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Letter: Drug Abusers Need Treatment

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.

The other two were never allowed to go inpatient. Each was dead within a fortnight. They could do nothing to get them the necessary inpatient therapy. Their doctors, family and therapists spoke to the insurance company. I, the prosecutor and those acting as judges in their cases also contacted the insurance company. All to no effect. Not one of them lasted a month after getting out of detox.

Recently. state Senator Kemp Hannon offered a bill to prevent insurance companies from denying medically mandated care. State Senator James Seward and state Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg have united to try to make it a law that insurance companies can no longer deny a person in crisis treatment desperately needed by them.

I will long remember my fights and fears for all three of those people who succumbed to their drug demons. I will eternally bless senators Hannon and Seward and Assemblyman Weisbein.

Please feel free to utilize these tragic facts, if perhaps it will save lives.

John Joseph Budnick

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com