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LETTERS: Mosque near Ground Zero, cuts in MTA ridership and more

All politics aside, don't build mosque

Newsday makes good points that politics are not part of the debate for the mosque near Ground Zero and no national security issue warrants probing its funding. However, don't build the mosque.

The project creates ill will by pressing an emotional hot button. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf should be sensitive to this. As a community leader seeking to promote positive engagement between American society and American Muslims, he has made a huge public relations blunder by continuing to force this project through.

Muslims wishing to show support for America, the victims of 9/11 and their families can pray at the memorials at Ground Zero, just like the Japanese do at the USS Arizona monument in Pearl Harbor.

James T. Rooney, Centerport

Cuts will hit ridership

The LIRR is being totally shortsighted in some of the new proposed price increases .

As someone who occasionally travels into the city on evenings with my family, charging me peak fares on a reverse commute and eliminating some of the off-peak discounts will make it cheaper to drive into the city.

If more of us do this, ridership will be down and this will force another fare increase.

Peter R. Wunsch, East Northport

More housing would curb gang violence

I have been to several Huntington Town Board meetings over the past year where the topic of affordable housing, specifically the Avalon Bay housing project, was the subject of heated discussion. A vocal contingent has managed to delay a vote to approve construction of the much needed housing.

Meanwhile, crime in Huntington Station has risen sharply. I believe there is a relationship between the lack of housing and rise in crime.

The Avalon Bay housing complex is slated to be built on land in Huntington Station that is a tangle of high grass and wild shrubbery. If this land were developed and more housing was available, the incidences of gang violence in that area would diminish. Turning our backs, closing schools and refusing to allow affordable housing is not the way to reduce crime.

Brenda Reiss, Greenlawn

Switch to 401(k) fund

Changes Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is considering for New York State's pension fund, such as lowering the assumed growth rate, will not cure the fund's serious flaws .

Legislators should push aside lobbyists and change New York's defined-benefit pension system to a self-directed 401(k) plan.

We cannot continue to be burdened with a costly pension plan whose losses have to be made up by taxpayers.

George Rand, Franklin Square