FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo,...

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, a health workers stands in the Sambadrome spraying insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Sambadrome will be used for the Archery competition during the 2016 summer games. Canadian professor Amir Attaran, one of the leading critics of the World Health Organization said Tuesday June 14, 2016 that he was recently invited to sit on the U.N. health agency's Zika emergency committee only to have his invitation rescinded when he refused to sign a confidentiality clause. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File) Credit: AP

I have not been to Fire Island in many years, and I refuse to go, much as I would like to.

Why? I read on nearly every day that Suffolk County is spraying toxic chemicals to combat mosquitoes. I don’t believe the chemicals, including Anvil and Scourge, are safe.

I don’t know why the county insists on poisoning fragile ecosystems with these toxic chemicals. Residents and visitors are not unaffected. When spraying, the county warns children and pregnant women to avoid exposure.

Why doesn’t Suffolk County take a fraction of the mosquito budget and invest in and install bat houses? Healthy populations of bats could be brought in, if necessary. Bats eat thousands of insects, especially mosquitoes, every night. I’m about to install a new bat house in my front yard.

By killing mosquitoes, the county virtually assures that bats will leave the area. Not only mosquitoes are killed; beneficial insects also die. The poisons break the food chain in the ecosystem.

Sharyn DiGeronimo, Selden

Editor’s note: The writer is a registered medical assistant.


High taxes chased us off Long Island

New York politicians are attempting to drive senior citizens out of the state by taxing them out of their limited incomes.

There is no justification for a 75-year-old Long Islander living on Social Security to pay $8,000 or more a year in school taxes.

The state School Tax Relief program, or STAR, is totally inadequate; it might at best provide a little less than $1,000 in assistance each year. At the very least, a 50 percent discount should be automatic for a 75-year-old couple.

Seniors who receive a break on their property taxes would spend that money and remain in the community. That could offset the lost revenue.

My wife and I were both born and raised on Long Island and were left with no choice but to leave when our Northport taxes went from $1,600 a year in 1971 to $13,000 a year in 2009.

We now live in a beautiful home in South Carolina and pay an annual tax of $800. We would like to move back to Long Island, but the future doesn’t look very bright under the present system.

Charles Slevin, Conway, South Carolina


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