People relaxing at Robert Moses State Park Beach on July 7.

People relaxing at Robert Moses State Park Beach on July 7. Credit: John Roca

Enforce public ban on smoking in parks

Over the past few decades, laws have significantly improved air quality and public environments by regulating smoking in public places. A positive secondary effect of these efforts has been the reduction in smoking rates, effectively diminishing a major cause of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

However, I’ve recently noticed a troubling trend in our parks that demands attention [“Enjoyment of fresh air is going to pot,” Letters, June 23]. During multiple visits to Robert Moses State Park, I’ve observed individuals disregarding the prohibition of smoking on the beach. On one occasion, sunbathers used a hookah.

Minimizing exposure to secondhand smoke not only safeguards our health but also enhances our overall enjoyment in public spaces. To achieve this, raising awareness about existing rules is essential, but enforcement is critical. After all, a law without enforcement is just a suggestion.

Our local authorities should improve their efforts to educate the public about smoking regulations in parks and on beaches. Additionally, stricter enforcement of these laws is required to create a healthier and more pleasant environment for all park visitors. By respecting and enforcing smoking regulations, we can ensure that our parks remain safe, clean and enjoyable for everyone.

— Dr. Michael Melgar, Old Brookville

Ruling not so good for Jews, Muslims

Ismail Royer and Howard Slugh write that it is beneficial for Jews and Muslims if businesses don’t have to serve people with whom they disagree [“A court ruling good for Jews, Muslims,” Opinion, July 24]. The basis is, for example, a religious person who doesn’t want to make a Gay Pride cake, as it would seem they’re endorsing homosexuality, which violates their religion.

Now, suppose an Orthodox Jew walks into a store to buy art supplies for a synagogue function. They are asked if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They reply no. The store then refuses to sell them art supplies, as it would seem the store is supporting people who deny the divinity of their god.

Or an Orthodox Jew goes into a business to apply for a job. The person is refused the job on the basis that customers would think the business endorses and supports people who do not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

When my parents got out of college in the 1940s, classified ads could say, “No Hebrews need apply.” I fear we are about to revisit that era.

— Carl Maltzman, North Woodmere

The op-ed could not be more off base. The Supreme Court’s broadening of its invitation for retail establishments to refuse to do business with would-be customers whose religious beliefs the retailer disagrees with is not good news for religious minorities. It’s not good news for anyone who believes in the values on which our country was founded.

— Howard J. Herman, Great Neck

Don’t stress aquifer with casino visitors

The stress on our aquifer seems more and more intense as we overdevelop our beautiful island but make little or no provision to clean up or replace aging septic systems “Quality of water has hit low point,” News, July 21].

When our water quality is already compromised, the Say No to the Casino Civic Association asks why would Nassau County rush through a plan to build a huge casino and resort space to be run 24/7 for more than 20,000 additional daily visitors in the middle of a worsening climate crisis?

I hope such valuable research will cause us all to rethink how Long Island chooses the right paths to responsible growth.

Our sole source of water, our aquifer, obviously must be protected. As the article indicates, this source needs to be improved, not just held steady.

— Steve Rolston, Baldwin

The writer is a member the Say No to the Casino Civic Association.

I guess the ospreys, which are fish-eating sea hawks, didn’t get the memo about how bad the bay water quality is.

As a longtime resident of Bayport, I’ve seen the spectacular comeback of ospreys in our area. There must be plenty of big fish to eat if these apex birds are hatching babies by twos and threes and the youngsters are coming back and building more nests every year.

So how could there be such a robust food supply of fish if the bay water quality has “hit a low point”?

— Stephen Jones, Bayport

Give Singh sentence that he deserves

Harendra Singh should not be given a light sentence “Request for light sentence,” News, July 22].

We taxpayers have lost a lot because of him. He bribed several government officials and received lots of significant things in return.

He bribed them with free meals, vacations, luxury chairs, hardwood floors and an expensive wristwatch among other things.

But Singh got many more times back than what he spent. Former County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda Mangano, are paying for their crimes.

Singh should also pay for his, and not a day shorter. As a taxpayer, I would also like every penny back from his ill-gotten wealth.

— Siraj Begum, Albertson

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