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Letter: Suffolk needs a fiscal control board

The writing is on the wall for Suffolk County ["Suffolk County wading ever deeper into red ink," Editorial, April 11]. We are headed for a financial crisis that will exceed Nassau's and may result in Suffolk County becoming the next Detroit!

As Newsday pointed out, Suffolk borrowed $280 million to get through 2007, but needed $625 million in 2013. Suffolk County's use of short-term debt continues to grow while Nassau County's is leveling off.

At least in Nassau County there is a financial control authority to keep the county's finances under watch. In Suffolk County, our elected officials, including County Executive Steve Bellone and our legislators, have essentially rubber-stamped sweetheart police and county labor contracts with raises we cannot afford.

The only viable way to head off Suffolk's looming crisis is to have an independent authority take financial decision-making out of the hands of elected officials.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead

Editor's note: The writer is employed by a county contractor.

Admire Mets dad's parenting choice

I'm a Yankees fan, but I'm rooting for Daniel Murphy, the Mets player who missed two ballgames for the birth of his first child ["Proud papa Murphy has no regrets," Sports, April 4].

He's a real man who understands that family comes first, and that being a husband and a father is his most important job.

Robert Berger, Bellerose

Runner's cause doesn't motivate

I read "Running atop the world" [LI Life, April 6], a feel-good story about a man competing in the North Pole Marathon to mark a landmark birthday.

I thought it was pretty cool, how he got started running to lose weight, and how he wants to run on all seven continents.

But when I read that he was running to raise money for victims of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, I understood why he had raised only $300. There was a devastating event much closer to home that Long Islanders can relate to: superstorm Sandy.

This was a nice story for Newsday's LI Life section, but not one to tug on my heartstrings to donate.

John Connors, Massapequa Park

Raising cigarette age won't help

Raising the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21 is ineffective ["New Suffolk cigarette law," News, April 15].

The best way to curtail smoking is to require graphic displays, at points of sale and on every package, of what happens to your body when you smoke.

I realize that there will be arguments from cigarette manufacturers. But New York could require the graphic displays and say, if you want to sell cigarettes here, this is now the law.

Edward Mutchnick, Lindenhurst

Public schools must show better results

The recently passed state budget includes millions more of our tax dollars for education even though we are near the top in education spending per pupil ["The state budget: More for LI schools," News, April 1].

What we get for this spending is mediocrity. New York ranks in the middle of the pack among states in standardized tests.

If our so-called education leaders were in the business world, they would have been fired long ago. Instead, we keep giving more money to the same people and expect better results.

Martin Kennedy, East Northport

Right to reject Iranian diplomat

Bravo to Congress and the Obama administration for rejecting a visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's choice as its ambassador to the United Nations ["Iran rejects choosing new UN envoy," News, April 13].

How ironic that as a former member of the group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran through force in 1979, he now wishes to serve in an international body devoted to peace and nonviolence.

Charles F. Howlett, West Islip

Anti-overdose drug isn't a cure

The editorial "Quicker help for overdoses" [April 10] was very informative about the rising heroin problem on Long Island and throughout the country. As a social worker, I have recently been trained to use naloxone and believe we should all spread awareness of its benefits in reducing overdoses.

In addition to EMTs, police officers are starting to carry naloxone on duty, and it's also important for citizens to be trained and have access in case of an emergency.

Although it can save a life, naloxone is not a cure for the drug problem. Prevention and treatment are also very important to reduce substance abuse.

Nicole Cianciulli, Port Washington