Deer graze along the dunes at Robert Moses State Park.

Deer graze along the dunes at Robert Moses State Park. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

It is not surprising that the number of deer-vehicle crashes is increasing on Long Island at the same time hunting organizations are also on the rise ["Suffolk third in state for car-animal collisions," News, Oct. 11]. Pennsylvania-based Erie Insurance found that the opening day and opening Saturday of deer season are "two of the most dangerous days to drive." The Missouri Insurance Information Service reported that hunting is a "major factor" in the rise in deer-vehicle collisions in the last three months of the year. When hunters turn our suburbs into war zones, terrified deer run, often onto the road. Hunters justify their cruel hobby with sound bites about population control, but as both an anthrozoologist and a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator, I know lethal wildlife management is not effective. Survivors simply start new families with renewed vigor and plentiful food and territory. Only nonlethal management methods, such as Strieter-Lite reflectors and immunocontraception, are truly humane and effective at managing deer long-term. And neither one results in fatalities to either deer or humans.

John Di Leonardo,


Editor’s note: The writer is president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION).

Focus on students’ mental health

As a student from Long Island attending The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., I am experiencing firsthand how difficult it is to engage in remote learning. I was delighted the article gives a voice to teachers, but I was saddened to discover it left out students’ experiences. The abrupt classroom changes may result in added anxieties; stunt social, emotional and academic development; and highlight inequalities. Many changes have been implemented to protect physical health. I’m curious, as a psychology major, what is being done to protect mental health? My alma mater, Commack High School, engaged special education students from across the island. I felt your inclusion of their need for touch was something many have yet to consider, although I was disappointed the article failed to mention learning disabilities such as ADHD and dyslexia. The teachers’ outlook on whether students will be successful in hybrid classrooms would have been enlightening.

Lauren Botter,


COVID-19 restrictions apply to everyone

I commend your editorial on enforcing COVID-19 restrictions in the Orthodox Jewish community and everywhere. Even if they are correct that others who have violated COVID-19 restrictions have not been singled out, that is an issue that is separate from the need for everyone to observe the life-saving measures. If the police ticket me for speeding, I cannot claim as an excuse that others were speeding and were not ticketed. If others violated the COVID-19 restrictions, it is fair to ask why they weren’t cited for their violation, but that does not excuse anyone from following it. The restrictions are for everyone’s benefit. You rightly cite "pikuach nefesh" — protecting life — as a central Jewish teaching. Everyone including the Orthodox Jewish community should follow it.

Rabbi Adam D. Fisher,

Port Jefferson Station

How to deliver your ballot yourself

Many people are unsure of whether their vote will count this year ["3 options for voting in NY," News, Oct. 15]. I believe the best way to protect your ballot is to pick it up and hand-deliver it. If you requested and haven’t received your blank mail-in ballot yet, call your local board of elections and ask when you can pick it up. You can take it home and fill it out at your leisure, then hand-deliver it back to the board of elections. When I did that, many others were doing the same, but there was no waiting. The ballot box was secure inside the vestibule with two people monitoring it, and all you had to do was drop the ballot in. Asked whether many were coming in person, they replied with an emphatic "Yes!" If you have questions about filling out your ballot, you can call the board of elections for help. Fraud? When they open it, they check your signature to make sure it is you and that you have not voted twice, just as they do when you vote in person.

Frances Arnetta,


Focus on history, not pop culture news

Newsday’s only mention of Columbus Day on Oct. 12 was in the short notice that schools, banks, courts, etc. were closed that day, which has been a federal holiday since 1937. To me, this does a disservice to readers. To be fair, equally absent was any mention of Indigenous Peoples Day. The accurate and factual reporting of events, happenings and news, whether you agree or disagree with the content, forms the foundation for education on topics that can stimulate the minds of the uninformed. I believe the omission of historical events, while providing two pages of insignificant pop culture drivel, contributes to the "dumbing down" of society ["Expressing herself," Flash!, Oct. 12]. Not reporting history, until it becomes forgotten, is the first step to revising it.

Christopher Pontorno,


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