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Newsday letters to the editor for Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018

St. Matthias Episcopal Church on Jerusalem Avenue in

St. Matthias Episcopal Church on Jerusalem Avenue in Wantagh has been vacant since April. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Wantagh should absolutely be granted landmark status [“Revival of interest,” News, Aug. 24].

As a lifelong Wantagh resident, I always considered it a landmark for its architecture and local history. When the “for sale” signs went up, it broke my heart to think the building would be torn down. Although I am not a congregant, I have great affection for this church and pass it every day on my way to work as an assistant in special collections at the Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University, where we have publications and documented information about this church and the land around it.

I hope the Hempstead Town Board votes to designate it as a historical landmark, a title it has earned for more than a century.

Victoria R. Aspinwall, Wantagh

Shocked at search of JFK passenger

I was appalled at the terrible violation of human rights described in “Suit over JFK search” [News, Aug. 20]. People can have all kinds of “hunches,” but it does not give them the right to remove clothing and do a body cavity search.

This loophole in the law should be filled with protection for innocent people from being humiliated, emotionally scarred for life. What is the most that this woman could have carried in a body cavity? She does not have a shopping bag full of drugs or a bomb. This was an explicit act to denigrate her and abuse authority. I propose an overhaul of the legal system so that it is brought up to date.

Laws must protect every aspect of life. If we had up-to-date laws, there wouldn’t have to be plea bargaining. That is just another way to humiliate a person and make her feel less human.

A search of body cavities at an airport is unwarranted. It is not a prison situation where a possible dangerous item can be hidden and prove lethal. Change is needed in our laws.

Julie L. Newman, West Babylon

Deep water port is the way forward

I wholeheartedly agree with “It’s the rail thing” [Editorial, Aug. 5], but I would like more emphasis on a deep water port. A similar editorial “A rail answer to traffic” [Sept. 2, 2012] concluded, “This much is certain: Only rail — and a deep water port — can reduce our unhealthy dependence on trucks.”

It is six years later and we have not made real progress toward rail and shipping solutions to relieve truck traffic on Long Island. A deep water port can be constructed sooner than rail tunnels can be bored under New York harbor. A deep water port will need improved infrastructure for access which will be protested by North Shore hamlets, NIMBYists, and environmentalists. A deep water port in Shoreham should be connected to an intermodal facility at the former Navy property in Calverton which has rail access and runways.

For rail and shipping solutions to be implemented, politicians will have to make very difficult and unpopular decisions. I will wait for another rail-and-port Newsday editorial in another six years because no one is listening.

James T. Rooney, Centerport

Understanding the region’s future needs

“Double track finally on track” [Editorial, Aug. 23] is correct to highlight just how critical the Long Island Rail Road’s double-track project is to the region’s future — especially when one considers the role of the new track alongside other large-scale projects being built within the metro region, including East Side Access, Third Track, and eventually, the electrification of LIRR tracks farther east.

Compared to often-heated public discourse that surrounded the railroad’s third-track effort, the conversation around the double-track project was notably muted, giving Long Islanders the rare opportunity to witness a multimillion-dollar capital improvement being constructed across the center of the Island with nary a protest or lawsuit raised.

Double track should serve as a strong reminder to the elected officials, policymakers, and developers who are working to reshape suburbia in the 21st century that all planning efforts can be successful with the right mix of consensus, fiscal support, and community engagement.

With the right approach, big things can still be accomplished on Long Island.

Richard Murdocco, Syosset

Editors’s Note: The writer writes about Long Island land use at, and is an adjunct professor in Stony Brook University’s graduate public policy program.

Nike’s decision on Kaepernick shameful

It is disgraceful how Nike did it for publicity and split our country in the process [“Colin Kaepernick’s Nike deal prompts flurry of debate,” News, Sept. 3].

I served my country during the Korean War, and I am proud of it. We respected our flag. I went in the Army when I was 17, and my mother had to sign for me. Sure, I care about lives; whether green, blue or purple, all lives matter.

But not to respect your country’s flag and stand at attention is disgraceful. I hope Nike will feel the pain where it hurts. In its wallet.

Mark Cassuto, Huntington