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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, July 7, 2017

A damaged section of the USS Fitzgerald is

A damaged section of the USS Fitzgerald is seen at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo on June 18, 2017. Credit: AP / Eugene Hoshiko

LI’s bigger problem is on the roads

While the Long Island Rail Road is an easy target for criticism, more people are affected by the appalling dysfunctions in our roads and highways, at least in Nassau County, where I live [“Into the transit maelstrom,” Editorial, June 25].

We face the paradox of speeding and reckless driving, and excessive traffic and wasteful delays. Driving is always an ordeal.

There are simply too many cars because of overdevelopment and the absence of effective local mass transit. The traffic issues are exacerbated by, among other things, traffic lights that are inefficiently timed, the absence of human traffic control, as is used in the city, accidents that close roads for excessive periods, and a proliferation of “no right on red” signs. These unnecessarily impede traffic.

We desperately need an overhaul of local traffic engineering and a bold 10-year plan to create a network of light rail (electric trolleys) on major thoroughfares, including Old Country Road, Northern Boulevard, Jericho Turnpike and Hempstead Turnpike.

Richard Brummel,East Hills

Trump gives pause to a Republican

I have lived under many U.S. presidents, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I have never witnessed such malignant presidential behavior as we are experiencing under President Donald Trump [“Tweet ring circus,” News, July 3].

I’m a registered Republican, but this so-called administration has made me think long and hard about changing my affiliation. Trump does not demonstrate that he respects those with differing points of view. He disparages and humiliates everyone he perceives as not being in his corner.

He has not acted presidentially and has brought out the worst in U.S. citizens from state to state. He reaps what he sows.

Gabriele Kathryn Libbey, Harbor Isle

Why didn’t Fitzgerald see other ship?

I was saddened and shocked to hear that seven U.S. sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship early in the morning on June 17 off the coast of Japan [“Navy sailors found dead,” News, June 18].

I was a chief radar operator and an electric-cipher-machine specialist from 1950 to 1954. Our equipment was not as accurate as the equipment they have now, but if the Fitzgerald had a good crew on watch, especially on high alert, this never should have happened.

That is a very hot region, with North Korea throwing out missiles. When on high alert, the ship should have had double crews on 12-hour shifts. There should be further investigation into this mishap.

Mark Cassuto, Manhattan

U.S.-Cuba relations going the wrong way

I was sorry to hear that President Donald Trump has reversed some of the Obama administration policies toward Cuba [“Trump wants fugitives back from Cuba,” Letters, July 2]. One of his stated reasons is that commercial dealings with Cuba were enriching the military regime that represses Cubans. He is 100 percent wrong, and by doing this he will freeze progress in relations with Cuba.

I recently returned from Cuba and found the people to be hospitable to Americans. I found it very encouraging to see the advancements made in the last two years.

The Trump administration will now limit opportunities for U.S. businesses to open up new markets that would grow our economy and bring a better way of life for the Cuban people.

The way to stop communism is to show the Cuban people that there is a higher standard of living.

Martin Blumberg, Melville