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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, January 14th, 2019

A pothole in Northport on Jan. 4, 2018.

A pothole in Northport on Jan. 4, 2018. Credit: Newsday / John Keating

The obituary for Samuel Snipes [“Samuel Snipes, represented first blacks in Levittown, Pa.,” News, Jan. 10] describing his defense of the rights of a black family moving into Levittown, Pennsylvania, in 1957 provides a fitting tribute to an American who exemplifies our nation’s highest ideals.

It is remarkable to look back at that era, when a group of us newly enlisted Marines heading for boot camp at Parris Island during the Korean War had a three-hour connection wait at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station. We went to a nearby White Castle restaurant only to be told that black enlistees in our group could not be served. The restaurant was aptly named. We all walked out, dismayed that Washington was a segregated city and that men from whom the nation would ask much could be treated so disgracefully in our capital.

We’ve come a long way since then, but we still have far to go. Snipes’ life, courage, and service can stand as examples for us all.

Lester Paldy, South Setauket

Pothole season on Long Island roads

I applaud “Pothole season is only beginning” [Editorial, Jan. 8], particularly in calling for a regional fix for the pothole epidemic. There is a crying need to make repairs that really last and end “penny-wise and pound foolish” measures that only result in more repairs and more expense.

Less use of recycled asphalt, which is not as strong as fresh asphalt, would help. Innovative paving techniques using Fiberglass mats might be effective. Using porous asphalt that allows water to flow through the road would alleviate the freeze and thaw cycle that ruins roads in winter. It is the 21st century; it is time for Long Island jurisdictions to stop using 19th-century paving methods.

Seymour Spiegel, Jericho

There’s a stretch of road in Merrick that has just been worked on, starting on Merrick Road at Merrick Avenue. It goes east for several blocks. It’s like riding on an unpaved country road. Why am I (we) riding on roads like this all over the county, a very high-taxed county. Why can’t this be done properly? Wouldn’t it save money in the long and short run if it were done right the first time? It would be just as easy to do it right!

John Schreiber,Merrick A few years ago, there was a huge pothole on Red Brook Road in Great Neck. I perceived that it was rather dangerous so I drove around the block, maybe 300 yards, and went into the Great Neck public works facility. I told three employees there about the pothole. They thanked me and told me they would call the Nassau County public works department.

Obviously I was flabbergasted, the hole being just around the corner and they weren’t busy. They nicely explained they couldn’t touch it because that part of the road was run by the county, and that a repair truck would come from East Meadow. Four days later, the hole was repaired.

I still find this incident to be beyond my comprehension.

Ron Baron, Cold Spring Harbor

Responding to proposed border wall

I read a page of letters about the building of the wall on the Southern border [“Readers weigh in on the wall,” Letters, Jan. 10]. I am surprised that not one letter was relevant to the issue. The real issue is about democracy. In our democracy, the side that has the most votes should win. Does President Donald Trump have the votes to support his position? Of course not. If he had the votes, the wall would be built.

When Judge Brett Kavanaugh was being considered for the Supreme Court, he was opposed by Democrats. They made a compelling argument against him, but Democrats lost because they did not have the votes.

Democracy should respect voting. If Trump had the votes, he wouldn’t need a temper tantrum and a government shutdown.

Ralph Daino, Wantagh

The letters from readers about the wall were provocative. Kudos to Newsday for stating how many responses were received and the percentage of those in favor of the issue.

Edward Dermon, Roslyn Heights

According to Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), some of the safest communities in the United States exist on the Texas-Mexico border. I was unaware the garden of Eden for the United States was on our southern border. Who would have thunk it?

Tom Tierney, Greenlawn

Is it smart to hire an IG for Oyster Bay?

Let me get this straight. The cash-strapped Town of Oyster Bay needs to spend $135,000 a year for someone to oversee what the supervisor and town council members were elected to do [“Oyster Bay appoints new inspector general,” News, Jan. 8]. Is it that they don’t trust themselves to do the job they are paid for and protect the taxpayers from corruption?


Peter Zabielski, Farmingdale