Letters: Questions over casino building
Bravo to writer John Yinger for speaking out on the perils of bringing casino gambling to New York . He does a good job of showing what it really is -- a stealth strategy for raising taxes on the lower- and middle-class working citizens of New York. Most upper-class people, who can afford a weekend getaway, won't waste their expendable cash in these casinos.
Sure it's OK to have a night of fun at a casino. But let's not be fooled at what's really happening. Yinger clearly points out how the wording of the ballot amendment asks voters to promote job growth and lower property taxes. This language is one-sided and misleading.
Casinos are opened at the expense of those who can least afford it, and in a few years families and neighborhoods will likely see the consequences. A better solution may be to raise taxes in a more fair and equitable way.
Tom Pumo, Port Jefferson
I can't believe the mentality of our politicians -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and county executive challenger Thomas Suozzi -- who want to push for Vegas-style gambling ["Mangano, Suozzi agree on casino gambling," News, Oct. 16].
All this will do is steal money from people who can least afford it. Is this what we want for our state?
Richard Tartaglia, Centerport
Schools are a 'bologna' sliced thin
Your editorial "Vote to end local stagnation" [Nov. 1] makes excellent points about the future of Long Island. But the fact remains that a key driver of residents' plans and decisions are local taxes -- particularly, the abnormally high fraction of our property taxes for schools.
Until local taxpayers wake up and realize that 124 separately funded school districts is a bologna that's sliced too thin, we will continue to face a significant financial burden that affects our living conditions. I remind you of the article you published several years ago comparing Long Island governance to that of the Virginia suburbs outside Washington. ["LI can learn from other booming communities," Opinion, Sept. 10, 2009].
I lived in suburban Maryland for 38 years before coming to Long Island in 2006. Lean, cost-effective governance was the rule in that area, including a single countywide school district. Long Island should consolidate its school districts -- at most one school district per town.
Paul Jacobs, Huntington
Teachers must be open to questions
How sad that a teacher feels that the parents of today's students "can't wait to see [her] fail" or that parental satisfaction is derived from seeing that "the district or school or teacher has disappointed" ["School anger bubbles over," Letters, Oct. 30].
From the dawn of time, parents have wanted the best for their children. Hard questions may be asked and high standards may be set, but most parents just want to see their children get the best education possible.
To categorize all parents as an "entitled vigilante breed" is unfair and irresponsible. Those of us who are employed in the private sector are expected to deliver results, or there are consequences. I don't know if the standardized tests fueling this debate are an accurate measure of a quality education. I do know that regardless of any test scores or measure of student performance, tenured teachers seem to be in no jeopardy of suffering any consequences.
Teachers and administrators have to realize that questioning of their methods or criticism of their performance is not disrespectful. Parents and taxpayers have a right to ask questions and expect results from their school districts.
Luke Heaton, West Babylon