Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks Feb. 9 in Mineola. 

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks Feb. 9 in Mineola.  Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Remember peanut butter mandate?

I find it odd that some parents are so vocal about children wearing masks in schools ["School mask mandate decision pending," News, Feb. 9]. It not only protects them but protects others within the school, including other children or adults who might be immunocompromised and unable to get the vaccine.

Not that long ago, many schools went to a no-peanut-butter mandate. Why? Because a few children within the school had a peanut allergy, and being exposed to peanut butter could potentially kill them.

I don’t recall parent outrage over the right to choose whether or not their children brought peanut butter to school since their children had no peanut allergy. It was done to protect others — just as masks are worn to protect others.

Why does one parent get to choose whether another child gets to live or not? Where is the sense of social responsibility . . . of community . . . of humanity?

— Barbara Obstgarten, Port Jefferson Station

It’s all about keeping the moms happy

Just five weeks as Nassau County executive, Bruce Blakeman seems to be signaling that he is aspiring to higher office, but he will probably settle for now as being a darling of conservatives, locally and nationally ["GOP, parents embracing Blakeman," News, Feb. 7].

Newsday devoted its cover and the next two pages to Blakeman’s grandstanding in his avowed attempt to avoid the "peril if you’re getting a mom mad at you."

He doesn’t quote the science on the importance of wearing masks. Let’s hope he turned the page, literally, and read about a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headlined, "Study: Masks Important."

Perhaps he will invite Dr. Nancy Kwon, vice chair of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, to discuss with him the recent statistics that on one day, hundreds of new cases of COVID-19 were reported along with seven deaths, and that is in Nassau County alone.

Blakeman would be well advised to consider the peril of the wrath of an informed electorate after he fails to address the major issues he campaigned on and instead is focused on elevating partisanship above the health and well-being of his constituents.

— Dorothy Jacobs, Island Park

County Executive Bruce Blakeman has little power to make the rules about mask wearing. What Blakeman does have is power to fix the property tax assessment system. I am tired of retaining and paying an attorney to keep my taxes fair.

I understand that he has just taken office, but I look forward to when Blakeman is not just issuing his advice on masks but puts in the hard work of actually governing Nassau County.

— Glenn Aldridge, Garden City

Private schools would give parents control

In many Long Island schools and those throughout the nation, a battle is going on over mask requirements. The real solution to these concerns is "parental choice in education."

Providing vouchers for private schools funded far below cost per public school student would give parents full control over such issues as mask requirements.

Yes, private schools must be approved by the state in meeting educational requirements in math, English, history, science, art and music. Besides parents getting requirements they want and their kids getting better educational quality, the taxpayers also win big by saving money.

Imagine if all of us could see our school taxes go down.

— Frank J. Russo Jr., Port Washington

The writer is on the executive committee of Long Islanders for Educational Reform.

Dem gerrymandering no different than GOP

The Democrats’ gerrymandering in New York State is wrong ["Dems do dirty district dance," Editorial, Feb. 1]. But I have no sympathy for the Republicans whining about it. In many states where the Republicans have control, they are doing the same thing. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

— Roger Kaufmann, East Northport

Don’t mix politics and geography. Although Queens and Brooklyn are part of New York City’s five boroughs, geographically they are part of Long Island ["Home prices’ long climb," News, Feb. 4].

This doesn’t help children learn geography and civics.

Maybe the same mindset is used by the politicians who drew the recent congressional districts.

Rather than having politicians draw the lines, insist on voters with no political affiliation drawing them.

— Steve Birkeland, Bayport


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