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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, May 7, 2018

An employee prepares marijuana for sale at The

An employee prepares marijuana for sale at The Station, a retail and medical cannabis dispensary, in Boulder, Colorado. Credit: AP / Brennan Linsley

A sincere effort to think about taxes

Former County Executive Steve Levy is right to say that elected officials must focus on saving as much money as possible [“Contracts, mandates raise our local taxes,” Letters, April 24].

The Long Island Regional Planning Council’s study on property tax alternatives, written by PFM Consulting, states, “These efforts as one local lawmaker put it ‘have to be first, second and third’ on the list of strategies to contain taxes — certainly before having a conversation with their constituents about increasing or shifting sources of revenues.”

But intentionally or not, Levy mischaracterizes the scope of the report, which was to consider alternatives to the property tax, which taxpayers identify as the least popular revenue generator for local services.

The report analyzes and details options that local governments could use to reduce property taxes for homeowners. The report identifies other revenue structures and best practices from similar regions around the country. It is an independent analysis by national and local experts that, combined with cost-saving strategies, can strengthen the region, its economic and demographic makeup and its public sector operation.

The challenge is fiscal and political: to find a way to ease the property-tax burden for most taxpayers while effectively and sustainably delivering the services that the public clearly demands.

Rich Guardino,


Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, an advocacy organization.

They’ll legalize pot for tax revenues

Just what we need. Having people driving while distracted by their cellphones is not enough, so now they can be high on marijuana [“Legal pot is rolling in,” Editorial, April 29]?

The real reason for legalization is for taxes. Our government can never have enough money. Why not legalize all drugs and put the illegal dealers out of business — and have even more money for the politicians to spend?

Prediction: The expected tax revenue from legalized marijuana will be used in building a budget each year, the money won’t materialize, and income taxes will have to be raised. Doubt it? They do it every year with sales taxes, so why will this be different?

Anthony Lapera,

West Babylon

Don’t integrate the Boy Scouts

While I knew this day was coming, I am still dismayed over the May 3 news story “New name for Scouting.”

Can’t a youngster join an organization anymore which promotes gender identification such as the Boy Scouts? Boys need male role models and social bonding to promote their identity, and the Boy Scouts have always been at the forefront. Our young ladies have their own organization, the Girl Scouts.

However, this doesn’t seem to be enough for some, and my guess is it isn’t the children but the parents who demand inclusion into the Boy Scouts. Women have shown they can become great airline pilots, police officers and physicians, but let our children at least have a foundation of being boys and girls. And, yes — it seems many are afraid to admit — there is a difference.

Let the Boy Scouts be BOY Scouts.

Artie Annecelli,

Bay Shore

Editor’s note: The writer was a Boy Scout while growing up in West Babylon.

Ronkonkoma plan good for region, labor

The Long Island Federation of Labor and the Building Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties are excited about the proposed $1 billion Ronkonkoma destination concept. This project would be a game-changer for Long Island while creating thousands of good-paying jobs for the hardworking men and women of the industries and trades our organizations represent. We see potential to build a premier entertainment and destination site for our region, with a world-class arena, a convention center, a hotel and medical, retail and office space.

Everyone knows we need to invest in infrastructure and transportation to ensure the long-term growth of our region. Ronkonkoma meets both criteria.

Our labor movement is pleased to support the proposal and stand with the Ronkonkoma community, whose vision and years of planning were vital to bringing this proposal to fruition. Put our men and women back to work.

John R. Durso

and Matthew Aracich,


Editor’s note: Durso is president of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Aracich is president of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO.

Would Obama get the same pass?

I read a letter from a supporter of President Donald Trump who doesn’t care about the president’s personality, the possibility of Russian collusion or the porn star in his past [“Politics in disarray from all sides,” April 29].

So, I have one thing to ask: Would the reader brush aside all those things if they were attributed to Barack Obama or any other Democrat in the White House? I seriously doubt it. Don’t blame the media for your tunnel vision.

Ron Fehntrich,