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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, April 13, 2018

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

The coach bus that hit a Southern State

The coach bus that hit a Southern State Parkway overpass on Sunday night. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Why didn’t anyone on bus speak up?

I feel terrible for the students and chaperones who were on the bus that crashed into an overpass on the Southern State Parkway [“Bus hits overpass,” News, April 9]. I’m thankful that no one was more seriously injured.

However, it seems odd that out of 43 people, all presumably from Long Island, nobody felt an urge to notify the driver that they should not have been on that parkway.

Jeffrey Miller, Merrick

Can someone explain how a “professional” bus driver can pass 16 overpasses with height clearance signs and not think something might be amiss?

Even though he made it through these, didn’t he think, wow, that was awfully close, maybe I should pull over?

Further, there were chaperones on the bus. How come none of them spoke up to say they were on the wrong road or that there might be an issue after going under 16 other overpasses?

Michael C. Lefkowitz, East Meadow

Writer’s view on abortion goes too far

Regarding Cathy Young’s column, “Intellectual intolerance rears its head” [Opinion, April 5], Young tries to defend conservative writer Kevin Williamson from media criticism. She makes a false-equivalence claim that the right and left are the same in extremism.

Yet in her column, the most extreme example she mentioned on the left as equivalent to Williamson’s statement that women who have abortions should be hanged was a T-shirt worn by a woman that said, “I bathe in male tears.” If you take both of those statements literally, it’s no contest which is more extreme and dangerous.

The criticism of The Atlantic is not about hiring conservative voices, it’s against Williamson specifically due to his own words.

James Babbo, Lindenhurst

Don’t send LI’s water out to sea

Developer Jerry Wolkoff is complaining about the cost of connecting his 9,000-unit housing project to the Suffolk County sewage treatment plant [“Heartland sewer discount sought,” News, April 5].

He should not be allowed to connect; projects like this deplete our water supply. All the water used by this project will be pumped to the sewage plant in West Babylon, where it will be treated to drinking water standards and dumped into the ocean. What a waste of water.

A 2017 report by the Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection said that Nassau County is running out of water because 85 percent of the county is sewered, and it’s dumping all of its treated water into the bays and ocean. Suffolk County is following this same disastrous path as it expands sewer districts and discharging treated water to the bays and ocean.

Wolkoff should have been required to build his own plant, treat the wastewater and return it to the aquifer, replenishing our groundwater supply. Instead, Suffolk County is spending millions of dollars to accommodate projects like this and wasting our money and water.

Roy Reynolds, East Moriches

Editor’s note: The writer is a former public health engineer for the Suffolk County health department, overseeing water supply and disposal in new construction.

Choices to make for religious schools

This is in response to “Freedom at stake in yeshiva fight” by columnist William F.B. O’Reilly [Opinion, April 9].

O’Reilly argued that yeshivas and other religious institutions should be free from greater government oversight. Even if the secular education they provide does not meet state educational standards, he argued that parents should still have the option to send their children there.

I agree that these religious schools have the right to neglect or completely ignore secular subjects. However, if they choose to do so, they should not have the right to issue diplomas certifying that their students have met a minimum standard of education, nor should they have the right to receive state or local funds for busing and other expenses.

Children in New York State are entitled to a comprehensive education that prepares them to find work or pursue higher education. Denying them such an education on religious grounds isn’t noble.

Matthew Zeidman, New Hyde Park

State is way behind on education funds

I stand in solidarity with the students of Westbury school district in their fight for the state foundation aid owed to them for more than a decade [“Students: Increase state aid,” News, March 28].

Since 2006, New York State has owed public schools $4.2 billion in foundation aid for education. Out of that $4.2 billion owed, almost $1 billion is owed to Long Island public schools, with most of it allocated for high-need districts like Westbury. I’m disappointed to see an increase of only $618 million in foundation aid this year, when the New York State Board of Regents recommended a $1.25 billion increase.

As a constituent of State Sen. Elaine Phillips, I hope to see her leadership on this issue. At a meeting at her district office, I was reassured by Phillips’ staff that she was a strong advocate for education. I hope to see these words turn into action among State Senate Republicans.

Nicholas Sieban, New Hyde Park

Editor’s note: The writer is an intern with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, an advocacy organization.

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