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LETTERS: Open space limited, alternatives to jail touted and more

Long Island faces not-so-open space

Newsday's report accurately notes a 449 percent increase in open space over the past 29 years.

Sounds good, but land preservation is plummeting. In 1990, Long Island protected more than 3,000 acres; last year, just 771. This, despite a poll taken at the height of the recession finding that 80 percent of Long Islanders want to maintain or expand preservation, because now's the time to buy.

Looking back is instructive, but we need to plan ahead. Land not saved soon will be lost forever.

Richard Amper, Riverhead

Editor's note: The writer is executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

It's better to seek alternatives to jail

Suffolk County is remiss in assuming that taxpayers are willing to spend millions of dollars to cage our citizens .

Instead of building more jail cells, we should concentrate on cost-effective solutions. Alternatives to incarceration not only save money, they rescue lives.

Let's put our resources into community treatment centers for the addicted and the psychologically challenged. Let's use mentoring programs and new technology to monitor offenders. We can offer reintegration programs to our formerly incarcerated neighbors, rather than warehouse them in county jails.

Barbara Allan, Central Islip

Editor's note: The writer is co-founder of Prison Families Anonymous Inc.

A dollar difference?

How can a $1-per-hour raise be too much for home care workers who earn $11.50 an hour when the agencies charge clients $22 ?

Twelve years ago, we paid an agency $16 per hour and the aide received $8 an hour for caring for our mother. Many of these workers who provide a much needed service to the sick and elderly use public transportation, which reduces their take-home pay even more.

The agencies say state government reimbursement rates do not keep up with costs. What about the increase in expenses the home care aides face? Perhaps agency officials should spend a day caring for a client to appreciate the aides' worth.

Beverly Russo, North Massapequa

Jobless help needed

Again, the Senate has failed to pass the bill extending unemployment benefits "Prez blasts jobless bill politics," News, July 18].

The government can send millions of dollars to foreign countries, but it cannot help unemployed workers here?

Raymond Smith, Lindenhurst


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