Letters to the Editor: Dec. 22, 2011

12/22/2011 6:00 AM |

JAMESPORT

What about the group homes?

With the apparent concern that our Town Board is having over a proposal for assisted living facilities and possible overload of our ambulance corps, I have to wonder why they aren’t as concerned with all the group homes that are in the Town of Riverhead as well? Our town has approximately 50 percent of all group homes situated in the five East End towns, and who do not contribute one cent in property taxes, which includes ambulance services as well as police protection.
Yet if the IGHL group home on Timothy Lane in Jamesport is an example of the many times both ambulance and police are called to the home, then I have to wonder if the board’s concern is misplaced, and they should be contacting our representatives in Albany for a change in the law so all share the tax burden equally, including group homes, and thus provide extra money for any expanded ambulance services.

Thomas W. Smith

LONG BEACH, N.Y.

Hypocrisy at Riverhead High

The decision of Riverhead High School to suspend two students, Tyler Carroll and Connor Carroll, for kneeling in prayer in a school corridor in apparent imitation of NFL football player Tim Tebow was ill-conceived. The actions of high school principal David Wicks, supported by superintendent Nancy Carney, appear to me as chilling youthful expression and, despite disclaimers, is based on a carefully considered sociopolitical value system.
The high school allows and even promotes free expressions of great diversity. The “Tebowing” resulted in serious sanction. Perchance it was of a conventional, Christian religious nature.
Not being from Riverhead, I toured the school district’s website, where Ms. Carney boasts of her promotion of “creative classroom collaborative” and a “spirit of learning and global awareness.” She encourages students to “never give up on their dreams and hopes for the future.”
She also bemoans “troubling constraints” that budget cuts “place on our schools.” Yet there was no problem asking for a $78.3 million bond of the taxpayers last fall.
In light of the “Tebow-supensions,” I sense hypocrisy and ham-handed expressions of materialistic priority.
The suspended students, the Carroll Brothers, were not permitted “creative classroom collaborative, spirit of learning and global awareness.” They were embarrassed and stifled. The decision to suspend, in my opinion, makes Riverhead High School a primer on how to break the spirit of youths in a most hypocritical manner contrary to good pedagogy. I believe the public will not long suffer the prerogatives of public school administrators who march contrary to the public’s desires on their taxpayer-financed, red-carpeted and gold-paved campuses.
Repeal the suspension and apologize to the Carroll brothers.

Francis McQuade

ORIENT

Not a good idea

The editorial advocating more taxes on “the rich” dismays me.
Don’t get me wrong, my income certainly doesn’t qualify for a tax surcharge, but the proposal itself is wrong-headed.
Remember there used to be a luxury tax on expensive items back in the nineties? If you bought an expensive car or a new boat over some fairly low dollar threshold, you paid a bunch more money to the feds.
Remember what happened? Boat building in the U.S. all but disappeared. That tax wiped out almost an entire U.S, industry. That put a lot of people out of work — and a number of them used to build boats here.
When someone gets rich, they pay taxes just like you and me. Then they start living off investments and their tax drops to capital gains levels. It’s not as though they haven’t already paid taxes. You bet they paid, and big time in the highest bracket.
Soaking the rich is just counterproductive. Have you ever worked for a poor man, or a person of modest means? They don’t create jobs. Successful people create jobs.
That success should be celebrated, not hated and made to be divisive.

Don Rose

PORT JEFFERSON

We can’t afford this

New York has the second-largest population of illegals in the nation next to California. Illegals I know have told me that when they come into the country they are bused to North Carolina for their fake Social Security cards, and they are then taken to New York because we have the best welfare and Medicaid.
Half of illegal immigrants work off the books. Most of the others are low-wage workers who pay taxes so they aren’t caught, but, at the end of the year, all their taxes are returned with stipends.
According to Pew Research, New York is second only to California in terms of remittances from illegals to their home country at $3.6 billion. Our money is going out of the country. I know one illegal who is building a luxurious home in Honduras with money he makes here.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, only half of illegals are paid on the books and almost half of illegal immigrant households receive welfare, food assistance and health benefits for their children.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that NYS taxpayers pay out $5 billion per year for the cost of illegals’ education, medical care and incarceration.
Illegals can be found working in almost every industry in New York, taking jobs from citizens and legal residents.
Tim Bishop voted for the border fence and likes to present himself as tough on the issue of illegal immigration. In reality, once illegals get here, Bishop has their back and is truly encouraging their illegal entrance. He supports every imaginable bill from the DREAM Act to taxpayer-funded home ownership for illegal immigrants.
We can no longer afford this and I don’t think it is safe to promote open borders. Without borders, we are not a country.
If you like illegal immigration, you like Tim Bishop. I don’t.

Maureen Dowling