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We need leaders who can compromise

Demonstrators gather at the Barclays Center and react

Demonstrators gather at the Barclays Center and react to the guilty verdict in the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021. Credit: Jeff Bachner

The letters generated by the outcome of Derek Chauvin’s trial displayed a divide on Long Island that is understandable and appalling ["Chauvin guilty only because of video," Letters, April 23]. From the sadly unforgettable address of former president Donald Trump to police (it’s OK to be "rough" with suspects), to President Joe Biden’s regrettably reflexive comments implying that the guilty verdict was not enough, America’s civil war is obviously not abating. We must recognize that both sides, blue and Black, deserve a national dialogue.

Congress should openly debate legislation that helps heal dangerous wounds: racial injustice, law enforcement stress, and the interaction between those communities. It’s a tall order, but to gain a truce in this civil war and our bitter bipartisan tribalism we need leaders who understand compromise.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): Sign up or shut up.

Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station

A reader suggested that Rep. Maxine Waters could be impeached because of comments that she made about the Derek Chauvin trial ["Waters should be held accountable for words," Letters, April 22]. Not so. The congresswoman was exercising her First Amendment right to freedom of speech, and her comments did not engage in treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.

In fact, only one member of Congress has been impeached: Sen. William Blount (R-Tenn.) in 1797 for conspiring with the British.

Raymond Zbikowski, Huntington Station

How LIRR can cut back on overtime

Another year has passed and the Long Island Rail Road has still not taken control of its overtime payments to many employees ["LIRR workers top OT list," News, April 22].

I worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years and commuted on the LIRR for 25 of those years. While the postal service has its problems, overtime for their employees was strictly monitored even though the postal service has thousands more employees.

It looks like the LIRR’s poor management has allowed this system of runaway overtime to continue. To me, common sense says that if you give away too much overtime, new employees should be hired and trained to stop the abuse. And the more overtime employees make, the higher their pensions will be.

It should be a top priority for management to cut costs, but I’m sure the workers don’t mind it.

George T. DeSpirito, Williston Park

So Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Patrick Foye is pleased that overtime payouts in 2020 are down 6% from 2019, while ridership dropped more than 75% because of the pandemic. I see the problem. The MTA doesn’t understand basic math.

Maybe they will understand this: I don’t believe ridership is coming back to previous levels any time soon, if ever. The public had bled enough money because of the MTA and its sycophants. What a mess.

Doug Heimowitz, Jericho

CEOs should not make decisions for us

More than 100 top executives and corporate leaders met online to discuss their response to Georgia’s voting law changes ["CEOs meet online to discuss voting law changes," LI Business, April 13]. Without offering specifics, a statement by the Yale School of Management and two other civic groups noted CEOs’ readiness to act to shore up American democracy.

It seems to me the CEOs are taking on the responsibility of the U.S. government. Perhaps these corporate officers should send their proposals to state governors and volunteer their corporate funds for each state to run elections. Or are the CEOs trying to take over the entire voting process, or are they preparing to take over the country?

When do U.S. citizens have the opportunity to decide for themselves?

William Doering, Seaford

COVID-19 charts are key for infection rates

A reader suggested Newsday print recovery rates on the two daily pages reporting Long Island’s COVID-19 numbers ["Give us more hope and positivity, not charts," Letters, April 12]. Oyster Bay has about a 12% rate of infection. I live in Brentwood, where the rate is about 18% — we have the highest rate of infection in either county and have had the highest rate since the onset.

The infection rates now in the charts are critical information to have when thousands in our neighborhoods have tested positive. To print numbers of recovered victims seems nearly impossible — who is keeping track of that?

More people getting vaccinated and more venues opening are our reasons to smile.

Nancy Picart, Brentwood