'Slow growth' slows affordable housing
Since development in Brookhaven has dropped 75 percent in recent years, the article "A call to slow development" News, April 16] was unbelievable. Higher density is unpopular with some outspoken civic and environmental folks. But the town's younger workers and retiring baby boomers should not be forced to emigrate by overly restrictive town standards.
Only higher density can overcome high Brookhaven land costs. Costs per acre in most of the town approach $200,000. McMansions are the inevitable result. Most of the town is zoned for only one home per acre. This acre needs to be divided into many parts to build homes affordable by those now unable to afford new homes. These will be attached or semi-attached homes for rent or sale to our next-generation workers and the previous generation of retirees.
The NIMBYism behind the slow-growth call is hurtful to thousands of households hoping for homes they can afford in the town of Brookhaven.
Robert A. Wieboldt
Editor's note: The writer is former executive vice president of the Long Island Builders Institute.
Recent immigrants share our goals
I wonder if Rick Lazio was aware of the racist undertone conveyed in the speech he made during a recent Tea Party rally . When Lazio asked the crowd if their "parents or grandparents come over here for entitlement programs," he was implying that more recent immigrants to America only came here for "entitlements."
I am the child and grandchild of immigrants who came to this country from Poland in 1923. My relatives were escaping a land where there was vicious anti-Semitism.
The many recent immigrants from Latin America left their countries to live in a land where they can live in peace and bring a better life for their children. Sadly, recent events on Long Island have shown how far we have to go before we stop demonizing those who (on the surface) are different from us but share the same goals and aspirations as our forebears.
Kevin J. Rothstein
Ruling in GI's case should be overturned
I have been waiting for news of Sgt. Justin Boyle, and now we have our answer: A military judge in North Carolina rejected his appeal for a new trial .
The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not give the rights of American citizens to those who serve in our military. This is immoral and should be illegal.
The death of Pvt. Luke Brown was a tragedy. But the innocence of Boyle and the soldiers who helped to bring Brown back to base could not be more evident than in the fact that Brown's parents said publicly that the death of their son was not murder. We need our congressional leaders and our president to intervene and get this conviction, which is a travesty of justice, overturned.
School cuts would do long-range harm
Yes, times are hard, and one way to hold taxes down, slightly, is to vote no on school budgets . Yes, school boards should try to control costs as much as is reasonable. The problem is, how you vote will not matter much when it comes to the total tax you pay, but it will matter much to our children and society for a very long time.
In addition to cutting school sports and bus services, school boards will increase class size, reduce elective subjects in the high schools and cut back on educational trips.
If what happened in New Jersey, where more than half of the school budgets failed, happens on Long Island, the long-range negative effects will outweigh the small amount saved by the cutbacks. Yes, the recession hurts us all, but should we take it out on the children?
Let's see where lottery money goes
We hear that there is a great need for funds to keep state government alive, so they reduce state funding for education. On the other hand, local school systems struggle with budgets every year, and local taxpayers cringe at the thought of increased taxes just to fund our educational systems.
My question is: Where is all the financial support for education that was supposed to come from the sales of tickets in the state's lottery systems? A line from the film "All the President's Men" comes to mind: Follow the money.
There are myriad lottery schemes available in New York State, and its residents deserve to see a public accounting, on a daily basis, of the total income from sales the lotteries receive, and how much of that income is going into New York's educational coffers. Consider the income from just the sales of MegaMillions tickets; when the purse is high, the sales go through the roof.
It's cruelty to animals, not freedom of speech
The Supreme Court has reached a new low in the interpretation of freedom of speech . Since when is it freedom of speech to create videos depicting graphic violence against defenseless animals?
Making videos showing animals being crushed and other torturous methods causing death is beyond humane, civilized comprehension. Laws are enacted to prohibit, not encourage, acts that will titillate perverse individuals. Animal rights groups should immediately call for a reversal of this disgusting decision.
We should be teaching our children respect and compassion for animals, not that they are to be used for entertainment in such a revolting, heinous manner.
Firefighter deserves memorial honor
How is it possible that a New York volunteer firefighter who was crushed on top of a fire truck is excluded from the Firefighters Memorial Wall that is funded by New York taxpayers? A line-of-duty death caused by a fire truck certainly merits every honor New York State can muster - and then some. Shame on those who deny New York families the small comfort that this honor may provide.
Driver's age comment showed ignorance
Kayla Gerdes told police after her arrest, "The thing that made me not feel so bad was she was old" . "I mean 70 years is a long time to live," she added. I am in total disagreement with her feelings. My Armenian grandmother lived to be 97 and I thought she was too young to die! Didn't Winston Churchill do some of his best work in his later years? Seventy is not "old."
Since this girl values her own life so little by taking drugs, we shouldn't wonder she has no concept of the value of the wonderful life she has taken.
Arlene B. Jermakian-Heed