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OpinionLetters

Letter: Lack of limousine safety laws is unacceptable

Reader letters to Newsday for Thursday, July 11, 2019

From left, Mindy Grabina, Susan Arundel, Nancy DiMonte,

From left, Mindy Grabina, Susan Arundel, Nancy DiMonte, Felicia Baruch, and others participate in a rally held by the families of the 4 victims killed in the 2015 Cutchogue limo crash at LABS Lane in Smithtown on March 24, 2019.  Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

July 18 will mark the fourth anniversary of the limousine crash in Cutchogue that killed four young women and injured four others, including my daughter.

Even these many years later, New York has failed to enact adequate laws to make limousines safer [“LI, upstate families demand limo safety after tragedies,” News, May 3]. After the 2015 tragedy, 20 more people died in a limousine crash in upstate Schoharie in 2018. Clearly, the industry needs stricter regulations.

The State Senate took testimony from relatives of victims of both crashes and compiled a package of safety measures that was unanimously passed in the Senate, but denied by the Assembly. The bills would have required commercial licenses (with a passenger endorsement) for drivers; seat belts, air bags and other equipment in limousines; drug and alcohol screening for drivers; and a task force to examine inspection protocols and to recommend changes in the engineering of these cars, especially when they are modified.

The bills were detailed to cover most aspects involved in the causes of crashes. The Assembly used cost as an excuse. In fact, doing nothing could cost people their lives! Legislators heard the lobbyists for the industry and ignored the people who use limousines. We remind voters that the statistics are wake-up calls, but some of our elected officials choose to remain asleep.

Nancy DiMonte,

East Northport

Inspired by kidney donation to teen

The July 7 news story “The ultimate selfless act,” about Lisa Calla’s kidney donation to 16-year-old Julia Mulroy, gave us a powerful look into the human heart. It was a remarkable story about faith and the power of God’s love.

Think how many hearts worked in lockstep to facilitate this miracle! Julia’s mother, Shannon Mulroy, demonstrated a relentless love that pushed forward even when hopes were dashed. And rather than hide that pain, she courageously shared her vulnerability with others.

It was her impromptu conversation with another mom that led to the donation. Calla said, “It was my faith that brought me to quickly decide.” She put aside considerable risks and let her faith-filled heart guide her.

Guy Calla, Lisa’s husband, used his deep respect and love for his wife to support her decision. And, of course, the doctors, nurses and health professionals made the transplant happen.

At every step, selfless concern and love for one another synchronized these individuals into a beautiful symphony of love. And Newsday played a part, too, giving life to this story as an inspiration to others. Bravo Newsday! Please keep sharing more Long Island stories like this.

Laura A. Cassell,

Brightwaters

Your story “The ultimate selfless act” reported that a woman donated a kidney to a student who suffered from a rare disease.

As so often is the case, Shakespeare is apt here: “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world” (“The Merchant of Venice”).

Thomas A. Schweitzer,

Port Washington

New convenience store was forced on Bayport

The QuickChek gas station-convenience store in Bayport approved by the Islip Town Board was shoved down our throats [“24-hour gas station gets approved,” News, June 26].

Dozens of residents objected in person at two meetings to the proposal for the site at Snedecor Avenue and Montauk Highway. QuickChek didn’t care what the community had to say. It sued to get into Bayport. This will become the fifth gas station within eight-tenths of a mile between McConnell and Gilette avenues. Some neighbor!

Keith Charpentier,

Bayport

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Bayport Civic Association.

Nursing homes need strict oversight

The article “Abuse, neglect at nursing sites unreported” [News, June 13] reminded me of my father’s death in 2011 shortly after he was admitted to a nursing home. He had been hospitalized after a fall, and my family was researching nursing homes because of his worsening dementia. He was transferred to a nursing home not of our choosing, with the hospital telling us within only 12 hours.

The next morning, my mother found him slumped in a wheelchair in the lobby and not attended to by nearby staff. An ambulance immediately took him to the hospital. He had suffered a stroke and died within a week. Upon his readmittance, hospital staff wondered what took the nursing home staff so long to see that he was in distress. A lawyer I contacted said there were too many gaps in the nursing home records to prove wrongdoing.

I’m sure scenarios like this have played out many times. A Forbes magazine article in October ranked New York seventh among the 10 worst states for nursing homes, with 35 percent of reviews being negative. The article said people in states on this list might want to be extra thorough when vetting a home.

I hope that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Heath and Human Services inspector general take a hard stand in their oversight of nursing homes.

Lorraine Wodhanil,

West Islip

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