Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon talks at Riverhead Library Jan....

Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon talks at Riverhead Library Jan. 15. Credit: John Roca

Biden’s justice idea draws criticism

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has served this nation with honor, dignity and distinction. His presence and application of the law have contributed to the growth and development of our country. For this, all should be grateful for his dedicated and distinguished service.

When Breyer announced his retirement, President Joe Biden announced that, in choosing a successor, he would nominate a Black woman ["Biden seeks support for court pick," Nation, Feb. 2]. I laud Biden for considering nominating a female of color. To make gender and race the primary basis for his selection, however, is disgraceful. It’s both sexist and racist. It demeans the very foundations of our nation. The president should select a nominee whom he believes would best serve our country, period.

— Bob Kersch, Great River

I have a radical idea. Why not just look for the most qualified Supreme Court nominee? If we must pick a certain race, though, why not an Asian or Native American?

— Judy Riccuiti, Farmingdale

Different reactions to bail reform essay

I supported Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon’s candidacy and was thrilled when he was elected. He is doing fine work for us.

So, I am disheartened by his recent op-ed in which he unfairly touts bail reform as leading to an increase in crime ["Bail reform has been a tragic failure," Opinion, Jan. 31].

Our sheriff should know better than to imply that the shocking deaths of the two NYPD officers was a result of bail reform. There is no direct correlation. Public defenders have pointed to the economic turmoil of the pandemic as well as illegal gun trafficking, rather than bail reform.

Addressing these causes would go further to reduce crime. We believe that suspects are presumed innocent, and imposing cash bail on people who have not been proven guilty goes against a person’s rights. Being imprisoned while awaiting trial puts terrible and undue financial and emotional hardships on a person and the person’s family. Nobody should be held in jail because they cannot afford to pay bail.

— Michele A. Boccia, Bay Shore

The writer is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee.

Yes, there are better, more effective and economical ways to create beneficial changes in the criminal justice system that also support public safety and humanity. I thank Sheriff Errol Toulon for his well-informed, experience-supported overview of the failure of bail reform measures. His emphatic, practical suggestions to improve not only the system but the overall outcomes of those impacted — criminals and the public — represent sound, thought-provoking solutions.

Daring to question reforms put in place by the party he represented during the election also identifies Toulon as a brave, dedicated public servant.

— Kathleen Valerio, Lake Grove

LI housing: What goes up must come down

While there is much to debate about how to best diversify Long Island’s housing options, there is no denying that today’s "indestructible" housing market is anything but that ["LI housing another house of cards?" Opinion, Feb. 2].

The escalation in pricing that we have seen in recent years is far from sustainable, and it will eventually erode the region’s ability to attract new talent, businesses and investment.

The great irony is that many communities that have seen this explosive pricing growth were first constructed to alleviate the nation’s post-World War II housing shortage. Decades later, our marked lack of housing supply further compounds the region’s other economic and environmental challenges.

As we plan for the years ahead, my advice to policymakers is to remember, "What goes up, must come down." With this in mind, we must ask ourselves whether our current land-use policies are equipped to collectively chart a path forward when an eventual market correction takes place.

— Richard Murdocco, Commack

The writer is an adjunct professor of economic development in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s program.

It’s a free country, so live where you want

To the reader who thinks that New York City teachers and police officers should live in the city, I say this:

As long as this remains a free country, people in any profession have the right to live wherever they want to ["NYPD cops living in city still a bad idea," Letters, Feb. 1].

— Joe Cesare, Copiague

A silver lining among the snowy clouds

The best thing about the recent blizzard that blasted Long Island was that we had three days of local news with no mention of masks ["Island begins recovery from storm," News, Jan. 31].

— Rudy Rosenberg, Carle Place