Congratulations to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his decision to build out electric vehicle infrastructure [“Time to electrify all that we can,” Letters, July 22]. I recommend a first step to also mandate installation of solar panels and solar roofs on all state-owned buildings. And encourage solar on all federal government buildings. Making government buildings environmentally better by taking them off dependence on fossil fuels uses less fossil fuel right away and avoids the pollution. All those buildings would have a lower fossil fuel footprint and lead to less pollution and would help create solar jobs in New York. NASA photos have shown environmental and climate improvements during much of the world’s COVID-19 shutdowns in the spring. Let’s build on this momentum and continue to heal our planet before it’s too late.
Report on Biden plan not complete
The Associated Press report of former Vice President’s Joseph Biden economic plan that Newsday ran on July 10 [“Biden unveils plan to counter Trump,” Nation], to me, is so far left that it is a campaign article for candidate Biden. Not mentioned is that Biden’s plan includes free taxpayer-funded health care for undocumented persons, asylum for immigrants, increasing corporate taxes, $2 trillion over four years for clean energy projects, increased spending on Obamacare, and “phasing out” of the fossil fuel industry, just to name a few. Newsday has a responsibility to report information fully.
One way to ease NYS financial woes
While it would be helpful if the federal government aided New York State in these difficult times, given President Donald Trump’s negative attitude toward states run by Democrats, I don’t think Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should count on that financial aid [“Cuomo: NY needs federal financial aid,” News, July 23].
However, there is a way the state itself can ease its financial problems: Revoke the rebate of the state stock transfer tax and use those tens of billions of dollars for needed state and local programs. Right now, our state collects a fraction of a cent on each stock transaction, and that amounts to between $13 billion and $16 billion a year in stock transfer taxes collected. But 100% of those collected taxes are rebated back to stockbrokers.
Cuomo and the State Legislature should end that rebate and use those billions of dollars in New York now.
GOP stance is defunding the police
Supporters of President Donald Trump are outraged by civil rights protesters’ calls to defund the police. The term “defund” is a misnomer. It is really seeking a restructuring of police department responsibilities, which I see as long overdue. However, there is no outrage pointed at the Republican Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which does not support legislation to reimburse state and local governments for costs incurred in fighting this pandemic. State and local governments employ our first responders: police, firefighters, ambulance drivers, transit workers, nurses and teachers. The Republican Senate’s failure to provide funds to state and local governments — whose expenditures rose in fighting the pandemic while their revenue sources dropped sharply as the economy contracted — is literally defunding the police.
Beware of scripts for potent drugs
As an oral surgeon who has practiced for nearly 30 years, I have written countless prescriptions for painkillers. Narcotics play a critical role in controlling what can be excruciating pain from a broken tooth, exposed nerve or following an extraction or other surgical procedure.
The ongoing opioid crisis has brought to light the very real danger of overprescribing narcotic painkillers. While doctors should be free to prescribe the appropriate medication to manage pain, they should also be diligent in prescribing the least addictive pain medicine that will adequately comfort a patient. Patients have grown familiar with certain Schedule II drugs that are widely publicized in the media and popularized in the entertainment world, believing they are necessary to manage pain they feel or expect to feel following a procedure. In reality, many Schedule III drugs would prove more than adequate in controlling a patient’s pain and facilitating healing — while posing less risk of developing an addiction.
Our role as doctors is to heal and comfort and do so with compassion. That responsibility extends to doing our best to prevent patients from developing an addiction from over-treatment with narcotic painkillers.
Dr. Keith S. Fisher,