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Letter: No 'automatic' raises for teachers

I am not complaining, but rather stating some facts ["Voter's remorse on a school budget," Opinion, June 8].

I am finishing my 22nd year as a teacher, and I adore my profession. I work with intelligent, creative, hardworking people, and I love the community where I teach -- students and parents alike.

However, here are some facts: In our last contract, we accepted a two-year freeze. No steps, no credit advancement, no raises. Why? The teachers union knew the community was facing some financial trouble, and we wanted to be a part of the solution. Did my taxes go up where I live? Yes. Did the cost of food, gas and oil go up? Yes. Did my children need new clothing, new sneakers and new sports equipment? Yes.

I know many people feel teachers receive automatic raises each year, but this is not always the case. Educators also feel for the losses in their schools: of sports teams, clubs and electives, to name a few. We know how important these experiences are to our students.

However, I have to disagree with the headline ". . . teacher step raises are a culprit." Most of us feel a strong connection to the district in which we teach, and I resent the statement that teachers are tied to taking opportunities away from the students.

Amy Rogan, Lynbrook

Open up process to choose bishop

In response to the letter from Rev. Gerard Gentleman Jr., "Choice of bishop not up to vote" [June 4], Catholics know that the "prayer and the trust that we offer to God" are important. However, we also know that this does not guarantee the right action by those in leadership within the Catholic Church. Based on past performance, we cannot depend on the hierarchy doing the right thing.

Gentleman states that it is "not within the bishop's prerogative to conduct an open process to select his successor." Why not? Hasn't the Catholic Church learned from its mistakes that it is not healthy to be shrouded in secrecy?

I applaud the 23 priests who sent the letter requesting input into bishop selection. The fact that only one had his name published is not an indictment, as Gentleman implies. I think it's an indictment of the overall process of government in the Catholic Church that its priests feel threatened to voice an opinion that may not be in sync with hierarchy.

Priests are the reason so many stay Catholic.

Jean McQuaid, Cutchogue

Park dumping raises suspicions

I've read several stories regarding the asbestos dumping in Clemente Park in Brentwood ["Testing debris," News, June 6]. Most have contained photos of someone from the district attorney's office examining the area or taking samples. I have yet to see one of these sample takers wearing a mask or respirator of any kind.

Mike Martino, Glen Cove

What surprises me most about the Town of Islip illegal dumping issue is that anybody is surprised. This is a textbook example of how too many businesses interact with elected politicians.

Campaign contributions are made with the unwritten expectation that either a policy will be enacted or an action will be taken that will boost profits. Neither of these things would have occurred without the contribution. Do we really think businesses spend large sums of money on politicians out of civic duty?

A business operates for one purpose: to make profit. For many, the goal is to increase profits by hook or crook. Those businesses that operate on the up-and-up really don't need to use their valuable resources on the political process. To quote an old investment bank phrase, they make money the old fashioned way . . . they earn it!

Craig Pratesi, Westbury

Far-left policies are ruining Long Island

I read with interest the letter extolling the virtues of the Working Families Party ["Third party offers valid alternative," June 3]. I find it ironic that this letter was printed on the same day that Newsday ran articles and other letters about potential utility rate increases, the lack of affordable housing and yet another employer, Sbarro, fleeing Long Island to reduce its costs.

The far-left policies of the Working Families Party and others contribute to these problems. Haven't we yet realized that these utopian cradle-to-grave policies have bankrupted most European nations and threaten to do likewise to our state and country?

Is it any wonder that droves of people and businesses are moving to more conservative states like Florida, Texas and Arizona?

Michael Tartaglia, Franklin Square

Will the last company to abandon Long Island please remember to turn out the lights? ["Sbarro HQ to leave LI," News, June 3]

Rudy Rosenberg II, Carle Place