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Letter: Relative suffering over wage freeze

Regarding "Nassau's long fiscal winter" [Editorial, March 2], here is my opinion as the wife of a hardworking union worker whose salary has been frozen for three years and counting.

Newsday's editorial said, "Those suffering most dramatically from the freeze are police officers." But I think who is suffering the most is relative.

It could be a person stuck with a $50,000 annual base pay, but who has four kids and a wife to provide for, versus a single person who is stuck with the $30,000 base pay of a correction officer, or the $34,000 of a police officer.

I am not picking sides. Bless these courageous correction officers and police officers who keep the citizens of Nassau County safe. But I wish Newsday would focus on other union employees struggling to make ends meet under their frozen salaries.

I wish there were accountability for these elected officials. Where have the savings from the frozen wages gone?

Jennifer Randel, Holbrook

Pedestrians too risky in Hempstead

I have lived in Levittown for 62 years ["Hempstead Tpke. signals are too fast," Letters, Feb. 21]. When we were kids, we were taught by our parents and in school to cross at the corner, look both ways and don't jaywalk.

Some fatal accidents on Hempstead Turnpike in the past year were not the fault of the roadway, but of kids crossing in the middle of the road, not looking both ways, texting or being drunk or high.

Yes, there is much more traffic in 62 years, but people have to be smart and obey rules about crossing. The turnpike should not get such a bad rap.

Barbara Johnson, Levittown

Regents' changes disappoint officials

After reviewing feedback from educators, parents and community leaders regarding the Common Core phase-in, the Board of Regents assembled a work group that on Feb. 10 presented 19 "adjustment options" to the Common Core implementation ["Regents opt for test delay," News, Feb. 11].

While these recommendations validate the significant concerns, my organization believes they fall drastically short of making substantive changes. Of the 19 options presented, only five recommend any actual change. The remaining 14 recommend the Regents "advocate" for change, issue additional guidance on the status quo, or develop more materials for what is already in place.

Either the work group failed to understand the concerns, or these recommendations were a political move to disguise a disregard for concerns from the field and to continue to move forward. Most disappointing is this missed opportunity for real change, one which could improve student learning and achievement.

My organization challenges the work group to revisit the criticisms rather than settle for this superficial response. We have advocated since the beginning to end the misuse of student assessments as an evaluation device for professional educators, eliminate unfunded mandates, and roll out an implementation strategy with a reasonable timeline that allows schools to plan, prepare and implement with dignity.

Frank Santoriello, Eastchester

Editor's note: The writer represents the Empire State Supervisors and Administrators Association, an organization of public school administrators.

School cameras not about safety

I do not recall a Newsday article reporting an injury in a school zone because a driver exceeded 20 mph ["Traffic cams near schools," News, Feb. 22].

I can imagine many rear-end collisions from someone abruptly slowing from 40 to 20 approaching a school. When children are present, crossing guards control traffic very well.

The suggestion to place speed cameras near schools seems to be simply a moneymaker, with no benefit to either pedestrians or drivers.

Albert Savoy, Huntington

Guv's attention short at meeting

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently held a telephone town hall meeting at Nassau Community College, presumably to solicit comments on his tax plan ["Cuomo pitches tax plan," News, Feb. 20]. What a charade.

The first 15 minutes were devoted to outlining his plan. Fair enough. But the comment period was a joke. The 20 minutes or so devoted to public comment gave about six people a chance to ask questions, each followed by an expansive response from the governor.

At a true town meeting, Cuomo would have heard all the comments, or at least he would have hung around for more than a nominal time. Participants were told the governor wanted to hear our voices. Well, my voice was not heard, my questions went unasked, and my suggestions were unsolicited.

I applaud attempts to lower my taxes, but this was politics at its worst.

Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington