Do not disregard home inspections
As a professional engineer involved in flood zone construction, I find it extremely troubling that potential homebuyers are being encouraged to "eliminate costly contingencies like a home inspection" ["Proceed, with caution," LI Home, Feb. 4].
Although the article refers to purchasing a house from parents, there may be structural, electrical, heating or plumbing issues that pose safety concerns of which the family might be unaware. Poor electrical connections and aluminum wiring are fire hazards. Structural issues may include foundation and framing concerns, which are costly to repair. Malfunctioning venting for heating systems can pose carbon monoxide issues. Plumbing leaks can lead to mold development.
Furthermore, houses in flood zones need to be carefully evaluated for effects from events such as Superstorm Sandy. Proposed additions to houses in flood zones may mandate a house elevation project as determined by the local municipality. Potential homebuyers should never be advised to waive a home inspection but instead be encouraged to have the condition of the house evaluated by an inspector.
— John Weiburg, Seaford
The writer is president of American Society of Home Inspectors on Long Island.
Students should master proper skills
COVID-19 has disrupted our schools for two years, and our children are experiencing severe gaps in learning ["Mask mandate could remain until March," News, Feb. 1]. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
We need to first identify the skills that have been depleted with a diagnostic test and then place children accordingly, regardless of age or present grade level.
Those students who lack the basic skills commensurate with their grade level may need to stay in that grade until the skills are mastered. Once skills appropriate to a student’s age are mastered, the student can resume the traditional graded system.
Pushing our children through a school system without the skills needed to be successful is not the answer.
— Phil Tamberino, South Huntington
The writer is a retired teacher.
Schools cost more, so taxes are higher
I find the letters about school taxes upsetting ["No kids in school? Adjust the tax bite," Letters, Jan. 31].
Do these people have any idea about school costs, especially now with additional items for COVID-19 like personal protection equipment, fiberglass dividers, etc. so children can safely return to school? Yes, some costs such as administrators’ salaries are too high.
Good schools, though, usually lead to good communities as well as higher house values, and that takes money.
— Barbara Diamond, Port Jefferson Station
We all win with grants to LI food banks
How wonderful it is to read some good news for a change. The fact that both of Long Island’s large food banks receive grant money from the Nourish New York program is just fabulous ["Room to grow," Our Towns, Jan. 26]. Not only does that have direct impact on our neighbors with food insecurities, but as it is explained in the article, the relationship forged by LI Cares with local farmers and the local fishing industry has been very beneficial.
This is a "win-win" situation. So many Long Islanders are better off because of it.
— Christine Wallace, Port Jefferson
Civil disobedience may get LIRR on track
A rider asked a conductor to tell a passenger to mask up, to no avail ["LIRR rider bemoans lack of masks onboard," Letters, Jan. 18].
Next time, try a little civil disobedience and refuse to show your ticket. See how fast a Metropolitan Transportation Authority cop shows up. If you’re going to have a rule for public safety, have a means to enforce it.
Otherwise, suffer the consequences of lost ridership and bad public perception.
— Peter G. Cardasis, Merrick
Check procedures of 911 dispatchers
It is sad to see the continued assaults on our police officers ["Mourning a ‘symbol of promise,’ " News, Feb. 3]. An early article on the shooting of Officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera said that the 911 dispatcher who took the call had said the shooter was "dangerous" but did not ask if he had a weapon.
Perhaps the city’s new mayor needs to have 911 dispatcher procedures investigated to better protect our valuable police force from walking into booby traps.
— Michael Filaseta, Hauppauge