I disagree with your editorial “A missed opportunity” [June 29]. You mention former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto fighting to refuse to let a mega mall on the site in Syosset. The original proposal, if I recall, was almost 1 million square feet and would rival Roosevelt Field in scope. That was an awful idea and I commend Venditto for fighting with the community for many years to keep that from happening.
As big-box stores are emptying at a huge rate, everyone in the community is glad that plan never got off the ground. As for the mini-city being floated years later, that wasn’t a great idea, either, because the former Cerro Wire site had hazardous materials underground. Building homes over it doesn’t seem like a great plan. Super-expensive condos and assisted living facilities are proliferating in this area, so there was no great call for more of the same. An Amazon warehouse is fine with me; maybe we can advise them to also build a nice park and mini-golf. That would be a great addition for the community.
Kevin H. Fox,
Unique idea to ease police workload
As part of the mandate to change police forces throughout the state, one way could help. We should consider establishing a Public Safety Force, made up of a quasi-police force trained to do work unrelated to crime-fighting.
I often have seen accidents where police officers are deployed for traffic control. I feel it wastes expensive police talent for tasks that safety personnel could do for, perhaps, half the cost. Same idea for downed power lines.
I once saw police cover a downed line for more than 72 hours. A public safety crew could have handled it for a fraction of the police cost. Crews could be trained and some possibly armed for traffic monitoring and empowered to write tickets. This could help with the dire need to reduce aggressive driving that has become the norm on our highways and even our secondary streets. The crews can assist emergency medical technicians with calls and summon police backup if needed.
There are so many ways this smaller safety force could lighten the load for the overburdened police without reducing crime-fighting.
Simple way to have less police brutality
Do you want police to exhibit less brutality and be better educated for public situations [“Pro-cops rally in Wantagh,” News, July 6]? A solution is obvious. Reduce the power of municipal unions to protect their members who don’t deserve it.
How poorer school districts can catch up
School administrators will struggle with two issues this summer. First, how can we open our schools safely? Second, how can we teach and model justice and equity? Administrators are even considering whether the lessons learned during the pandemic might help to restructure schools in an innovative way. It might be time to consider a modest proposal.
Currently, great inequity exists district to district in student curriculum. Wealthy districts can offer a wide variety of advanced and special elective courses while less fortunate districts cannot. It also seems clear that schools must consider some continued form of remote learning, either as a hybrid, or possibly to satisfy parents who will be skittish about sending their children to school without a vaccine. Could we consider a plan in which these select courses in wealthy districts, which would be offered remotely anyway, could be extended to include students from less well-financed high schools?
I am confident that any teacher contract issues for increased student load could be worked out, perhaps with stipends from the state. The virtual interaction among students of different backgrounds would be an added benefit.
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired principal of Manhasset High School.
It all begins with a law on face masks
First, we would make a law to wear masks in public.
We could then make a law that people have to wear a mark or a patch on their outer clothing, showing their virus status: tested, not tested, had the virus, etc. Then we could make a law that all citizens apply a tracking number on their forearms, so anyone near them can record it. Then we force people to follow these new laws or punish them right away. I wonder whether these ideas have been tried before.
Governments should enact pension reform
Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as New York State, should now enact pension reform [“Island’s enormous severance pay burden,” News, June 21]. Quite simply, there is no money left in the piggy bank. Raising taxes to cover your deficits without pension reform is accomplishing nothing but throwing taxpayers and the state and local governments into a deeper financial hole. Now is the time for pension reform.