TODAY'S PAPER
62° Good Morning
62° Good Morning
OpinionLetters

Letter: Speed cameras make safe drivers

I am all in favor of speed cameras near schools ["Problems with speed cams persist," Letters, Sept. 17]. Many people seem to have forgotten what they should have learned in driver's ed courses.

People also seem to have forgotten what a stop sign means. I take a couple of walks a day and pass the A.P. Willits Elementary School area, where there is a stop sign. I frequently see cars ignore it, either by rolling past it without completely stopping, or in some cases driving right past without stopping at all.

As a citizen concerned for the safety of people and particularly children, I often wish I had the authority to stop the offenders and ticket them.

Joe Longo, Syosset

Transit managers deserve raises

State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) should do his research before making statements like a manager has "an inherent responsibility to be a leader and an important aspect of that is to lead by example" ["Zeldin: Cancel MTA manager raises," News, Sept. 8].

During emergencies, transit managers work 10- to 12-hour days, nonstop. They support a system that transports millions of people 24/7, with little notice or fanfare. When snow and numerous man-made emergencies keep most commuters stranded, transit managers are already at locations tending to the problems and getting ready for the next day's service.

A manager's inherent responsibility took no backseat after the Sept. 11 attacks, when transit managers worked countless days on end at the World Trade Center site, transporting emergency service personnel, the wounded, and food and supplies.

Hourly and supervisory employees received raises during the last six years, while transit managers haven't. Are they not subject to the same price and inflation increases?

Michael Calabro, Bellmore

Editor's note: The writer is a retired Long Island Rail Road transit manager.

Help kids who can be saved

Anne Michaud almost has it right in her column "A failure to communicate our values" [Opinion, Sept. 11], about the misguided young man killed fighting for the Islamic State group.

But the failure is not the fault of the American community, as she would have us blindly believe; it is a failure of parenting and loving support that traditionally begins at one's birth and ends at the death of the parent.

When involved and loving parents are absent, children are left to their own devices. Some use this freedom wisely, others poorly. And that is their right as Americans.

If people really wish to help this generation of disenfranchised children, I suggest we stop fretting about those who can't be saved and spend far more time with those who can be.

D. Alan Barth, Huntington

U.S. Senate fails to curb money

Let's thank the U.S. Senate for voting against an amendment to overturn Citizens United, reaffirming the concept of "one dollar, one vote" instead of the antiquated "one man, one vote." Can you imagine the mess this country would be in if big money couldn't buy its politicians?

The student loan problem might get solved. Climate change would be recognized as a legitimate concern. Income inequality and the demise of the middle class would be addressed. Instead, we get the status quo.

The current state of affairs in this country is the result of the free-market approach we take to solve every problem that confronts us. We will not get anywhere until we stop selling our country, our elected officials and our government to the highest bidder.

James Orlandi, Central Islip

Workers' rights are eroding

In response to the letter writer who asked, "What happened to a day's work for a day's pay?" [Differing views on 'whiny' workers," Sept. 12], the majority of the workforce has seen an increase in the number of hours worked in a day and a decrease in pay and benefits.

The use of sick time and even vacation is viewed negatively by managers. Companies cut jobs and pass the work on to the people who remain. The savings from "necessary" job cuts go deep into the pockets of management, while workers receive little to no compensation for the additional tasks and hours.

The achievements of the labor movement of the 19th and 20th centuries are in a state of regress. Today's management is anti-labor and seeks to rewrite laws designed to uphold the rights of workingmen and women. Companies hire consultants and law firms to look for legal loopholes in workforce protection laws.

Workingmen and women must stand up for their rights in the workplace and, if doing so makes me "whiny," then I'm proud to be a crybaby.

Luann Dunne, West Islip

Editor's note: The writer is the union president of the West Islip Secretarial Employees.

Columns