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Newsday letters to the editor Monday, April 17, 2017

While other students at Oxhead Road Elementary School

While other students at Oxhead Road Elementary School in Centereach, took state exams on Thursday, March 31, 2017, those who opted out from taking those exams, like these third-graders, spent the time reading books. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Seeing enemy’s point is essential

Compliments to Lane Filler for his column on trying to see things according to the enemy’s point of view [“Can you see through al-Qaida eyes?”, Opinion, March 29].

It’s difficult to understand the reasons for an enemy’s actions without appearing to condone what we consider to be atrociously inhumane behavior — but Filler was able to separate understanding from agreement, and for that he deserves congratulations for his intelligence and integrity.

Most of us could not fathom any justifiable reason for the destruction of the World Trade Center on that infamous date of 9/11; but from the perspective of a member of al-Qaida, they had their reason: Our country supported the powerful sheiks and shahs who controlled Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden didn’t want our troops stationed in Saudi Arabia; he wanted us out of there. If bin Laden had been successful, his revolutionary ideas might have spread to other nations.

Of course he took the wrong action, and he should have stated his grievances before the UN General Assembly where he might have won support. Killing 3,000 innocent American civilians is not justifiable in any court of law — be it on Earth or in heaven.

Robert Shorin, Syosset

State money for Suffolk septic?

I can’t understand why the state has to borrow funds to fix aging septic systems on Long Island [“Meeting of minds on water plan,” News, March 30].

Long Islanders pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. You would think by now they would have installed a sewer system. Oh wait, that’s right, the cops become wealthy when they retire, not to mention the corruption and nepotism on Long Island.

Why should my tax dollars pay for Long Island septic systems? I live in Queens.

Joseph Gross, Flushing

Opt-out rates make test useless

When will we stand up to the state and end this farce called the 3rd- through 8th-grade New York State Assessments? [“97,000-plus opt out of exams,” News, April 1]. The opt-out numbers continue to be close to 50 percent.

The test has no statistical value for assessing students, and yet it is called an assessment. It does, however, waste valuable instructional time for our children and wastes our tax money. Wasted time is a reason our children graduate unprepared for college.

For the record, I am not an opt-out parent. I believe tests and test-taking can have value, but not when no one takes them.

This test would be better given after school or as a take-home test. Teachers and students wouldn’t waste in-class time and energy, and those parents who want their children to experience test-taking can accomplish that.

Michael Castellano, Oyster Bay

Parking fee just tip

of Nassau iceberg

I’m surprised that people were astonished by the $40 parking fee at Nassau Coliseum [“Lot of outrage at parking fee,” News, April 7].

Nassau County charges its residents $1,000 to file a deed when they buy a house, and $500 to file a satisfaction of mortgage document when you finally payoff it off.

The politicians brag that they haven’t raised taxes, but the cost of everything else is going up.

Tony Fleck, Farmingdale

Use of U.S. flag in cartoon insulting

Newsday published an editorial cartoon on April 2 depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with his feet on a desk [“Truth and consequences,” Editorial]. The desk was the roof of a miniature White House.

The cartoon contained a very offensive image of an American flag in a garbage can. I am no fan of Putin, yet the syndicated cartoonist could have made his point without showing such a disrespectful image of the flag.

Our flag and what it represents means a great deal to me, my family, veterans and millions of Americans. The U.S. flag in this cartoon was treated like a trashy rag.

Joyce Behr, Farmingdale