Letters to the Editor: Dec. 8, 2011


Police officer’s life-saving effort

Riverhead police officer Chuck Schneider saved my life on the morning of Oct. 19.

For the past eight years I’ve been a dialysis patient. A major artery in my left arm ruptured and burst. I was bleeding out at an incredible rate. My wife, Carol, called 911 and officer Schneider arrived in minutes.

He immediately took command of the situation. Taking a belt, he made a tourniquet and squeezed my arm with all his strength. I told him that I have Hepatitis C. He never wavered and held tight until Jamesport Fire Department paramedics Jim Fetten and John Andrejack arrived 20 minutes later.

During this time, officer Schneider kept talking, and yelled at me to keep me conscious. Once I was in the ambulance he escorted us to Peconic Bay Medical Center. I lost four units of blood and blacked out on several occasions. There’s no doubt to anyone involved how close I came to dying.

Officer Schneider would not let that happen.

Later that day, he stopped by my home to talk to my wife and sons, and to offer support and hope. He then stopped at the hospital to check on me.

We all hear so much criticism of our police. I want to acknowledge the outstanding performance of police officer Schneider, and the high quality of service of the Riverhead Police Department.

Paul Higgins


What are they really against?

These days most Republicans (and every Republican candidate for the presidency) subscribe to the mantra “Repeal Obamacare!”

Many Americans, though, don’t know the details of what’s in the Affordable Care Act that they say they oppose. This week the latest provision of this groundbreaking overhaul of the insurance industry went into effect. As of this week, your insurance company can no longer spend less than 80 percent of their revenue directly on medical care, which means their administrative costs and profits are limited to 20 percent of the money you pay them. If they exceed 20 percent (as nearly every insurance company regularly did before the Affordable Care Act was passed) they now have to send you a rebate check for your share of the overage.

This new provision joins the parts of the new law that allow 21- to 26-year-olds to stay on their parents’ health insurance and regulations to prevent insurance companies from denying you insurance because of pre-existing conditions or kicking you off your insurance when you get sick. Seniors are now receiving for free many tests that promote early detection and wellness and they are also getting assistance in closing the donut hole in their prescription drug plans.

The  biggest objection you hear to the new law is the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to buy private insurance. Ironically, this was a Republican proposal initiated under the first President Bush and heralded by Newt Gingrich in the ’90s as the private sector alternative to “Hillarycare.” So the Republicans, who opposed Social Security under Roosevelt and Medicare under Johnson by calling them “socialist” takeovers, are once again counting on the fact that the public will stay uninformed about the new law.

Jerry Silverstein


An uninformed attack

To correct Rich Park’s recent letter about me, I am an advocate for all domestic animals and wildlife in Riverhead. I am unaware of Mr. Park’s interest. Webster’s Dictionary defines advocate, in part, as, “… one that argues for, recommends, or supports a cause or policy.” An activist, on the other hand, “… utilizes the use of force for political ends.”

For 18 years, while attending numerous Town Hall meetings, meeting privately with council members and supervisors, finally, God willing, constructive changes are on the horizon.

When the North Fork Animal Welfare League takes over the management and safety of the animals in the pound; according to the News-Review. Finally I will be able to direct those who ask for my help to a safe facility. Mr. Park’s derogatory comments about me being an activist, uninformed and a “crackpot” are chosen to negate my efforts.

His one contribution to the K-9 issue, through his letter, brought up liability — the exact reason used to kill several innocent dogs over the years. How is one liability different than the others?

Mr. Park is also, it would seem, unaware that the U.S. military, DEA and INS utilize rescue dogs, American born and “bred,” in their efforts to protect all of us.

My appreciation to the people who come to me daily to thank me for my efforts. Their words go further than any remarks Mr. Parks can say.

Now let’s support NFAWL.

Sandra Lee Mott


Dogs need help now

Denise Lucas deserves the wonderful tribute Councilman Jim Wooten gave her in this paper, but he didn’t discuss the correctable situation at the Riverhead Town shelter now. There were two kennel attendants on duty Saturday. There are 29 or 30 dogs that have to be fed, their cages cleaned and dogs moved around if the staff has time to do it. Walking?

Rehabilitation so the dogs are adoptable? Forget it. I hope Ms. Lucas can get involved with that problem now. A new shelter will be a wonderful thing but animals are suffering there now with only a skeleton staff to help them.

The one volunteer trainer who also deserves a public tribute from the town was bitten last week and did not come this week to work with the dogs. She is upset because the dogs have become like wild animals from inattention, lack of socialization and follow-up training after she leaves. What legacy will Riverhead be giving the person who takes on the job of privatization? Most of these dogs could never pass a simple behavior test because they sit 24/7 in their cages without exercise, socialization and kindness. The Riverhead Town government must address this crisis now.

Pat Lynch