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Letter: Infrared sensors for parkways

I read the story about New York State spending $5.5 million of our money on infrared sensors to warn inattentive truck drivers approaching low bridges on the Northern State Parkway, Route 106/107 and the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway ["Over-height sensors set for area roads," News, May 14].

What a waste of money and resources. For much less than $1 million, I'm sure the state Department of Transportation could hang chains over every parkway entrance in the state. When a driver hears a chain rattle overhead, he would be warned of approaching danger.

The sensors will trigger new electronic signs warning truck drivers to pull over and contact New York State Police for help. If a driver can't read the sign that says "no trucks," how is a light sensor triggering another sign going to help? Low-tech is the best tech.

Jerry Trapp, East Islip

Editor's note: The writer is a truck driver.

Segregated schools, no easy answers

The lack of intelligent solutions that public officials can come up with to solve the problems of underperforming schools is astounding ["Eye on LI segregation," News, May 14].

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter's solution is to allow students to go any school district they want to, regardless of where they live. Class sizes would swell at some schools; they and the taxpayers would be overburdened.

Theresa Sanders of the Urban League of Long Island plays the race card, saying that African-Americans aren't shown houses in white communities.

The most important factor in educating a child is the environment in the home. We are all busy, but it doesn't cost anything for parents to do homework with their children. If the only solution for a subpar school district is to export students, these so-called leaders need to go back to the drawing board.

Steven Mirabell, Holbrook

Building along waterways is foolish

Sampawams Creek isn't the only South Shore stream to be dumped on ["Dumping near wetlands," News, May 20]. It's one of more than 100 streams that have been severely affected since their formation thousands of years ago. Many streams now flow through concrete conduits below roads, parking lots and buildings. Out of sight, out of mind.

Most of these streams have been dammed, filled, polluted or clogged with nonnative vegetation. Our forebears depended on them for food and water.

Sampawams Creek is several miles long and separates the towns of Babylon and Islip. There are only a few places where the public can see it. It is an all-but-forgotten resource brought into the public eye only because of yet another abuse heaped on it.

Within a half-mile west, the Carlls River is almost entirely preserved by a greenbelt. Planners allowed building of houses right on the banks of Sampawams, when it should have remained a resource for us all.

Tom Stock, Babylon