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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, March 11, 2018

Seal Dynamics, located on Prime Place in Hauppauge,

Seal Dynamics, located on Prime Place in Hauppauge, as seen on Feb. 22, 2018. Credit: James Carbone

Drinking, voting and guns can wait until 21

I agree with Lane Filler’s column “Raise age to vote, serve, buy guns” [Opinion, Feb. 28]. Some of those rights are given, others earned.

When I turned 18 in 1962, it was a different time. I could buy a gun at Sears, sit at the bar and order a beer. I joined the Navy after dropping out of high school. That was a reasoned decision that I never regretted.

I wasn’t going to college; my family couldn’t afford that, and my high school wasn’t proactive with scholarship advice and direction. No harm done. The Navy tested me and sent me to school for electronics. I served my tour, earned my general equivalency diploma and received an honorable discharge. I started college with assistance from the GI Bill, graduating at 28.

Today, ownership of weapons suited for hunting could be limited to those who have passed required education in gun safety as well as a psychological exam. Drinking, smoking, voting and buying guns can wait until 21, when a person has had more time to mature and make those decisions from a less sheltered and influenced position.

Jim McConville, Shirley

2003 Iraq invasion reshaped Mideast

“Obama’s ugly legacy in the Mideast” by columnist Ted Bromund [Opinion, March 4] puts the blame for the current situation in the Middle East on Barack Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.

Obama’s policies certainly fell short of their goals. But Bromund should have mentioned that the vacuum was created years earlier, in 2003, when George W. Bush sent troops to invade Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. He had no strategy for succession of power and destabilized the region to the advantage of Iran and, later, the Islamic State.

U.S. troops remain engaged in Afghanistan, the original flashpoint of our involvement after 9/11. We’ve been attempting damage control ever since, without success.

Jerry Giammatteo, Sayville

Company shouldn’t build new space

A “flight risk” is what the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency chief calls Seal Dynamics, a distributor of aircraft parts that has requested tax incentives and property tax reductions [“Suffolk offers $1.5M to keep parts firm,” Business, Feb. 23]. Not a flight risk, but a shakedown is more like it.

Consider that Islip Town has previously provided tax breaks to Seal Dynamics. Now the company wants more from Suffolk, PSEG Long Island and the Empire State Development agency.

Seal Dynamics proposes to build on vacant land because “We are currently out of office space and are exploring our options,” says company senior vice president George Congionti.

There is empty office space all over Long Island. Tax breaks should not apply to new construction like this; existing buildings could be repurposed.

John L. Bourquin III, Manorville

Just Trump’s opening gambit on Gateway?

President Donald Trump’s apparent refusal to fund the critically needed Gateway Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge should be taken with a grain of salt [“Chao details Gateway rift,” News, March 7].

I don’t believe this is simply an act of political revenge against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. If we have learned anything about Trump, it’s that his opening statement on virtually any topic might not be what he actually believes. There might be a tweet 15 minutes later that sends a very different message.

Given the well-documented importance of the Gateway project to the economic health of the country, this might be another case of Trump firing an opening salvo as part of a negotiation. Or, at least, I hope it is.

Arthur M. Shatz, Oakland Gardens

Zeldin should support renewable energy

Kudos to Rep. Lee Zeldin for organizing a public hearing on President Donald Trump’s reckless plan to expand offshore oil drilling [“Federal plan to drill for oil off LI draws criticism,” News, March 3].

Trump’s proposal threatens the region’s ecology and economy with oil spills and climate change.

Zeldin should join his Long Island colleagues Reps. Kathleen Rice and Tom Suozzi in supporting the proposed Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, which would transition the nation to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

Eric Weltman,Brooklyn

Editor’s note: The writer is a senior organizer for Food & Water Watch, an environmental advocacy organization.

Don’t dismiss repressed memories

Many children who are abused are told that they will be killed or harmed, or their family will be harmed, if they reveal the abuse. Some bury the information to protect their minds.

I’m licensed clinical therapist, and I believe that repressed memories are valid. I’ve been in contact with countless victims of sexual abuse, and many have not felt safe enough to come forward until they were in their 50s! Cathy Young’s March 1 column on former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, “Sandusky case deserves a new look,” casts doubt on recovered memories and does abused children a disservice.

Mary McKenna,North Bellmore