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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino delivers his

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino delivers his state of the town address on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Support for science is most welcome

I’m very grateful for Michael Dobie’s column, “Ignorance takes the helm” [Opinion, Dec. 10].

Science and scientific discoveries are not Republican or Democratic, they are a necessary part of our nation’s desire to move forward in terms of our economy and our quality of life. The farmer, the doctor, the urban planner and the pilot are only a few of the people who owe a debt of gratitude to the scientist.

From better seeds and feed to better airplanes, it’s the exciting world of scientific discovery that moves us ahead. But we will lose our edge if we continue to treat science as something that belongs to one political party or another. Science should be embraced and supported by all, even if the scientific research tells us something we may not want to hear.

Thank you, Mr. Dobie, for telling us what we needed to hear. Is anyone listening?

Ray Ann Havasy, Rockville Centre

Editor’s note: The writer is the director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning in Rockville Centre, a nonprofit educational organization.

Leave Hempstead budget healthy

If it is discovered that outgoing Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino is aware of or complicit in destroying documents, we should look to have him answer for this through legal channels [“Transition practices eyed,” News, Dec. 6].

If he is aware of shredding documents, or having information removed or erased within the computer systems, or if he is involved in any union negotiations to help his cronies and loyalists, this is a blatant breach of his fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayers of Hempstead.

Additionally, if it is shown that either the town attorney or the town communications director were aware, or even looked the other way in this regard, they should also be dealt with in the same manner.

This type of behavior is unacceptable and is not in the best interests of the constituency that these people in power represent.

Bob Diehl, Franklin Square

Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino’s sweetheart labor contract gives town employees what is effectively lifetime employment, barring misconduct or incompetence [“Labor pact change controversial,” News, Dec. 8]. This is wrong on so many levels.

It ties Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen’s hands by surrounding her with Republican loyalists.

These employees will have no incentive to be productive. The town would be forced to look to reducing spending on facilities, equipment and supplies to cut spending. Parks might close, but the people who maintain them will still be on the payroll.

It betrays Republican values, as well. Santino campaigned as a cost-cutter. He surely wouldn’t sign a contract like this if he had won.

It’s disgraceful that after 22 years of service to Hempstead he would institute what amounts to a scorched-earth policy. Did he ever really care for the people he served, or only himself and his cronies?

Ellis Simon, Oceanside

Clean energy bill gains Rice’s support

As the devastating hurricane season winds down, many of us are left wondering how bad it will be the next time around [“Guvs: Puerto Rico needs $94B,” News, Dec. 12]. Is there anything we can do to fight back against climate chaos?

The clock is ticking, but there is visionary legislation in Washington — you don’t hear that every day — that would put us on a rapid, 100 percent clean energy path. It would cut harmful emissions while creating millions of new jobs in the process.

The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, House Resolution 3671, or the OFF Act, is the most visionary plan for dealing with climate chaos.

Thankfully, we have local leaders stepping up to this challenge. Rep. Kathleen Rice signed on as a co-sponsor of the OFF Act. Thanks to Rice and OFF Act sponsor Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, we have a plan to create a true clean energy revolution.

Joseph M. Varon, West Hempstead

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the Long Island chapter of Food & Water Watch, an advocacy organization.

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