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Letter: Contamination and Nassau water

I read with amazement the article about New York City's plan to reopen its dormant water wells , and the possible impact on Nassau's water supply.

While I understand the concerns of some of the Nassau government officials interviewed, they seemed nonchalant about existing "plumes of contamination" under Nassau County and the impact of this toxic material on Nassau's water and residents. They appear more worried about the plumes shifting than the existence of the plumes themselves.

I'm also concerned about the toxic material recently found in a Suffolk County park ["Dumped," News, June 2]. How much of this is leaching into the aquifer below Long Island? Perhaps water- supply experts should be questioned about this, too?

New York City should rethink the plan.

Alan N. Queen, Flushing

Hazardous dumping in Islip park

Newsday must not let go of the Islip Town toxic dumping scandal ["Dumped," News, June 2].

To date, the director of the town's parks has been fired, possibly even scapegoated. Fingers have been pointed, and the accusations are flying.

The town board is outraged and is seeking to float up to $6 million in bonds to clean it all up. Yet the board seems to be denying knowledge of what turned out to be a massive, illegal toxic dumping on property the board is responsible for.

Even if the Islip Town Board knew nothing, it is immaterial. Considering the scope of the issue, board members certainly should have been aware of something long before now.

Harry Anderson, East Islip

The late Roberto Clemente, a humanitarian and Hall of Fame baseball player, is probably aghast over the 50,000 tons of poisons dumped in "his" park. We name parks and streets to honor people, but these environmental and human-health crimes dishonor his name.

I think consideration should now be given to removing Clemente's fine name from this place of disgrace.

Richard Siegelman, Plainview

Over-55 housing should be inexpensive

I have a comment about "Let rationality govern development in Elwood" [Editorial, May 29], regarding The Seasons at Elwood development.

Contrary to the editorial's support for The Seasons, what Long Island needs is affordable over-55 housing developments, not another luxury condominium complex. Ever-increasing taxes and utility rates are making home ownership a nightmare rather than the dream it used to be.

A middle-class development would meet the needs of many of us who want to stay here but find it increasingly difficult to do so.

Ruthellen Rankin, Huntington Station

Third party offers valid alternative

It's interesting that New York State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) described the Working Families Party as "radical" ["Contentious for Cuomo," News, June 1].

For the Republicans of New York State and the country, middle-class issues that the Working Families Party actively supports -- good jobs, fair pay, affordable college tuition and housing, fair taxes and good schools -- indeed are radical ideas!

The norm for Republicans seems to be tax cuts for the wealthy and big business; frozen salaries and reduced benefits for workers; reduced school aid; voter suppression; privatization of Social Security, Medicare and veterans services; and the elimination of the Affordable Care Act for the millions of Americans without health coverage.

I've been a Democrat for more than 50 years, but I no longer know what my party stands for. I now must turn to the Working Families Party, and progressive candidates on the local, state and national levels, to fight the battles that need to be fought for the middle class.

Julian Esposito, Levittown

Wyandanch schools offer good model

Kudos to Wyandanch school district food-service coordinator Pamela Usher for her successful implementation of "meatless Mondays" ["Meatless Mondays," News, May 28].

Her commitment to promoting healthy choices by expanding meal options and exposing students to nourishing foods is just one of a number of wellness initiatives that this district is undertaking.

Garden projects at both Wyandanch Memorial High School and Milton Olive Middle School are in early stages. In April, the district celebrated National Walking Day and National Public Health Week.

Steady and consistent messages and adult role models can support the concept of taking care of oneself. Lessons on choosing nourishing foods, exercising daily, growing vegetables, cooking, and replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water can increase the likelihood that young people will adopt these practices.

Karyn Kirschbaum, Wheatley Heights

Editor's note: The writer is the school health policy coordinator for Healthy Schools New York, a state Department of Health initiative.