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Letters: School sports are a risk for taxpayers

School districts are being sued for MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, due to allegedly infected wrestling mats and will probably be sued for deaths and concussions of football players ["Football must be made safer," Editorial, Oct. 8].

What will be the financial impact on homeowners? Years ago, I was a juror in a case concerning a school district, and the district's lawyer warned us that we were risking taxes going up. School districts are deep pockets for injured parties.

Costs of helmets and cleaning of equipment will continue to escalate, and they will never completely protect students from harm.

Why are high schools training grounds for college and professional sports? They should be for education only, and the overall fitness of all students -- not just sports nuts. All sports costs should be paid by the parents, and they should be kept separate from the school districts.

John J. Faber, Valley Stream

Nassau fiscal woes from many sources

The end to Nassau's financial problems is nowhere in sight ["Put budget in NIFA's hands," Editorial, Oct. 9]. So why does it seem the county has so eagerly thrown money at the unions?

Police are already overpaid, and with overtime after superstorm Sandy added to their pensions, they will drain more money that we don't have. Not to mention all the legal fees for the bad behavior of law enforcement. Every time you turn around, they're being sued. It makes taxpayers sick. This poor guy in jail that died -- unacceptable [" 'Death may have been prevented,'" News, Oct. 6].

Chuck Lomino, Plainview

Keep on walking for good health

I commend columnist Michael Dobie for staying with his walking program ["An addictive buzz that's getting me fit," Opinion, Oct. 4]. Most of us know we need to be more active, but lack the motivation. Walking is such a universal and easy way to move. The health benefits are well-documented, no matter how fast or slow you go.

The Long Island Health Collaborative, a 2-year-old initiative funded by a state Department of Health grant and coordinated by the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, has embraced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended weekly guideline of 150 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, and 60 minutes daily for children and adolescents.

As Dobie points out, any amount of walking, done anywhere at any time, counts toward the daily step total. Taking the stairs, parking a bit farther away in the lot, walking the kids to the bus stop, are all simple ways to incorporate walking.

Janine Logan, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is the director of the Long Island Health Collaborative.

More prison time for crimes with illegal guns

Guns are here to stay. Making it more difficult for Americans to obtain guns for self-protection is not the answer to the carnage and mass killings routinely taking place across America ["Gun debate finds new twists, turns," News, Oct. 12].

The only way to deter these devastating acts is to increase the penalties associated with the illegal use of guns and strictly enforce them. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws on the books but they aren't adequately enforced.

I would recommend that illegal possession of a gun result in a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence. Committing a crime using a gun would result in a mandatory 10-year sentence. Repeat offenders would have their sentences doubled. Criminal activity using a gun and resulting in a death would bring the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Ed Quinlan, New Hyde Park

Can a Fire Islander also get rent control?

I don't understand Monday's front page story, "Payback Penalty," which portrays a victim of superstorm Sandy who lives more than half the year on Fire Island. How does she also qualify for a NYC rent-controlled apartment?

I was under the impression that to qualify for a rent-controlled apartment, that must be your full-time residence. Perhaps I am wrong, but it doesn't seem fair that you can enjoy the benefit of rent control while living most of the year elsewhere.

Dorothy Vaccaro, Baldwin


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