I'm writing to express my outrage at Smithtown Councilman Thomas McCarthy's $30,000 increase in his stipend, especially since he voted it for himself ["Vote cancels Smithtown pol's raise," News, Sept. 24].
The board, including McCarthy, later rescinded the raise, but Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said he might include it in his budget for next year.
Why is this man worth $30,000 more? What exactly does he do to deserve such an increase?
Smithtown taxes are outrageously high, and many Smithtown taxpayers don't earn that much in a year. How about the Smithtown political machine start thinking about the Smithtown taxpayers!
Allen Brown, Smithtown
Welcome Orthodox in North Bellmore
Thank you for the wonderful article in the Home section about Orthodox Jewish communities in Nassau County ["Walk to worship," Sept. 19]. There are several others you didn't mention, including North Bellmore, where the Young Israel of North Bellmore Temple has been for more than 45 years.
We have one of the longest established and largest eruvs on Long Island. We have a very friendly community of all ages and affordable homes, and are welcoming our new rabbi and his family for the high holidays.
Andrea Lieberman, North Bellmore
Bilingual classes would help all kids
Thanks to the federal government, Long Island school district children are suffering ["Call to pay schools for migrants," News, Sept. 23]. The districts must increase help for the influx of non-English speakers at the expense of English-speaking students.
While I agree that learning English will benefit new immigrants, bilingualism for all would benefit more. New York needs to develop programs for K-12 to teach a second language to English-only speakers, with the purpose of having all children be bilingual.
Michael Castellano, Oyster Bay
Heroin series argues against marijuana
I find it amazing that Newsday and News12 have had several days of stories on the agony, pain and horrors of heroin addiction ["Heroin addicted on Long Island," News Sept. 25]. At the same time, elected officials have recently voted to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat patients with cancer, epilepsy and other illnesses.
I believe elected officials are eagerly awaiting the flow of cash that will stream in from eventually legalizing and taxing the gateway drug marijuana.
Barney Chiarello, Merrick
Energized by climate summit
It was so great to see international leaders and more than 300,000 activists converge on New York City to seek solutions to fight climate change ["Call for action on climate," News, Sept. 22].
All of this activity in New York couldn't come at a better time because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a Clean Power Plan that would put national limits on carbon pollution for the first time.
A new report from the Environment New York Research and Policy Center shows how significant the Clean Power Plan would be. It would reduce as much carbon pollution in 2030 by as much as the entire country of Canada emits today.
The EPA is taking public comments on its plan for the next month.
Heather Leibowitz, Manhattan
Editor's note: The writer is the director of Environment New York, an environmental advocacy organization.
Nassau bus riders want more input
The list of demands made by the Long Island Bus Riders Union in "Upgrades demanded from NICE" [News, Sept. 5] highlights the way that Nassau County has failed riders through inadequate funding.
The Nassau Inter-County Express is a system in which riders foot the bill, but have virtually no say in some of the most important decisions about service: seasonal adjustments of routes, late-night and weekend service and availability of Able-Ride.
Our demands are simple: Riders who depend on NICE daily deserve a system that works for them, is safe and reliable and offers them a voice in the decisions that affect daily commutes.
Stephanie Sapiie, Woodside
Editor's note: The writer is a bus rider, a founding member of the Long Island Bus Riders Union and an associate professor of political science at Nassau Community College.
Warping intent of St. Pat's parade
For the St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers to give in to pressure from LGBT organizations, Guinness and Heineken is very sad ["Catholic League opts out of St. Pat's parade," News, Sept. 12].
If you're Irish and gay, I don't care, and a lot of other people don't care. Can you imagine the new banners for schools? St. Ann's High School heterosexuals?
If you're gay and Irish and you want to march, go ahead, but you shouldn't turn the parade into a sexual-orientation parade.
Barrie Johnson, Rockville Centre