I am a director at Drug Free Long Island, Inc. and Drug Free Massapequa (a volunteer). I am retired after 25 years with Nassau County and 18 years with the Town of Oyster Bay.
At the Town I was deputy town attorney and in charge of employees relations and also drug and alcohol matters. At three separate occasions, we had three individuals with drug and alcohol problems whose situations still haunt me. All three were desperately in need of long term inpatient care, over 30 days. Even I could tell by observation (as well as their doctor`s and therapists’ evaluations) that these were seriously ill people simply by listening to their speech patterns. Inpatient therapy had been ordered for them. The insurance company said no, not until they had failed two outpatient courses of treatment. The alcohol abuser had. He was initially placed for 30-60 days inpatient, but against therapist orders he was terminated from treatment after 15 days. He was dead a few weeks later.
Recently there have been many tragic situations — unexplainable actions by desperate, stressed, mentally ill and suicidal people.
We, as a nation, seem to forget the millions of poor, needy and ill citizens. We pass by homeless veterans, many of us without a thought of helping them. We see runaway teenagers and we ignore them. Our leaders, so self righteous in their speeches about the American people, then with their next vote, remove millions from SNAP benefits.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has come under fire for delays with veterans’ benefits and care at their facilities. While I have already called for a criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the VA, I am writing to inform readers of my bill that would enact a common-sense solution to ensure veterans aren’t left waiting for claims.
Currently, New York veterans wait an average of 297 days to receive disability compensation and benefits, a time table that falls far short of the 125-day goal the VA has set for filling these claims. This is unacceptable.
Having just watched season one of the cable television series The Americans. in which Russian spies kill our own FBI agents in Washington D.C., I question the wisdom and the “fairness” of the Oyster Bay Town Board’s waiving of parking and beach permit fees for Russian diplomats; while charging American citizen Town of Oyster Bay residents, who live in Hicksville, Plainview, Old Bethpage, Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Syosset, Jericho, Massapequa, Glen Cove, Farmingdale, Woodbury, Locust Valley, Sea Cliff, Bayville, Brookville, Muttontown, Mill Neck, Bethpage, Lattingtown, and other fine, upstanding communities, $60 for annual automobile beach stickers.
We are glad Gary Feldman wrote the article ”Saving The Bees—And Ourselves—Begins At Home” May 21-May 27, telling us how invaluable our bees are. But he didn’t go far enough. Yes, we can have bee attracting plants in organic, pesticide free backyards and “grow colonies.” However, without signing online petitions (NRDC and Credo, etc.) to the Environmental Protection Agency and to our representatives, the neonicotoids and other chemicals, will kill them off. Even now, Dow and Sygenta want to use more powerful pesticides which will put the nail in the coffin. A grassroots groundswell is needed to push laws like those in Europe. It is long past due.
— Elaine Peters
I don’t know about you but my stomach is turning and it’s not from too many barbecues Memorial Day weekend. No, my stomach is turning because we, as a nation, are hypocritical in the treatment of our veterans.
That’s not easy to write and I’m sure it makes some of you uncomfortable, but someone owes it to these men and women to speak what’s truly on their minds. I spent Memorial Day weekend at numerous observances and I had the honor of spending time with many veterans and their families. In no uncertain terms, our veterans are unanimously disgusted by the recent Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare revelations that treatment delays and falsified records have led to the deaths of fellow veterans.
Memorial Day was meant as a somber day of mourning for the war dead and reflection about the horrors and costs of war.
The annual Jones Beach extravaganza, uses flashy, flying weapons of war to “celebrate” a day meant for mourning. Why is this continued every year? For profits? To glorify war machines, hoping we don’t realize that these sleek fighters and bombers are meant for killing?
I love being a legislator for so many, many reasons; being able to secure the health, safety and welfare of my constituents to the best of my ability, being able to draft laws which have benefits for the people I represent and meeting the most wonderful, giving people and having the opportunity to work with them to make miracles happen. About two weeks ago just such an incident happened and I would like to share this with you.
I was contacted by a former Woodbury resident, whose family still lives in the area. He inquired about possible donations to help make a dream become a reality. The family suffered an overwhelming loss during the Sandy Hook school incident in Newtown, Conn. Their beautiful family member Madeleine was one of those who was taken by the gunman.
“I’m going shopping in Kara’s closet today!”
My daughter informed me, early last week, that she was going over to her friend’s house to borrow a few “things”. I’d assumed that she meant an article of clothing, such as a sweater or a pair of shorts.
I wasn’t expecting her to walk in the door with a Hefty bag.
A recent article by Senator Jack Martins regarding “The Heroin Highway” touched upon some very important concerns for every parent in our community. And while most of our children do not find themselves on this “highway,” the statistics and trends for drug use and abuse are alarming. And sadly, in spite of our best efforts, they are not decreasing.
Drug use is not a problem we can arrest our way out of. It is not a problem that emerges overnight because of “bad parenting” as some have proclaimed. It is not a problem that emerges because of one choice in one moment, although we do know that for some, lives can be lost that quickly. More often than not, drug use begins because of so many things that have gone wrong or not enough things going right. It often begins not with the use of drugs but with the breakdown of those things we know to be vital for children growing up in today’s times.
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