I was dismayed to hear that the Town of Southold has adopted a policy to deny permits between June 1 and Nov. 1 for large events, such as biking, running and walking -- even for charitable causes.

Because you need to go through Southold to reach points east and Shelter Island, this new policy effectively chokes off all North Fork-to-South Fork events.

Really, Southold? You can't find a way to accommodate groups that want to walk, run or bicycle through your town?

These are green activities that promote health, camaraderie, charity and love of the outdoors. They highlight the beauty of Long Island without polluting our environment. No to all of that?

I urge the town to review this policy and make exceptions where deserving.

Michael Adwar, St. James

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Suffolk Bike Riders Association.

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School buildings need air conditioning

My wife and I recently attended our fifth-grader's "meet the teacher" event at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School in Islip Terrace. As we climbed the stairs to the second floor, I noticed the heat rising with every step. In our son's classroom at 7:30 p.m., it was uncomfortably warm.

The next 30 minutes was an exercise in trying to focus on the teacher's presentation while thoroughly distracted by the heat and humidity in the room. To say that these were miserable conditions in which to spend six hours a day is an enormous understatement. I left this experience thrilled with my son's teacher and thoroughly alarmed by the conditions in which she has to work and my son has to learn.

If we cannot afford air conditioning in our schools when we pay such huge tax bills, then we need to find an alternate solution. We must face the reality that for many days each school year, our students and teachers endure horrific heat that would be unacceptable in any regular workplace.

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Peter Niles, Islip Terrace


Where is outrage on slain elephant?

Yongki, a well-known endangered 34-year-old Sumatran elephant who was an ambassador in the jungles of Indonesia, was killed by poachers and found dead Sept. 18. His tusks were hacked from his head, and he bled to death.

Yongki was found in his pen in Sumatra's Bukit Barisan Selatan national park. His keepers believe he was poisoned. He was a member of a conservation response unit that sought to protect the natural habitat. With a rider on his back, the elephant would trudge along paths to look out for ivory poachers, loggers or farmers encroaching on parkland.

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Where is the outrage, as there was when Cecil the lion was killed in Zimbabwe in July by the spineless dentist Walter Palmer?

Poachers sneak off into the night, make trades and have the blood money in hand while elephant tusks are ground up for "medicine."

A few days from now, Yongki's death will be just another forgotten story of an elephant killed for its tusks for reasons I will never understand.

The human race is not getting better; we are getting more shameful by the day.

Donna Skjeveland, Holbrook