GI's conviction should be overturned
The accounts that we read daily in Newsday of people's behavior are at times so depressing. The antithesis of this is the story of Sgt. Justin Boyle "Tragedy of 2 GIs: 1 dead, 1 convicted," News, March 7]. He is a heroic, inspirational person whose life in the military was so extraordinary, particularly in his commitment to his fellow soldiers and specifically to protecting and mentoring those subordinate to him.
Instead of being commended for trying to save a subordinate from severe punishment, he is punished because of an accidental and tragic death. If justice does not prevail, my prediction is that Sgt. Boyle will continue his role of looking out for and mentoring his buddies, even in prison. He will make those who sentenced him look even more ignorant, if that is possible.
Scrapping Regents is a good move
I find all the hullabaloo about state Regents testing to be ridiculous . We have lived in different states. Our youngest daughter completed high school in Seattle.
Just in case no one realizes this, the Regents doesn't count in any other state but New York. It also doesn't make New York the best in the country in high schools. So before we all start hanging our heads and wringing our hands in despair, how about we scrap it and save the school system and the taxpayers millions of dollars?
Boost police to curb Brentwood violence
As a lifelong, active resident of Brentwood, I believe what must be done to make a change is to have considerable police presence in the community "Feds' help sought in violence," News, March 5]. Take away the police presence where it is not needed and put it where it is needed.
Of course the more affluent communities who are not experiencing a crime wave will complain. Let them. We pay taxes here and it's a good idea to put the resources where the problem exists.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani significantly reduced crime in the Times Square area by putting a police presence there. Now the area is safe, and tourists abound because of the safety factor. County Executive Steve Levy must make our community a high priority, by increasing police presence and bettering the response times. When he does so, he and the police department will have earned the respect of the Brentwood community.
Editor's note: The writer is a former member of the Brentwood School Board and a former candidate for Islip Town Board.
Talley's comments were right on target
Brentwood School Board President George Talley's comment that members of the Hispanic community must be the ones to address the problem of MS-13 gang activity in Brentwood is exactly correct . Those in power in the community have tried to demonize him, but he is telling the absolute truth - maybe not in the most eloquent way, but it is a comment that must be said.
To have a significant turnaround, members of the Hispanic community would have to come forward and be willing to make phone calls and give anonymous tips to the police. You can have endless meetings, but unless the community is willing to stand up and take accountability, nothing will change. Members of the community know the troublemakers; they know who is most likely to be involved in crimes. But as Talley indicated, no one in the police department would be able to infiltrate as deep as those living in that community.
What are the community leaders doing to encourage the residents to stop protecting these criminals and turn them in?
Tax liens make attorney a bad choice
In consideration of his appointment to the position of Nassau County attorney "Nassau attorney pick OK'd," News, March 9], John Ciampoli was asked many questions and I was appalled by his answers. The facts that linger in my mind: A tax lien of $233,100 was filed by the IRS, and paid in 2002. Another tax lien was filed in 2009. This one was for $118,000.
When asked about these liens, Ciampoli responded that he was ignorant of the delinquency. I don't know tax law, but I know I must pay my federal taxes every year. Any citizen might receive successive tax liens, but that citizen should not be the county attorney.
The appointment was approved by the Republican majority. The Mangano administration believes the victor gets the spoils. However, I wonder if there is no Republican attorney in Nassau County who might have been a better choice.
Americans need a civics lesson
It amazes me how we, the people of this country, don't seem to understand how things work in Washington. Everyone keeps looking to President Barack Obama to fix our economy, our health care system, our financial markets.
The president doesn't make the laws; he doesn't write them; he can't introduce them in Congress; he can't even vote on them. He can veto them, but even that can be overridden by our senators and congressmen. It is they who are responsible for the crafting and passing of the laws that govern our daily lives, and yet if you were to stop 1,000 people on the street and ask them for the names of their representatives in Congress, the vast majority of them wouldn't know.
You can bet big business and their lobbyists know. It's their money that drives the campaigns of our representatives, so that when the president asks Congress to draft legislation, these representatives can add provisions into the laws to protect those business interests. This is how things like a government-sponsored public option get dropped from the health reform bill.
Drinking game curb won't fix the problem
The real problem does not lie with the sale of drinking games, but rather with the sale of alcohol to minors . While it wouldn't hurt to ban the sale of drinking games to minors, who would control the sale of the games to those who are of age and would distribute the games to minors?
The problem is that there are many who would gladly provide alcohol to those underage. Where are the consequences for them? Not many noteworthy ones, unless you're referring to the social host laws, which do not impose stiff enough penalties.
Teens do not need to spend money on drinking games sold in retail stores; they can find their own Ping-Pong balls and cups and instead spend their money on alcohol. Stop the focus on where to obtain the drinking games and place it on defining stricter sanctions for the sale of alcohol to teens.