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OpinionLetters

Letters: On turkey hunting, debt, the MRTA and more

A turkey is not

a mechanized target

Why are we spending a decade to repopulate turkeys on Long Island, only to then hunt them down?

These are not mechanized targets at a county fair. We are talking about sentient beings who want to live every bit as much as we do ["Turkey toll by LI hunters higher than first thought," News, Dec. 11]. If one has a need to shoot, try skeet.

Sharon Feder

Rego Park

With Nassau's debt,

Reagan's no model

Ed Mangano is quoted as saying, "We need a little Ronald Reaganesque governing right here in Nassau County." ["The early bird gets to work," News, Dec. 3.]

The federal debt skyrocketed into the red during Ronald Reagan's presidency. I hope Mangano isn't planning on increasing the Nassau County debt. I don't want to go back to the days when Nassau County bonds were rated as junk bonds.

Bruce M. Lindahl

MerrickMTA payroll tax

presents a burden

When State Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) states his supposed opposition to increasing property taxes, New Yorkers should remember that he was the deciding Senate vote in favor of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's payroll tax on employers, which went into effect during 2009 ["Guv reiterates call for cuts to health care, school aid," News, Nov. 23].

Based on Johnson's support for this increased tax burden, why should voters believe him now? As an employer, I just finished making about a $7,000 payment on the MTA payroll tax. Whether it is MTA payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes or income taxes - this is all the same in the eyes of taxpayers, and Johnson is not fooling anyone.

William Schoolman

BohemiaEditor's note: The writer is president of the Hampton Luxury Liner.

Hail to the volunteers

of the fire squad

I was amazed to see our volunteer firefighters in action recently at a blazing fire on Clover Street. While the residents of our village slept comfortably, these men and women were putting their lives on the line to save the lives of one of our families.

The fire was raging, the smoke billowing out like a teakettle at full boil. Into the fire went our volunteers, not considering their own safety, not considering their own families. I watched as the first fearless firefighter charged up the ladder and attacked the second floor window, diving into danger, on a mission to save someone.

I have a new respect for what our firefighters do to protect us, our families, our residents and our loved ones. You cannot put a dollar value on their worth.

If they ever request additional equipment, they will have my full support.

Robert Burke

Floral ParkWar stresses even those not fighting

Warfare is more than righting the wrongs of an aggressor, preserving freedom and democracy or protecting the world from terrorism. It is blood and guts, the wounding and death of soldiers, terrorists and innocent civilians, the destruction of the invaded country's infrastructure, and the cost in money and lives to all countries involved. Is it worth it?

As a mental health professional, I believe that every human being associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on both sides of the Atlantic - civilian and military personnel and government officials - is suffering from battle fatigue and inordinate stress. Since the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, we have all been under mental seige, most of us without relief.

There was relief for some of the firemen and policemen who were at the World Trade Center to save lives, and for some of the returning GIs who fought overseas, by undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

But how many of the people living in Afghanistan and in Iraq, or Americans, including our government officials who send our fighting men and women overseas, have undergone the healing rigors of psychotherapy?

Under the stress of war, decisions are not based on a rational thought process. Instead, we are driven by unconscious and impulsive forces demanding vengeance.

It is time to put an end to the insanity and bloodshed.

Robert N. Shorin

SyossetDon't be skimping

on tobacco control

A recent report issued by several health organizations, including the American Lung Association, outlines how state spending on tobacco control programs has fallen. This should concern all Long Island residents.

The state's $10-million cut to tobacco prevention and control as part of a deficit reduction plan will erode efforts to reduce tobacco use, prevent disease and save lives.

More than 25,000 New Yorkers die each year from smoking-related illnesses. Annual health care costs caused by smoking exceed $8 billion.

It is illogical to cut programs that are evidence- based and perform lifesaving and cost-effective service. Since the state's tobacco control program was implemented, New York's smoking rate has dropped.

Last year New York received a grade of "F" in our annual State of Tobacco Control report when it came to tobacco prevention and control spending. It's shameful that spending is being cut further.

Scott T. Santarella

HauppagueEditor's note: The writer is president and chief executive of the American Lung Association in New York.

Breaking the will

of business

It is unbelievable how the madness never stops. American citizens, particularly Long Islanders, are paying taxes and fees that would warrant gold-paved roads. Of course, the opposite is true.

Government employees, including teachers, superintendents and police, have pay and benefits the private sector sees with envy.

The true cost is the broken will of most productive people, especially small business owners.

This cycle must be broken, before it is too late.

William W.Bruner

West BabylonPeace prize?

Mr. President, you should have graciously declined the Nobel Peace Prize. At least temporarily, until you've succeeded in bringing some appreciable level of peace to the world and the region.

Having fighting forces in Afghanistan, not to mention committing an additional 30,000 troops, is not something that promotes peace.

The opportunity to deal with al-Qaida and the Taliban was missed by your predecessor. Let it go and work on rebuilding America from the inside out.

Robert Shepard

Lynbrook

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