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Wear mask in stores for people like me, electrify buses, more

Bus stop at Walt Whitman Mall, Huntington Station,

Bus stop at Walt Whitman Mall, Huntington Station, June 11, 2021. Credit: Chris Ware

Wear mask in stores for people like me

As a person with a weakened immune system, I am also worried about getting COVID-19 ["Weakened immune systems a worry," News, June 15].

I had just started going back into stores. Now that masks are no longer required there, I’m not going into a store any time soon.

Not wearing masks outside is one thing, but I feel they should still be required in stores. The article said many people are in my situation and fearful about getting COVID. All stores should require masks.

If people don’t want to wear masks, they don’t have to enter the store. Everyone wants to get back to "normal," but we need to get used to a "new normal."

What’s going to happen if the numbers start going up again, and I believe they will. Then we’ll all have to start wearing masks inside buildings again.

— Barbara Nathan, Wantagh

Anti-bias bills make zoning intriguing

The cover story on June 13 described the package of anti-discrimination bills spurred by Newsday’s "Long Island Divided" series and approved by the State Legislature ["NY legislature passes 7 housing bias bills," News].

Newsday said state and local housing agencies will be required to take steps to identify and reduce segregation patterns as a condition of receiving state funds.

Under these measures, municipalities would have to take meaningful actions in zoning and the placement of affordable housing to further inclusiveness. The terms "affordable housing" and "inclusiveness" are contentious.

If Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signs off on this legislation, we should expect some interesting and very heated discussions at municipal zoning meetings.

— Barry Siskind, Smithtown

I purchased a home in West Islip in 1982. I chose West Islip because it had low crime rates and an excellent school system.

Letters from residents in the Smithtown school district seemed to pigeonhole those living in white neighborhoods as racists, so I am perplexed.

Is wanting my family to live in a safe, vibrant neighborhood wrong? If that makes me a racist, then I will plead guilty for the sake of my family.

— Walter Murphy, West Islip

Time to electrify buses and go green

What wonderful news that Suffolk County is taking a close look at improving its bus system ["Reimagining bus system," News, June 14]. The more people who can ride the bus, the fewer cars on the road and the greater the improvement in our poor air quality.

Getting cars off the road is also a critical piece of cutting greenhouse gases that are poisoning our climate. Transportation now accounts for nearly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

While reimagining the bus system, why not clean it up with electric buses? They pay their way with low maintenance costs and cheaper fuel, a worthy investment for a green future.

This legislative session failed to pass bills encouraging green transit. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo needs to step up to invest in battery-charging infrastructure and incentivize municipal governments to electrify buses.

— David Bissoon, Bay Shore

County should spray for ticks in parks

Your article raising concerns about ticks omitted Suffolk County not spraying for ticks in parks and recreation areas ["Experts: Keep eye out for ticks," News, June 11].

We have beautiful parks and walking and biking paths, yet people are at risk using them. Why is more value apparently put on environmental issues than on human life? We love to camp but can’t use parks like Indian Island and Sears Bellows county parks because the tick situation is so bad.

My wife can no longer eat meat or pork because of tick bites, and my son has suffered the effects of Lyme disease caused by tick bites. Finding the cure for Lyme disease is important, but so is stopping ticks from invading our parks and public spaces. There are more environmentally safe sprays (which I use in my yard) that are effective. So many are affected by the numerous diseases caused by ticks. It is time for the county to at least try to eliminate the problem.

— Don Elliott, Hampton Bays

How will surplus help Suffolk residents?

I wonder how the residents of Suffolk County will benefit from this surplus ["Suffolk County surplus could hit $500M in 2020," News, June 16].

Better roads? Better services? Maybe reduced rates at county parks? Tax rebates? Or will the politicians squander it once again?

— Kevin Harrington, Medford