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Letters: Traffic and crime are casino concerns

The vacant Fortunoff building in south Westbury on

The vacant Fortunoff building in south Westbury on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

As a resident of Meadowbrook Pointe condominiums, I'm opposed to any video-lottery-terminal center being authorized at The Source mall in Westbury ["Dems fight gaming plan in Nassau," News, Jan. 8].

The fact that negotiations are going on without community input is deplorable. The Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has been authorized to open one VLT facility in Nassau. However, the New York State Gaming Commission must approve a site after consultation with local government.

I was taken aback when I called Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray's office and was told it had no knowledge of what was going on, although she has since stated her opposition.

There are better venues, such as Belmont Park, that are more specifically geared to a gambling enterprise.

Henry Cernitz, Westbury

The suggestion to place Nassau OTB's casino at the former Fortunoff site on Old Country Road is irresponsible and ill-advised.

One need only visit Old Country Road on any afternoon to see the results of commercial oversaturation. The retail stores and malls attract thousands of shoppers each day, causing traffic jams. The Covanta Energy recycling plant in Hempstead, located near the Fortunoff property, is visited by many large trucks daily.

Additionally, casinos have, historically, resulted in an increase in crime and thereby a decline in property values. In a U.S. News and World Report analysis, casino communities have crime rates 84 percent higher than the national average.

Why has Nassau OTB ignored the basic principles of transparency and open government? Why was this decision announced without the benefit of a public hearing, required or not?

Stanley Turetsky, Westbury

This is a superb idea! We do not have anywhere near enough congestion along the Old Country Road corridor, and with no adjacent Long Island Rail Road station or bus terminal, this is precisely the type of project needed to bring vehicular traffic to levels close to those seen in midtown Manhattan.

If gridlock is good enough for Manhattan, it should be good enough for Nassau County.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh