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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018

Demonstrators attend the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and

Demonstrators attend the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice rally at Battery Park, Manhattan, in September. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Based on the report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the future is gloomy [“Study: Urgent changes needed to curb warming,” News, Oct. 9].

As a millennial starting my career, saving for a house and deciding on marriage and family, the future has been on my mind and climate change frames that vision. This scary picture isn’t unusual.

Millennials find ourselves asking: How do rising sea levels affect real estate? Do we leave Long Island or stay? Do we plan to have kids if we can’t protect them? What will the Long Island economy look like as the planet warms? And how gloomy will things get?

Millennials didn’t ask for this climate crisis, but what most people don’t realize is that we have the answers. We, as millennials, Long Islanders, voters, taxpayers and community members, can make a difference.

One vital difference is for state legislators to pass, and for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to sign, the Climate and Community Protection Act in 2019. It would move New York to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The UN panel paints one important picture of the future, but this is not set in stone. We have the power to draw a line in the sand.

Jessica Morgan, Sound Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, an advocacy organization.

Why the election is critical in 2018

Every election is touted as the most important ever. I believe this November will truly be one of the most important in decades [“Elections a test of bases’ zeal,” News, Oct. 7]. It will be a mandate on the direction that the United States travels for generations.

President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and his divisive rallies are indeed despicable, but his successes are a result of his “America first” and “tough guy” policies. Moderate Republicans are appalled at Trump’s words and behavior, but are watching their conservative policies become the laws and policies of the United States. So they hold their noses, wince and say nothing, lest they feel the wrath of Trump.

On Nov. 6, voters will decide whether the end justifies the means and keep the status quo, or whether the country needs to reverse direction and give Democrats the majority in the House to be a check on the executive branch.

I could list all of the outrageous statements and behavior by Trump but, to be fair, I would also have to list all his conservative accomplishments, from tax reform to the Supreme Court. So, yes, this is the most important election in years. Vote!

Jim Kiernan, Holbrook

Tests not useful in grading teachers

I taught for 33 years before retiring. The issue of standardized tests remains basically the same, except for recent large opt-out rates [“Long Island is hub for state test opt-outs,” News, Oct. 8]. Statewide test results are a poor measure of teacher excellence. Students’ negligible benefits are far outweighed by the tests’ intrusiveness, yet pressure continues from both federal and state officials.

Ian Rosenblum of nonprofit advocacy organization Education Trust-New York contends, “These test results are a vital measure to help students, educators and the public understand where schools are succeeding. . .”

Teacher evaluations should be based on administrator observations, peer review, and parental and student input. Let those closest to students rank teaching skills and performance.

Unfortunately, worries about federal and state sanctions against local school districts have resurfaced. New test result algorithms and punishments disturb superintendents like Roberta Gerold of Middle Country and Michael Hynes of Patchogue-Medford. I remember this kind of concern from the time I taught in East Meadow. What remains most sensible, however, is that educational matters must be solved by those nearest the classroom.

Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station

Ashamed of local Conservative Party

I changed my political party affiliation to Conservative because I identified with values of cleaning up our national and local deficits by implementing fiscal conservatism, fixing our economy so we can empower people to get off welfare by finding jobs, securing our borders to eliminate MS-13 from destroying our communities, fixing our immigration policy and preserving our First and Second amendments.

To my dismay I cannot find any of these values presented to me by our Conservative Party in Suffolk County because it is dysfunctional and members do nothing but fight among themselves for power [“Tinari re-elected Conservative chief,” News, Sept. 28].

The leadership in the party is a sham and party officials should be ashamed. They should clean up their acts and start doing what party constituents need them to do — adopt conservative values to make Long Island great again!

Elaine DiClementi, Port Jefferson Station