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Letter: Emphasis on open land harms economy

Handsome Brook Farm guests pick blueberries. (Aug. 5,

Handsome Brook Farm guests pick blueberries. (Aug. 5, 2013). Photo Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

Long Island Association chief executive Kevin S. Law made some good points in his op-ed piece ["For LI, a troubling population trend," Opinion, Nov. 11]. But I'd like to take the issue one step further.

One major problem is our obsession with preserving open space. This drives up the price of any remaining real estate. These initiatives also helped drive manufacturing out of Long Island. Manufacturing offered the only good-paying jobs that did not require a college degree. It's not enough to build multi-family dwellings. We need the kind of jobs that will pay people enough so they can afford the rent or mortgage.

Politicians need to repeal ill-conceived zoning laws, stand up to the extreme environmentalists and reform the property tax system. Otherwise, our young people will continue to leave not only Long Island, but New York State.

Estelle Edwards, Bellport Village

Editor's note: The writer is the past chair of the Suffolk County Libertarian Party.