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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, April 2, 2018

FBI and other agencies investigate an explosion on

FBI and other agencies investigate an explosion on March 20, 2018 in Schertz, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

Where will the new commuters park?

The developers of the proposed Syosset Park housing-business project still have not addressed its impact on the parking problems that already exist at the Syosset train station and in the neighboring residential area [“Drawings of project unveiled,” News, March 26].

Town parking lots at the Long Island Rail Road station are often filled by 7:15 a.m. on weekdays, and commuters scramble to find parking in the residential area. Much of that area has been posted with “no parking” signs.

Where will the occupants of the 625 Syosset Park residences park for their commutes into New York City?

Unless this issue is addressed, the quality of life for new arrivals and for longtime Syosset residents will be a nightmare.

Laura Schultz, Syosset

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, a civic group.

The FBI is watching out for America

Writer Jonathan Zimmerman’s “Why I learned to respect the FBI” [Opinion, March 26] was on the mark.

The question of whether former Assistant Director Andrew McCabe’s actions warranted dismissal from the FBI in no way should tarnish the efforts of the thousands of agents, past and present, who have served this country honorably and risked their lives doing so.

Zimmerman’s experience is not out of the ordinary. A few years ago, I was warned by an FBI agent that I might be approached by a Russian operative. The reason: One of the organizations I belong to is devoted to the academic study of peace and justice. Apparently, the Russians were attempting to penetrate such organizations to undermine American interests.

As it turned out, a man I suspected was a Russian operative made his way to my office in an attempt to speak with me. Good luck with that! He never got the chance to sit down; I showed him the door quickly.

Some months later, a number of Russians were expelled from the United States for spying. Luckily, we have the FBI to watch our backs. Let’s give the agency the credit it deserves.

Charles F. Howlett, West Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of education emeritus at Molloy College.

Local taxes and fees are out of control

There is a no more compelling argument for moving out of New York State than the March 26 exploreLI feature article about summer permits and fees, “Spring for that summer permit.”

Not only do we have to pay sky-high property taxes, sales taxes and utility rates, shoppers in Suffolk County now have to pay a 5-cent bag fee.

And as the Newsday article details, a $35 stargazing fee for four-wheel-drive beach vehicle access. This is beyond ridiculous.

Anthony Cataldo, Moriches

Protest was a worthy student exercise

It is indeed a perversion of what an education means when students are suspended for becoming activists on behalf of the student victims shot to death [“Students walk out in plea for safety,” News, March 15]. Instead of sitting down with students to help them organize a meaningful way to protest government’s inaction on gun control, some school administrators suspended their students.

As a former teacher and school administrator, I would shout out to the world that our students learned more about involvement in our community from this protest than from all the math, English and other classes combined. I hope students continue with their efforts to make their schools and towns safe.

I can’t wait to see what happens in a district like Massapequa, where students were disciplined, when the community holds elections to the school board and that board chooses a new superintendent.

Sheldon Wald, Oceanside

Ban alcohol on Long Island Rail Road trains

Regarding “Last call” [News, March 27], about the elimination of the bar carts at Penn Station, I call on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Long Island Rail Road to go further. They should finally ban the consumption of alcoholic beverages on trains.

I supported MTA board member Mitchell Pally’s call for the elimination of the bar carts. Drinking on the train is a privilege from a bygone era, and underage kids sometimes consume alcohol on the way to New York City, or to Rangers or Mets games.

Conductors should not have to act like bouncers and police these kids. Further, rowdy behavior fueled by alcohol adversely affects other paying customers.

Gerry Ring, Old Bethpage

Put Pentagon in charge of the VA

The way to solve the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs is to remove it as a Cabinet-level department and move it to the Department of Defense [“Head of VA fired, Navy doc picked,” News, March 29].

Who is better qualified to take care of veterans than the Department of Defense?

William J. Van Sickle, Brentwood