As a practicing Catholic, I was glad to see that St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers will allow a gay and lesbian group to participate and carry a banner in the 2015 parade ["An Irish welcome long in coming," Editorial, Sept. 4]. It's a start, but still not enough for some.
However, I feel as though our society is allowing double standards and bashing of certain ethnicities and religions, in this case Catholicism. The St. Patrick's Day Parade brings in money to New York City, yet all I hear about is the cost of the cleanup and police overtime. I never read about these costs after other parades.
Liquor was sold along the route at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, yet open-container tickets are issued at an alarming rate on St. Patrick's Day.
I am glad for the decision to start letting more groups march, but I resent the double standard.
Tom O'Connor, North Bellmore
Condominiums overcrowding LI
What has happened to our Long Island? The building of new condo and apartment complexes has overloaded the population here, so that the roadways are perilous. If only the powers that be would stop the influx. We're at the point where the neighborhoods and roads are so supersaturated that it has stolen the quality of life we once knew -- and not too long ago!
This is simply madness, this society with drug runners and drunken drivers taking over our roadways. Those of us with new drivers in our families are worried.
Stop building homes when there are not enough jobs to sustain the population boom. Are the homes for the purpose of revenue? That's not nearly as important as the quality of life.
Donna Ricci, West Islip
Combine elections to save money
We had a New York State primary on Sept. 9 and a federal primary on June 24 ["Primaries 2014," News, Sept. 11]. Experts say that by combining the primaries, we could have saved $40 million to $50 million.
Our elected officials seem unwilling to sit down together and solve this issue. My congressman's office says this is a state matter. My state senator and assemblyman say that a June primary would require too much hard campaigning in bad weather. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office hasn't responded to my letter.
Donald E. Wagner, Southold
Hidden expense of raising wages
The big labor organizers are anxious to lure fast-food workers to become union members by demanding that their minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour ["Fast-food pay protesters block traffic," News, Sept. 5]. If this happens, a portion of their pay could go to union dues.
Fast-food chains might have to lay off employees or raise their prices. Workers should think about this.
Irene Harshbarger, Holbrook
Drivers pay lots while cyclists freeload
Bicyclists get everything for free, but motorists must pay for driver's licenses, auto insurance, vehicle registration, gasoline taxes, parking, and bridge and tunnel tolls. Motorists' fees paid to pave over those cobblestone streets in Queens.
Yet bicyclists are more feared by pedestrians than cars. Many bikers break traffic laws with insouciance and impunity. Just last weekend, I was crossing Queens Boulevard at 39th Street with the light. All cars stopped, but a bike came flying through the red light. The same thing happened the next day with a biker in a bike lane.
Bikes are not a true transportation alternative. Bikers must pay their fair share. Right now, bikes are a selfish alternative. It's time for a motorist revolution.
Al Volpe, Woodside
School sense for peanut allergies
I'm a parent of two young girls who are both allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. As a member of our school district food allergy committee, I've worked with teachers, principals and administrators to advocate for students with allergies.
There will always be hurdles to overcome and people who don't understand the severity of a food allergy. Here are a few things schools can do to ensure children are not exposed at school.
1) Identify nut-free classrooms and areas in the school, and label them clearly. 2) Train staff on the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions. 3) Tell parents about safe snacks if their child is in a classroom with a nut allergy student. 4) Work with parents and students to come up with practices, such as hand washing after lunch, to avoid cross-contamination. 5) Provide a safe and comfortable lunch table for students with allergies.
Michele Kustera, Huntington