With no trash cans, filled poop bags were left near...

With no trash cans, filled poop bags were left near the Fire Island Lighthouse in December. Credit: Bill Riegel

Gift bags appear in unlikeliest places

In fall and winter, most garbage pails from Robert Moses State Park's parking Fields 2 to 5 are rounded up and kept in the Field 4 parking area. One or two pails are left at each field and monitored for occasional winter trash collection. The Fire Island lighthouse, though, is on federal property, and the government doesn’t provide garbage receptacles. That, of course, would require staff to empty them, as is done on the other beaches such as Jones Beach and at Robert Moses.

Near the lighthouse, signs say "NO PETS," but dog owners still bring their canines. In fact, a few signs there remind visitors to carry out any trash that is carried in. Nevertheless, some owners leave behind their dogs' poop-filled bags. What do these owners think they are accomplishing?

Bill Riegel, West Islip

Santa fire department tours a big waste

I realize this might be a bit late to bring up, but I know it definitely will be unpopular. I consider the annual fire department Santa Claus tours with a convoy of taxpayer equipment, sirens blaring, across Long Island towns is an extremely wasteful way to celebrate the Christmas season.

The amount of fuel being used, not only by the fire department equipment but also by the traffic caused by the annual tours around towns is ridiculous. Also, I can't imagine the trailer set up for Santa is within safety code as well as for the volunteer riding it.

A better approach might be the fire department setting up a central location where local children can be brought by their parents or guardians to visit Santa and coordinate that with fundraising efforts for local charities. Taxpayer fuel would be saved, safer Santa viewing can be maintained, and charities would benefit. In addition, neighborhoods can be free of the excessive noise pollution created by the hourslong convoy.

Bill Rogers, Farmingdale

Lousy commercials? I say fast-forward

It became frustrating to watch TV because of the increased number of mainly ridiculous commercials. Now, I record shows I enjoy so I can fast-forward through those commercials. And anyway, why is it necessary to have loud music playing in the background of some commercials, which makes it difficult to hear what the announcer is saying?

Robert Gardner, Blue Point