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LETTERS: Long Island's brain drain, immigrant adaptation and more

The real reason

for the brain drain

Regarding Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's plans to stop Nassau County's brain drain ["Mangano's giant step," News, Jan. 1]: Projects like incubators are interesting, but they don't tackle the biggest reason for the brain drain - a lack of rental housing for college graduates and other young people in their 20s.

Nassau County's rental housing constitutes less than 20 percent of all housing; in places like Westchester and northern New Jersey, the corresponding figure is about a third. That's why those areas are not suffering the brain drain we are and in fact are drawing many Long Island graduates to live and work.

So if Mangano's solutions involve telling the young employees of those incubators to keep bunking in with Mom and Dad, they are doomed to fail. Long Island's traditional resistance to rental housing needs to change, or we can continue the craziness of taxing ourselves at hefty levels to pay for our schools, only to see the graduates of those schools take their ideas, creativity and work ethic elsewhere.

John Kingston

Carle PlaceWelcome, but adapt

In response to the letter about immigration ["Welcome immigrants," Letters, Jan. 2], my family, too, emigrated here in the early 1900s. My maternal great grandparents spoke Italian. They too worked hard to make a living. The proudest day of their lives was when they became American citizens - English-speaking American citizens.

Both my Irish and Italian grandparents adapted to America; they didn't expect that America should adapt to them. They didn't think America owed them something for nothing. Cake boxes, store signs and DMV papers were not in their native language. They accepted that and rose to the occasion. They didn't feel it violated their rights or discriminated against them. It was another step in becoming an American and they welcomed it.

Expecting today's immigrants to do the same thing isn't discrimination. Come to our country. Open your stores. Become a part of our neighborhoods, but respect what America is and respect that Americans speak English. Don't change the neighborhood to suit you, change a part of you to be American.

Cathy McGrory

WantaghNo griping allowed

OK, a down-and-out couple win $162 million ["Lawyer: Story of rags to riches," News, Jan. 2], wait nine days to call the lottery office on New Year's Eve and get a recording to call back on Monday, so instead of celebrating, they complain about the government? I'm missing something.

Peter Giannone

Rocky Point