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OpinionLetters

Backup football players deserve a chance, too

Reader letters to Newsday for Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019

Credit: NEWSDAY/iStock

After the Plainedge football coach was suspended by his league for a too-wide margin of victory, schools Superintendent Edward Salina wrote in a letter on the district website, “What are you teaching children by saying play fairly but now you are playing too well, don’t play anymore for the rest of the game. Where’s the life lessons?” [“Suspension disbelief,” News, Nov. 1].

I respectfully challenge these comments. Where are the life lessons for the back-up players? They practice all week, and during a blowout game, they stand on the sideline. What are they being taught?

I realize there are situations when the coach needs certain players in, but let the back-ups also step up and take responsibility. No player, whether first-, second- or third-team, wants to stand and watch. Players want to be part of the action. That is why they are there.

When I coached football, if you practiced, you played. There always was a time to put in a player or players and have them take on some responsibility.

Leonard Mattera,

  Williston Park

  

I find it inconceivable that the superintendent of the Plainedge schools can’t believe that his school was wrong in running up scores in football games.

I have officiated high school lacrosse, basketball and soccer games for more than 25 years, and I’m still shocked at the lack of sportsmanship I see. Beating teams by 40 points multiple times shows a total lack of understanding about why teams play in the first place. The idea is to compete. If you are dominating the game, send in substitutes. Playing more players encourages them to keep playing and striving to improve. Kudos to the Nassau athletics “lopsided score committee” for taking a stand. Plainedge got caught and its response shows a lack of accountability.

Paul Maini,

  Westbury

  

Welcome eating- disorders facility

Randi F. Marshall’s column “Lives being saved in Glen Cove home” [Opinion, Nov. 5] hit home for me.

As a parent whose daughter suffered from an eating disorder for four years, we had to bring her to residential facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut four times, since none existed on Long Island. Unfortunately, after about 30 days, insurance companies deemed the patient well enough and ready to be discharged. Many relapse and require additional treatment. Thankfully, my 23-year-old daughter recovered.

These residences do not negatively affect neighborhoods, so stop with the NIMBY attitude. Glen Cove residents should open their arms and welcome this facility. Let’s help fellow Long Islanders so they no longer have to travel hours to get treatment. This is so long overdue.

Rhona Pincus,

  East Meadow

Lindenhurst can be a model to others

Hurrah for Suffolk County’s $350,000 grant to Lindenhurst to create a healthier, less-polluting village that serves as an example of climate-friendly development [“$350G grant to bolster walkability,” News, Oct. 26]. Cheers, too, to a community progressive enough to green-light downtown residential development that other towns have nixed.

Local planning can be a critical tool against climate change. According to the Sierra Club environmental organization, for which I am a volunteer, the transportation sector produces 36% of New York’s greenhouse-gas emissions, with motor vehicles accounting for more than 80% of those discharges.

Housing built near mass transit and the development of walker- and biker-friendly downtowns can help improve the air we breathe.

Jameson Coleman,

  Stony Brook

Police pay depends on individual choices

In its five-page story “Long Island’s gender pay gap” [News, Oct. 6], Newsday reported that female police officers earn $10,100 less on average than male officers. But I believe many variables affecting total earnings make your statistic by itself meaningless.

The salary and benefits of officers of the same rank and longevity are the same. Overtime is the overwhelming cause of any differential. Individual priorities are the largest factor affecting overtime distribution.

For instance, arrest and traffic enforcement activity has a significant impact. Both arrest processing and court appearances generate overtime. A police officer who signs up to work nights on DWI enforcement will earn significantly more than an officer who works days at a stationhouse desk position. Roll call overtime is voluntary and distributed as agreed by the unions and the department. Some officers, many of them female, elect to receive time off to spend with family rather than overtime pay.

The story mentions that women made up 90% of clerk typists, stenographers and legal secretaries in local municipal offices from 2011 to 2017, and that men made up 90% of police lieutenants, sanitation workers and building inspectors. But what stops anyone from pursuing careers as police executives, sanitation workers or building inspectors? The answer is individual priorities.

Edward Doughty,

Blue Point

Editor’s note: The writer, now retired, was a chief of patrol for the Nassau County Police Department from 1992 to 2000.

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