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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Town of Oyster Bay parking facility in

The Town of Oyster Bay parking facility in Hicksville, as seen on June 5, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Commuters to NYC need parking help

We all know that the commuter parking in Hicksville is a shameful governmental failure [“Park your dollars here,” News, July 5]. But at a minimum, the countless metered and timed spots for which there is some kind of express or implied agreement that time restrictions will not be enforced should immediately be converted to sticker-only commuter parking.

The refusal of the Town of Oyster Bay to take steps to ameliorate this situation is striking. Is there no understanding of what New York City and those who work there bring to the local economy?

Drew Oringer, Syosset

Simplify the formula for property taxes

Stop taxing individual home values and dealing with this mass amount of people challenging their tax assessments [“ ‘Tsunami’ of tax grievances,” News, July 19].

Just make it straightforward: Total personal property acreage gets taxed at X percent. Total house square footage gets taxed at Y percent. Median sale price for the town is taxed at Z percent. Using those three will make the property tax bill proportionately equal among all people and allow tax revenue to increase or decrease with the housing market. If you add a home extension, you would know what your tax bill will go up to.

Maintaining a simple, easy-to-follow tax rule would make it easier for homeowners to make the right decisions on what they do with their homes and prevent unfair taxation on various groups of people.

Rich Turnquist, Syosset

Make it easier to buy zombie homes

While I applaud North Hempstead’s attempt to find a solution to demolish zombie homes, in reality we need a better pathway to be able to buy these homes [“Post to oversee zombie homes,” News, July 13].

I have been trying to buy such a home for three years. The mortgage is sold to one bank and then to another. It is impossible to find out where the process is with a particular home, making it a nightmare to pursue a purchase.

We need a process in which we can easily state our interest and have a coordinator put us in touch with the right people or channels. By buying these homes, we can renovate them and provide places to live for people throughout the area. Knocking them down is one solution, but finding people to purchase them is certainly another.

Ray Ann Havasy,Port Washington

We can disagree but still work together

When I read Lane Filler’s column “Toward a more human debate” [Opinion, July 11], I was heartened. Everyone should read this piece, as it puts today’s top political debates in perspective. He breaks down people’s opinions into calm, disparate points of view. We all have strong ideas about immigration and abortion, but we don’t have to get personal and emotional against others who disagree. He makes a great argument for tolerance and understanding.

We can disagree and still work together toward finding a common, humane ground. We can all learn from this.

Rosemary McKinley,Southold

Bravo to Lane Filler for his “Toward a more human debate” column, which easily could have been titled “Truth has many faces.”

One of the most meaningful and memorable demonstrations to the teaching staff during my 45-year teaching career was by a communication expert who explained how to acknowledge the validity of other points of view.

Two teacher volunteers portrayed students in a pro-con debate of a controversial topic. After a few minutes, the teachers switched sides.

Phrases such as “I see your point of view,” “I see where you’re coming from” and “Good point, however . . . ,” were suggested to pass on to students. Such open-minded exercises should be used wherever views are exchanged, including at dinner.

Fred Barnett,Lake Grove

Find alternatives to plastic straws

The July 16 news story “Disabled say straw ban would hurt” says disabled people need plastic straws.

When I grew up in the 1950s, the straws were paper. We drank cold drinks and thick malteds with them. They were basically fine, some better than others. Then came the bendy paper straw, which was great.

With today’s technology, they should be able to make an even better paper straw — straight and bendy.

I’ve talked to people at some restaurants that are bringing in paper straws. I bought a thick plastic straw online. It came with a thin, lightweight canvas carrier and long narrow scrubbrush. It’s great, and I reuse it.

Natalie Kasday, Flushing

We are all capable of reducing our waste. The challenge is to heighten our awareness every time we open the lid of our garbage can. For example: plastic straws. Sip instead of suck, or carry a reusable straw. When the waitress arrives at your table, just say no the straw, please.

Tom Stock, Babylon