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Good Afternoon

Letter: North Shore copter route fazes some

It's gratifying to know that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) are pleased with the extension of the so-called North Shore route for helicopters flying to the Hamptons ["Helicopter flight path restrictions extended," News, June 21].

The cited 11,800 flights ferrying passengers from Manhattan to Wainscott, Westhampton and Southampton will continue to fly over the Long Island Sound, make a right turn at Mattituck and fly directly over my house in Cutchogue.

I don't understand why the $400-or-so flights can't either continue out past Orient or, even better, why the South Fork trips can't fly a southern route over the ocean.

I invite Schumer and Bishop to spent a Sunday afternoon sipping good North Fork wine on my deck and help us count the choppers buzzing overhead.

Jack Barthel, Cutchogue

Appreciating red-light cameras

A recent letter writer complained that red-light cameras violate his constitutional rights ["Red-light cameras violate rights," June 18].

Has he ever used a cellphone, shopped with a debit or credit card, navigated with a GPS device, traveled over a bridge with an E-ZPass or used a computer search engine?

This writer should get his head out of the sand. When it comes to violations of privacy, red-light cameras are the least of his worries.

Rich Starkey, Wantagh

In response to the letter on the red-light cameras and violating rights . . . how about cameras in the tunnels and bridges leading into and out of the city? Should we get rid of them also?

How about cameras in the rail stations and subways? Get rid of them, too? How about the hundreds of cameras throughout the airports? Or ATM and bank cameras? Should we not use those images to catch anyone ripping off a bank customer or the bank itself?

The solution is simple: Don't do anything stupid or illegal, and you have little to worry about. Red-light cameras are just the added advantage that technology gives us to stop the drivers whose time is obviously more important than the safety of others.

I say, let's have a camera at every intersection.

George Lasher, Commack

Vatican criticism of scholarly nun

The same church that taught me the value of scholarship now seems to fear it ["Standing with their sister," News, June 24]. Like many other Long Islanders, I was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood. Incredibly, those nuns are under investigation by the Vatican.

The charges against them are vague and remain unproven. The investigation now centers on Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a stellar nun if there ever was one. As her credentials, awards and books testify, she personifies the credo that scholarship must be advanced. As the sisters taught us, God expects that we will take the gifts we have received, use them and improve upon them.

The Newsday story says that Johnson is accused of "in certain cases" changing "the masculine language traditionally used to refer to God." But the church teaches that God is pure spirit, and, therefore, has no gender -- which seems to be Johnson's point.

The sister's second "offense" was to use "standards from outside the faith" in her book, which analyzed evolution, church teaching on creation, and our moral obligation at a time when the Earth created by God is in serious peril. How sister could analyze this subject without using Charles Darwin's scholarship is a mystery.

To attempt to impose such a limitation on scholarship is foolhardy, impossible and ultimately self-destructive.

Jean Van Riper, Oyster Bay

Judge's ruling on teacher tenure

A California judge has ruled that tenure protection for teachers, which has been in place for generations, is suddenly unconstitutional ["Don't weaken teacher evals," Editorial, June 12]. Does he also support mandatory retirement for judges who serve long after they are in a state of advanced intellectual decomposition?

When it comports with their bias, judges like to trot out the Constitution like it was an expert witness in support of their prejudice. Libertarians are particularly tickled by citing the Constitution, correctly pointing out that nowhere in this document does it expressly forbid texting while driving. Neither did the framers of our nation demand that we wear seat-belts in our SUVs.

The Constitution is more flexible than Gumby and has more uses than the wheel.

Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows

Recycling should be enforced

I am happy that Brookhaven Town has seen an increase in recycling of up to 25 percent due to single stream recycling ["New system speeds up recycling," News, June 16].

However, since recycling is required by the town code, why are our officials not enforcing this law on all residents and businesses?

On recycling mornings, it's evident that many people still do not follow the law. When I lived in Queens, they would spot check residents' garbage for recycling violations.

Whether people refuse to recycle due to laziness, ignorance or arrogance, it's actually not that difficult.

Ana Grande, Blue Point