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Just Sayin’: Suffolk cleverly taxes drivers

Traffic on the westbound Long Island Expressway is

Traffic on the westbound Long Island Expressway is backed up after an accident that briefly closed down the LIE in both directions in Old Westbury at around 6:45 a.m. Thursday morning, Aug. 7, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

I just renewed the state registration on my car and had to pay $20 on top of the required state fee. The extra money goes to Suffolk County, even though the county has no involvement in vehicle registrations.

Later this year, when I renew the registration for my personal-use pickup truck, I will have to pay an additional $40, which again will go to Suffolk County.

I have to tip my hat to County Executive Steve Bellone and his cohorts in the Suffolk County Legislature. Not only did they find a new and innovative way to pick the taxpayers’ pockets, but they also managed to disguise it by weaving it into the bureaucracy of the department of motor vehicles so it’s less obvious as a Suffolk County fee.

Thomas Duignan, West Islip

Encourage Americans to study technology

America’s greatest comparative advantage is in technology and engineering. Foreign students come to America not to sign up for classes in culture, liberal arts or literature. They want to learn the very subjects in which we have our main advantage.

The economics of higher education require that high-tech classes enroll a minimum number to have enough tuition to maintain a high-level teaching staff and lab equipment.

For example, the New Jersey Institute of Technology receives large amounts of money from Verizon to explore the uses of optic cables. A large portion of the classes are foreign students who benefit from this grant by an American company.

Some politicians say the way to handle this is to provide a path to citizenship for the foreign students, so that they don’t take our new technology home. The real answer is to provide more incentives to American students to take these tech courses. We are giving away our main advantage for the mere price of tuition.

Alan Newman, North Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the business faculty of a Long Island college.

Fire 911 operators who don’t respond

I read the letter from a man who saw two bags with airline tags sitting by themselves and couldn’t get a response after two calls to 911 [“Saw something, said something, but . . .,” Just Sayin’, March 26].

It seems to me that this should get more media attention. How can we New Yorkers feel safe when our 911 emergency system fails like this? The 911 operators who received these calls should be fired immediately. This could have turned out to be another Belgium incident.

Nicholas Franzi, Holbrook