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OpinionLetters

Bike punishment idea is off-track

Daniel Flanzig, an attorney who litigates cycling issues,

Daniel Flanzig, an attorney who litigates cycling issues, says that if Long Island lawmakers want to make streets safer they should focus on cars. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Bicycle stunt riding in moving traffic is dangerous and foolhardy, but I believe lawmakers who wish to punish reckless bicyclists have not considered why we have a rash of bicycling thrill seekers on the streets ["Suffolk lawmakers weighing a bill against reckless bicycling," News, Nov. 19]. I think this is a symptom caused by a lack of suitable places for bicyclists to practice their skills. Skateboarders predominantly used the streets to practice their kick flips until someone realized that if we build them a skatepark they will seek their thrills in a controlled park environment. However, bicyclists are out of luck — there are no bike parks where people can practice bike-handling skills. Instead, our streets have become "bike parks" and the park monitors are the police. Wouldn’t it make more sense to build several small-pocket bike parks across Long Island? Bicycling is a positive recreational activity, and people who start biking at a young age are more likely to continue this healthy sport into adulthood. Our municipalities are spending millions of dollars on dog parks. How about investing in bike parks? Grants can be used to fund the construction of bike parks, creating jobs. Outdoor activities keep us healthy, reducing health care costs. To me, it’s a win-win-win.

Michael Vitti,

Glen Head

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB).

Deer hunters need to respect residents

The dirty little secret that a reader suggests is true: Bowhunting can be unspeakably cruel ["Killing doe creates sad situation," Letters, Nov. 23]. As a wildlife rehabilitator for 40 years, I rescue injured deer, and my land abuts a heavily hunted public space. I have witnessed horrible suffering. Higher courts have upheld a municipality’s right to enact laws for a number of reasons, including: to control haphazard and unsafe growth and restrict activities that could jeopardize historic areas and parks, or other areas with aesthetic importance. A 1971 landmark Supreme Court case, Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, ruled that government departments proposing a disputed action take a "hard look" at alternatives. Is the Head of the Harbor issue any different? This is a municipality whose residents are opposed to open hunting within their bounds for both public safety and aesthetic and humane reasons. If herd reduction is deemed a necessity, there are alternatives, and sterilization has been proven to work. If it is the will of the residents to opt for that alternative, this needs to be respected.

Eileen Governale,

Manorville

Reader still haunted by LIRR crash

I was a 12-year-old girl who heard and saw the aftermath of that train crash ["70 years ago, a tragedy changed the LIRR," News, Nov. 22]. The sight of it still haunts me. My family’s home was just a short block away from the site on Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens. Strange men rang our doorbell and asked to use our phone to call their families. We had a party-line phone, shared with others, and welcomed all into our home. The survivors were obviously in distress, and many were crying. Later, my father and I walked to the crash site. What I saw was shocking, and my father quickly rushed me back inside. My old house is no longer there, but every time I pass that place when I ride the train I remember that fateful pre-Thanksgiving Day horror. It still gives me the chills.

Gabriele K. Libbey,

Harbor Isle

Really? Trump is nothing like Hitler

Newsday published two letters comparing President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler ["Building a base seems harmless," Nov. 23]. Many might believe that Newsday leans to the left, but really? Hitler? I was born before Pearl Harbor and have lived through many presidents, some of whom I believe were awful, such as Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and some great, with Trump the best. I imagine most Americans hate Trump, except the nearly 74 million folks who voted for him. In my view, he’s done more for this country than any other president, by far. I know he tweets a lot, but get over it! Look at his record, the most recent being the vaccines for COVID-19. This was achieved in 10 months. I believe his Warp Speed plan will distribute the vaccines to all Americans in record time, saving thousands of lives. Does that sound like something Hitler would do?

Terrence J. Sullivan,

North Massapequa

Democrats are the sore losers

I love the Democrats calling President Donald Trump a sore loser for not giving in. Democrats not only were sore losers but kept on being sore losers for four years. I feel they tried everything to change that election. Let Trump have his day, and let’s see what happens. He’s had three weeks to make his point, not four years.

Jeff Ward,

Medford

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