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Newsday letters to the editor Monday, May 22, 2017

Former FBI Director James Comey listens on Capitol

Former FBI Director James Comey listens on Capitol Hill in Washington in this May 3, 2017 photo. Credit: AP

School voucher plan is a fight for control

To put President Donald Trump’s school voucher proposal in perspective, the $20 billion he wants to spend is a small part of the $620 billion spent in the United States on elementary and secondary education each year — hardly enough to destroy the public schools [“Empty promises of school vouchers,” Opinion, May 1].

Because most private school programs provide less per student than the average public school cost, public schools benefit when students switch to private settings. There remains behind more money per public pupil.

Economist Milton Friedman’s observation that free markets produce varied results and could produce segregated schools is distorted by op-ed writer Julian Vasquez Heilig of California State University, Sacramento, to imply that Friedman advocated for segregation. This is false, and Friedman can hardly be held responsible for the fanatical racism once practiced in the South.

Yes, while in New York City alone 40,000, mostly black, kids clamor to get into Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools, the NAACP opposes school choice because the teachers union has persuaded it to do so. Shame on them.

This is a battle over who will control education: parents through their choices or unionized teachers through their monopoly. Ask yourself whether competition or monopoly better meets the needs of consumers and why education should be an exception.

Dennis J. Duffy,Lynbrook

Editor’s note: The writer is a former member of the Lynbrook school board.

Green energy could bring health benefits

I’m writing in response to “Energy cost details sought” [News, May 8]. I say, enough already.

We cannot condemn clean energy based on hypothetical rate increases. My electric rates have been increasing right along for numerous reasons over the years.

It’s common sense that the benefits of wind and other renewables far outweigh the detrimental effects and by-products of the continued use of fossil fuels. We can all benefit from the elimination of these harmful, outdated sources of energy and embrace a logical transition to technology driven, clean and responsible renewables.

The price of this technology is falling as it’s refined. Let’s not condemn this healthy and responsible alternative based on unfounded worry.

James Mangels,Long Beach

Calculations of the true cost of any green energy project should factor in the pollution not generated. Adding in this factor, the solar photovoltaic and offshore wind efforts for Long Island and New York State are decidedly a great savings compared with the fossil-fuel system we have become used to — yes, addicted to.

We have extreme health care costs that can be attributed to the pollution we experience every day, especially in traffic, in our homes and in our distressed environment and climate.

A green energy focus might save us from these harmful effects. This is a great benefit that is not usually measured by the accounting methods used by the carbon establishment.

John Burke,Sea Cliff

13 white men fixing health care?

How does a working group of 13 white males give women, or anyone else a say [“McConnell: Women will have say on health bill,” News, May 10]?

If you have a core 13-member working group, wouldn’t it be better to have four female senators, four white male senators and five diverse senators? Each group has different needs, and just maybe, something constructive would come of this.

Is it not better to have a fair and broad spectrum of ideas than the elite boys’ club version formed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell?

Jo-Ann Caso-Buonomo,Islip Terrace

Former FBI Director Comey is a patriot

When FBI Director Jame Comey announced in July that he was not recommending charges against Hillary Clinton, every Democrat in Washington praised him, and every Republican criticized him. In October, when he declared that a new batch of emails needed a look, the roles were reversed.

To me it shows a man who was doing his job in the fairest way possible, given the hard choices. Comey had a high profile in government through three administrations. He is a patriot with honesty and integrity. It’s unfortunate that he was fired by a man who has none of those attributes [“Trump fires Comey,” News, May 10].

Bruce SchoenbergSmithtown