Choice of bishop
not up for vote
I wish to offer a few thoughts regarding Bob Keeler's op-ed on the future of the Catholic Church on Long Island ["Choosing Long Island's next bishop," Opinion, May 19].
It's important to state that the opinions expressed by the 23 priests in their letter to Pope Francis should not be assumed to represent all priests. It's unfortunate that instead of sharing their thoughts and concerns with their brother priests, the authors chose instead to offer them to Keeler. Only one of the 23 letter writers was identified by name in the column.
Keeler's points are problematic. While there is not a popular election for the selection of a new bishop, it is inaccurate to assume that the needs of the local church are unknown and unexpressed to Rome.
Throughout his tenure, Bishop William F. Murphy has asked the priests of our diocese to submit the names of suggested candidates, as well as reasons for their recommendation. In addition, the papal representative sends confidential questionnaires to priests, sisters, brothers and lay faithful regarding specific candidates for bishop. It is therefore inaccurate for Keeler to shroud the process in mystery.
It's not within the bishop's prerogative to conduct an open process to select his successor. It seems to me that such a proposal is only being put forth so unjust criticism can be lobbed at the bishop when he does not follow this "suggestion."
Most important, though, it is not human analysis, private letters or published opinion pieces that will produce the next bishop of our diocese. What is most necessary is our prayer and the trust that we offer to God.
Rev. Gerard J. Gentleman Jr., Hicksville
Editor's note: The writer is pastor of Holy Family Church.
Intense interest in over-55 condos
The condominium development proposed on Elwood Road would provide much needed tax revenue, pure and simple, and yet NIMBY takes over. This is why Long Island is becoming an impossible place to live ["Let rationality govern development in Elwood," Editorial, May 29].
The Elwood school district is a fine one, only a bit too small. The high school is fed by one primary, one intermediate and one middle school. And this mandates the requisite superintendent and staff, principals and administrative overhead at substantial cost to the Elwood taxpayer.
School board vice president Dan Ciccone raises the scare tactics of possibly "overcrowding our schools" from an influx of the over-55 community. This is a very slight possibility. The Elwood school district could even use a few more students to make it into one that deserves to stand alone.
Robert Munoz, Huntington
My wife and I are senior citizens living in a five-bedroom house. It was a great house in which to live and raise our kids, but now it's time to downsize.
We have been looking for a condo within Huntington because we know the area well and all of our doctors are close by. The only adequate condos are way out east.
We wholeheartedly agree with Newsday's editorial on The Seasons at Elwood. Please don't let the NIMBYs spoil this opportunity for the graying population.
Stuart Koenig, East Northport
Current zoning was intended to benefit the character, safety and quality of life for the community, and at this site it is one home per acre. It would be a 100 percent compromise for the town and the taxpayers to increase that. Let's see if there is any additional, 99 percent compromise to be had from the owner and developer in return.
A waiver of any zoning regulations should require an applicant to demonstrate little, if any, negative impact on the surrounding neighbors.
Senior housing is a very important issue, and it needs to be addressed in a way that benefits everyone. What we have today on Long Island is often the result of poor, or in some cases no, planning. Let's start to do it right from now on.
Robert W. Rockelein, Huntington
7-Eleven wrong for Merrick neighborhood
"Baseless" is a word better suited to the Newsday editorial board's denigration of community opposition to the proposed 7-Eleven for Merrick ["7-Eleven opposition baseless," Editorial, June 1]. This would be the fifth 7-Eleven in the immediate area.
The community has numerous legitimate concerns. The site is close to an elementary school. There would be a likely increase in traffic and accidents. Because 7-Elevens operate 24 hours, they are targets for robbery. Situating a 7-Eleven here could result in more commercial vacancies and a reduction in home values.
I attended a meeting at which about 100 people were virtually unanimous in their opposition. But Newsday apparently knows better than those who would be directly and adversely affected.
The attendees were not swayed by the repeated assurances of 7-Eleven's corporate representative about how "family oriented" his company is. Nor did the developer win any hearts and minds with the description of a new brick building and fancy landscaping.
Just because a business can be built "as of right" does not make it right to build. Greed shouldn't always win.
Mark Borten, Merrick