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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018

Ingrid Kjelden of East Islip, Maria Dalessio of

Ingrid Kjelden of East Islip, Maria Dalessio of Stony Brook, and Dorothy Carlson of East Setauket, from left, gather for a Women's March on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station on Jan. 20, 2018. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Zoning for rehab can be negotiated

The Blue Point community has been gathering information since the day we heard about the proposal to use the St. Ursula Center as a drug-treatment center for women. Real harm is being done by those going off with little more than base fears.

Newsday’s Jan. 15 editorial on the Seafield Center, “Need for rehab is everywhere,” used too wide a brush, seeing NIMBYs in every corner of Blue Point. Blue Point has many residents who are open-minded, but many are frightened of attacks delivered upon those who don’t speak the opposition’s mantra.

The opponents voice concerns of increased traffic, noise, light, undesirable people walking the streets and stressed infrastructure. The reality is that other development scenarios have bigger impacts.

Research shows that Seafield runs a quality program. It’s been openly documented that Seafield fully investigated the closed John J. Foley nursing home, rejecting it for many legitimate reasons.

Some say we lose control if there is a zoning change, but that’s untrue. A change of zone by an owner is controlled. Concerns can be addressed in tested ways, for example, by negotiating conditions or by keeping the existing zoning but with controls like a community oversight board that can watch for problems. The town could cancel the use for violations.

Ed Silsbe, Blue Point

Editor’s note: The writer is an architect and president of the Blue Point Community Civic Association.

Foreign aid doesn’t pay for bully rights

I am responding to the letter which suggested that Haiti, as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, should refuse the money our country sends there [“Readers react to Trump profanity,” Jan. 13].

Perhaps the letter writer believes that as long as someone pays your way or financially assists you, that entity has the right to malign, insult and — who knows? — maybe physically assault you.

It’s like the abusive spouse who says to a mate, I pay the bills around here, so I can call you anything I like. Maybe Trump runs his businesses like that: Money talks; you don’t like it, you walk. This is a leader of the greatest nation in the free world?

Natalie Schwartz, Westbury

Taking opportunities to contribute to others

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to reach inside myself and live out those qualities that make us great and make us human: compassion, love, empathy, joy, respect, integrity, humility, courage [“Women take to the streets to show unity,” News, Jan. 21].

I had the opportunity to kick off a bucket-challenge campaign, putting together emergency cleanup buckets for those whose lives are destroyed by natural disasters in our country. Then we had a Women’s March rally in Port Jefferson Station, showing what democracy looks like: women standing up and taking their share of responsibility for this country.

I also participated in a sixth annual flash-mob campaign to stand up against abuse and violence against women and girls. I’m grateful that I’ve been given these opportunities to be who I’m meant to be, and that’s what this country is all about.

I know that some are too busy working, paying bills, worrying that their parents are going to lose Medicare or whether their children will have health care. Is that what we’re here for? We can do better.

Kathy Greene Lahey,Port Jefferson

Editor’s note: The writer organized the Women’s March rally in Port Jefferson Station.

GOP isn’t thinking of all Americans

The biggest reason this ineffective and dysfunctional U.S. Congress fails to produce meaningful and well-thought-out legislation is the Republicans’ failure to bargain in good faith with the minority Democrats [“A lot of finger-pointing on Day 1 of shutdown,” News, Jan. 21].

The Republican majority insists on passing bills that benefit its members and their rich benefactors. The average American is ignored, whether on taxes, health care or programs needed by you and me. Congress is determined to reduce Medicare and Social Security, which many members dismiss as entitlements. Mentally and physically disabled people who rely on these programs would be hurt even more. Taking care of all the citizens is the primary responsibility of government.

Vincent Grabinsky,West Babylon

Campaign-finance system: no reform

Some of us were wondering what multimillionaires would do with money they will keep from the tax cuts [“Trump signs tax overhaul,” News, Dec. 23]. We learned this weekend.

Start by buying two tickets for dinner and a picture with the president at Mar-a-Lago for $250,000. And maybe you get a voucher for a little access another day.

Our government is regularly threatened with shutdowns that hurt thousands of dedicated employees and their families. Meanwhile, the campaign-finance pipeline never fails to deliver the goods at anything less than full capacity.

To quote our president, “Sad!”

Tom LyonMount Sinai