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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, June 9, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Pam Simmons holds an interlock device in a

Pam Simmons holds an interlock device in a vehicle in the parking lot at the Alcohol Safety Action Program building in Harrisonburg, Va. Credit: AP / Justin Falls

Make Nassau’s tax system more fair

The Nassau County assessment system truly is a riddle [“The key issue for Nassau vote,” Editorial, June 5].

What I can’t understand is, if a homeowner pays to improve the property, why is there a penalty in the form of a higher assessment that leads to a property tax increase? Meanwhile, people who allow their properties to fall into disrepair are rewarded by having their assessments stay flat.

When a homeowner files an assessment appeal, and the appeal brings a tax reduction, it’s not fair that neighbors who did not file an appeal or had their appeal denied get a tax increase to make up for the appeals that were honored.

There should be a fair and simple formula so that everyone pays his or her fair share, not based on the whim of an assessment review committee. I don’t think Nassau government has a solution.

Gary Peckett, Baldwin

Editor’s note: The writer is a former employee of Nassau County’s Office of Management & Budget.

Maher illustrates our trouble with racism

Reflecting on TV host Bill Maher’s incredibly insensitive and unfortunately racist remark on June 2 during “Real Time With Bill Maher,” I think it’s disgraceful that a mere apology and nothing more comes of it [“Maher sorry for using racial slur on show,” News, June 4].

Here is a man who by his own description is a left, perhaps far-left liberal, who lets such a deplorable and derogatory reference slip out. This is yet another reminder that we have a long way to go to eradicate racism in this country.

Annette Daiell, Roslyn

An honorable way to dispose of a Bible

A letter asked “What’s the proper way to dispose of Bibles?” [Just Sayin’, June 3]. Many Jews bury holy books with loved ones. I believe it’s quite an honor to have holy books buried with you, in the grave.

Adrienne Derison, Flushing

Alcohol interlocks should be standard

The letter saying car ignition interlocks are a bad idea, as they would be an impediment in an emergency, boggles the mind [“Interlock devices for all is a bad idea,” May 8].

Instead, the writer suggests having establishments that serve alcohol take car keys from customers and return them after they pass breath tests.

What about people who tailgate and drink before a concert, for example, at Jones Beach? I’m sure a list of examples like this could go on and on.

When car seatbelts became mandatory equipment in 1968, the same sort of whining was heard. How many lives have been saved as a result?

An interlock mandate would significantly reduce the number of drunken drivers, making our roads much safer.

Rudy Rosenberg II, Carle Place

Look harder at federal research spending

Luis R. Martinez’s op-ed regarding the Trump administration’s proposed budget is well-intentioned, but falls into a predictable trap of intentions over results [“A cut in research would wound U.S.,” June 2]. This article presumes that simply to spend is inherently good.

He chose to cite the proposed National Institutes of Health budget reductions, and how our ability to fight disease, our stature in the world and our economy would be in jeopardy. Although that is impressive foreboding, I would be more convinced if there were an examination of how the money is spent.

It’s presumed that the $32 billion of medical research underwritten annually by the NIH facilitates innovation and understanding and can lead to even more important discoveries.

For a February 2016 report, researchers from the University of Washington, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at 102,740 grants funded by the NIH from 1980 to 2008. They found that the top-ranked 20 percent of grants differed little from others as to which would go on to be the most cited research.

Even acknowledging that the size of individual grants isn’t equal, you have grants seemingly indistinguishable from one another in their usefulness.

Chris Dillon, Centerport

Editor’s note: The writer works in the medical products manufacturing industry.


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