I was a victim of a serious illness, and hospitalized for more than a week, after a deer tick bite ["Deer cull falls far short of plan," News, Aug. 27]. Deer eat my neighbors' flowers and vegetables, and they cause property damage and auto accidents. Yet, Bambi gets away with it.
Now with winter approaching, the large population will compete for food. The solution is within our capacity.
Newsday ran another story about the roundup of wild mustangs for auction ["They found stable homes," LI Life, Sept. 7]. The same process could solve the deer problem. We could round up the deer and auction them off to those willing to raise them for venison -- just as we raise cattle for beef. We could start a whole new industry.
Years ago while traveling in New Zealand, I saw deer ranches. Deer ranching would be the civilized thing to do, alleviating the hardship to humans and relieving the deer overpopulation problem.
A.M. Kane, Bellport
Water Authority tests rigorously
Regarding "Suffolk water safety: Fewer tests, inspections" [News, Sept. 9], it's important that Newsday's readers know the Suffolk County Water Authority is separate and distinct from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, and that budget cuts within the health department don't equate to cuts at the water authority. The water authority, in fact, has increased its budget for water quality testing by 16 percent in the last three years to ensure that Suffolk residents receiving public water know their supply is constantly tested and guaranteed to be of the highest quality.
The authority, which serves roughly 85 percent of county residents, has extremely rigorous testing protocols that surpass tough state and federal regulations. All of our customers should know that the water we deliver to them is completely safe.
Patrick G. Halpin, Oakdale
Editor's note: The writer is the secretary of the Suffolk County Water Authority board.
Conveying values begins at home
I agree that society needs to provide a clearer and more positive image of what being an American means, but Anne Michaud left out a very crucial component in her column "A failure to communicate our values" [Opinion, Sept. 11].
Many of our young people do not have a strong family unit, as most did in the past. Religious and family values have taken a backseat to the rise of technology, economic difficulties and a breakdown in communication and involvement between parent and child. Discipline has gone by the wayside.
Some parents expect the schools and government to take over that role. Many families have checked out emotionally or financially and don't instill a sense of "family" within their homes, let alone a sense of community. If we are to prevent young people from being lured to radical causes, we need to provide strong, positive and self-affirming homes.
We can put into place all of the best programs in our schools, churches and community centers, but in the end, it's what young people experience at home that really shapes their ideals, beliefs, hopes and actions.
John Hannon, East Patchogue
As a Long Island-born Muslim, it disturbed me greatly to read that a convert to the faith I love and practice joined Islam for the purpose of creating violence and chaos -- a philosophy so diametrically opposite to the religion.
I'm grateful to my greater Long Island community that it has made me feel as though I matter, such that these radical thoughts never entered my mind in my 40 years of life. Similar to Rob Goldman's "I Matter" project, my local Muslim community instills that same sense of purpose among Muslim youth by hosting "Muslims For Life" blood drives each year around Sept. 11.
In the end, as Anne Michaud so accurately pointed out, community leaders must work collectively to let all of our youth know that they do, indeed, matter. I can tell you that our mosque's doors are open to Long Island.
Rizwan Alladin, Amityville
Editor's note: The writer is the vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Long Island.
I was incredulous at implicating government in the horrific betrayal of 100 American citizens who've joined our greatest enemy. The writer is yet another person looking to our incompetent politicians for answers.
Young people do need meaning and purpose. This starts at home with a solid family structure, a strong work ethic and understanding that freedom is not for free.
We should remember President Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address, in which he insisted that government is the problem and not the solution.
Peter Flynn, Cold Spring Harbor