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OpinionLetters

Letters: How to prevent football tragedies

Playing high school football as a running back and linebacker in the 1940s, I rarely saw head and neck injuries ["Hurting over young man's football death," Letters, Oct. 10]. We wore leather helmets without nose guards or face masks. Only someone with a nose injury had a nose guard screwed onto his helmet.

Face masks give players a false sense of security, encouraging them to use their heads in tackling. Also, the hard helmets seem to contribute to injuries. My advice would be to get rid of face masks and hard helmets.

Joe Brancati, Plainview

So another young man dies of what is believed to be head trauma, and we see the usual images: teammates huddled with heads bowed, parents blindsided and devastated, friends sobbing. Perhaps the boy's uniform will be enshrined.

But soon, the message will be, get back on the field and smash your heads together. Some will be lucky and go on to play college football. Maybe a few will go pro, so that at age 50 they can be crippled and demented. Safety and protection are not in the budget.

Richard Posner, Selden

It's time to change all Long Island school football programs to flag football. Maybe other states and even colleges would follow suit. As a result, we could hope that there would be no more devastating injuries or deaths.

Karen Kutcher, Roslyn

Hub project near airport too dense

Newsday has detailed a series of taxpayer-funded benefits bestowed upon Tritec Real Estate, the developers of the Ronkonkoma Hub ["Ronkonkoma Hub OKd for incentives," News, Sept. 18]. This is in addition to $23.3 million from Suffolk County for the sewage treatment plant and infrastructure and $5 million from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council for expenses including the sewage treatment plant design.

Why is the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency, whose mission it is to increase the number of high-paying, value-added industrial jobs, bestowing a $16-million tax cut package on a residential and retail project? This heavily subsidized project will primarily generate temporary construction jobs and low-wage retail jobs.

If the project is such an economic engine for the region, why do taxpayers need to shell out $44.3 million just to get it started?

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has made water quality a high priority. However, projects like the Ronkonkoma Hub add so much density that they will contribute more nitrogen to the groundwater, even with taxpayer-subsidized sewage treatment. Recent cuts to critically needed water-quality staffing numbers, the raiding of the county's drinking water protection fund to balance the county budget and unsustainable developer benefits packages like this only call into question the county's commitment to water quality.

Sooner or later, our elected officials must learn that "build, baby, build" is not a panacea for ailing government finances, and this path will contribute to declining water quality and a diminished quality of life.

Daniel J. Gulizio, Quogue

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Peconic Baykeeper, an environmental advocacy organization.

Offshore wind for Long Island

As a high school junior, I'm very aware of my future ["Jittery on threats to nation," News, Oct. 6]. Knowing what I know about the climate crisis, I believe that my future is at risk. Everyone's future is.

That's why I participated in the People's Climate March last month with hundreds of other Long Islanders. That's why I also want to see Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo support building offshore wind farms near Long Island.

We're ready for climate solutions.

Franny Gould, Valley Stream

Candidates ignore tax-cutting idea

At a debate, people lined up to question Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and his Democratic opponent, businessman Adam Haber ["Candidates square off at forum," News, Oct. 8]. The candidates agreed that New York has burdensome taxes.

I believe that the high taxes are a result of salaries and benefits meted out to public sector employees. Public sector salaries, benefits and pensions continue to rise because of the Triborough Amendment, which is not a bridge, it's a mandate. It was added to the Taylor Law, which spells out the rights of public employee unions, in 1982.

The Triborough Amendment says the terms of a union contract stay in effect after it has expired. Public sector employees continue to get benefits and longevity "step" increases during contract negotiations. This places management, meaning the taxpayer, at a disadvantage in the negotiation because the union has little incentive to agree to a new contract.

When asked whether they would sponsor or support a bill to repeal the Triborough Amendment, both candidates at this forum said no.

Unfortunately, both gentlemen lament our heavy taxation, but neither is willing to do what's needed to alleviate the people's tax burden.

Laurann Pandelakis, Manhasset

Editor's note: The writer is a member of Long Islanders for Educational Reform, which advocates for lower taxes.

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