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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

The Bay Park Plant.

The Bay Park Plant. Photo Credit: File / Doug Kuntz

Migration routes to the Americas

One of the topics that always generated lots of class discussion was how humans arrived in North America and Long Island [“The First Long Islanders,” Long Island Our Story, Dec. 10].

As indicated, a very credible theory is the Bering Strait land bridge route. Over the years, several alternate theories have been proposed. One is a Pacific Ocean maritime route in the same geographic area.

Another theory is a Pacific Ocean crossing east by people from Oceania arriving in North and South America. A third theory cites people from Northern Europe sailing west and entering North America along the Atlantic coast.

Some say that Mediterranean and North African people sailing west to the Caribbean, then into North and South America, is how our continents became populated. I recall quite clearly toward the end of this lesson about possible migration routes, one of my students pensively raised his hand and enthusiastically shouted, “It could be all five!”

Chet Lukaszewski, Huntington

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired high school teacher who developed and taught a course on the American Indian.

Bay Park plant needs its own pipe

Discharging wastewater high in nitrogen loads is killing the bays around Long Island [“Saving the shores,” News, Nov. 29].

The Cedar Creek Sewage Treatment Plant has an ocean outflow pipe for this reason, but Bay Park plant does not; the wastewater goes into the bay. The latest idea is to install two new sections of pipe and reline an old potable water pipe, running from Bay Park to the Cedar Creek plant, so there is no ocean discharge from Bay Park. This is a poor engineering idea.

If something should go wrong at the Cedar Creek plant, you would now have two plants backed up for unsafe discharge. Do the right thing and add the ocean outflow pipeline at Bay Park so it functions independently. Some of the work could be performed by our Civil Service workers, which could defray some of the cost.

Corrado Vasquez, Old Bethpage

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired sewage plant laboratory director for Nassau County.

Army-Navy players stood for anthem

It was nice to watch a football game where everyone on the field stood for our national anthem [“Army snows Navy as late FG misses,” Sports, Dec. 10].

The players were of different races, and they even prayed before the game. This was not a game played by million-dollar players where cheap shots and taunting are on display weekly. This was the Army-Navy game where players are committed to family, flag and country. It was a class act from start to finish.

As a veteran from a family of veterans, I applaud the brave men and women of our military.

Craig Boyer, Bayport

Middle East hasn’t moved toward peace

President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and his intent to move the U.S. Embassy there was long overdue [“Support for Trump move to Jerusalem,” Letters, Dec. 14].

The past 25 years have not resulted in moving the needle toward any resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian leadership has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars given to them by the United States and the United Nations to improve infrastructure, including schools, agriculture, roads, etc. The leaders instead have chosen to purchase and receive weapons from Iran and Hezbollah.

Moving the embassy will send a strong signal that hopefully will lead the Palestinians and Israel to finally negotiate a lasting accord. They both claim to want lasting peace.

Claude Kasman, Nesconset

Allow property tax payments in 2017

The Town of Hempstead property taxing authority engages in a practice that potentially costs taxpayers thousands of dollars in a particular year.

Tax bills, when paid semi-annually, are due Jan. 1 and Oct. 1. The town’s practice is that the bill due Jan. 1, is always sent the next calendar year, precluding the possibility of gaining the tax deduction for the prior year for those taxpayers who itemize their deductions.

This year, this practice is particularly egregious, since under the revised tax code being discussed by Congress, many taxpayers will itemize their deductions in 2017 but not 2018 [“Punishment,” Editorial, Dec. 10].

The town does not deny that it imposes a Jan. 1 payment deadline for tax bills sent after that date, but the town blames Nassau County for sometimes being late with its tax rolls. Assuming this is true, then the county shares the blame.

The town also claims that under New York state law, tax payments must be paid after Jan. 1, presumably to deliberately prevent taxpayers from getting this tax deduction. If this is true, New York State’s callous behavior in this context is reprehensible.

Kenneth R. Shapiro, Hempstead

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