In our justice system, an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty ["Thousands rally," News, Aug. 24].
This seems to apply to everyone, unless that person happens to be a police officer accused of killing a person from a minority group. The facts about the Michael Brown shooting are surely not known yet, but the residents of Ferguson, Missouri had to put up with nightly violence and destruction of property by those who claim they are protesters. These people are anarchists using an excuse to loot, steal and commit violence.
I'm not trying to exonerate the police officer involved. If the evidence leads to wrongdoing, let the legal system proceed, and let the officer have his rights under our system of law. But instead, we are left with weak political leaders who do not have the courage to stand up and call out these anarchists for what they really are.
David Regina, Nesconset
Good water quality for economic health
Contrary to the letter from the developers group Association for a Better Long Island, protecting our drinking and surface waters has become a focus for civic organizations in my area, and from what I read in Newsday, for residents throughout Long Island ["Green bill would have hurt economy, Aug. 11].
In addition to efforts to protect our water and develop new technology to improve septic systems, we also need better regulations to stop the ongoing contamination that causes beach closures, algae blooms and loss of fishing habitats.
For those reasons, I was pleased to learn that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and our representatives on eastern Long Island have made water quality a priority. Now we look to our elected leaders to act and provide the oversight and funding necessary to clean up our water and plan for a more resilient future.
Sadly, it seems we rarely plan and protect in the first place, always assuming that we will be able to find the money to repair once something is broken. In the case of Long Island's water quality that may not be an option. We can't afford to wait. Our economy, environment and the health of our residents depend on it.
Andrea Spilka, Eastport
Editor's note: The writer is president of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition and a board member of the East Moriches Property Owners Association.
At the very moment when 50,000 tons of hazardous building materials were found dumped illegally at a children's playground, in a wetlands area and in a new housing complex for returning Iraq veterans, it took some gall for the Association for a Better Long Island to suggest that somehow we need less government oversight of the construction community.
I would submit that smart growth toward a sustainable Long Island is far preferable to the unbridled and unregulated growth that has led to today's mess. We could choose business as usual, with the lobbyists, the political action committees and campaign contributions shutting down any legislation that seems to threaten the status quo. Or we could truly build a better Long Island, one where our children and grandchildren will want to live.
Marshall Brown, Manhasset
Discouraged by two in gubernatorial field
Shame on the 63 percent of people who say they don't have enough information to say anything about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's disbanding of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption ["What controversy?" News, Aug. 12].
And to the 16 percent surveyed who said the governor's actions were "inappropriate but not a crime," are your heads anatomically misplaced?
Cuomo took office on the promise to end the circle of corruption and ethical lapses in Albany. Toward that end he set up the Moreland Commission to investigate. So far, so good. But the commission was disbanded when his allies came under suspicion and his interests were at risk.
He desired to pass his state budget, but the votes were not forthcoming, so he traded disbanding the commission for the requisite votes. So there went the commission -- the endemic political corruption and lack of ethics be damned.
So, wake up Long Island and the rest of our great state of New York. Among those running are two unworthies -- Cuomo and the Republican Rob Astorino, who is a staunch supporter of the party of no, those who have brought to us the most useless Congress in modern memory.
So, get involved, people, and stop acting like a horde of lemmings following some inept leader to our own destruction.
Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington
Dead alligator photo inappropriate
Showing a family proudly displaying the record-sized alligator it brutalized for five hours is nothing to celebrate or applaud ["Monster catch," News, Aug. 19]. Rather, this hubris and arrogance toward other living creatures should cause us to reflect on our treatment of and compassion for others that share this planet.
Michael S. Lesman, Merrick