A Jeep and a South Country ambulance carrying a patient collided...

A Jeep and a South Country ambulance carrying a patient collided at the intersection of County Road 101 and East Woodside Avenue in Medford on Sept. 22, 2020. Credit: Christopher Sabella

Newsday reported in the sentencing of a drunken driver involved in a fatal crash that the ambulance involved had its lights and siren activated and had gone through a red light. Had the ambulance stopped and treated the red light like a stop sign, the accident would have been avoided.

Some states offer an Emergency Vehicle Operator course for ambulance drivers. Unfortunately, only about a dozen-and-a-half states require such a course for ambulance drivers, and New York is not among them. Perhaps our state should offer this course. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles statistics indicate a yearly frequency of 400 ambulance accidents or crashes, with about two people injured per day. The department goes on to report that if Emergency Medical Services vehicles stopped at controlled intersections, 75% of these accidents could have been prevented.

John Gimberlein,

West Babylon

Think twice about pet gifts for Easter

Sadly, thousands of rabbits, chicks and ducklings are purchased every year and given as whimsical Easter gifts, only to be dumped shortly thereafter when their owners realize the commitment of taking care of them and/or their children lose interest.

Some 80% of shelter rabbits are abandoned Easter presents. Domestic rabbits do not have the skills to live outdoors, and releasing one is a sure death sentence. The same goes for chicks and ducks. Fowl abandonment is a crime in New York. Under the right circumstances, rabbits make amazing pets, but they are not recommended with very young children. If you’re thinking of adding a rabbit to your family, do your research to know what’s involved in caring for one. Rabbits need as much care as a dog or a cat and should live indoors.

Each of these animals also comes with a long-term commitment. A rabbit’s life expectancy is 10 to 12 years, a duck’s is up to 10 years, and a chicken’s is eight to 10 years. If indeed a bunny is right for you and your family, wait until mid-April, when many Easter "gifts" start arriving in shelters. Online sites can help.

JoAnn Cave,


Editor’s note: The writer is an animal advocate and local volunteer with the Humane Society.

Missing the humor in this comic panel

To me, the Dennis the Menace comics panel on Feb. 24 sent the wrong message. Flushing a live fish down the toilet might have been done in the past, but it is a cruel way to kill a pet. I am sure it was meant to be humorous, but it missed that goal with me.

Tom Donovan,

West Islip