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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

A red-light camera at Townline Road and Jericho

A red-light camera at Townline Road and Jericho Turnpike in Commack on July 31, 2017. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Fear of a ticket can make driving unsafe

Recently, I was almost rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle. If there had been an accident, it would have been partly my fault for having stopped so abruptly when a light ahead of me turned yellow [“Eliminate red-light cameras in Nassau,” Letters, Oct. 18].

The reason for my sudden stop was that earlier that day, I received a red-light camera summons in the mail for passing through a light in Smithtown. The pictures and my own experience told me immediately what happened: I had approached the intersection behind a high truck that blocked my view of the traffic signal.

Information on the summons confirmed I entered the intersection 0.3 seconds after the light turned red. That’s three-tenths of a second after never having seen the caution signal. I feel this is unreasonable.

I plan on challenging the ticket but don’t expect any sort of reasonable treatment. This program needs to be discontinued now!

Ralph Brady, Mount Sinai

Try new approach to treat local veterans

I have been a patient at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport for 15 years. I would not be alive today if not for the excellent care and concern I have received from the fabulous staff and clinics at Northport.

I am 70 percent disabled from Agent Orange exposure and deal with several issues, but I’m able to maintain a relatively comfortable life thanks to these caring professionals.

I will say, however, that the physical plant at Northport leaves a lot to be desired [“Diagnosis for troubled VA Medical Center,” News, Sept. 29]. It would be much better for the staff and the budget if the specialty clinics were concentrated in the best of the available buildings. The remainder of the buildings — some of them nearly 100 years old — could then be torn down and money saved. All non-emergency and routine activities should be farmed out to satellite clinics. That would make the operation more cost-effective and also bring some of the routine care closer to where the veterans live.

East End veterans like me would appreciate a full-scale clinic at the new Southampton Hospital-Stony Brook University joint venture in Southampton.

Phil Keith, Southampton

Unafraid of any harm from a playground

Shame on our Merrick neighbors who do not want a small playground added to the undeveloped Wynsum Avenue park [“Playground plan slides into the muck of politics,” Editorial, Oct. 20].

The homeowners’ usual complaints about adverse effects on traffic, noise and property values ring sour. They should realize that on Long Island, the NIMBY complaints from neighbors are usually applied only to commercial developments, chain drugstores, hamburger or doughnut shops, churches, synagogues and mosques.

No outsiders would come to the playground, only the opponents’ children and grandchildren.

David Cepler, Baldwin

Land bank would help upstate economies

Newsday’s Oct. 15 editorial, “Myths and realities of a state constitutional convention,” mentioned the amendments on the Nov. 7 ballot.

While regulations are often implemented to promote the public good, over time, regulations can begin to impede it. This is the case in the Adirondack and Catskills parks, where communities cannot complete important road maintenance, install utilities, expedite broadband development, drill a water-supply well, or even create bicycle paths on forest preserve land without a state constitutional amendment. This hurts business and threatens the safety of residents and visitors.

There is a way for New York to strike a balance between the needs of parks residents and the conservation of our environment. If passed, ballot proposal No. 3 on Nov. 7 would create a public health and safety land account, or land bank, with up to 250 acres of forest preserve eligible for use by towns, villages and counties that have no viable alternative to using land from the state forest preserve to address specific public health and safety concerns.

The land bank would allow communities to move forward with projects that allow for enhanced safety, modernization, and tourism upstate.

Stephen J. Acquario, Albany

Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, a bipartisan municipal association.

Our businesses put action in compassion

How refreshing to read a three-page article on the very good news of companies giving back to local, national and worldwide communities [“The benefits of giving back,” Business, Oct. 8].

It’s compassion that keeps us together, and these hands-on companies show true compassion and caring.

Thanks, Newsday, for recognizing the good in our business communities.

Janet Richardson, West Hempstead

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