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OpinionLetters

$1.5 million is not ‘frivolous’ to Suffolk County taxpayers

Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

James Burke, left, former chief of the Suffolk

James Burke, left, former chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, is taken into custody by FBI agents outside his home in Smithtown on Dec. 9, 2015. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Maybe Suffolk County’s attorney considers a proposal to claw back a $1.5 million settlement from former county Police Chief James Burke “frivolous,” but taxpayers don’t [“Suffolk tables clawback bid against Burke,” News, Dec. 14].

If anything, a clawback would set an example: You’re not going to cost the taxpayers $1.5 million and ride off into the sunset, leaving us with the expense.

We taxpayers want it spent wisely and prudently, and want it back.

Anthony Tanzi, Mastic Beach

Senators will fear Trump harm to GOP

It is becoming clearer that the fate of Donald Trump as president will hang on Republicans in the Senate [“Trump lays all the blame on ex-lawyer,” News, Dec. 14].

In 1974, three Republican senators went to President Richard Nixon and made it clear to him that they could no longer support him.

The same will have to be done with Trump. If not, the entire Republican Party will be further damaged. It will be more out of self-preservation than anything else that the Republican senators and members of the House of Representatives will be forced to act.

Democratic leaders just have to wait. The close ties that Trump forged when he gave strong support to Republicans in Congress will be broken.

Republicans will not want to go down with the ship. That is politics.

Joseph Marcal, Commack

First, fix academic racial inequities

The Dec. 9 news story “Unequal school discipline” reported that black students on Long Island are about five times more likely than whites to be suspended from their public schools, according to a report by an education advocacy group.

This was not a surprise. In fact, it is just another alarming metric pointing out the educational inequities associated with this student population.

Statewide, black students academically fall well behind white students beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.

According to the 2018 New York State School School Report Card, 52 percent of white students in grades three to eight were judged “proficient” in English Language Arts and math compared with 34 percent of black students. In 2017, 89 percent of white students graduated high school compared with 69 percent of black students. And arguably and perhaps more important, the percentage of black students graduating with Regents diplomas “with advanced designation” was 11 percent, compared with 46 percent for white students. Students receiving this type of a diploma are deemed better prepared for college.

So before districts look at the inequities of student suspensions, they might want to first consider these academic inequities. Perhaps when these inequities are resolved by raising expectations and increasing participation in challenging Advanced Placement and college-related courses, problems regarding inappropriate behaviors and their related suspensions might go away.

Philip Cicero, North Massapequa

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired superintendent of Lynbrook schools.

Documentary showed the true Brentwood

Thank you for the newsday.com documentary “‘We’re not going anywhere’: Inside the lives of 4 Brentwood families,” which focused on all that is good in Brentwood. It is truly a community with heart, where people care for one another. Bad things happen in every hamlet in every town, county and state. These do not define a place. The people who live there and call it home do.

Thank you also for Newsday’s coverage of Brentwood High School’s Green Machine marching band. This is what Brentwood and the Town of Islip is really all about.

As Islip supervisor, and having represented the Brentwood community in various capacities for more than 25 years, I could not be more proud to serve its hardworking, caring and passionate residents.

Angie Carpenter, Islip

Jesus, Mary, Joseph were refugees

In response to a letter that said Joseph and his family were not in Bethlehem illegally, it should be stated that while fleeing King Herod, they eventually were refugees seeking safety in Egypt. Today, we see Central Americans fleeing violence at home by seeking asylum at the U.S. border [“Two editorial cartoons went too far,” Dec. 12]. The Mike Luckovich cartoon the reader objected to was probably referring to that part of the family’s travels before it went to Nazareth.

Bernice Slutzman,Seaford

Some physicists also have faith in God

I read with great interest “Differences between faith and science” in the Dec. 13 letters. I am a physicist. I love physics, and I love doing physics, but I love God more.

The physicists I know go to church in about the same proportion as my neighbors. In other words, physicists don’t have exceptional insight into the nature of God.

William Morse,East Patchogue

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