A reader says: "Fine people who don't cut their grass....

A reader says: "Fine people who don't cut their grass. I am sure not cutting lawns and backyards adds to rat infestation." Credit: HANDOUT / Handout

At this time of year, local governments come out with their budgets for 2019. Some will raise taxes and fees. Instead, here are some suggestions to raise money:

Fine people who don’t cut their grass. I am sure not cutting lawns and backyards adds to rat infestation.

Fine property owners who abandon their houses. There really is no reason for this. Reduce the time for auctioning them off.

Fine homeowners who illegally divide one-family houses into boarding houses and rent rooms. Or raise taxes on those who have multiple families living in one-family houses, thus adding burdens to the schools, roads and services.

Fine store owners who don’t keep their properties free of litter and debris.

Taxpayers who obey the laws and pay their taxes are sick and tired of footing the bill for much of the above.

Elizabeth Leyser, Hicksville

A downward spiral of public civility

My wife and I recently drove into Patchogue for dinner and a show. When I began to parallel park on Main Street, a driver in a car parked behind the space thrust her arms into the air and started yelling at me. She then rudely drove up to block the open space, preventing me from parking, before eventually moving into traffic.

It’s sad to see the downward spiral in patience, courtesy and civility of people of all ages and walks of life. Unfortunately we see it every day, starting with our president and politicians on both sides, but especially on our roads. Worse yet, we are teaching our children these poor habits. Where will it end?

Kirk Thorvaldsen,Brookhaven

Remembering billions of animals killed for food

Oct. 2 is the 30th World Day for Farmed Animals, organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement nonprofit organization, as well as the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi. It is intended to memorialize billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Like many others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” But after watching the deeply moving feature film “Okja” on Netflix, I realized that a farm animal is much like our family dog, fully deserving of compassion and respect.

The cruelties inherent in factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based foods and dairy items offered at my supermarket. I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Nathan Daniels, Melville