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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Plumbers Juan Cruz, left, and Don Conway install

Plumbers Juan Cruz, left, and Don Conway install pipe for a radiator at a home in Hicksville on Nov. 28, 2017. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Don’t put money above principles

“Bannon lands on LI” [The Point, Dec. 13] was sobering. It’s reassuring to hear that on Long Island, Rep. Peter King has doubled down, calling Bannon a phony and saying that the GOP needs to distance itself from him. Unfortunately, Rep. Lee Zeldin disagrees.

The need for funds seems to override a conscience, so Zeldin features Bannon as a headliner for a fundraiser. Bannon has aligned himself with the “alt-right” and delights in being provocative.

The story says Zeldin is loyal because of Bannon’s support of Jewish issues. The Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstration by the “alt-right” was anti-Semitic and pivotal.

Ironically, Zeldin was appointed as congressional member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. The appointment makes sense because Zeldin is Jewish. Nevertheless, there must be a boundary to separate the need for funds from the overriding fear of the toxic language and provocations of Bannon and his allies.

Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: This letter responds to an item in The Point, the daily email newsletter from Newsday Opinion. The newsletter can be read at

Middle class still recovering from ’08

Tax reform should have been prioritized around the middle and working classes [“GOP reaches deal to merge tax plans,” News, Dec. 15].

These groups still have not fully recovered from the economic collapse of 2008, and true reform would have been a welcome and much-needed relief. Instead, tax reform will benefit big business and the wealthy.

Already awash in hoarded money, companies have rewarded executives and shareholders this past decade at the expense of their front-line workers. Stagnant wages and a lean, cut-to-the-bone, no-margin-for-error workforce have trickled everything up, not down. A good number of the jobs created pay substandard wages without benefits.

The possible loss of the full property tax deduction, as well as the state and local tax write-off, will hammer Long Islanders and others in high-tax states. Where is the fairness?

Tony Giametta, Oceanside

Youngsters need to know about trades

The story “Pipeline leak” [Business, Dec. 4] highlighted important challenges Long Island faces as baby boomers retire and too few young people enter the plumbing industry.

It’s clear there are many good-paying jobs on Long Island, and professionals, educators and guidance counselors need to do a better job communicating this to young people and parents. We often hear of young people fleeing Long Island because of the lack of good-paying jobs, high taxes and the high cost of living. However, in the plumbing, heating and cooling profession, there are many good opportunities.

Earlier this year, my organization, the Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors of Long Island, participated in an anniversary celebration of the Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts at Eisenhower Park. We set up tables so the scouts and family members could solder copper fittings, cut and thread steel pipe, cut and glue PVC pipe, and work with wrenches or other hand tools.

The response from the thousands of young scouts and their friends was overwhelming. It was clear there was interest in hands-on work. Will parents remember this interaction and speak with their children about it in the future?

Joe Cornetta, Oyster Bay

President has paid no price for harassment

I find it amazing that men of all fields are leaving their areas of expertise, either by resigning or by being removed by their higher-ups, because of accusations of fondling, groping, rape, etc. [“Sexual harassment claims move too fast?,” Letters, Dec. 12].

I applaud these expulsions. These are terrible actions against women and should never be tolerated.

And yet, the gentleman who was elected president, a man who stated that as a celebrity he could grope, grab and kiss any woman he wanted to, has gone scot-free and tweeted about the men in the news being accused!

Gary Schaefer, Manorville

Try a three-state solution in Mideast

President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was wrong [“Trump makes it official,” News, Dec. 7]. He should have offered to move the embassy to West Jerusalem after Israel implemented a peace plan with the Palestinians.

The best idea I’ve heard to create peace is a three-state solution: the state of Israel, the West Bank as Palestine, and the Gaza Strip as South Palestine.

It is my understanding that most Palestinians are poor. What can we give the Palestinians besides land to get them to agree to a peace plan? I think the best way is to offer them billions of dollars in international donations.

William Kenny, Garden City