Set aside funds for VFW halls
Regarding "No carve-outs for the VFW" , which criticized legislation I introduced to help local veterans repair their deteriorating meeting places: I proposed that only 1 percent of Community Development Block Grant funds be set aside for this purpose. Not a single taxpayer dollar that has not already been designated for these grants will be required, so my bill does not add to the federal deficit.
I have spent significant time in veterans' halls and seen firsthand how the recession has squeezed budgets, resulting in leaky roofs, broken heating systems and inadequate handicap accessibility. Newsday questioned whether funds from the CDBG grant program should be prioritized for our veterans. I see no reason why they should not be, particularly since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines CDBG as a "flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs."
Helping our veterans restore their meeting places will not only strengthen our communities, it will also demonstrate to our nation's heroes that we have not forgotten their service and sacrifice.
Editor's note: The writer represents New York's 1st Congressional District.
Patronage survives due to voter apathy
Regarding all the recent articles concerning patronage, why does this shock anyone on Long Island? After all, we do nothing to stop it. In Smithtown, four highway workers are arrested on drug charges but a highway employee says they're nice kids, adding that three out of the four have fathers who work in the department.
All Long Islanders are guilty. At election time we vote for change and within two months we forget about it. Our leaders are beholden to us, not the cronies who worked on their campaigns.
Sprinklers save in the long run
It is about time that attention is paid to the value of fire sprinklers "Most LI schools get pass on new rules," News, Feb, 25]. Fire sprinkler systems have been proven to save lives and significantly reduce property damage. While designers typically avoid the requirement for sprinklers in schools to reduce construction costs, installing sprinkler protection will save money in the long run. The initial costs for the sprinkler systems are usually offset in several years due to insurance premium reductions for sprinklered buildings.
Editor's note: The writer is a fire protection engineer.