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Readers sound off on open birth records, veteran suicides and Gloria Steinem


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Open birth records and adoption

Brooklyn: Hurrah for your support for open birth records (“Children’s best interests,” editorial, Aug. 19)!

But regarding your statements about preserving family bonds, you have got it all wrong. Research on open adoption doesn’t include families where there was such significant abuse and/or neglect that the parental rights were terminated. All foster families who are adopting already meet the definition of open adoption (following years of visits with biological families) which is shared information. These kids know who their biological family is. So let’s leave the law as it is with the parents who are raising these children deciding what is safe and appropriate with regard to ongoing contact.

Furthermore, a judge may decide that it is in a child’s best interest at 8 to have contact with a biological parent, but what about when that child is 15? Should that adoptive family have to pay to go back to court because the now teenager is not interested in visiting? Or because a biological parent has begun using heroin again? Please don’t infantilize the parents that we are asking to take legal and financial responsibility for the most vulnerable children in our state by second guessing their capacity to decide what is in the best interests of their children every day. Pat O’Brien and Sarah Gerstenzang, interim executive director and board president, Adoptive and Foster Family of NY

Voices after life

Brooklyn: A very heartfelt thank you to Voicer Anthony Henry for yet another tribute to my mother, Rose O’Donnell, honoring her many contributions to Voice of the People. She never hesitated to use that voice to show her support for our nation’s military, our city, the FDNY and NYPD, and she certainly never hesitated to express her dissatisfaction with anyone who didn’t support them. Thank you to Voice of the People for giving her that platform. She was proud of her accomplishments but evidently not self-aggrandizing for I have yet to find copies of them. I inquired about archives but have not been successful so far. How 'bout it, Voice of the People — is it possible to run a “greatest hits”? Maybe in time for her November birthday? Either way, she would be thrilled to know she still “made the paper.” Kelly O’Donnell-Padilla

Parking talk

Bronx: To Voicer Robert Rundbaken: I totally disagree that the app to pay meters is useless. I can understand your frustration with not being able to extend time on the app but that is only if you have used the maximum time for that spot. If you are in a one-, two-, or three-hour spot and you put in only 30 minutes, you can extend with the app. The idea is that you’re not supposed to stay in that spot all day; instead, give another parker a chance to park. Although I would like to be able to extend my time all day, I understand the concept. I do find the app very useful rather than digging in my pocket for change. Steve Salem

The spot

Bronx: To Voicer Rita Samlong: I frequented a club here in New York circa 1960 that had leopard skin seats, but at that time it was a dance venue called The Cheetah. Virgilio Carballo

Popular print

Levittown, L.I..: To Voicer Rita Samlong: The restaurant with leopard seats was called Leopard @ des Artistes, on West 67th St.! Maryann Gentile

It’s on us

Manhattan: Re: “Rep. Max Rose rips Mayor de Blasio for being ‘MIA’ on veteran suicides in New York” (Aug. 15): As a post-9/11 veteran myself and a Veterans’ Health Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, I understand Rose’s frustration. Our generation of war-fighters has the highest suicide rate in a community that already has higher rates of suicide than our civilian counterparts, and it’s something that has affected far too many of us after our time in the service. Putting an end to this epidemic cannot be the sole responsibility of one cohort of city leaders. It will take an all-hands-on-deck effort. The Mayor’s Challenge places the focus on empowering communities, which is exactly what we should be focused on — not placing blame. If the city isn’t ready to participate, how can other industries help? It’s up to all of us in the community — including philanthropy, veterans’ service organizations, and civilian partners — to understand these gaps in services and come together to address them. Derek Coy

Alternate history edited

Middle Village: I think Voicer Dennis Middlebrooks forgot to add the following to his letter: The African-American officer, in my alternate history scenario, would have been arrested for manslaughter at the very least and fired immediately, and that is why there would be no protests on the street. See, Dennis, I fixed that for you. You’re welcome. Samantha Papaccio

Not budging

Wantagh, L.I.: To Voicer Monica Schulz: There is no need for me to change my wishes about Crossword ll. I, too, love a good crossword puzzle with a common thread, themes, quotes and puns. I love crosswords that involve word play. The harder the better. My complaint started the day the Crossword II puzzle had all the letters "i" missing and each letter "d" changed to “p.” These type of puzzles do nothing for my love of crosswords. If answers to clues have to be purposely misspelled to solve a crossword then I won’t change my mind when these types of puzzles appear in the Daily News Crossword II. Rhonda Castellani

Old news

Manhattan: Well, I see that Gloria Steinem is trying to stay relevant by writing an open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu (“Gloria Steinem slams Israel’s PM Netanyahu for barring Omar, Tlaib,” Aug. 18). I wonder how many of your readers really care what Steinem says or feels about anything? For that matter, I wonder how many in today’s society even know who Gloria Steinem is? Carmine Coluccio


Fayetteville, N.Y.: It’s just a license plate (“Junk the plates,” editorial, Aug. 21). Simple numbers with no cartoons would be fine. White numbers on a black background would at least work with all car colors as opposed to the current hideous orange. Charles Chamot

Positive feedback

East Elmhurst: Mayor de Blasio hit the nail on the head when he opened our eyes to the traffic congestion and air pollution in New York City due to Uber and Lyft cruising in the city (“Curbing city traffic and air pollution,” op-ed, Aug. 16). They have made a mess for hardworking drivers to make a living. Multi-billion dollar corporations cannot go unchecked — not when it comes at the expense of people’s livelihoods and the public interest. Way to go New York City. Lead the way for other cities in the USA and around the world to follow. Gerson Fernandes