I recently visited Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. Earlier this year, it was reported that with the closing of Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas, the taxpayer was going to get scammed as developers build a new shopping center on this property ["Give state power over tax breaks," Editorial, Feb. 2].

The owners, Macerich Co., were granted tax breaks based on tourism, because most of the shoppers would not come from Nassau County. Yes, but most of them are coming from Queens and Brooklyn, not France or England.

While at the mall, I estimated that it would be about 30 percent unoccupied if it were not for the new mega clothing store, Century 21. Even with that, the mall has empty spaces.

A recent article in Newsday said office space is leasing for a premium in western Nassau County ["A Melville makeover?" Business, June 4]. How about two office buildings in place of the cinema? I imagine this could create more than a thousand well-paying jobs, as opposed to about 100 lesser-paid retail positions.

As a bonus, the new office workers could shop and have lunch in the mall, helping the businesses there.

Jim Pecoraro, Valley Stream

'No smoking' in apartments

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The list of housing authorities across the state implementing smoke-free policies continues to grow. The Albany and Geneva housing authorities are the latest to pass such policies. Why is this important?

Exposure to secondhand smoke remains a concern for many non-smokers, especially in apartments and condos. Secondhand smoke drifts from unit to unit through vents, doorways, heating systems, outlets and small cracks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, millions of nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke in this manner. Small amounts can trigger allergies, asthma attacks or other breathing problems.

With policies in place to protect people at work and in some outdoor areas, it's time to take the next logical step: creating smoke-free housing policies in multiunit dwellings. "No smoking" policies are legal, desirable and cost-effective. It's time Long Island joins landlords and housing authorities throughout the state in establishing policies to make their units healthier and safer.

P.J. Tedeschi, Hauppauge

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Editor's note: The writer is the Suffolk coordinator for the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island, an advocacy organization.

Is recylcing pickup a hoax?

It seems that every holiday week, when there are only four pickup days, North Babylon's recycling is picked up along with the normal trash. It appears to be put in the same truck at the same time. I have personally witnessed this. The very southern part of Dix Hills is in North Babylon, and when I call the town's sanitation department, people there say they will look into it and correct it. However, it's still going on.

This leads me to believe that this whole recycling thing might be a scam. Do the truck drivers know they will just dump the garbage and the recycling waste in the same pile eventually? So why bother going through the motion of pretending to pick it up in a separate truck?

We know it takes a significant amount of energy to send out the extra trucks, as well as to reclaim the material, but that's not the point. The idea is we need to slow down burying ourselves in our own garbage.

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Are we all being duped?

Edward Schwartz, Dix Hills