On our minds: Measles vaccine, convenience stores and a controversial statue


Newsday's editorial board spends all week striving to be a reasoned and pragmatic voice for Long Island and its values through our editorials and columns. We debate local, national and international issues and write on those we think will impact our readers.

Some topics come up that don't turn into longer pieces, but are part of the national conversation and worth bringing up. Here's how we're telling you about them.

This week, we discussed the importance of the measles vaccine, opposition to convenience stores and a controversial statue in Old Westbury.

Get vaccinated. It matters.

288 -- That's how many cases of measles
(Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle)

288 -- That's how many cases of measles have been confirmed in the United States this year. That jump is not a good sign. The record low was 37 in 2004. There were fewer than 200 cases in 2013. Of this year's cases, 85 percent have been people not vaccinated because of religious or personal objections. They are endangering others, and this is how: New York City had 26 victims in February and March. At least seven were too young to be vaccinated, and they were endangered by those who refused.

Baseless arguments against convenience store

An advantage of having almost infinite 7-Eleven locations
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(Credit: Barry Sloan)

An advantage of having almost infinite 7-Eleven locations on Long Island ought to be that building a new one won't increase traffic: People go to the nearest one, so building more decreases travel.

But at a meeting in Merrick last week, residents berated developers proposing a 7-Eleven at Merrick Road and Babylon Turnpike. Residents argued it would be a target of armed robberies, lead to car accidents and endanger students at a nearby elementary school. In fact, the location is perfect for a 7-Eleven. It's zoned appropriately for the business. Nassau County Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), running for State Senate and looking to build his fan base among residents, went to support the fight against the store, but there's no justification to stop it. In fact, there's not even a reasonable justification to try.

Art lover has rights

The Old Westbury Planning Board is scheduled to
(Credit: News 12)

The Old Westbury Planning Board is scheduled to meet Monday to consider the fate of a 33-foot-tall statue on the property of real estate mogul Aby Rosen.

"The Virgin Mother" depicts a nude pregnant woman with partially exposed skull, tissue and fetus. Neighbors don't like it. In response, the village will consider limiting statues to 25 feet high. But no such restriction existed before Rosen installed the sculpture. This issue, however, seems to be about neighbors disturbed more by the statue's subject matter than its height. This is not a giant plastic pink flamingo.

Rosen has covered the statue in netting while the dispute goes on and has agreed to turn it so the "vivid parts" are less visible.

If the village wants a new law for future lawn ornaments, so be it. But Rosen was within his rights.



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