Letters to the editor: Oct. 25, 2009

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 25, 2009:

Letter of the Day: Halloween for Fido, Muffin

Editor, Daily News:

Halloween is lots of fun for kids, but it can be a dangerous and frightening time for our pets.

We know that the trick-or-treaters in strange costumes aren’t real, but our furry friends don’t. By taking just a few precautions, we can keep ourselves and our companion animals safe.

Keep pets safely inside, preferably in a quiet room, away from the visits of often-times noisy trick-or-treaters. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a current ID tag, just in case it should dart out of an opened door.

Resist the urge to dress up your pet, unless you know Fido or Muffin absolutely loves it. And taking them along to trick or treat could prove harmful to both you and your pet, so leave them home.

Don’t treat your pets to Halloween candy, especially chocolate, which can be harmful, even toxic. Your pet’s favorite treat will be greatly appreciated instead!

For your own and your pet’s safety, keep them away from decorations. All pets are curious, and could get entangled in streamers, choke on something they chew on or get burned by lit candles.

No pet should be left outside on Halloween, especially your pretty black feline, which should be kept inside a few days before and after Halloween, because they could be targets of pranks, mischief or worse, putting them at high risk of being harmed.

Let’s keep Halloween safe for both the two- and four-legged members of our families.

— Gisela Rowley

Naples

Look, listen — and stop

Editor, Daily News:

Those who “green lighted” the red-light cameras would have us believe that this program is designed to promote safety rather than to generate revenue. This assertion is disingenuous, to be polite.

Simple observation of the camera placement reveals that they appear to be designed to maximize revenue from right turns on red — even with the reduction in fines.

For example, on Airport-Pulling Road, drivers continue to turn left on red lights onto Pine Ridge Road, causing extremely dangerous conditions. Meanwhile, folks safely turning right onto Airport-Pulling Road, maintaining traffic flow, trip that camera like a strobe light. If safety is the primary concern, they have the camera placement backwards.

Traffic laws, like all other laws, were created by mutual consent to ensure the safety of all of us. As law-abiding citizens, we agree to follow these rules in order to maintain civility. These laws were not created as instruments of fundraising. Nor should they be used for this purpose.

Turning right on red lights is not the problem. Blatantly running red lights and turning left on red lights is a problem. But the cameras are not placed to capture those events.

Using this right-turn-on-red “infraction” as a pretense for fining otherwise law-abiding citizens is an outrage and we should not stand for it.

More red-light cameras are coming. Automated speed monitoring devices will be next. Then, who knows? Maybe they’ll put cameras or listening devices in all of our homes. Big Brother is here!

— David Llewellyn

Naples

North of the border

Editor, Daily News:

There were two letters to the editor in the Oct. 8 Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press. I saw them while visiting there.

The subject was health care.

One letter took offense with the Canadian Medical Association for its position that long waits for elective surgery were not a critical problem.

The writer pointed out that those who were waiting experienced pain and suffering and had to put their lives on hold as they waited for treatment, sometimes for many months. In that writer’s opinion the health-care system should be accountable for providing timely and appropriate care for all, not just those who are in need of life-saving care.

A second writer’s doctor wanted a standing MRI of his patient in order to help diagnose a severe pain. The nearest such machine happens to be in the province of Alberta, and this test would not be covered by Manitoba’s health system. A radiologist deemed it to be an “emerging” treatment and not worthy of coverage. So the writer was back to a regular MRI and a five-month wait.

So much for a health-care system touted to be one of the best.

— Victor Oakes

Naples

‘This funny feeling ...’

Editor, Daily News:

When I help elect men and women to Congress, I sort of expect them to represent me and my interests. It doesn’t always work that way.

I have this funny feeling that they spend more of their time representing other interests who happen to have more clout and more bucks than I do.

Take, for example, health-care reform. You would think, that to lower the ever-escalating costs of health care, someone might think seriously that tort reform might help, and maybe a lot.

Doctors pay ridiculous sums for malpractice insurance to protect them from outlandish trial awards (which has to be passed on to me), then prescribe every sort of test and medication they can think of to ensure they cannot be sued for complacency or incompetence (which, again, I have to bear.)

Of course, the insurance companies pick up some of these costs, but their burden just passes through to me in higher premiums. Meanwhile, they invest our funds in high-yield, high-risk stuff.

When they do well they split the exorbitant gains inside their club, but when they mess up, I and my tax-paying friends have to bail them out. Well, maybe certain professions and industries find this a really wonderful system, but as the victim in it all, as the person who ultimately pays the piper, I would like to think that someone out there is thinking of me.

Is this really too much to ask of the officials I helped elect to office? Apparently so.

— Ollie James Akel

Bonita Springs

Understand?

Editor, Daily News:

The president’s proposal to pay Social Security recipients $250 because there was no Consumer Price Index adjustment completely misunderstands how the CPI works.

The CPI calculates the cost of a basket of consumer goods each month. In September 2008, it cost $218.783 for that basket; in September 2009, it only cost $215.969.

That means that people receiving the same Social Security check were able to buy the same goods for 1.3 percent less than they paid in 2008.

If the system were “just,” then the Social Security payment would have been reduced by 1.3 percent and everyone would have come out even.

By never reducing Social Security, all recipients did, in fact, receive a windfall benefit.

There’s no need for another windfall that will be paid for by our grandchildren.

— John T. Conroy Jr., Ph.D.

Naples

In passing ...

Editor, Daily News:

Ever notice the largest SUVs have women drivers on their cell phones?

— Joe Kiernan

Bonita Springs

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