Letters: Island's declining quality of life

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Kudos to Newsday for telling it like it is ["The dream is unraveling," Editorial, Feb. 17]. For far too long we have put up with crumbling, and in some cases nonexistent, services.

Most of our local leaders look upon us as spoiled, entitled crybabies who moan at every hardship, when all we are asking for are the basic services that our tax dollars are supposed to provide.

True, the latest blizzard would have pushed any municipality to its limit, but shouldn't any responsible, insightful agency prepare for the worst case?

There are other issues such as cleanliness and unsafe roadways that constantly eat away at our quality of life.

Mike Baard, Merrick
 

During the Nemo blizzard, government services at every level were inadequately prepared. Most disturbing was the overnight stranding of 50 vehicles, with drivers and passengers, on Route 347 near Smith Haven Mall.

Some of these victims called 911, and the fire department struggled to respond, with some not coming until the next morning. Luckily, no one died. But someone could have.

We need answers and an investigation of the service breakdown so this does not happen again.

Carol Swenson, Lake Grove
 

Much of your editorial rings true. The counties and towns are going broke, because they felt that throwing money at problems would guarantee the idyllic way of life. The giveaways to the public service unions -- pensions and other benefits chief among them -- did nothing to provide excellence. Mediocrity is more the norm.

Politics rules because politicians are funded by every special interest that can get a foot in the door. Gone are idealists in any form. If perchance they should surface, and actually recommend rational solutions, they are immediately silenced. Against the tide of patronage, little gets done.

Long Islanders are like lemmings, led by a dysfunctional political leadership and moving ever closer to the cliff of their own destruction.

Solution: Try a meritocracy of politically unattached individuals, and be prepared to tear down the parochial institutions that have been so carefully built.

Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington

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