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OpinionLetters

Lamenting trouble with Rte. 347 upgrade

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

A construction crew works on Route 347 at

A construction crew works on Route 347 at Gibbs Pond Road in Nesconset on Feb. 15. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

How many of us have traveled along the “new and improved” sections of Route 347 and wondered why their cars were being tossed from side to side and thrown up and down by an unevenly prepared road bed [“Group seeks Rt. 347 funding,” News, Aug. 14].

The weed patch bordering and in the median of the new highway is unkempt. Has anyone at the state Department of Transportation noticed that the seams in the new asphalt have begun to open, allowing water to freeze and heave sections of the expensive renovation?

What really is irritating is that the project is not fully funded, and so, the rest of this vital road is quickly falling into disrepair. I’ve left messages with the staff of Steve Englebright, my assemblyman, but have gotten neither a call nor an email in return.

With thousands of people depending on this road, you would think our politicians would move heaven and Earth to complete its improvement. Your news story said it might take five years to find the money. All of this is unacceptable.

Fifty years ago, this road was poorly designed and ignored. It’s time we taxpayers call our representatives to make this renovation happen now.

Lewis Miller, Brookhaven

I agree that the Route 347 project needs to be fully funded — if major problems are solved. I am most interested in a huge source of backups: the major intersections at Middle Country and Nicolls roads.

At one time, cloverleafs were considered for those byways. Without them, the project is little more than a beautification project. If we’re not going to do it right, then why waste so much money?

Ron Troy, East Northport

People and geese can coexist

I was pleased to read that some residents have called to protect geese in Brightwaters [“Two wings of a debate,” News, Aug. 13].

Native peoples and Canada geese lived in harmony for thousands of years, but hunting, egg harvesting and the destruction of wetland habitats by European colonists led to the decimation of flocks and the establishment of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Now that populations have returned, geese are often treated unfairly, even killed, when they’re just trying to survive in our concrete jungle.

As someone who frequently rescues birds from Brightwaters, whether they are geese entangled in fishing line or domestic ducks abandoned to die in the ponds, I implore people disgruntled by geese to realize how lucky they are to share their communities with wildlife and not get frustrated with birds just for being birds.

Juliana Di Leonardo, Malverne

Editor’s note: The writer is vice president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, an animal advocacy and rescue organization.

Indexing gains for inflation makes sense

Winston Churchill’s adage that “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer” came to mind with the headline “Administration studies big tax break for the wealthy,” News, Aug. 1].

Indexing the basis for capital gains for inflation might well eliminate tax on the sale of my 48-year-old home, which cost $35,000 in 1970. Divorce in 1977 left me with three small children, a mortgage and the modest ranch now worth $700,000 to $800,000. Social Security and savings support me. A single $250,000 property exemption plus improvements could leave about $300,000 subject to capital-gains tax. Indexing the basis would be a huge tax break for me.

Your story’s headline does not serve readers who might fail to realize that you don’t have to be rich to benefit from this proposed tax change if you own a home or investment savings. Democrats who assert the change would almost exclusively benefit the wealthiest Americans would deny Americans outside the 1 percent a significant break, similar to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “insignificant” $1,000 paycheck increase.

Nancy Fetherston, St. James

Part of me can see the logic in indexing capital gains for inflation. If most of the gain is from inflation, it seems only fair that it be exempt. Of course, the longer an asset is held, the greater the gain from inflation.

I would like to ask the Treasury secretary to apply this logic to interest as well. For the past decade, the interest on my certificates of deposit has been far less than the rate of inflation, but has been fully taxable — although the purchasing power of CDs has declined.

Joe Squerciati, Hicksville

The reader who wrote the Aug. 6 letter “Sickened by tax break for ultrarich” questions why any administration would consider such policy. President Donald Trump has mentioned to his pals how much richer he has made them with his 2017 tax cut. And, of course, the rich will always take care to ensure they stay rich. Wouldn’t you?

I find it amazing that the story would shock her. Trump’s entire presidency is a barrage of shock every day.

Carolyn Newson, Riverhead

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