Think hard before legalizing marijuana

To the editor,

I write to Mr. Penner.

I just read your letter re: legalizing marijuana, in Oct. 12’s Bay News (“Weed’s not a crime,” Oct. 12–18), and I have a question for you; just because something has been a part of mainstream America in the past, does that justify making it legal in today’s world? Should it be legal for everybody to carry guns because it was legal in the colonies when America was founded, and, later, in the Old West? Does that make it right in today’s violent world?

I feel very strongly that marijuana should be illegal, except when prescribed by a legitimate, honest doctor for a serious health condition. Do you really believe that, if everyone is allowed access to marijuana, people will use it and get high only in the privacy of their own homes? And, even if they do, aren’t there infants and small children living in many homes? Are they going to get high inhaling the smoke from Daddy or Mommy’s marijuana? How would you keep apartment dwellers from inhaling their neighbor’s smoke and getting stoned?

I am especially horrified at the thought of having to cross streets, dangerous enough now, that may become much worse when stoned drivers take the wheels of their cars. The number of drunk drivers on the streets now is appalling. Do we really want to encounter stoned drivers, too? There are probably enough stoned drivers already on our roads. We don’t need more!

Mr. Penner, I think you need to realize that in a city, nobody lives alone. Whatever we do, how much or what we drink, smoke, or whatever drugs we take, affects all of those around us and may endanger innocent people and cause our children to get sick or addicted.

I shall end this letter with something I saw years ago that remains etched in my mind. A mother was sitting on a bench holding an infant in one arm on her lap, with a cigarette clutched in the other. That baby’s lungs were probably already being poisoned by nicotine. Had he wriggled in his mother’s arms he could have been burned by the cigarette. What if that cigarette had contained marijuana? Would that child have been stoned before he even learned to walk?

Our government is not harassing us when it outlaws weed or other harmful drugs, drunk driving and, hopefully someday, guns. It is protecting us and our children.

Elaine Kirsch


Think teal, too!

To the editor,

The Oct. 4–11 issue of the Bay News was an all pink issue dedicated to breast cancer awareness, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many of the articles within presented information of this dreaded disease. I am all for this. There are many ways women themselves can check to see if they have lumps or other irregularities in their breasts. There are numerous tests to see whether they may have this cancer and what to do should anything be found.

However, I have one complaint to make. September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. There was no teal issue. Why not?

Unlike breast cancer, there are no early detection methods for ovarian cancer. Virtually no early symptoms. Nothing showing; nothing to feel outright. There are no firm decisions as to who would be more susceptible to getting ovarian cancer as opposed to anyone else. More often than not, it isn’t found until it is Stage III or higher. More than 60 percent of the women who get it are post-menopausal, but women even in their teens can get it.

Since this is so difficult to find until Stage III, it always blind sides women when they get it. They always wonder why it could not be found earlier, and they go into a period of shock.

One reason why I write this is because my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early August, and she has been carrying on as to why there is no early detection methods in existence. And the first thing she had to learn, which is applicable to not just ovarian cancer, is that “cancer is not a death sentence.”

I am not going to get into all that my wife has experienced from this late detection, but a teal issue with all the information can greatly help who knows how many women, and it will raise awareness of this dreaded disease.

I implore Courier Life to have a teal issue next year and raise awareness with as much information as possible.Ronald Cohen



To the editor,

I live in Zip Code 11234, and went to two neighborhood fire stations yesterday, asking how to get a permit to have local fire hydrants, which are all discolored, rusty, yucky — some painted yellow or other colors — painted by (maybe) neighborhood civic/Boy Scout groups. I was given “(718) 999–2000” by a local fireman. Try that number, sir; it’s impossible to get any needed info!! Nobody but recordings. How and where can one get a permit to have fire hydrants painted (black bottoms with silver tops?). I’m hoping Lowe’s and–or Home Depot will donate some paint for this civic project. God keep all firefighters safe. They’re special.

Giovanna Mangano

Marine Park

Grave concerns

To the editor,

When is the government, whether it be city or state, [going to] do something to regulate the funeral industry, especially our cemeteries?

This holiday season, it is customary to visit the cemetery. It has reached the point that not only should people go to fulfill religious obligations, they must go to see how graves of loved ones are being kept.

For the past several years, my yearly visit to a cemetery in Springfield Gardens has yielded the same outrageous results. The graves of my father and one of his sisters are both in deplorable condition. One year I couldn’t even see my dad’s name — the weeds were covering it. I and others paid for perpetual care for these graves, and yet, when I visit, nothing has been done. My family’s grave area should not be penalized because the families of people buried next to them never had perpetual care.

When you go into the office to complain, everyone is professional and courteous. They put in a work-order and three weeks later you are notified that the work was completed, but by the next year, the same problem exists.

This entire industry must be regulated. It is upsetting enough when you visit, but you don’t need to see grave sites not being taken care of properly.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

How ‘smart’ is it?

To the editor,

During the past summer Con Edison was busy upgrading most homes in Marine Park to the so-called “Smart Meter.” The brochure we received in our recent electric bills touts the wonderful things we can do with this smart meter through the smartphones.

We can watch, in real time, our energy consumption and plan ways to reduce our dependence on electricity. No longer will there be a knock at the door by your friendly meter-reader, as with a touch of his electronic pad, he can record every watt you used in the past month, without stepping inside.

But … there is an ulterior motive for the benevolent Edison to be installing such a wonderful device. Across the country utilities have been installing meters such as these to actually monitor and control your energy usage. There have been demand charges adopted (so) that when you use your energy-hungry washer or electric dryer, certain times during the day, the rates you pay will increase dramatically. In addition, when the heating and air conditioning season is upon you, they can, through certain smart meters, control and adjust the temperature of your home. Of course they can also turn off your electric water heater with a touch of the keypad.

As the greenies are hell bent on closing the Indian Point power plant, these meters will come into play daily, as now there is no practical way to make up for the loss of this major New York City power supply. We all will pay dearly for the poor power decisions made in Albany and City Hall. Since there will be proven shortfalls in energy supply, when these meters come into play, your wallet will be humming dearly as your dollars freely flow out.

So have fun with your smartphones, watching every watt and remember … they are watching, too.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park