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OpinionLetters

Spencer should be suspended

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) leaves First

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) leaves First District Court in Central Islip after his arraignment on Oct. 21. Credit: James Carbone

Although Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer "has stepped down from his leadership posts in the county legislature," one "leadership post" from which he has not stepped down is that of legislator ["Spencer out of Suffolk leader post," News, Oct. 23]. His credentials deserve the highest respect, but because he is a doctor, elected official and leader of committees, I believe his alleged behavior is disgraceful. Residents of the 18th District and the people of Suffolk, who put their trust in Spencer as a doctor and community leader to protect us from illicit drugs and sexual malfeasance, have cause for outrage. Those who have lost family members to drug abuse should be unforgiving. Meanwhile, Spencer, who allegedly tried to trade drugs for sexual favors, continues in gainful employ as a member of the legislature, collecting pay and receiving benefits provided by taxpayers. He should be suspended without pay.

John Condon,

Huntington Station

Caterers need government help

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the catering industry has been forced to cancel most if not all of its parties this year. Our business, Lambrou’s Catering, has done only four small parties of no more than 50 people. Since there is no dancing, our more profitable parties had to be canceled. Many restaurants are doing better since the pandemic started, but the catering business is shut down. We cannot survive like this after eight months and counting with no return to our normal business in sight. Our industry needs assistance from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. Please, at least, forgo our real estate taxes.

Nick Lambrou,

Island Park

Northwell should eye health, not guns

I am concerned about Northwell Health routinely asking emergency room patients if there is a gun in their house ["ERs to ask about guns," News, Sept. 24]. The emergency room visit wouldn’t even have to be related to a possible gun injury, and patients will be asked whether they exercise their Second Amendment right? Will patients be asked whether they speak freely at home, exercising their First Amendment right? I have a better idea: How about advising the patient that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death are predominantly heart disease and cancer. In addition, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy, medical mistakes are now the third-leading cause of U.S. deaths. I believe that Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive at Northwell Health, would better serve emergency room patients through guidance of diet, exercise and clean living, which would result in fewer interactions with doctors, which could possibly lower the statistics on medical mistakes.

Steven F. Cassidy,

Franklin Square

Birds won’t benefit from development

Birds have returned to the Woodmere Club — testimony to the power of nature to rejuvenate itself. Concerned residents have reported an abundance and variety of birds using the golf course since its closing. If the proposed Willow View Estates subdivision is built, I believe it is unlikely the displacement of birds will be temporary, as the Nassau County Planning Commission claims. Birds are an indicator of our environment’s health. With coastal resiliency becoming a national priority, it is mind-boggling to me that a coastal development like Willow View Estates is allowed to proceed. I see this as disaster capitalism run amok: a risky and reckless gamble by a developer who’d be bailed out by taxpayers when properties are flooded. The proposed bioswales and retention pools are feeble measures against intensifying storms and sea level rise of our climate crisis — the equivalent of using a pea shooter to stop a tank. To me, the only effective solution is marsh restoration, which slows wind and wave energy and reduces erosion and flood damage. Living shoreline measures have lower replacement costs, can grow with sea level rise, improve water quality by filtering pollutants, and support fisheries as well as at-risk shorebirds.

Brien Weiner,

Valley Stream

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the South Shore Audubon Society in Freeport.

Flaws in article on traffic stops

The article on supposed police bias in Suffolk County regarding traffic stops, to me, is nothing more than a shameful attempt by Newsday to stir the pot ["Traffic stop data shows disparities," News, Oct. 20]. If a police officer sees a driver commit an offense while driving, that driver should be pulled over. The officer can run the offender’s license plate number, which they should do. If that turns up something suspect, or if the officer sees or smells something suspicious after approaching the vehicle, I believe the officer should address those issues even if unrelated to the reason for the stop. Officers do not know the color or ethnicity of offenders until they approach a vehicle, and to suggest otherwise I believe is damaging to all honest, hardworking police officers doing the job they are trained to do. Long Island roads, to me, already have far too many drivers who routinely break the rules of the road and endanger countless others.

Julie Rossetti,

Islip

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