Because of the emotional suffering I see with drug abuse and depression, I feel mental health issues have to be a higher priority.
Mental health services are becoming harder to access, and I know this after speaking with mental health professionals. They express concern that there simply aren't enough funds, facilities, providers or treatment services to help all those in need.
These realities leave too many people to fight their unseen battles alone in deep despair. We can begin to help through education and compassion by removing the stigma, shame, personal judgments and discrimination related to mental health.
If it were cancer, we wouldn't tell someone to just snap out of it or get over it. To me, this is about saving lives.
Donna Pisacano Brown, Point Lookout
Baldwin field being neglected
I'm a parent and was recently at a baseball game at Baldwin Park. The Town of Hempstead has poured money into other parks: purchasing the Cherry Valley fields from the Village of Garden City for almost $4 million and putting a $750,000 field in Oceanside Park and a turf field at Seamans Neck Park in Seaford. I wonder why Baldwin Park is in such disarray.
The urinals in the men's bathrooms flush by using a foot pedal. I'm 50 and have never seen that before. The fences are all rusted, the backstops don't touch the ground and the light stanchions need painting. There are no Little League-distance fields in the park, even though there is enormous space where the old BOCES building stood that could be used for Little League fields, a multi-purpose turf field or even a pool.
Why have the fields and facilities at Baldwin Park been neglected? The only reason I can see is that, unlike Garden City, Oceanside and Seaford, Baldwin is a largely minority neighborhood. If that's the reason, it's a disgrace.
William Brower, Baldwin
Agree that seniors' taxes must be cut
I'm writing to agree with the suggestion that seniors should receive lower tax bills ["Seniors need lower taxes," Just Sayin', May 23]. Property and school taxes go up every year. Don't get me started on the number of children we educate for free whose families don't contribute to the tax roll at all.
My late husband was a private investigator for Long Island school districts that were trying to stop students from attending schools outside of their tax districts.
There should be a law that citizens and seniors with no children attending school should cease paying school taxes. Let's put it to a vote.
Pam Steiner, West Islip
I've been wanting to say something about this for a long time, but no one seems to care enough about the seniors to do something. We haven't had children in school for 30 years, and the school taxes are exorbitant. What are we to do?
We have visited out of state, down South, and total taxes there are so much less than just our school taxes. It's getting harder each year to come up with this money. Cutting our school taxes in half would give us some breathing room.
We have no other option than to sell and move or live in an apartment. We've worked so hard for 48 years and don't want to just give it all up. Our politicians boast about doing for senior citizens, but lots of it is hot air. Seeing is believing.
Camille Morselli, Islip Terrace