Empty homes create blight in communities
I am a high school senior and would like to highlight a problem we face: foreclosures in Mastic Beach. The number of homes abandoned after foreclosure is a blight on the village. Zombie homes attract squatters and create unsafe situations.
On a recent night, the abandoned building that once was my local hardware store and lumber yard burned to the ground. I deliver pizzas, so I drive around a lot. Everyone has a boarded up home on the block.
Yes, this community now has a reputation. But we are getting better. Or at least we’re trying. The old house across from my grandparents has been cleaned up and sold to a nice family. Habitat for Humanity is building a home in a vacant lot. But we need to do more.
As a country, we need to encourage homeownership — and not in the baby boomer sense of working hard and paying it off. We need a solution to make homes affordable and not impossible.
Michael Kearns, Mastic Beach
Nature preserve needs a spring cleanup
After living in a house for 58 years, I find that apartment dwelling does have some perks. I have a balcony that looks out on a lush array of foliage. It’s a breathtaking view.
There is a downside, though. The trees haven’t been trimmed in eight years and are heavily overgrown. The branches are bending and look so sad, as if they’re weeping.
In the winter, I can see old tires, papers, old shoes, rags and more strewn on the ground. It would probably take just one or two days to clear the trees of broken branches and clean the land for the small critters that live there.
The birds have returned after the chill of winter, and their old nests from spring and summer are still partly in the trees. This small preserve next to the Belmont Villas is crying out for a little care.
Julie L. Newman, West Babylon