The Long Island Sound may be the calmer of the...

The Long Island Sound may be the calmer of the two bodies of water surrounding Long Island, but its economic value definitely creates some waves. According to the Long Island Sound Assembly, the Sound is worth around $9.2 billion to the local economy, fueled largely by the fishing industry, recreation and the large populations living close to its shores. Above, a view of the Sound during sunrise at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park on July 10, 2012. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Come on, with your editorial "Fighting the financial tide" [April 26]. Yes, you're right, it's expensive to live on the Island. However, you omitted two important items: 401(k) and 403(b) retirement-savings plans and great medical plans, which were not included in the income calculation you cited.

Once you add those in, our income is way over the national average.

For example, our teachers and police are the highest paid, with the best medical coverage and great pension plans. In addition, many of our public school teachers also invest in 403(b) defined-contribution plans.

So most families on Long Island are not as dire as you portray us.

Albert J. Prisco, East Northport

Your editorial makes the right appeal to the public interest. Unfortunately, oh yes, the cost of living can go on rising.

It can as long as we tolerate bloated, duplicative government entities that perpetuate themselves in low-turnout elections in which a disproportionate number of those who vote have a financial interest in maintaining high public spending.

It can as long as we shrug at the pay-to-play culture that infects New York from Albany on down.

It can as long as nonpartisan elections such as those for school districts are rubber stamps for established bureaucracies.

It can as long as we perpetuate an archaic system in which corrupt party bosses use Tammany Hall-style bullying to preclude competitive primary elections. The last thing they want, after all, is for the people to choose their own nominees for attainable elective office. That might allow independent-minded candidates with fresh perspectives and commitment to fiscal responsibility to come in and clean a rotting house.

It's a sad story that understandably makes many of us feel disconnected from government, but our righteous indignation should instead be channeled into greater involvement in the political process.

Frank Scaturro, New Hyde Park

Editor's note: The writer has run for Congress as a Republican.

The relationship between land use and income growth is strong, especially as our region continues to replace our former industrial legacy with age-restricted residential units and multifamily complexes.

It seems that every new mixed-use proposal, even those on the regional scale, seeks to create yet more retail and hospitality usage, which helps to contribute to slower wage growth highlighted by the editorial. Residents and policymakers should allow increased residential density to be built only if a proposal will actively attract commercial or industrial employers that generate higher wages. Examples include tech firms or green industry, sectors that will help fortify Long Island's economy against downturns and stagnation.

By taking a comprehensive regional approach to land use, we can lessen the gap between the ever-increasing cost of living and our region's anemic wage growth.

Rich Murdocco, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer blogs about land use at

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