Bill to protect cops should be halted
The Suffolk County police don’t need special protections from the county legislature. The police already "call the shots." A pending bill, Resolution 1566, has vague language that invites oppressive abuses of power and stifles free speech rights.
The Suffolk police, as well as the Nassau County police, have a record of making unconstitutional arrests involving people filming them. As Newsday reported, "The Nassau and Suffolk police departments have each paid six-figure settlements within the last seven years to people that alleged their civil rights were violated following arrests while recording officers" ["State law: Bystanders may record police making arrests," News, March 28].
The pending resolution will not only undermine such court rulings, but these arrests are unconstitutional and can be used by police officers against county residents to ensure they will be the ones paying out civil settlements.
Supporting a profession with a historic record of discrimination is as dangerous as it is insulting to actual members of protected classes defined by ethnicity, race, creed, disability or sexual orientation.
The resolution is on the Oct. 5 agenda for public commentary. If passed, County Executive Steve Bellone says he will veto it. It need not make it to his desk.
— Jennifer Capotorto, Commack
The writer is a member of LI United, a multiracial and multiethnic coalition trying to ensure public safety for our communities.
$3.5T bill could help climate change
All I keep hearing about the $3.5 trillion federal bill is how much it will cost. I understand that it includes some significant increases in revenue ["Dems open to spending bill negotiations," News, Oct. 4]. That means the net impact would be far less than $3.5 trillion. If it passes and we finally begin acting on climate change, perhaps we would spend less on relief from hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.
It is particularly galling to hear Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), whose wealth increased during the pandemic, talk about entitlements. Especially when you consider West Virginia is among the top five of states that receive the most subsidies. Even stranger, items in the bill are overwhelmingly popular with his constituents (maybe not as much as with his campaign donors). Maybe we should elect more ordinary people to Congress and fewer millionaires.
— Joe Squerciati, Hicksville
Veto bill on cutting $106M in fees
What is the Republican-controlled Nassau County Legislature doing? Cutting fees on traffic tickets ["Nassau to cut $106M in fees," News, Oct. 2]? What about those of us who avoid these fees by being good drivers and who adhere to traffic laws? Why reward sloppy drivers with reduced fees? Let them pay!
Also, why reduce property fees? The revenue losses have to be made up. What does the legislature intend to do — raise our already burdensome real estate taxes? I hope County Executive Laura Curran vetoes this.
— Joseph P. Rella, Farmingdale
Former town official’s sentence is absurd
"Ex-town official sentenced" says John Novello stole $60,000 and only had to pay back $41,000. He will keep his pension. The former Town of Hempstead Building Department deputy commissioner was charged in 2019 with five felony counts of grand larceny and two misdemeanor larceny counts and got probation. We are not all treated equally.
— Gary Maksym, Massapequa
Regarding John Novello’s sentence, you have got to be kidding. The judge’s decision and district attorney’s office’s agreement are ridiculous.
People wonder why minorities complain about unfair treatment by the legal system. Well, here’s another disgusting example. Why not bring in the Feds to investigate this corrupt system?
— Randy Perlmutter, Oceanside
Exclude breed when featuring pet photos
In Newsday’s weekly reader pets photos, dogs are usually described by breed ["Right at home," exploreLI, Sept. 28]. People who love animals know that rescuing them is the way to go. Maybe Newsday could consider not noting the breed and just describe the animal. Children seeing the current photos might say, "I want a Labrador like that one," prompting parents to go to a breeder instead of a shelter, where one might be languishing. This could make a difference.
In addition, some dog owners may hold back on sending in photos because their pets are not purebreds and may be perceived as second-rate.
— Jim Intravia, Medford