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OpinionLetters

Why wait so long to arrest local doctor?

Reader letters to Newsday for Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

George Blatti enters the Nassau County Courthouse in

George Blatti enters the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on Wednesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

I was happy to learn that Dr. George Blatti, a family physician, was charged with illegally prescribing 1.8 million units of opioid medication from 2014-18 and surrendered his medical license [“Charged in opioid sales,” News, Oct. 31].

But why did it take so long to arrest him?

Until March 2016, narcotics could be prescribed from official paper forms obtained from New York State. These were the same prescription forms used to prescribe common antibiotics such as amoxicillin as well as opioids. Each form was bar-coded, thus giving the state the ability to monitor physician prescription patterns.

After March 2016, a number of exemptions were given to physicians to continue prescribing opioids on the official state paper prescription form that Blatti allegedly obtained.

Perhaps the state should investigate itself and share some of the culpability for this terrible opioid problem.

Dr. Robert A. Klein,

  Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired physician.

  

Top LI marathoners deserved attention

I was more than a little bit disappointed at the offhand disrespect to Long Island runners exhibited in the sports section story about the New York City Marathon [“Kamworor, Jepkosgei work for their wins,” Nov. 4]. It mentioned only one former Long Islander, who dropped out at 12 miles.

The story ignored hundreds of Long Islanders who had great performances on Sunday, led by Olympic trials marathon veteran Brendan Martin of Huntington Station, who finished in 26th place overall and was the 10th American to cross the finish line in Central Park. His finish in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 52 seconds was certainly worth mentioning.

Also worth mentioning was the performance of 70-year-old Melissa Kennedy of Amityville, who finished second in the women’s 70-74 age group in 4:07:36.

Newsday is Long Island’s newspaper, so let’s give deserving Long Islanders their due when they compete in events like the New York City Marathon.

Mike Polansky,

  Plainview

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Greater Long Island Running Club.

Maintain forests to avoid wildfires

I take exception to your Oct. 31 editorial, “The cost of not learning to live with nature.”

Blaming the California wildfires on climate change ignores the years of not taking care of the woodlands.

The main culprits are budget cuts, and catering to animal rights and anti-lumbering activists. Forests are full of dead trees and brush that become kindling for some massive fires.

Lumber mills make access roads that could facilitate firefighting, help keep the ground clear of dead wood and thin out the forest. Controlled burns do the same.

It’s time to focus on these ideas in California, but the problem exists on Long Island as well. The pine barrens have been neglected for years. Woodlands along our parkways are filled with dead wood and brush. Long Island can be proactive and avoid a disaster waiting to happen.

John Malley,

  East Marion

  

Your editorial about learning to live with nature was right on target. We have challenged the wild world with our human settlement, and climate change is fostering the wild world’s extreme reaction to our chutzpah.

We need to do more than move to safety and stop developing fragile and vulnerable areas. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stave off global warming by increasing energy efficiency and bringing on renewable sources of energy. We need to meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of a 70% renewable electric grid by 2030 and zero emissions in the statewide electrical demand system by 2040.

New homes we build inland, away from flood zones, could be energy efficient and use solar panels and air pump heating and cooling.

We need to welcome offshore wind projects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We need to build up our charging infrastructure and switch to electric cars. We must switch from fossil fuels (including dangerous natural gas) to sustainable energy, and sequester carbon dioxide to conserve our climate.

Helen Roussel,

  Sag Harbor

Trump shoeshine cartoon wasn’t funny

I read your newspaper online. I enjoy seeing the Long Island news and sports. However, the Oct. 31 editorial cartoon by Matt Davies was way out of line.

A drawing of the GOP elephant cleaning President Donald Trump’s shoes with the American flag wasn’t funny or relevant or ironic or woke or whatever else Davies attempted to be in his own little world. Disgusting!

Tony Bamonte,

  Avondale, Pennsylvania

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