why would any of those beneficiaries want to complete it? The article says the project has cost $11.2 billion. That’s $11,200,000,000 and still climbing! It can go much higher because no one is interested in stopping it.

Consider the plan to add a third track to the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville. What a stroke of genius! This piddling effort will cost billions of dollars and can run for a century! The unions and the contractors, which includes consultants, can milk that cash cow forever.

Bob Boos,Plainview

Litterbugs don’t take pride in communities

I, too, am weary of seeing trash everywhere, but why put all the blame on government [“Why so much litter on our roadways,” Just Sayin’, April 28]?

Government spends millions of dollars each year on litter cleanup. Time and again I see driver after driver flick cigarette butts out their car windows. I see people who don’t want the stink of a dirty diaper in their vehicle, so rather than take it with them or find a trash can, they leave it behind on the ground.

I’ve seen people empty garbage from their vehicles in parking lots and the sides of our roadways. They leave their filth in parks and on beaches.

There’s so much litter out there because more people refuse to take pride in and responsibility for their communities. They no longer have concern or regard for their neighbors.

Like children who leave behind a mess at home expecting their mothers to clean up after them, some people expect government to clean up their messes. People need to stop littering!

Jean McQuillan,Bayport