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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

An enumerator interviews a farm worker in a

An enumerator interviews a farm worker in a Hawaiian field during the 1960 census, Hawaii's first as a state. Photo Credit: U.S. Census Bureau

A sad loss of forest for solar energy

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says she refuses to pit solar development against land preservation [“Trees felled amid pine barrens rift,” News, March 7]. But that’s exactly what she’s done.

Esposito said, “We supported solar when the option for land preservation wasn’t available.” Preservation would have been available under legislation advanced by State Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee chairman Steve Englebright and State Sen. Ken LaValle, but Esposito asked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to veto the preservation bill, and he did.

Sixty acres of forest were cleared for the Middle Island Solar Farm in Mastic. We all support solar, but there are many places where it belongs, and woodlands are not among them. It’s absurd that we are even at this point.

Marshall Brown, West Sayville

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Save the Great South Bay, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group.

Citizenship question and 2020 census

Funny that op-ed writer John Thompson, who was an employee of the Census Bureau since 1980, doesn’t mention that the citizenship question was used in prior censuses [“Citizenship question is dangerous,” Opinion, March 29].

Questions about citizenship were included in the long-form questionnaire from 1970 through 2000, although most American households received the short form.

Thompson makes it seem that this was a question created by the Trump administration.

Daphne Mullaly,Massapequa

The question about citizenship on the 2020 census has not appeared on all forms since 1950. That was a time of McCarthyism and paranoia that targeted immigrants and persons accused of being Communists.

This question is a not-so-veiled attempt by the Trump administration to drive down the numbers of people for funding and congressional representation [“Don’t sabotage the census,” Editorial, April 1]. It’s a vehicle to target immigrants and their citizen children who fear deportation and separation.

Those of us who have stayed educated and informed about the abuses of this administration are not fooled by this ploy. I, for one, will not answer this question. I hope that there will be a national campaign to leave this question unanswered.

Judi Gardner, Huntington

Therapists can help stop school shootings

I’ve had patients who say they understand why other kids shoot up schools [“Threats spike at LI schools,” News, April 2].

The mental health community must increase its clinical acumen regarding the complex psychopathology consisting of avoidant personality, social impotence and related rage if progress is going to be made to prevent school shootings.

While the profile of the school shooter has evolved tremendously, it’s worth considering the behavioral patterns and psychodynamics. Shortly after Columbine, several of my young adult male patients with social anxiety said to me, in various ways, that they understand why those kids shot up schools. I want to stress that these individuals did not have the intent to act, but the reason why they said what they did is important.

The Columbine assassins epitomized hatred for the social pecking order. Research into the school-shooter profile varies. However, there is a very strong correlation between aggression and the socially damaged person who exacts revenge on a peer group.

The mental health community must step up and productively treat rage and social impotence while raising awareness.

Jonathan Berent, Great Neck

Editor’s note: The writer is a licensed social worker.

Don’t remove statue of Thomas Jefferson

Hofstra University should not even consider removal of a statue honoring Thomas Jefferson [“Latest Hofstra debate,” News, March 29]. Jefferson was a Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

The founders understood that slavery was disgraceful, but also that to eliminate it in the new Constitution would have precluded the union of the 13 colonies. It took nearly 90 years and about 625,000 lives lost in a Civil War to abolish slavery.

Perhaps the revisionists on the left would be better served by criticizing the slavery that exists in parts of Africa. That is, if their concern is really slavery.

Milan Kundera, the Czech author, wrote, “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.”

We are supposed to learn from history’s mistakes.

Richard H. Staudt, Mount Sinai

Editor’s note: The writer is a former teacher.

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