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Letter: Focus on high costs to keep young adults on LI

While I applaud Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his attempts to make Long Island more appealing to young people, I find the project for bus rapid transit still misses the mark ["By rail, air and bus," News, June 17].

If you ask people in their 20s why they're leaving in droves to points south and west, you won't hear it's because there aren't enough buses, trains or planes to get them around. Instead, you'll hear that it's too expensive to live here.

Long Island has among the highest utility bills in the country and some of the highest property tax rates.

Of my seven nieces and nephews between ages 21 and 38, five have moved off the Island to places where they have houses that are nicer, bigger and cheaper, and they pay much lower property taxes.

As I approach 60, two-thirds of my friends have chosen to leave the Island, feeling they get a lot more for their money elsewhere.

I'm hurt to see what I considered to be an ideal place to have a family deteriorate due to the seemingly uncontrollable costs of living.

Glenn Messina, East Setauket

Fat-shaming lesson is against the law

Kudos to Roberta Gerold, superintendent of the Middle Country school district, for speaking out against a fat-shaming lesson in a sewing class ["LI teacher's 'fat' tips investigated," News, June 13].

The lesson appeared to mock and judge girls about weight. The real lesson here is that there is no place in school for mockery and disparagement.

Weight discrimination is a very real issue with a serious impact on students' lives. Shame and stigma are clearly poor motivators for good health.

This teachable moment is a reminder that New York's anti-bullying law, the Dignity for All Students Act, passed in 2010 and in effect in 2012, explicitly protects children from bullying, harassment and discrimination in school and lists weight as a specific, protected characteristic.

Alane Fagin, Roslyn

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Child Abuse Prevention Services, a volunteer organization that works in schools.

Priest provides a model for fathers

Thanks for providing a true definition of fatherhood ["A true father figure," News, June 21]. In an era when so much is said about priestly abuse, the Rev. Andrew Connolly stands out as a true hero. He is true not just to his calling, but takes it to the next level by creating a true father-son bond with Louis Krieger, whom Connolly took in as a foster parent 36 years ago.

What better example than this on this Father's Day! As a non-Catholic, I applaud your research and sharing of this wonderful story.

Burton Roslyn, North Hempstead

Jenner should aid transgender teens

Caitlyn Jenner's official announcement and photo shoot raise some important questions regarding gender identity and inclusion ["The evolution of gay pride campaign," Opinion, June 12].

Because Jenner is a celebrity, athlete and financially very well off, does she really represent typical teenagers, adults or children who are trapped within bodies that they feel they really don't belong in? The trans teen, child or adult is manifesting gender; he or she is not manifesting sexuality.

Due to the deficiency in our language, the word sex is used to refer to both gender identity and the physical act. From that unfortunate synthesis comes much of the bias against transgender people. Their issue is not about whom they wish to be with, but rather who they want to be.

It must be torture to live as a male when you know inside you are a female, and vice versa. But many are unable to do much about it because of family, community and lack of financial resources.

It would be wonderful if Jenner could use her celebrity to improve the lives of individuals through recognition, funding of counseling centers and financial assistance based on need or lack of insurance coverage for medical and aesthetic procedures.

Davina Klatsky, Merrick


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