A New York State tourism sign on the Meadowbrook Parkway...

A New York State tourism sign on the Meadowbrook Parkway on Nov. 5, 2016, in Freeport. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Libertarian thinking will ruin the country

Lane Filler’s column “Pot, sports betting won’t stay illegal” [Opinion, Jan. 31] rubbed me the wrong way.

Legalizing recreational marijuana and promoting sports gambling are not noble pursuits. Yes, we are Americans and have freedoms. However, for Filler to suggest that smoking pot and gambling are regular leisure pursuits for many people is just too big a leap for the average family.

For him then to suggest that our legislators will pass laws promoting marijuana and sports betting because they are competing with surrounding states is also wrong. I give my elected officials more credit.

My fear is that libertarian thinking is carried too far, and the threads that hold our country’s ethics together will unravel into an unrecognizable, chaotic wasteland. For Filler to take libertarian ideas into his humorous diatribe is not what I envision as appropriate for a newspaper such as Newsday.

Catherine Finelli, Bellmore

Sad outcome for rehab-center effort

How sad that the push to stop the sale of the St. Ursula Center in Blue Point to the Seafield Center met with success [“Convent purchase try ends,” News, Jan. 31].

This is a victory for ignorance, misguided values and selfishness, and a resounding defeat for enlightenment, understanding and compassion.

I’m familiar with Seafield in Westhampton, and there are never any problems.

It’s a tragedy that our society has accrued so much knowledge through technology, yet cannot see beyond our neighborhoods to help those who suffer from the scourge of addiction that affects so much of Long Island.

Susan Broderick, Westhampton

Wrong to celebrate a $1,000 sandwich

I was intrigued by the Feb. 1 news story about the $1,000 pastrami sandwich, “Now that’s a ‘grand’ pastrami sandwich.” With all the poverty in the world and on Long Island, where families have trouble affording weekly groceries, glorifying this decadence is insulting.

John F. Muldoon, West Babylon

Highway signs weren’t helpful

I had to laugh while reading your article about the “I Love NY” highway signs that will soon come down [“State pays price for illegal signs,” News, Feb. 2].

More than 500 signs are being removed because they are said to be distracting to drivers. What is more distracting is that $8.1 million in taxpayer money was spent on these ludicrous signs.

I shook my head every time I passed a sign touting New York restaurants and historic sites, but not telling you where any were, unless you looked online. Did someone owe a favor to a relative with a sign shop?

Susan Futterman, Merrick

Include the arts in village’s master plan

Lindenhurst officials announced they are seeking guidance in revitalizing their downtown [“Master course in planning,” News, Jan. 31]. Any discussion of redevelopment must include arts and entertainment to keep young people here and entice newcomers.

Many young people, especially millennials, continue to live at home with their parents, while others leave Long Island in favor of big cities. The promise of a reasonably priced place to live and a living wage are good first steps, but may not be enough to stop the brain drain.

Recognizing the positive economic impact of the arts and culture, North Hempstead officials announced Long Island’s first cultural master plan to improve and promote town attractions. The City of Glens Falls upstate created an arts district and offered incentives for artists who live, work and sell their creations there. The Montclair Film Festival in New Jersey and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Westchester County have helped revitalize their communities. Chappaqua opened its own performing arts center.

The arts inspire, entertain and educate. They are good for business and good for an enriched life.

Regina Gil, Great Neck

Editor’s note: The writer is founder and executive director of the Gold Coast Arts Center and Gold Coast International Film Festival.

Buy a folding bag for your purse or pocket

I’ve been watching the reaction to Suffolk County’s new 5-cent charge for paper and plastic bags at many stores [“State needs gov to deliver on bags,” Editorial, Jan. 29].

A couple of cashiers have told me they’ve been yelled at, as though it was their fault that the law changed. I’ve watched people pile unbagged groceries into their carts rather than pay the 5-cent fee. And, increasingly, I’ve seen people bring their own bags or moan that they forgot them at home.

As someone who has brought her own bags for years, I have two suggestions: After you bring home your purchases, hang your bags on the doorknob so you remember to put them back in your car. Also, invest in a small lightweight folding bag that you can fit in a purse or pocket.

It’s time for the rest of the country to follow Suffolk and eliminate this contaminant, which harms all sorts of sea creatures and other animals.

Ellen Solow Holzman, Mattituck