About a year ago, I moved back to Long Island after living in the Southwest for 10 years. During this first year back, I have tried to reacquaint myself with the Long Island lifestyle by keeping up with the news.
I have become rather disenchanted by the number of articles that document "concerned citizens" who pack various board meetings to voice their opposition to one residential or commercial development after another.
These well-organized groups opposed a fast-food restaurant near the Smith Haven Mall. They gave a thumbs-down to a 55-and-older condo development in Elwood. They told Suffolk County officials that a large unused tract on the Long Island Expressway service road in Medford would be inappropriate for a casino. They even muscled church leaders to abandon a plan to house immigrant children in Commack.
Doesn't anyone want to see new residential development and new sources of recreation on Long Island? From my perspective, the Island seems to be stuck in the same rut it was in when I left. I think most residents want to see healthy economic development, but not in their neighborhoods. And there lies the problem in the Land of No.
John Balestrino, East Moriches