Invite input from Suffolk planning unit
It’s troubling to read in Newsday that the concerns of local towns are not being heard when it comes to real estate developments that have regional impacts.
First, it was Huntington’s concerns over Islip’s Heartland Town Square [“Hearing off for Heartland,” News, Sept. 19]. Now, Brookhaven is sharing similar anxieties over proposals being considered for the long-vacant Gyrodyne property in Smithtown [“Calls to revisit subdivision’s OK,” News, Oct. 5].
Historically, the Suffolk County Planning Commission was created to serve as a strong, objective third party to ensure that sound planning prevailed in these situations.
The seemingly diminished role of the commission, created with both political and legal teeth, makes it ineffective in terms of moderating these discussions between municipalities and sets a bad land-use precedent for the future.
If Long Island is to continue to grow in a balanced manner, municipalities must be assured that they can rely on the county to protect them from the ambitions of other towns.
Richard Murdocco, Syosset
Editors’s note: The writer writes about Long Island land use at TheFoggiestIdea.org.
Wind power can benefit everyone
Anyone who has flown a kite in a strong breeze knows how powerful the wind can be. Michael Dobie’s Oct. 8 column, “Wind power will create jobs, too” [Opinion], makes this point in his description of the power-generating potential of Deepwater Wind’s five turbines off Block Island, and other future wind developments.
We are baby steps away from harnessing the wind for the economic benefit of Long Island communities and the environmental benefit of many more. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo deserves praise for his supporting wind development. Hopefully, this record is a precedent for future wind-friendly policies.
Local business leaders and community members who stand to benefit from new wind farms — and let’s be clear, this is all of us — should support moves from politicians like Cuomo that bring Long Island closer to a cleaner, richer future built on wind power.
Joanne Moore, Long Beach
Glad to see inmates working with dogs
What a great idea it is to have inmates and shelter dogs work together in the Handcuffs to Healing program at the Yaphank Correctional Facility [“Taking bite out of crime,” News, Oct. 5].
These dogs get love and training, and hopefully they will be more adoptable into good homes. The inmates learn to have a bonding relationship and a great skill, which might enable them to find meaningful work once they’re released.
As a late-in-life dog lover who can’t imagine life without my dogs, this is a very bright spot in a week that was so sad in this country.
Marla J. Posillico, Oakdale
Troopers could be a source of problems
Newsday’s important story highlights the failures in the rollout of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to place state troopers in Suffolk County public schools [“Pushback on troopers,” News, Oct. 9].
However, it’s not just about rollout. Cuomo is taking a misguided approach to creating safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments, and he might end up helping President Donald Trump funnel immigrant youth into the deportation pipeline.
Law enforcement officers have been in schools for decades. There is evidence that their presence leads students of color and students with disabilities to be unfairly pushed into the criminal justice system for minor infractions.
In Suffolk County, young people have been picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and flown to detention centers across the country. We are deeply concerned that the cause might have been school resource officers falsely identifying them as gang members. Adding more law enforcement officers might heighten that risk for young immigrants and their parents.
The governor should instead bring young people and our schools what they need: more guidance counselors, social workers, mental health support, and meaningful job and internship opportunities.
Walter Barrientos, Brentwood
Editor’s note: The writer is the Long Island organizing director for Make the Road New York, an immigrant activist group.
The broad impact of a simple gesture
Upon reading “former Oceanside basketball coach Frank Januszewski, 89” on your Sept. 20 obituary page, I realized how the kind act of a gym director can affect many lives.
The gym director described in the story decided to allow 9-year-old Frank to enter a local basketball gym without paying the 10-cent fee. The boy grew up to become a leading player and much-admired coach.
It just shows that you never know when a simple gesture can have an influence for many years on many people.
Fostina Silsbe, Medford