Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The critical need for East End housing is causing significant challenges in recruiting and retaining health care workers [“The East End is still in need of more housing,” Opinion, April 4].

The median North Fork home price is over $1 million and on the South Fork nearly $2 million, according to The Corcoran Group. That’s far out of reach for workers needed at Eastern Long Island Hospital and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Many health care workers are priced out of the area and endure long commutes and traffic congestion. Shortages of health care workers leads to poorer health outcomes for vulnerable populations and further widens the health equity gap.

Stony Brook Medicine developed incentives that recruited 28 new providers to the East End, serving 14,000 new patients. We support Gov. Kathy Hochul’s initiative to build workforce housing on state property, including on Stony Brook’s Southampton academic campus, the future site of a new Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to replace the current century-old facility.

We engage elected officials who recognize the urgency of addressing health care and public service worker housing needs. It is imperative that we act now to address the housing crisis on the East End.

— Dr. William A. Wertheim, Huntington

The writer is interim executive vice president for Stony Brook Medicine.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed plan to build up to 15,000 new affordable housing units on existing state land is not in the best interest of all residents [“New affordable housing plans,” News, March 21].

Politicians should not be selling off real estate assets for the benefit of a small group.

Any development on state land should be a project whose benefits all residents can reap. Instead of building affordable housing on college campuses, how about building additional learning centers for existing students, a community center, senior center or a park with swing sets and ballfields for all to enjoy?

The governor has her sights on building housing on state property at Stony Brook. She should be looking instead to utilize that land to expand the current hospital and outpatient treatment buildings that serve all state residents and are usually full to capacity.

I am sympathetic to those who can no longer afford to live on Long Island, but selling off prime state assets should not be part of the equation. What’s next, Robert Moses or Jones Beach state park waterfront properties?

— John Roche, South Setauket

The “housing shortage” on Long Island is a result of well-organized residents and myriad permits and regulations driving builders and developers from building here [“Builders: Looking elsewhere,” News, April 12]. The article assumes that Long Island residents should want more housing.

Well, some of us don’t want more housing. Why would we want more of something that would decrease the value of our properties, potentially affecting our financial stability while increasing the population density of an already overcrowded Nassau County and potentially affecting our quality of life?

Why would those of us who were born in the city and moved to Nassau County for more of a village feel, which includes fewer people, more open space and larger properties that are spaced for people to enjoy, want that to be reversed?

Unlike many of my contemporary baby boomers, I want to live out my life here on Long Island in the relative quiet and peace that the past 28 years have brought me. We pay enough to enjoy what we have now. We don’t need to ruin it.

— Stephen J. Schneider, Lynbrook

Hire NUMC leaders who are experienced

The current management at Nassau University Medical Center has an inadequate “plan” to turn around the hospital [“NUMC plans to tackle deficit: Restrict OT, physician bonuses,” News, April 16]. It consists of insufficient measures that should have been implemented years ago after Republican neglect and misfeasance.

Rather than tackling the NUMC problems, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman is establishing an unnecessary and dangerous militia and using taxpayer funds to send out a campaign-style mailing deflecting the blame for his abysmal mismanagement.

He needs to stop grandstanding, making the lives of Nassau County residents worse and get serious about solving the problems of the county.

NUMC will not get better by pointing fingers but by appointing competent management and getting rid of incompetent political hacks who lack the experience to develop a real plan to save our public hospital.

We cannot waste our money on a militia answerable only to the county executive, or on mailings designed to obfuscate the facts about years of mismanagement.

And don’t forget that if NUMC fails, it will blow a $131 million hole in Nassau’s budget. When will Blakeman try to solve an actual county problem?

— Paula Frome, Glen Cove

The state and local governments are again looking to close hospitals [“As first responders, we need NUMC,” Opinion, March 27]. We just got over a pandemic in which people died because of a lack of beds, and nursing homes were ill prepared for the crisis, forced to take in contagious patients, often resulting in death.

We should keep empty beds at the ready, using some for those with mental health issues and in need of treatment, and leave others ready for natural disasters.

— Samuel Mark, West Hempstead

Ex-employees may help find drums

I am a Grumman retiree of 30 years and Farmingdale resident on the edge of the current plume “More drums pulled from Bethpage park,” News, April 18].

So, I find myself wondering where the former employees are who actually dug the holes, poured the concrete, encased the drums and buried them?

There must be some still living who are willing to step up and shed more light on this.

— Richard Vitelli, Farmingdale

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