Tougher to get into SUNY, CUNY schools

One thing left out of the article “Free tuition: Primer” [News, April 12] is that the chances of getting accepted by the 29 four-year institutions of the State University of New York and 13 four-year colleges of the City University of New York will decrease dramatically.

As SUNY and CUNY begin to provide free tuition to many students, the governor needs to be honest and tell the public that not everyone will be able to get in. Acceptance rates vary, but the best schools are very difficult to enter.

An already high number of outstanding applicants compete for a finite number of seats, and the capacity in the schools will not increase.

My three children applied to several SUNY schools over the years, and despite having solid B-plus and better averages, were not accepted by several schools.

The current tuition is already a far better deal than many private universities offer.

Kathleen Nitz, Farmingville

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Carbon monoxide would be effective

Whether you are for or against the death penalty, executions by lethal injection have been botched many times. A federal judge briefly delayed an execution in Arkansas on Monday night over concerns that another a few hours earlier there might have been botched [“Judge clears way for two executions,” News, April 25].

I don’t understand why they just don’t use carbon monoxide gas — the odorless, tasteless and effective killer of hundreds if not thousands of unsuspecting people who inhale fumes from defective gas heaters, generators or exhaust from cars. Victims either become unconscious and die or, if sleeping, never wake up. No needles involved.

Execution chambers could be modified to have no exhaust to the exterior. No needles, no pain.

Haig Chekenian, Smithtown

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired lawyer.

Some deserve more than a ‘credential’

In reference to not raising passing scores on the English or math Regents tests, 65 percent is a realistic score for a vast majority of students [“Fear of too much failure driving state standards,” Editorial, April 13]. Any student capable of achieving a higher score could be taking Advanced Placement classes in those subjects.

But what about students who are not on a Regents track? My son could not pass what was then known as sequential math II, a combination of skills. He received an individualized education plan diploma, which was one option for graduating from high school. The state Board of Regents doesn’t issue these any more.

Instead, the school issues a piece of paper called a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential, indicating that a student attended and met certain requirements and assessments. This is disgraceful! A student with an individualized education plan, or any kind of learning disability, is entitled to a diploma, not just a piece of paper.

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My son, now deceased, did not complete college, but his IEP diploma is still a source of pride to me.

Helene Finkelstein, Baldwin

A better experience at MacArthur Airport

Two recent letter writers are correct: a promotional campaign and logo will not, in itself, shift thriving transportation giants to change their business model and add flights and destinations at Long Island MacArthur Aiport just because our community asks them to [“MacArthur fix is simple: more flights,” Letters, April 4].

However, working with our community and the region, we can demonstrate to our airline partners that we are committed to Long Island MacArthur Airport. We can work together to influence our the airlines to add capacity, frequency, closer connection times, and ultimately, new nonstop destinations.

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The air service marketing strategy emphasizes partnerships among airlines, the community and other involved parties. The campaign raises awareness among business travelers, particularly in Suffolk and Nassau counties; aggressively competes with JFK and LaGuardia airports, where customers are trapped in a bad relationship; focuses on the exceptional customer experience at MacArthur, with shorter security lines, convenient parking and a shuttle to the Long Island Rail Road. That experience includes lower flight cancellation rates and lower overall travel costs.

Shelley LaRose-Arken, Ronkonkoma

Editor’s note: The writer is commissioner of Long Island MacArthur Airport.