Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award speaks...

Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award speaks onstage during the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards. Credit: NBCUniversal via Getty Images / Handout

Sen. Feinstein shone a light on the truth

Kudos to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who upheld her oath to do the right thing for our country by presenting the truth in the face of many lies [“Democrats warn of meddling by Russia,” News, Jan. 11].

She released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s closed-door interview with Fusion GPS, the firm behind the disputed dossier of allegations about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia during the presidential campaign.

Feinstein saw what had to be done and did it, even though she was criticized by Republican senators on the committee and others for shining a bright light on the truth.

If the others could only remember why they were sent to Congress. No one elected to Congress should put his or her party before the country.

Dorothy Piscitelli, Riverhead

Winfrey needs experience first

As a liberal Democrat, I do not want Oprah Winfrey to be the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate [“Oprah for president?,” News, Jan. 9].

It’s not because she is an African-American woman. She is a bright, articulate, passionate spokeswoman for democracy, but she doesn’t have the government experience needed for the office.

She has run a successful corporation and is extremely popular as an entertainer, but these are not the vital competencies required for the most important political office in the world. A successful president must have the knowledge and organizing skills necessary to understand the complexity of the political system.

The 2020 position for which Winfrey is ideally suited is as the vice-presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket. Her charisma would appeal to most Americans. If elected, she would gain the valuable experience needed in the future to become the first woman of color to be president.

Bob Hoffman, Jericho

Add explanation to von Braun sculpture

I agree with the compromise New York City is making to place explanatory plaques next to monuments of controversial historical figures [“Panel: Monuments need signs,” News, Jan. 12].

The federal government should do the same with a sculpture that honors Wernher von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Von Braun was a SS major who helped Nazi Germany develop rocket technology.

After World War II, von Braun led U.S. efforts in the space race. However, even with his help to America, the Soviet Union still beat the United States into space.

Chet Gerstenbluth, Plainview

Stores should offer discarded boxes

Retail stores dealing with the new bag charge in Suffolk County might take a cue from big-box wholesalers like BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco [“Little bag-lash over law,” News, Jan. 9].

These establishments place discarded cardboard boxes of various sizes near checkout areas for patrons who aren’t using their own carryout bags. This would make for good public relations for the non-big-box stores and score points for recycling.

Rosanna DeVergiles, Islandia

The bag fee is a huge step for Long Island. We love our beaches and marine life, and plastic bags are a threat.

Research by the activist organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation shows that at least 557 marine species might be affected through entanglement or ingestion of plastic.

Bags are the plastic item most commonly ingested by sea turtles. Bags can block their intestines, injuring or killing them, or cause them to slow or even stop reproduction. Half of all sea turtles worldwide have ingested plastic!

Hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic each year, causing them to starve, and it’s estimated that 60 percent of seabirds have ingested plastic. Larger marine mammals like whales commonly ingest or get entangled in plastic.

These bags were never free. The cost of the single-use bags is factored into the cost of every item at stores.

As someone who has almost exclusively used canvas bags the past few years, I have been subsidizing other customers’ plastic-bag use. That doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Valerie Virgona, Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an activist group.

Jerry Van Dyke’s more recent sitcom role

The obituary about comic Jerry Van Dyke on Jan. 7, “Comic found sitcom success in ‘Coach,’ ” neglected to say that he recently appeared on the sitcom “The Middle.” Van Dyke portrayed the father of Patricia Heaton’s character, Frankie Heck.

Chris Viola-Weiss, Oceanside


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