A Final Note

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A Final Note

Dear Editor:

What we need in Broad Channel is a bus shelter. Something to stand under when it rains. There’s NOT ONE in Broad Channel. How come? You get to work soaking wet. Can’t anything be done? While 101st has one every four blocks. So how about it? Waitin’…

Muriel Stemmann

(Editor’s Note: We’re saddened to hear that Muriel Stemmann passed away on October 22. She was 96 years old. She was a lifetime Broad Channel resident, with her family home being one of the first ever built on Cross Bay Blvd. Muriel frequently sent us old Broad Channel photos and news clippings, and handwritten letters in envelopes with decorative stickers as an added touch. This was the last letter we received from her. We’re going to miss receiving more. Our condolences go out to her friends and family.)



Addabbo on Alma?

Dear Editor:

Indeed State Senator Joseph Addabbo was last seen October 13 at the Alma Realty tenants meeting, making promises. Senator Addabbo has been in the NY State Senate for ten years, he previously attended our meetings, now what has he done for us? NOTHING!

 David Doblack



Dear Editor:

(Also sent to the NYS Department of Health)

Stanley Nathanson, a parishioner at my Temple, was admitted a week ago to Beacon Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, located at 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park, New York, 11694. He suffers from partial dementia.

When I went to see Stanley yesterday, I found his room, the last at the end on the second floor, Room 207, the adjacent room and opposite rooms empty, and appeared to be used for storage. His room itself was under construction and a painter stood next to a cart filled with paints, brushes, painting tools and carpentry equipment. Stanley's bed was pushed up against and facing the wall, while another laborer was putting in paneling on the back wall next to the bathroom.

Stanley had neither water nor a pitcher for the same. Stanley had no bedclothes and was only partially covered with a sheet. He was in a fetal position and it was obvious from his body odor that he had not been bathed since before he arrived more than a week earlier. Since I saw him last, prior to his admission, he lost a significant amount of weight. I asked him if he was thirsty and he drank four cups all at once.

There was no administrator on duty and the receptionist called for the third-floor charge nurse, who identified himself as "Larry." I brought Larry into the room and pointed out Stanley's condition. Larry told the construction workers they should not be working in the room with the patient in it. This was disputed by the workers who were "following directions."

I showed Larry the patient’s unwashed, unkempt condition, the tray table caked with dirt, not even a pitcher or cup for water anywhere in the room and wood dust from the paneling being installed everywhere.

I believe Stanley was kept hidden away and that he had never been taken out of the room, possibly not fed, as he had no underwear or diaper. As I was walking out with Larry, a nurse came in with several medications for Stanley.

Basic amenities, TV, phone, tissues, and water were absent in this room where Stanley was being warehoused.

Irene Brunstein


What’s Up Doc?

Dear Editor:

I’m writing in response to Dr. Galvin’s piece in the October 18 issue, entitled “Drugs and Dangers.” In it, he highlights the dangers of substance abuse and it’s overwhelming prevalence in society, especially among teenagers and young adults. This is an issue that many Rockaway residents are all too familiar with, and I commend Dr. Galvin for addressing it. My problem, however, is not with the content of the article, but with what it lacks: heroin.

Dr. Galvin chose to go into detail about five specific drugs: cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, synthetic marijuana and bath salts. I’m very curious as to why he chose to ignore opiates. Opioid addiction is currently an epidemic in our society, and in Rockaway, especially.

Perhaps it was a gross oversight on Dr. Galvin’s part. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that heroin abuse is usually a result of opioid pain killer dependency, and that the real problem lies with doctors overprescribing these highly addictive drugs. You see, when someone is prescribed an opiate painkiller (Percocet, oxycodone, morphene, etc.), they can easily become physically addicted. Their refills eventually run out, but their addiction remains. Prescription painkillers are very expensive on the street, and heroin is a much cheaper alternative that works just as effectively to quell the withdrawals. And so the cycle continues.

Opioid addiction is one of the biggest problems plaguing our society. It kills young men and women every single day all over the county, and, unfortunately, it’s happening right in our own backyards.

I feel that it was morally and socially irresponsible of Dr. Galvin, a medical professional, to omit heroin and other opiates from his article. The next time he wants to write a piece that’s meant to educate our community about drug addiction, I urge him to address the most harrowing crisis at hand: the heroin epidemic. Thank you.

Carolina Willsen


The Doc Responds

Dear Ms. Willsen:

I am sorry you feel that way. First of all, my columns are often based on articles that appear in medical journals. I take the medical information contained therein and, following additional research, I write it in terms that non-medical lay people can absorb. I did not "ignore" the opiate epidemic. I am well aware of it. I try not to repeat myself because it would bore people. I refer you to previous columns that I wrote that discussed the opioid epidemic, and more specifically, the fentanyl invasion of our country and heroin and other opiates. As I am constrained by space (the editor asks us to limit our columns to 450 words or less), it is impossible for me to discuss every illicit drug in one column. Because I had previously wrote about opiates, I wrote that column about non-opiates, as the journal article it is based on did. My columns are meant to be a service to the community. I'm sorry you feel that my column was "irresponsible."

Regards, P Galvin


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