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Readers sound off on black maternal health, Daniel Pantaleo and controversial Crossword II


Mother reading a book to her daughter (iStock) (digitalskillet/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Telling your story is worth it

Manhattan: I write this letter as a postscript to my op-ed “Black mothers’ lives matter” (April 27).

After the op-ed was published, Mt. Sinai reached out to me through my campaign staff. They had correctly discerned I had delivered at one of their hospitals (specifically Beth Israel which is now closed), and wanted to know whether I would be willing to speak with them as they continue to address “these critical issues of equity, patient experience and maternal health.” I readily agreed and spoke with Dr. Jeremy Boal, their chief medical officer, and Dr. Elizabeth Howell, an OB/GYN whose research focuses on the intersection between quality of care and disparities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Both were sincere, apologetic and clear that the care that I received was unacceptable.

I never expected when I wrote my op-ed that there would be any follow up. But by doing so, I was able to engage directly with clinicians that can — and I believe will — use my story to improve care for current and future patients. It hopefully also serves as confirmation that it is worth it to continue telling our stories. Dawn Smalls

Alternate history

Brooklyn: I strongly suspect that if Eric Garner had been a morbidly obese working class white guy resisting arrest and the chokehold officer had been an African American, the incident would have been old news the next day, with no mass crowds chanting “I can’t breathe” and blocking rush hour traffic in Manhattan. Dennis Middlebrooks

New York’s finest

North Massapequa, L.I.: Neither Bill de Blasio nor Police Commissioner O’Neill has the backs of their NYPD officers. Their lack of respect and support is appalling. This is truly a sad day for the NYPD. I hope the men and women of the NYPD know there are more of us that do support them despite the commissioner and mayor. God bless the NYPD — I cannot imagine New York City without these brave men and women doing their jobs day in and day out. Therese D. Shirreffs

Sharp tongue

Brooklyn: NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill: Cowardly, political scumbag. Tommy Mitchell

Controversial Lynch

Fairfield, Conn.: What is with the head of the PBA Pat Lynch defending Daniel Pantaleo? Pantaleo caused the death of Eric Garner. If it had been the other way around and Pantaleo were black and Garner were white, does anybody think that Lynch would be so verbal? What does he want, another bad apple causing rot among the cops in the force? Or does he think that he does not have enough already? Pat O’Connell

The verdict

Manhattan: Voicer Michael Schnackenberg wonders if PBA President Pat Lynch ever thought any cop had been guilty of anything. Wonder no longer: The PBA turned its “CopsSoWhite” back and did not defend Officer Peter Liang, the one Asian American and only cop found guilty of anything in recent memory. Chris Lee

An answer for Rita

Manhattan: To Voicer Rita Samlong: The name of the nightclub you were trying to remember with the zebra print banquettes was on East 54th St. in Manhattan — the El Morocco. Those were the days, my friend, of The Stork Club, Basin Street East and Le Club. Susan P. Forman


Brooklyn: Will MTA wonders never cease? Now bus schedules are going or gone from the information poles at bus stops. Back to the old days of wondering how soon for a bus. I like the schedules because at a glance I can see how many each hour, last bus at night, first in the morning, weekend schedule, etc. Instead, all should use their smartphones. If no bus is coming, a crocodile comes on your MYmta screen sending you to the trip planner. That crocodile should jump off and bite the MTA bosses in the ass. Kurt R. Linde

Holy wars

Bronx: Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are barred from entering Israel. Most Americans are barred from entering Mecca, Saudi Arabia — Islam’s holiest city. Why? Because most Americans are Christian, Jewish and Hindu. We aren’t allowed to set foot in Islam’s holy city because we’re not Muslim — not because we harbor any anti-Muslim or anti-Saudi Arabia beliefs or agendas. Wow, what hypocrisy. Joshua Isaacson

Rebel leader

Wantagh, L.I.: Not sure if the Daily News will want to hear from me again as I seem to be responsible for starting the Crossword ll rebellion. I want to thank Voicer Jimmy Schmitt for writing in about Saturday’s puzzle. Like him, I kept scratching my head as to why there was a blank word at the end of the five clue answers until, after wracking my brains, I realized it was the entire answer that filled in that blank. Is this supposed to be fun? After complaining that this puzzle creator should be fired, my husband asked why I don’t write in again. I told him I give up. So, thank you again, Jimmy Schmitt, for doing the job for me. Rhonda Castellani

The enemy

Hudson, N.Y.: To Voicers Karen Pickering, Rhonda Castellani and Mike Gordeuk: I urge you to re-think your wishes about Crossword II. This is the puzzle I live for in the Daily News. The first puzzle is simply too easy and I enjoy that there is always a theme or a common thread in the second one. I agree that sometimes it can be somewhat corny but just assume the regular author is on vacation when it’s that silly. But mostly I get such a kick out of Crossword II. I would be heartbroken if it was discontinued. Everyday I buy the paper and sit with my 89-year-old mother and we do this puzzle. It is the highlight of her day (and sometimes mine). If you do not like the idea of puns and clever connections, then simply do not do this puzzle. Stick with the original one. Please know that some of us love a double meaning theme. I hope you hear me, Daily News. I wouldn’t even want to buy the Daily News any longer if it wasn’t for Crossword II. Monica Schultz

Justice was served

Manhattan: I don’t know why The News would insist, as have a few Voicers, that Jeffrey Epstein took the “easy way out” to avoid true justice (“Ending Epstein conspiracies,” editorial, Aug. 19). There was a time in this country, indeed, in this city, when hanging was the natural conclusion to a search for truth and justice. If anything, all parties should be grateful this Houdini-like contortionist saved the state the time and prohibitive expense of trials, retrials, appeals and not to mention annual upkeep. What Epstein was facing was a finite number of years in stir. What the public got was early imposition of the ultimate penalty, which was more than anyone bargained for. Aydin Torun