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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Jan. 19, 2018

A rendering of a tunnel, top right, proposed

A rendering of a tunnel, top right, proposed to be built under Long Island Sound.

Sound crossing is a question of priorities

As the long-discussed concept of a new Long Island Sound crossing again enters the spotlight, it’s important to carefully weigh what it would mean for the region [“Sound out this crossing,” Editorial, Jan. 14].

While a link between Bayville and Rye would neatly finish Robert Moses’ vision for the metropolitan area, studies have shown that roughly 85 percent of Long Island would be east of the crossing. So, the location would do little to resolve the economic cul-de-sac that some argue our region faces.

Placement farther east in Shoreham makes more sense. Because the William Floyd Parkway could be extended north toward the site of the former nuclear plant, a Shoreham location would give ample right of way for the necessary approaches. More important, that site would provide enough of a buffer to minimize community impacts.

However, there has yet to be a compelling argument made on how a crossing would fit into the Long Island of the 21st century, a region that is focusing growth around walkable transit hubs to reduce reliance on cars.

It might be best for this idea to remain unbuilt until its place in the larger regional vision is fully understood.

Richard Murdocco, Syosset

Editor’s note: The writer writes about Long Island land use at TheFoggiestIdea.org and is an adjunct professor in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s program.

Deep-six this Sound crossing idea forever. Long Island has more critical issues, such as monstrous chronic budget deficits, overtaxed property, pollution of our critical water supply and a blight of zombie homes. We have disintegrating roads full of potholes, a bloated legislative system and a lack of affordable apartments. Long Island cannot even fix the dysfunctional Hempstead school system.

If there is $55 billion to spend, attack and correct these debilitating situations first.

John Wolf, Levittown

Screening can detect cystic fibrosis gene

As the mother of a child with cystic fibrosis, I was pleased to see an article bringing attention to this disease, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and other organs [“Meet highlights cystic fibrosis awareness,” Sports, Jan. 15].

Approximately 1 in every 31 Americans is a symptomless carrier of the defective gene that can cause cystic fibrosis. Both parents must carry and pass on the defective gene for a child to have the disease. As such, the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that cystic fibrosis-carrier screening be offered to all women who are considering pregnancy.

Unfortunately, as was my experience, this guideline often is not followed. While the decision whether to undergo the screening, and what to do with the information, is a personal one, it’s critical that women and couples be made aware of the option. Knowledge is power.

Emily Cianci, Merrick

New tax code penalizes single parents

The Republicans’ tax plan forgets one group totally — single-parent households with mortgages, real estate taxes and dependents [“Cuomo to sue over U.S. tax plan,” News, Jan. 4].

While couples can use the standard deduction of $24,000, even if only one of them works and even if they have no children, the single parent who is the head of the household can use a standard deduction of only $18,000. I believe this discriminates against this group of individuals.

Further, anyone who itemizes loses a personal exemption of $4,000 for each family member. So, a family of four loses $16,000 in personal exemptions. So, what the $24,000 standard deduction for a family of four now amounts to, if you consider the lost exemptions and the family itemizes, is a deduction of $7,800. The old standard deduction was $12,000. Do the math!

Any individual smart enough to see through the smoke will soon realize that this tax cut is pure nonsense and benefits only corporations and the rich.

On Long Island, where homeowners pay high real estate and state income taxes, the capping of state and local tax deductions and the elimination of the personal exemption could cause the loss of tens of thousands of dollars in deductions.

Frances Sklaroff, Old Bethpage

Neighbors shouldn’t fear treatment center

The Blue Point neighbors who oppose turning the St. Ursula Center into a desperately needed drug treatment facility are misguided [“Need for rehab is everywhere,” Editorial, Jan. 15].

Suffolk County, and specifically the Town of Brookhaven, lead the state in opioid deaths.

Residents say the location is inappropriate because it would endanger children and hurt public safety, even though studies have shown residential treatment facilities do not generate crime.

Obviously, there are addicts in and around Blue Point. Wouldn’t they endanger children and hurt public safety so much more when they’re not in treatment?

Robin Tierney, Massapequa

Editor's note: The letter about cystic fibrosis has been corrected to clarify the circmstances under which a child could get the disease.

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