Medics take a stabbed student to a medic helicopter behind Lindenhurst...

Medics take a stabbed student to a medic helicopter behind Lindenhurst Middle School on March 27. Credit: James Carbone

Make ‘peace rooms’ to help students

In America, we face an epidemic in our education system today to a greater degree than a decade ago [“School attacks hit home hard,” Editorial, March 29].

Other countries have a negative view emerging of the circumstances surrounding the American education system. We open our borders to families from around the world to make new lives for themselves here, especially those seeking quality education for their children.

We send our own children to school, hoping they will return home without a report of behavior problems or having been bullied.

Most classroom teachers have control of situations that may arise among students, but some do not.

As a parent, you can prepare children for the worst, like bullying, yet they may be unable to resolve conflicts on their own, and you would then need to meet with a teacher and/or principal.

So, we need to look at zero-tolerance discipline policies. One alternative some of our schools need are “peace rooms,” or “wellness rooms,” where teachers can send students having behavior problems to settle down.

 — Ilona J. Torraca, Holbrook

Convert empty sites into housing units

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget includes her plan to cram high-density housing projects down the throats of every community that has a Long Island Rail Road station [“Hochul plan’s environmental impact,” Opinion, March 28]. Apparently, Hochul thinks these residents will need the railroad to commute but disregards the plan’s negative impacts.

Drive down Jericho Turnpike in the Town of Huntington, and you will see many vacant commercial buildings and stores going out of business, and I imagine this is repeated elsewhere on Long Island. Rather than destroying the character of our small downtowns, Hochul and local leaders should incentivize the conversion of these empty buildings into residential units. The buildings already exist, and utilities, including electric, water and septic systems, are in place. Perhaps most important, ample parking is present, and bus services along these major routes already exist, leading to other shopping and recreation sites. This would benefit both young people and seniors.

Because of online buying and delivery, these empty stores aren’t likely to be bought, and working from home means less commuting. So no need to force development around train stations. This alternative is more economically and environmentally sound than Hochul’s idea.

— Bruce Tilden, Greenlawn

  

I favor affordable housing and am an advocate for our environment, so I am concerned with unintended consequences in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s broad and ambitious affordable housing plan.

Yet I was shocked at the numbers calculated in the op-ed. Overbuilding will cause intractable drinking water problems. The City of Long Beach must drill down to the Lloyd aquifer, which is thousands of years old, because of saltwater intrusion. This is unsustainable and if the Long Island population triples, it will become unlivable. As a member of the Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection Conservation Subcommittee, I know we already have serious drinking water issues.

The governor does not understand that islands have limited resources. We experience too much congestion because our island is narrow and long. It’s a challenge to travel here. There’s only so much building that can be accommodated.

Instead of affordable — and market-rate — housing, I see luxury housing being erected. It took 43 years to allow construction on Matinecock Court, a limited equity cooperative in East Northport. In that same time, many luxury housing complexes have gone up. We need housing for the average household.

 — Billii Roberti, Huntington Station

Long Island will be at a crossroads if Gov. Kathy Hochul’s housing proposal becomes reality [“Pragmatism, not party extremes,” Editorial, March 17].

Long Island belongs to the people who live here and pay for everything, not politicians, developers or housing groups.

What Hochul wants is tens of thousands of new houses, overruling local zoning codes and bulldozing what little open space and woods we have left.

Imagine our roads already choked with traffic once all this is built.

 — Alan Linder, Huntington

Indict teachers who got fake vax cards

It’s outrageous that State Supreme Court Justice Gina Abadi ruled that 30 public school teachers who received fraudulent COVID-19 injection cards to keep their jobs were not charged [“Papers: Indictment on money charges,” News, March 25].

It’s also outrageous that these teachers were returned to their classrooms and awarded back pay. These teachers also should be indicted along with the nurse practitioner who provided the cards, Julie DeVuono, who was indicted.

 — Elaine Bodtmann, Southampton

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