After reading Michael Dobie’s column, I shook my head [“’20 race will fall into the wealth gap,” Opinion, Feb. 24]. Does he really believe no presidential candidate wants to turn America into a socialist country? What about Sen. Bernie Sanders? He is a socialist and proud of it.
I am not a member of the wealthiest 0.1 percent, but I do not begrudge anyone for it. Should I be jealous of Manny Machado for his $300 million baseball contract? Should I want to tax him at 70 percent of his income over $10 million? No and no. In a capitalist society, there will always be those who do really well and those who don’t. Taking from them and giving to others less well off is socialism.
As for Social Security and Medicare? Well, we really don’t have a choice except to pay in to those systems. Almost all Americans have done it, so we get back what we paid into. But, we all know how those things are working out.
Don’t bar appointees from running
I remain a solid supporter of Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. I thank heaven that she broke the long and unhealthy hold that the Republican Party had on that office. However, in line with her spirit of civic candor, I must voice my opposition to her proposal to block town board appointees from running for elective office [“Restriction sought on candidates,” News, Feb. 26]. That proposal is not good government.
We should encourage the appointment of good leaders, and not place fillers. We should encourage the appointment of people who are ready to present their records to voters at election time. We should not deprive voters of the opportunity to elect people of established capability and integrity, regardless of whether they filled out someone else’s term.
I understand Gillen’s sensitivity to the fact that the Republicans have been able to extend their control of the board through tactical appointments. The answer is for Democrats to field great candidates and put forth clear and sound platforms. It also is important to make sure that incumbents do not improperly use town financial resources to promote their candidacies.
Henry J. Boitel,
Editor’s note: The writer is a past president of the Rockville Centre Democratic Club.
Missed chances to build big on the Island
Your Feb. 15 editorial, “If only we had done it . . . ,” about missed opportunities in building infrastructure, reminded me of the trolley line that ran between Huntington Station and Amityville Station from 1909 to 1919. The trolley was operated under the auspices of the Long Island Rail Rail and ran along a right of way that is the route of Route 110 today.
If only the LIRR had not given up this right of way. If light rail could run on that route today, with an intermediate stop at the former Republic Station in Farmingdale (opened in 1940 and closed in 1987), it could meet up with trains serving the east-west Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Babylon branches.
If only . . .
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired LIRR branch manager and a railroad historian.
At a moving-in party when I bought my house 35 years ago, a cousin of my wife told me, “In your lifetime you will never see anything big built on Long Island.” He was referring to “not in my backyard” attitudes.
He has been right. No bridge to Connecticut. The New York Islanders left for Brooklyn because we couldn’t build a new arena (at least they might be returning). No New York Jets stadium where Roosevelt Raceway was. Donald Trump could not even build a restaurant at Jones Beach. Shoreham nuclear plant? See you later, $6 billion. The only things that have ever gone up are school and county taxes. Nothing ever changes but taxes. I can’t wait to leave.
Regulate drones in residential areas
The issue of drones and infringement on private property has been ignored for too long. There have been problem encounters between planes and drones, and now the issue of drones infringing on private property needs to be addressed.
While I sympathize with anyone searching for a missing pet, flying a drone over private homes without permission from homeowners is obnoxious and should be illegal [“Doggone! Man cited for shooting drone,” News, Feb. 25]. This issue must be dealt with by our lawmakers now. The situation promises to become more serious.
Pope should forward diary to family
The courage and generosity of the father of Assemb. Anthony D’Urso in hiding two Jewish families in Italy during the Holocaust were extremely honorable [“Lawmaker shares family tale with pope,” News, Feb. 22].
The fact that the diary of one of those families was kept in D’Urso’s family is questionable. Now the assemblyman has given it to the pope. Was there any attempt made to return it to its rightful owners? If that was not possible, then it should have been turned over to a Holocaust museum. I hope Pope Francis returns the diary to where it belongs.