Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Letter: Percentage of bad cops is very low

I am tired of people saying not all cops are bad. This implies that most are bad, and a few are good. This reveals the mindset of those being quoted -- which is part of the problem.

I would rather people say, "Most cops are good," meaning that there are a few bad.

Louis Puglia, Massapequa Park


Dumping suspect was exposed to hazards himself


The Dec. 12 news story "Asbestos rap at parts plant" says the owner of Lawrence Aviation in Port Jefferson Station is charged with illegally removing asbestos from metal pipes at the closed plant. The owner allegedly told two workers that there was no asbestos involved. Asbestos must be handled as a hazardous material, making the removal more expensive.

The two workers referred to "a cloud of white dust" created by their removal of the covering.

One of the two, Thomas Datre Jr., a Ronkonkoma contractor, is a suspect in another hazardous materials case: the dumping of 50,000 tons of contaminated waste at a number of sites in Islip, including a park and a neighborhood for veterans.

This contractor, who was not charged in the Lawrence Aviation case, has been exposed to asbestos and may now be awaiting signs of his own deteriorating health and well being. Is this not poetic justice?

Jerry Schreibersdorf, Douglaston


Long Island's appeal should be greater


We just returned from walking our dog. Five minutes in one direction is a marina, and five minutes in the other direction is the Great South Bay. In a local Christmas tradition, a fire engine with a Santa Claus on top loudly played "Jingle Bells" to waving children. We live in a wonderful neighborhood of well-tended large lawns and seasonal lights on my amazing Long Island.

I also just learned that the most expensive homes in the country are in Los Altos, California. Sure enough, in real estate listings online I found that comparable houses on smaller lots, nowhere near the shore, were priced five times what my home seems to be worth. But the real estate taxes were one-fourth of mine. California, the most over-governed state in the union, has local governments and schools that can scrape by on 25 percent of what is extorted from me every year.

Both Bayport and Los Altos are close to big cities. Both have strong technical economies. Why don't our vibrant organizations drive the same billionaire-creating wealth?

But more puzzling is why the best and brightest of venture capital firms and of entrepreneurs don't bring that magic here to a place where they could get an even better home in an even prettier neighborhood, and have enough left over to park four Ferrari station wagons in the long driveway. Or the next logical query: Why don't our local startup acorns grow into oaks with the same regularity? Yeah, it happens, but why not more often?

Tom Mariner, Bayport


Sex-offender plan could backfire


I'm sure that taking issue with the expansion of the Megan's Law sex offender monitoring program will not win me any popularity contests ["Tracking sex offenders," News, Dec. 15]. However, I think it's important that an objective opposing view is presented.

Having worked for many years as a case manager in the mental health field, including providing services to dozens of sex offenders, both at the Suffolk County jail as well as in the community, I know that the constraints and restrictions placed upon them have created a de facto class of untouchables. They cannot find housing or treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

In Suffolk County, homeless sex offenders are relocated every week by the Department of Social Services. They are essentially denied an opportunity to achieve any stability. Ironically, the same laws and constraints intended to monitor and reduce recidivism among sex offenders may actually create an environment that increases the likelihood that they may reoffend. Homelessness and lack of treatment are stress factors that could trigger additional crimes.

The public and our legislators need to take a closer look at this issue and the unintended consequences that could place the community at greater risk.

I am not an advocate for sex offenders. I am an advocate for rational decision-making.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead