This letter is in response to one printed in the March 4 edition of the Levittown Tribune by William F. Reilly, Ph .D., and entitled Parishioner Discovers Progress House.
First, Mr. Reilly identifies himself as a parishioner of St. Bernard's Parish. Is he also a resident of Levittown or does he just visit the church for a few hours every Sunday when Progress House is closed? I don't know, but I live in Levittown and use the businesses located adjacent to Progress House on a daily basis. I see patients loitering in the vicinity of the banks, Tri-County Flea Market and other establishments along Hempstead Turnpike. On numerous occasions, I have observed patients of Progress House shoplifting and aggressively panhandling.
Mr. Reilly states that a "Nimby attitude" displayed by "ignorant and malicious" persons who "mindlessly repeat false charges" against Progress House have "united as one" to block a move to the old PC Richards facility. Mr. Reilly, this is anything but a Nimbyism. The majority of persons who attend Progress House do not live in Levittown, yet we, in this community, are being asked to shoulder even more of the burden. Why aren't there facilities similar to Progress House located in other communities? Maybe that is the Nimbyism that Mr. Reilly speaks of.
I personally am relieved that the politicians that Mr. Reilly condemns have responded to the families who make this community their home and not kowtowed to a business, which Progress House is first and foremost. They are a privately owned medical practice whose fees are paid by government and private medical insurance. I believe that Progress House probably serves some of its patients well, but it does not belong in a building that is within steps of a library, a community pool and a playground. Progress House does not need to expand here in Levittown.
And finally, the condescending tone of Mr. Reilly's letter is punctuated by his signature which includes his title Ph. D.
Joseph G. Siclari