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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Shelves at a food pantry at the Gerald

Shelves at a food pantry at the Gerald Ryan Outreach Center in Wyandanch on Nov. 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

Trump missed gun-control opportunity

I did not vote for either President Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. That said, Trump’s comments after yet another massacre, this in Sutherland Springs, Texas, went way beyond the pale [“More lapses in stopping killer,” News, Nov. 8].

The president had an opportunity to address the federal government’s blatant and inexcusable failure to enter this historically violent man’s name into a database to prevent him from buying guns. Instead, the leader of the free world articulated a bright side, to wit, that “you would have had hundreds more dead” but for the brave bystander who intervened with his legally possessed firearm and “neutralized” the shooter.

Not only did the president miss an opportunity to emphasize that gun-control mechanisms like the database work only if those tasked with properly and diligently utilizing them actually do so, but he trivialized the deaths of 26 humans for the sake of once again waving the National Rifle Association banner.

Josh Kardisch,East Meadow

Why add vitriol over holiday greetings?

As a Catholic and a retired transit worker, I worked for 37 years with people from all religions with all different holidays. How do you find it offensive when someone is basically greeting you with having a good, merry or happy day [“Not all appreciate a Christmas greeting,” Letters, Nov. 22]?

When I wish someone to have a merry Christmas, or any religious holiday, I’m not asking you to join the religion but to experience the niceties of the day.

Unfortunately, too many people are looking for some ulterior motive when a greeting of good wishes is attached to a religious holiday. Why look for a reason to tell people how to impart good wishes or happy days? Most religions teach respect, love and understanding of others.

Dennis Kielawa,Valley Stream

Structural injustice keeps people poor

I’m always awed by the generosity for people in need at this time of the year [“Filling their plates,” News, Nov. 23].

However, I’m troubled by the structural injustices that persist, causing 300,000 Long Islanders to need help at food pantries, according to some estimates. Pope Francis captured these injustices in his statement for the Nov. 19 First World Day of the Poor:

“If we want to help change history and promote real development, we need to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to ending their marginalization . . . Poverty challenges us daily.”

Richard Koubek,Dix Hills

Editor’s note: The writer is the community outreach coordinator for Long Island Jobs With Justice, a worker advocacy organization.

Add remediation to fix Common Core

The absurd news regarding the apparently never-ending Common Core hoopla continues to revolve around the same old issues: overhauling the standards, testing, and the controversial grassroots opt-out movement [“Some Common Core revisions win praise,” News, Nov. 15].

We regret that missing at this late juncture — the guidelines were originally released in 2010 — are any encouraging reports regarding the development of crucial remediation programs for struggling students. Students below grade level, especially in reading, fall increasingly behind each year, in danger of never catching up. Continual preoccupation with testing and revising the standards to everyone’s satisfaction is akin to a doctor’s preoccupation with diagnosis at the expense of treatment.

Have any school districts developed promising after-school or summer school remediation programs that address the standards and test results? Unless these services are available, Common Core will suffer the same dismal fate of many decades of failing reform.

Fred Barnett,Lake Grove

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired public school teacher.