My two siblings and I recently buried our father at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors. I left with a feeling of peace and closure.
During the car trip back home, my "patriotic high" morphed into an introspective look into my country, and our politics. My country has radically changed during my 62 years, with the biggest change being the shrinking of the middle class. The state of our politics is directly responsible.
It has become the rule rather than the exception to watch representatives use the apathy and ignorance of the majority, as well as the power and wealth of the few as a conduit to higher office. This seems to be the new norm for political advancement. Unfortunately this strategy seems to win elections.
Please make no mistake, I am a registered conservative who still wants to win -- but not like this.
Carl Singer, Hicksville
Villages have long worked together
Newsday's editorial "Villages heed the rebate nudge" [Dec. 15] states that some Nassau County villages are beginning to explore ways to save money in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's property tax plan. In fact, villages haven't just started to economize and seek efficiencies. Many have been doing just that for years.
For the past several decades, the county's 64 incorporated villages have forged intermunicipal agreements with neighboring villages, towns, and Nassau County to share services, personnel and equipment.
For example, 20 years ago, the North Shore villages of Kings Point, Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Saddle Rock, Thomaston, and sections of the Town of North Hempstead created a public water authority to purchase water works from a private operator. The South Shore villages of Lynbrook and Rockville Centre have been sharing garbage and public works equipment and services for the same length of time. And many of the villages remove snow from county roads at no cost to the county.
The Nassau Village Officials Association met last week with representatives from the Nassau County executive's office to discuss developing a platform for all of Nassau's villages and the county to partner in accelerating efficiency and cooperation, partly in response to Cuomo's tax rebate plan. Mostly, this is a continuation of a long-standing reality.
Peter Cavallaro, Westbury
Editor's note: The writer is the mayor of the Village of Westbury and president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association.
Economy doesn't seem improved
With 1 in 5 millennials living in poverty ["Millennials fare less well," News, Oct. 4], and workers' take-home pay declining since 1999, how can Barack Obama insist that the economy has improved and continues to prosper? What am I missing?
Ed Quinlan, New Hyde Park
Animal shelter operators missed
In response to your article "Shelter league evicted" [News, Dec. 11], I've supported and volunteered at the Animal Lovers League of Glen Cove for several years. It's the finest shelter I have been in, in a very long time.
Why is there is no information from the City of Glen Cove regarding the new group that will run the shelter? Where is the transparency? Once again, government at its finest.
Dottie Zammetti, Bayshore
Suffolk union risks coming apart
As a lifelong union member and supporter of workers' rights, I am aghast at the head of Suffolk's largest public union lambasting his own organization because it ordered his suspension ["Suffolk union president suspended", News, Dec. 5, and "President criticizes his union," News, Dec. 8].
Unions were created to protect the health and safety of our country's workers. We should have come so far by now; and yet we see a union president, elected by his public sector 6,500-member union, who appears only to be interested in arguing with his executive board. How is the board supposed to represent the union members who elected them?
I'm a retiree and have been a member of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees since 1984. I fear for my union brothers and sisters. They elected a team from their peers and expected full representation, not the antics of union officers who appear to lack the very basic skills required of effective leaders. It's time to consider a whole new slate.
Kathy Malloy, Islip Terrace