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East End enclosure, NUMC, Bethpage drums

Vaseline 1 month ago

The critical need for housing in the East End creates significant challenges in recruiting and retaining healthcare workers (“The East End Still Needs More Housing,” Opinion, April 4).

The average home price in the North Fork is well over $1 million and on the South Fork almost $2 million, according to The Corcoran Group. That’s far out of reach for the workers needed at Eastern Long Island Hospital and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Many healthcare workers have been priced out of the area and face long commute times and traffic congestion. A shortage of health workers leads to poorer health outcomes for vulnerable populations and further widens the health care gap.

Stony Brook Medicine developed incentives that recruited 28 new providers in the East End and served 14,000 new patients. We support Governor Kathy Hochul’s initiative to build workforce housing on state-owned property, including on Stony Brook’s academic campus in Southampton, the future site of a new Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to replace the current century-old building.

We engage elected officials who recognize the urgency of addressing the housing needs of healthcare workers and public servants. It is imperative that we take action now to tackle the housing crisis in the East End.

–Dr. William A. Wertheim, Huntington

The writer is interim executive vice president for Stony Brook Medicine.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed plan to build up to 15,000 new affordable housing units on existing state land is not in the best interests of all residents (“New Affordable Housing Plans,” News, March 21).

Politicians are not allowed to sell real estate for the benefit of a small group.

Any development on government land must be a project from which all residents can reap the benefits. Instead of building affordable housing on college campuses, how about building additional learning centers for existing students, a community center, senior center or a park with swings and ball fields for everyone to enjoy?

The governor has her sights set on building housing on state-owned properties in Stony Brook. Instead, she should use that land to expand the current hospital and outpatient buildings, which serve all state residents and are usually full.

I feel sorry for those who can no longer afford to live on Long Island, but selling off prime government properties should not be part of the equation. What’s next, Robert Moses waterfront properties or Jones Beach State Park?

—John Roche, South Setauket

The “housing shortage” on Long Island is the result of well-organized residents and numerous permits and regulations that prevent builders and developers from building here (“Builders: Looking else,” News, April 12). The article assumes that Long Island residents should want more housing.

Some of us don’t want more housing. Why would we want more of something that would lower our property values, potentially affecting our financial stability, while increasing the population density of an already overpopulated Nassau County and potentially affecting our quality of life?

Why would those of us who were born in the city and moved to Nassau County for a more small-town feel, with fewer people, more open space, and larger properties for people to enjoy, want this to be reversed?

Unlike many of my contemporary baby boomers, I want to live my life here on Long Island in the relative peace and quiet that the past 28 years have brought me. We pay enough to enjoy what we have now. We don’t have to screw it up.

– Stephen J. Schneider, Lynbrook

Hire NUMC leaders who are experienced

Nassau University Medical Center’s current management has an inadequate “plan” to transform the hospital (“NUMC Plans to Address Shortage: Restrict OT, Doctor Bonuses,” News, April 16). It consists of inadequate measures that should have been implemented years ago following Republican neglect and malfeasance.

Instead of addressing NUMC problems, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman creates an unnecessary and dangerous militia and uses taxpayer money to send out a campaign-style mailer to deflect blame for its terrible mismanagement to point out.

He needs to stop grandstanding, making the lives of Nassau County residents worse, and get serious about solving the county’s problems.

NUMC will not improve by pointing fingers, but by appointing competent management and getting rid of incompetent political hackers who lack the experience to develop a real plan to save our public hospital.

We cannot waste our money on a militia that is only accountable to the provincial government, or on mailings designed to cover up the facts about years of mismanagement.

And remember, if NUMC fails, it will leave a $131 million hole in Nassau’s budget. When will Blakeman try to solve a real provincial problem?

—Paula Frome, Glen Cove

State and local governments want to close hospitals again (“As first responders, we need NUMC,” Opinion, March 27). We have just come out of a pandemic where people died due to a lack of beds, and nursing homes were ill-prepared for the crisis and were forced to admit infectious patients, often resulting in death.

We need to keep empty beds ready, use some for people with mental health issues and need treatment, and leave others ready for natural disasters.

—Samuel Mark, West Hempstead

Ex-employees can help find drums

I am a Grumman retiree of 30 years living in Farmingdale on the edge of the current plume (“More drums pulled from Bethpage park,” News, April 18).

So I wonder where are the former employees who actually dug the holes, poured the concrete, encapsulated and buried the drums?

There must be people still alive who are willing to go a step further and shed more light on this.

– Richard Vitelli, Farmingdale

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