Sun Vet Mall, which has struggled for years, is largely vacant...

Sun Vet Mall, which has struggled for years, is largely vacant now, with only four tenants. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Build anew in NYC, not on Long Island 

The calls for denser development on Long Island are misbegotten because they disregard the fragile state of our Island home, and they are misplaced because there are nearby preferable alternatives [“Add housing at the mall,” Editorial, Nov. 16].

Long Island’s health and well-being depend on its supply of drinkable water, all of which comes from our aquifers and attendant wells. Water capacity is finite and often near its limit, plus our water quality is already under stress from pollution.

Denser residential and commercial building on Long Island — via down-zoning, special-use permits and other code variances — will cause irreparable mayhem to our fragile environment and destroy our quality of life. A huge expansion of our sewer systems is not viable.

New York City has the capacity for all the region’s sought-after development. Its infrastructure is already in place: a huge supply of fresh water piped in from upstate reservoirs and its massive mass transit system. New York City is where all the aggressive growth should happen and where builders should construct — not on Long Island.

Now is the time to stop overbuilding on Long Island before it’s too late.
 — Raymond Roel, E. Northport

Respect people’s burial beliefs

Lane Filler’s argument that people of the Abrahamic faiths should opt for cremation shows utter disrespect for religious people [“Space for the dead troubles the living,” Opinion, Nov. 23].

Organized religion is about following traditions and laws as revealed through divine revelation, not about what one man thinks God would want.

Referring to religious practices as “blindly adhering to age-old instructions” is beyond offensive. Connecting to practices that are thousands of years old has tremendous meaning for people across many faiths.

Filler might not agree with Islamic or Jewish burial traditions, but a little humility and respect for others’ beliefs would go a long way.

 — Yocheved T. Kolchin, West Hempstead

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