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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, March 15, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, left, with President Trump,

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, left, with President Trump, has proposed providing boxes of food instead of some food stamp funds. They're seen on April 25, 2017. Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Laws and morality evolve with the times

I’m writing in response to “Teach the facts about Christopher Columbus” [Letters, Feb. 25].

Of course, we all agree that slavery is an atrocity. In the history of the world, certain countries attacked and conquered other countries, either killing its people or making them slaves. In biblical times, the Egyptians held the Jews as slaves.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison all owned slaves. For this do we discredit their achievements? At that time, it was not against the law to have slaves. Two hundred years from now, no doubt people will feel that many laws we have today are wrong or unreasonable.

Before criticizing explorers like Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci, one should look at the whole picture to see how a few brave men set sail on small vessels with no modern devices on board for guidance.

George DeSpirito, Williston Park

Bravo for Chicago flights from Islip

With interest, I read “A MacArthur experiment” [Opinion, March 10], about Frontier Airlines starting flights to Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Charlotte on April 8 from Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Since we fly to Chicago several times a year from LaGuardia Airport, I can attest that the flights are usually full or close to capacity. Southwest Airlines decided to use LaGuardia for nonstop flights to Chicago. Flying from Islip, we would have to change planes in Baltimore.

This is a welcome addition at MacArthur, and I’m sure Frontier Airlines will do well.

Wayne Mortak,West Babylon

Food box unhealthy and unworkable

President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with reloadable electronic benefit transfer cards to save money in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [“Budget swells deficits,” News, Feb. 13]. Instead, food stamp recipients would receive an “America’s Harvest Box” of nonperishables.

Paying people to box and transport food saves money? What about people on sugar-free, dairy-free, salt-free, low-fat or gluten-free diets, or those with religious restrictions?

As a vegetarian, how would I get fresh fruits and vegetables, which most of my diet consists of? Nutritionists and other health professionals warn against eating processed foods, which most nonperishables are.

They recommend a minimum of meat and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The elderly are especially at risk for poor nutrition and should get the best food, which they themselves choose, not what the White House wants to shove down their throats.

Frances Arnetta, Selden

Disappointed by group-home reaction

Our world changed in 1999 when the diagnosis of autism was delivered regarding our 2-year-old son. It’s scary to enter a world you never anticipated. Friends are planning retirement, and we must secure our son’s future as we try to prepare for our own.

The March 9 news story “Neighbors object to group home” quoted a neighbor saying of the newcomers, “They would be strangers to us.”

Do the people of Schuyler Drive in Commack conduct orientation before non-disabled neighbors move in? Does everyone know each other? Records show there are 69 homes on Schuyler Drive. It’s impressive if everyone calls each other friend.

Neighbors say the street is too narrow to accommodate additional van or car traffic. Do they allow buses on this street? Do trucks ever deliver furniture? How do they navigate such an inadequate roadway?

I’d imagine Schuyler Drive has had a few young people receive driver’s licenses over the past decades. Don’t they add to traffic?

Maybe the group home residents will find a new location where good neighbors will welcome them.

Mary Lu Heinz, Nesconset