A picture of Thomas Valva at St. John the Evangelist...

A picture of Thomas Valva at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Center Moriches on Jan. 27, 2020. Credit: James Carbone

CPS’ system should have saved Thomas

The system is built to work. A caseworker for Suffolk County Child Protective Services and his or her supervisor likely failed Thomas Valva [“Nothing new about CPS dropping ball,” Letters, March 14]. Two weak links in a chain that helps make a better world apparently were not communicating.

This is how it’s supposed to be done:

First, a school official contacts the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment regarding the two boys sleeping in an unheated garage during winter. Then the state sends a printed report to the CPS team, which contacts the school official to get the situation details.

Within 24 hours, a CPS caseworker makes an unannounced home visit and interviews the boys. If contact can’t be made, a request to another caseworker who works the midnight-to-8 a.m. shift is made — CPS works 24/7. If the boys are found to be in imminent danger, then the CPS on-call director, Family Court judge, police and foster care become involved. The machinery is in place.

The allegations could have been proven and a life saved.

 — Gary Kubala, Shirley

The writer was a Suffolk County CPS caseworker for 21 years.

Hochul’s housing plan threatens LI

The editorial “Pragmatism, not party extremes” calls for pragmatism, but Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Legislature apparently have declared war on Long Island [Opinion, March 17].

The governor’s housing plan will affect most residents on Long Island. This is an existential threat to Long Island that cannot be ignored.

The reason for the attack is obvious. For the first time in 20 years, the Suffolk County Legislature is predominately Republican, and Hochul’s Long Island challenger came close to unseating her in the last election.

The governor and the Democratic dynasty have created their own problems and are looking to shift them to Long Island.

The plan to rezone Long Island could be done for political purposes. Shockingly, it contains no provision for adequate drinking water, sewage disposal, adequate roads, schools, police and hospitals. We must oppose this plan every way possible.

— Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Madison, MTA’s latest move, a boost to area

I can’t think of another time when Long Islanders have seen such a major investment in our infrastructure as the recent opening of Grand Central Madison [“Fewer LIRR delays, reduced crowding,” News, March 18].

The massive Long Island Rail Road modernization program was an unprecedented action from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that was decades in the making.

As someone who has spent long days and nights traversing the Island, I can attest to how significant such improvements are to our quality of life. In 2016 and 2017, I directed community outreach for the Third Track project. And, as I look at what has been accomplished the past five years, I see this as a truly golden age for the Island.

When the LIRR began operation in 1834, Long Island’s population hovered around 37,000. Today, it’s over 3 million. Third Track’s improvements are designed to future-proof the railroad from poor infrastructure delays, help protect our environment and offer reliability that keeps our workforce strong.

These investments benefit Long Island’s economy. In February, Newsday noted that median home values were up 66% since 2013. Real estate advertisements tout benefits including proximity to the LIRR. Commuters have better access to good jobs, residents have quicker access to New York City, and more visitors can reach our businesses and attractions.

There is still more to do, but Long Island has seen a historic level of investment. Bravo to the MTA.

 — Lisa Black, Smithtown

The writer is Suffolk County chief deputy county executive.

Blood decision for girl is the wrong one

The guest essay about the return of the pure blood movement is important [“Scary return of the pure blood movement,” Opinion, March 6]. That woke me right up.

A young girl in Ohio has a heart defect that requires surgical repair, but her parents refuse because they insist that the blood needed for the procedure must not come from anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a nurse, I realize people have their own beliefs, and I have run into this situation from time to time. I respect the people who refuse blood because of religious beliefs, but this one is just wrong. Maybe they can ask the child whether or not she prefers to live.

 — Susan Hennings Lowe, Huntington

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