DEC commish's firing wrongheaded
Newsday's editorial "Our environment at risk" [Oct. 26] got it right. The firing of Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis highlights an agency in crisis.
DEC is responsible for responding to and cleaning up petroleum spills, monitoring and inspecting toxic-waste sites and sewage treatment plant discharges, protecting our drinking water, and ensuring safe shellfish, air emissions and more. These programs are on a lifeline, many of them cut back, with staff struggling to meet basic oversight.
The governor's proposed further cuts to DEC will not only exacerbate the problems but ensure the elimination of some programs, causing Long Island's environment to suffer and threatening public health.
The laws enforced by DEC and programs they implement are not luxury items that can be dispensed with in hard economic times. They are necessities that are urgently needed in good times and in bad. The next governor needs to understand that a healthy economy relies on a healthy environment, and he should work quickly to restore staffing and vital DEC programs.
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Ax sidewalk plan
Regarding "Board accepts budget plan" [News, Oct. 20], which addresses reductions to the Brookhaven budget: Jane Bonner, the Brookhaven councilwoman for the 2nd District, which includes Rocky Point, has proposed a $1.2-million project to install sidewalks on King Road. This is a narrow residential street north of Route 25A. The town board approved this project last March.
What makes this particularly disturbing is that the overwhelming majority of the residents on this 1-mile road are vehemently opposed to the project, which will not only destroy the character of the entire street, but will leave many without a place to park their cars.
Does this make any sense to the taxpayers of Brookhaven Town or to the 68 employees who will lose their jobs and no longer be able to pay their share of the taxes to support this wasteful and ill-conceived project?
Old water meters fine
The new automatic meters that the Suffolk County Water Authority is installing make no sense environmentally or fiscally.
I have been reading my meter and reporting the numbers by phone. A computer receives my information and bills automatically. What could be simpler?
The new program requires that a meter-reading vehicle cruise Suffolk County, which is a waste of gas.