Regarding "Financier gets 20 years in fraud" [News, Oct. 30], Stephen Walsh pleaded guilty to bilking $50 million from investors over 13 years, and he's surprised by a maximum sentence of 20 years?

If he had walked into a bank and handed a teller a note demanding money, netting the average bank robbery amount of about $7,500, he could serve 5 years to life.

Why would he be allowed to seek grounds to change his plea? How can anyone look at this and not see two unequal ways of dealing with types of individuals?

Robert Gregory, Northport

Reporting on Ferguson cop lags

While Newsday and many other media outlets saw fit to sensationalize the seemingly tragic shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, by making it front-page news for weeks, isn't it ironic that as autopsy facts and eyewitness testimony come to light, the story can only be found on Page A7 ["Witnesses, data are said to back Ferguson cop," News, Oct. 23]?

I'm hardly surprised. Facts that will likely lead to the exoneration of a police officer are never as appealing as an opportunity to inflame racial tensions or bash the police.

Dominick A. Barone, Seaford

Nassau borrowing is political shell game

Once again, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, the monitor and overseer of Nassau's finances, is warning about the county's "continued reliance on borrowing" to meet costs ["NIFA: Nassau borrowing a concern," News, Oct. 17].

This is a shell game our elected officials have played over the years to conceal the fact that the county is mired in red ink. In essence, they pass the problem to the next county executive, and the bill ultimately to the taxpayer.

What I found most interesting is the amount of revenue the county is hoping to receive from school speed-camera fines: up to $30 million annually. Although I find it difficult to object to anything that helps protect our children, many see these cameras as another way to tax Nassau residents.

This new revenue should be segregated and used, in the same spirit of protecting our children, for school security personnel. School budgets for security personnel have increased in light of recent violence. The budget in my West Hempstead school district alone is $300,000 annually.

Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead

'Harvey' was an antidote to wartime

I read with interest your review of the Hampton Theatre Co.'s presentation of "Harvey" ["Another round with that rabbit," exploreLI, Oct. 29]. This review was clearly written with "bias glasses" on.

The reviewer looked at this play, written in the early 1940s, through the eyes of someone living in 2014.

Newsday refers to "The 1944 Mary Chase comedy dealing with psychosis, alcoholism and the human condition -- little lies we tell each other."

Compare this with the reviews of "Harvey" in 1944, such as that by Joseph Wood Krutch, who wrote in The Nation, "The whole play bubbles with sheer -- as well as astonishingly unhackneyed -- fun." Lewis Nichols praised "its warm and gentle humor," in The New York Times and Newsweek called it "one of the funniest comedies that has been Broadway's luck in a long time."

In today's more cynical world, where we see things in a different perspective, one would never write a modern play in the style of "Harvey," because we don't find it humorous when people imbibe too much alcohol. But in 1944, after our country went through the horrors of World War II, we wanted to laugh and forget the troubles of the day.

In fact, Chase, the daughter of working-class American Irish parents, said that the idea for Harvey came when she saw a neighbor, a middle-aged woman, whose son had been killed in action. "I asked myself," Chase said, "could I ever possibly write anything that might make this woman laugh again?"

Russell K. Weisenbacher, Manorville

Editor's note: The writer plays a character in the current production of "Harvey" at the Hampton Theatre Co.

Official jobless numbers are phony

When will the government stop publishing and touting Long Island's distortedly low unemployment rate ["LI jobless rate better than U.S. average, official says," Business, Oct. 29]?

Anyone who understands the current job environment, not only on Long Island, but also throughout the United States, knows that this rate doesn't include the "underemployed" or those who have given up looking for work.

And by the way, exhausting unemployment benefits doesn't mean that you've stopped looking for a job, it just means that you're no longer subsidized while looking. Having no job and not being eligible for unemployment, or having a job that doesn't pay enough to meet financial responsibilities, is still a problem.

I envision a time when the "unemployment rate" will reach an all-time low, while those underemployed or out of the job market entirely are at an all-time high! Now wouldn't that be a cause for the government to celebrate?

John R. Volpe, East Meadow


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