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Newsday letters to the editor Mon. March 13, 2017

The controversial blue New York State tourism signs

The controversial blue New York State tourism signs on the Meadowbrook Parkway on Nov. 5, 2016 in Freeport. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Newsday’s Feb. 24 edition had a news article, “Cooler tones for 2 LI pols,” and an opinion column, “Let’s talk politics, race and religion,” that both referred to the absence of civility in public discourse.

In the news article, Rep. Lee Zeldin’s spokeswoman was quoted as saying, “Way too many people . . . requesting town halls across the country are doing so with the purpose of disrupting the town hall without any interest at all in decorum.”

In her opinion column, Anne Michaud asked us to “bring politics back into our private conversations but discuss them respectfully.”

Sadly, decorous and respectful exchanges of ideas will not return as long as we have a president who doesn’t care about this. President Donald Trump lacks the core values that most Americans learned in church and school. And this absence has significance beyond bad manners.

When a person has no inviolable standards of behavior, he will do anything to get what he wants. I doubt anyone will be surprised if Trump and his minions are found to have conspired with Russia to help him win the election. His base would probably be OK with it. Hopefully, others would see it as the treason it would be.

Jim Morgo, Bayport

State’s road signs are too expensive

People, including politicians, are calling the New York Experience road signs unsafe, useless, too big and ugly [“Road signs cost NY $6.3M more,” News, Feb. 17].

What about grossly overpriced? The state Department of Transportation signs cost more than $14,000 each. Not to be outdone, the Thruway Authority’s signs cost more than $19,000 each. Aren’t any of our politicians worried about that?

Jack Schwartz, Bellmore

Surprised that NYC would defy U.S. gov’t

In “Mayor criticized for ICE policy” [News, Feb. 27], I found it astounding that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio would advocate against cooperating with federal authorities. The mayor’s spokesman said police will block federal immigration agents “when they want to needlessly tear families apart for low-level, nonviolent infractions.”

Really, not obeying the law sounds like the same thing as breaking the law.

Michael Appice, Westbury

High fees are chasing people off of LI

After many years of monthly payments, my wife and I happily paid off our home equity loan. We were stunned to learn there is a $550 filing fee due to Suffolk County to clear this lien from our home [“Suffolk spirals deeper into debt,” Editorial, Feb. 28].

We are both retired, living on pensions. This tax is more than half my monthly Social Security check.

Suffolk County burdens its constituents with added and increased taxes and red-light cameras. The county is still in major debt. Where is the money going? No wonder people are leaving Long Island in droves.

Jack McCarthy, Commack

Loss of write-offs would hurt many

In 1978, my contractor father and I took a ride out east. He predicted a time when there will be no middle class on Long Island, only the very wealthy or the poor.

The wealthy will be the only people able to afford the rising taxes, and the poor will receive state assistance.

On a recent night, my husband heard that our new treasury secretary favors eliminating or limiting write-offs for mortgage interest and property taxes [“Fear of ‘tax jeopardy,’ ” News, Feb. 22]. If this idea became legislation, it just might cost us our home.

As a middle-class couple, both employed, I believe we would have to sell our home. Of course, we might not be able to, as the market would be saturated with other middle-class people trying to sell their homes!

Flash back to 1978! My dearly departed dad was right! How sad is this? I guess in hindsight I should have heeded his subtle advice to get off Long Island.

Kathy Malsky, Manorville


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