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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

People watch fireworks on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

People watch fireworks on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

VA should cover illness from parasite

The story about Vietnam veteran Jerry Chiano was most troubling [“Push to study cancer in vets,” News, July 6].

His rare cancer may be linked to a parasite he contracted while swimming and eating fish from infested waters in Vietnam more than 45 years ago. The cancer has metastasized, and he has stage 4 cancer.

Chiano is trying to help his family get the benefits he earned, and to help other Vietnam vets, before it is too late for them. He wants the bile duct cancer associated with the parasitic worm to be included among diseases presumed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be connected to Vietnam service. That would make these veterans diagnosed with the disease automatically eligible for disability benefits, which would go to a surviving spouse.

Denying him benefits is an outrage. Sen. Chuck Schumer has intervened. When these veterans fought in wars, they were prepared to die, defending our country. It is one thing to fight a war for America and survive. It is another thing to come home and have to fight another war with a gigantic, bloated, dysfunctional Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mike Pedano, South Farmingdale

Don’t hand over our personal data

President Donald Trump has directed Vice President Mike Pence, along with the Kansas secretary of state, to gather information from every state to provide the federal government with personal data about citizens’ voting records [“Trump panel now to seek public vote data,” News, July 6]. This information must include: My name, birth date, voting history, service record and the last four digits of my Social Security number.

My personal data do not belong in the hands of this government, which is rapidly deteriorating from a democracy to a dictatorship.

Vincent Grabinsky, North Babylon

Give Linda Mondello credit for good work

Is it necessary to undermine the work of a person whose contribution saved Oyster Bay’s Littauer estate [“Oyster Bay cuts Linda Mondello,” News, June 29]?

As Newsday reported, when the town purchased this property, which included a pre-Revolutionary War house and barn, it had been badly neglected. It was Mondello who prevented the loss of the barn.

Today the barn is filled with light and is used as an art center for children. Boy and Girl Scouts visit and work on the property. Schoolchildren learn about the history of their piece of America.

Vegetables are grown there by scouts earning badges and are donated to Island Harvest for hunger relief. The original homestead provides a place for adult artists to paint, take lessons and showcase their work.

Garden clubs, including my club, the Syosset Garden Club, meet there.

All of this was done and continues to function because someone with ability and experience did a great deal of work.

Yes, Mondello is the wife of the Nassau County Republican Committee chairman. More to the point, in this day, I would expect Newsday to understand that Mondello has had a distinguished career in her own right.

Jean Van Riper, Oyster Bay

Unlicensed fireworks displays are a hazard

I fully agree with the headline “Traditions give LIers delight” [News, July 5], but not so much how some choose to celebrate. Although personal possession and use of explosives, including most fireworks, is illegal in New York State without a license, there are many citizens who think it’s OK.

There are downsides to setting off fireworks. Veterans who return from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder are affected by what could sound as if they are in a war zone.

These displays take place on residential neighborhood streets and disturb the peace. House pets hide in terror.

Every year, it seems, we read about accidents ranging from the loss of a finger or an eye to the loss of a life. Fireworks have been known to ignite house fires.

There are many professional pyrotechnic performances that are licensed and very entertaining. This is the best alternative.

Edward Mutchnick, Lindenhurst