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OpinionLetters

Letter: Gun prevalence led to Uzi death

The editorial "Blame stupidity for Uzi death" [Aug. 29] is grossly unfair because it places too much of the burden for juvenile gun safety on parents.

This issue is about the Second Amendment, grotesquely distorted beyond its original intent. And it's about the National Rifle Association, which relentlessly promotes gun ownership as necessary for self-protection.

America has a serious case of gun-itis, a disease that kills someone every half-hour, year after year.

Ben Calderone, Levittown

Headquarters move augurs decline

Referring to your editorial of Aug. 27, I think tax inversion is letting the ideals of capitalism go too far ["Don't blame Burger King for ducking U.S. taxes"].

If we continue on this path, while it is not illegal, inversion will allow corporations and the wealthy to send more business overseas. In that case, as always, the middle class will foot the bill, as it has already done with bank failures and the recession of 2008.

When finally there is not enough to sustain our culture and lifestyle, we will head toward dreaded Third World status. Keep moving all that wealth overseas and see where we stand in 25 years.

Greed is the true nemesis of the United States.

Dorothy A. Jentz, Carle Place

Chopper noise worst this summer

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the town board recently got an earful from more than 300 people, including many East End town and village officials ["Sound off about helicopters," News, Aug. 28]. They presented resolutions imploring East Hampton to run its airport without Federal Aviation Administration funding, and to limit access in order to control noise.

This was once a small, rural, recreational airport, but is now a regional airport and a regional problem. Many thousands of East End residents suffer terrible impacts of noise generated by helicopters and other aircraft, and this summer has been the worst ever. Crowdsourcing apps connect air travelers to help more people afford the flights.

Aviation interests, intent on indiscriminate use of East Hampton airport for profit and amusement, threaten lawsuits to prohibit the town from exerting its legal right as the airport's owner to impose reasonable access limits. Such limits are the only true noise abatement solution.

The people have spoken. The airport needs to be run for the benefit of all residents, not just a privileged few.

Kathleen Cunningham, East Hampton

Editor's note: The writer is the chairwoman of the Quiet Skies Coalition, a local advocacy group.

I was pleased to read the letter from a Carle Place resident saying that politicians pay more attention to aircraft noise on the East End than in mid-Nassau County ["More attention for East Enders' noise," Aug. 24]. But he left out a lot of towns: Garden City, New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Bellerose, etc.

All week, my street sounds like a battlefield. The helicopters are so loud and fly so low, I get whitecaps in my coffee cup.

The noise must stop. Let the rich take a taxi.

Bob Geer, Floral Park

New tech debt for schools is unwise

In response to "Hurting in the burbs" [News, Sept. 4], taxes are the problem. The most important issue for struggling Long Islanders is lowering our property taxes, particularly school taxes.

This November, we will vote to elect a governor and all 213 members of the State Legislature. Voters who care about tax relief should know about a very important vote taken by the legislature during its most recent session: the approval of a voter referendum called the Smart Schools Bond Act. It is a $2-billion blank check to school districts to pay for technology and connectivity -- items that should be included in yearly district budgets. Instead, it would increase spending and add to taxpayer-backed debt.

Long Island school districts have a history of excessive use of bonding, which is essentially a mortgage backed by the taxes on property owners. Long Island schools are readying a number of new bond proposals to get around the property tax cap. Often blatantly promoted, bonding has turned into a political con game perpetrated on taxpayers.

If the bonds are approved, other money can be freed up to give raises and perks to teachers and administrators. Bonding effectively negates the tax cap because bonded projects are exempt from the cap.

There should be plenty of money and no need for additional debt issuance, certainly not for new classroom space, considering the Island's declining enrollments.

Andrea Vecchio, East Islip

Editor's note: The writer is an activist with the taxpayer groups East Islip TaxPAC and Long Islanders for Educational Reform.

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