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Traffic fatalities, LIRR, protecting animals and more

A Taliban Red Unit, photographed at the Kabul

A Taliban Red Unit, photographed at the Kabul airport following the departure of the last U.S. plane from Afghanistan on Aug. 31. Credit: Clover Films/FRONTLINE/PBS

Name judges who let out suspects

Given the virtual "pandemic" of Suffolk County traffic fatalities (113 in 2020), including an epidemic of hit-and-run drivers, I’m angered at the (unnamed) judge who "freed on supervised release" the vehicular killer of 18-year-old Devesh Samtani ["There’s no smile anymore," News, Oct. 10].

This judge made that decision despite the defendant’s charge of a "felony count of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious injury" (in this case death), and despite the driver fleeing even though he "thought I killed him."

So what is to stop this irresponsible driver from again getting in a car, running over another pedestrian and leaving him to die?

If singer R. Kelly could be held in jail for two years before his day in court, why  shouldn’t this "danger" to the public be safely kept locked up for the two months before his Dec. 2 court date?

And why doesn’t Newsday routinely report all judges’ names in stories like this? If this judge ever runs for reelection, I’d want to vote against him. I think voters deserve to know all sentencing and related decisions that judges make on matters of public safety.

— Richard Siegelman, Plainview

30 years later, LIRR hasn’t changed

Some people still wonder why many hate unions. About 30 years ago, I wrote the Long Island Rail Road about the conductor on my train not punching one-way tickets. I never received a reply. Well, nothing has changed except the conductors are claiming they throw the unpunched tickets away ["Sting nets 8 conductors," News, Oct. 15]. Now we know: Some don’t throw them away, they give them to friends to cash in for refunds and pocket the money.

Of course, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not about to ruffle the feathers of the powerful union. Let the riding public pay for the lost revenue.

— Tom Focone, Stony Brook

Protect wild and domestic animals

Everyone ignored the plight of Larry Wallach having wild animals in his home and backyard for more than four years ["Feds eyeing wild-animal rescuer," News, Oct. 13]. I read the excuses from the various organizations. It is unclear when the Nassau County SPCA was notified. It is also unclear whether PETA was the whistleblower. The Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town of Hempstead and any other organization involved did not follow through on a timely basis. Those animals needlessly suffered for four years. The only future goal in similar situations should be to protect animals, both wild and domestic.

— Virginia Matney, Atlantic Beach

Nothing funny about Taliban soldiers photo

In a photo on a TV page highlighting PBS’ "Frontline" show, Taliban soldiers are pictured wearing American uniforms and boots and holding American weapons ["Today’s picks," exploreLI, Oct. 12].

Why is that? Who gave the order to leave the equipment and uniforms behind, and did anyone pay for them? Did we indeed leave Afghanistan too quickly and not plan ahead?

As a world power, it is a disgrace and embarrassment that we put our nation in such a predicament. Are the other countries laughing at us? Where were the good advisers?

— Pat King, Merrick

McConnell’s blame game has legacy goal

By blaming the Democrats for the U.S. debts largely incurred by former President Donald Trump and the Republicans’ massive 2017 tax cut for the wealthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shows his desperation to regain the Senate leadership ["McConnell still wields great power," News, Oct. 10].

He could then strongly influence the selection of the next Supreme Court justice in his unending quest to push the High Court further to the right and  cement his legacy.

— Mark Brady, Dix Hills

Drug companies must cut prices of meds

The need for prescription medications has no age, race, religion or ethnicity ["Dems struggle to trim budget," Nation, Oct. 13]. What it does have is unaffordability.

We need affordable prescription pricing. Why must we choose between food or medication?

We seem to care for all other countries, but what about our own people in this country? We need to address housing, food insecurity and medical care.

Prescription drug prices are out of control.  

— Cynthia Villano, Oceanside