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Letter: New casinos will promote greed

The story "Pro-gambling forces wagered $3.85M on vote" [News, Dec. 3] refers to Proposition 1 on our last Election Day ballot, which was to amend the state constitution to allow seven new Las Vegas-style gambling casinos in New York. That campaign was deceptive, with mailings attempting to make voters believe that the proposition was mostly about jobs and school aid, rather than casinos.

The ballot question was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's plan to open large-scale gambling in New York, which in my opinion inflicts grave harm on our people. To some degree, gambling will take place without the encouragement of casinos, but why promote it so that the harm inherent in gambling will be significantly magnified?

The claimed benefits from organized gambling are more jobs and taxes to benefit social programs. Where does the money come from? It comes from losses sustained by those who visit the casinos, minus the huge costs of building and operating them and the profits to the owners. Individuals' losses will, of necessity, have to be high enough to cover those costs, and they will be borne by those of our citizens who are encouraged to spend their money on organized gambling, leaving them with that much less to spend on sensible things.

What's even worse than depleting the resources of our citizens is promoting greed as a mindset and way of life. That will not be beneficial to us and will reduce our quality of life.

Robert Wilson, West Islip

Hoping PSEG will outperform LIPA

PSEG-Long Island had better be able to handle storms better than the Long Island Power Authority ["LI's new utility: We could handle this," News, Dec. 16].

After superstorm Sandy, everyone realized how unprepared and disorganized LIPA is. PSEG had better understand that a storm such as that could happen again.

Sandy hit more than a year ago, and there are still people who haven't been able to move back into their houses. PSEG had better know that we have high expectations of it!

Shannon Williams, Wantagh

Sales people talk down to seniors

At this time of year, I'd like to address the sales people and cashiers. Please don't address seniors as "honey," "dear" or "sweetheart."

A simple "ma'am" or "sir" will do. It's more polite, and it's sufficient. Not all of us are sweet or even dear.

Lorraine Barkan, Oceanside

Still divided on gun control

The heart breaks for the parents of the Sandy Hook children killed last year by Adam Lanza ["LIers remember Conn. victims," News, Dec. 15].

As a parent who has lost a child, I know their pain. Sadly, they miss an important point. If Lanza was intent on killing, he could have done so with a baseball bat or a machete if he did not have a firearm. The problem is not the guns.

The problem is how we deal with mentally ill, potentially dangerous individuals. Lanza should never have had access to firearms, given his history of mental illness. This is the problem we face, and the grieving parents' time would be better spent dealing with the root cause of this violence rather then blaming the tools.

Ray Dawson, Huntington

A year ago, our nation wept as unimaginable violence took the lives of 20 children and six educators. We should all thank Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state legislators who voted to pass legislation to strengthen our gun laws.

We should also honor those federal representatives and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer for supporting legislation to do the same nationally.

Remember those children and the educators who did their best to protect their students. Also remember that there is more that should be done to prevent similar occurrences.

Peter Hanson, Nesconset

Time is now for nonpartisan group

Regarding Newsday's article "Poll finds support for redistricting" [News, Dec. 10], it would be extremely interesting, and possibly helpful, if a much larger sampling of Nassau County voters were asked how they feel about the current rules for redistricting this county's 19 legislative districts.

As co-president of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County, I spent many hours at county legislature meetings in the past two years when every seat was filled with voters calling for a fairer, nonpartisan redistricting map. Their pleas went unheeded by the Republican majority simply because they didn't have to listen. To be fair, this also could have happened if the Democrats had been in the majority.

The concept of an independent, nonpartisan commission that decides the fate of hundreds of thousands of residents in this county not only makes rational sense, it makes it the fairer and more ethical way to proceed.

This year, more than 500,000 residents found themselves moved into new and weirdly shaped districts that gave the advantage to the majority party and edged out some minority legislators. The majority is comfortably in control for the next 10 years.

Let us hope that more reasonable county leaders agree to the idea of a nonpartisan commission before the next census. An independent commission can and should be in place by then.

Jane Thomas, Long Beach