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LIRR overtime, voting rights, teachers' pay and more

An LIRR foreman sentenced last week was paid

An LIRR foreman sentenced last week was paid $240,000 in overtime in 2018 for having claimed to work an extra 3,000 hours. Credit: Howard Schnapp

LIRR management asleep in OT scam

Talk about incompetence, lack of management oversight and blatant fraud ["Ex-LIRR foreman sentenced to 3 months in overtime scam," News, Jan. 6]. Why did it take so long to prosecute — and convict — the five Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees who stole from us taxpayers in this overtime scam?

And what about the foreman who, according to the article, claimed to have worked 3,000 "extra hours" in 2018?

How does that not trigger basic management oversight? Even if you worked all 365 days a year, that’s an average of more than eight hours in overtime each day!

— Carl Cascone, Northport

Voting is a right, not a privilege

Free and fair elections are the foundational cornerstone of a strong democracy, as noted by Gov. Kathy Hochul ["Hochul calls for expanded voting by mail," News, Dec. 17].

Access to voting is therefore a right for a citizen of a democratic nation, and it’s necessary for the continued health of a democratic institution.

I agree that ballots are sacred — and this is exactly why they should be made freely available to all eligible voters ["Mailing ballots to all must not happen," Letters, Dec. 21].

This is yet another point of debate among Americans. The Pew Research Center learned that 57% of us believe voting is a fundamental right, while 42% of us believe it is a privilege that can be limited. I’m of the former opinion.

If voting — the primary component of democracy — is not a right but a privilege that can be revoked, then what does this suggest about our democracy?

— Jackie Ratner, Northport

Around the country, state legislatures are considering bills designed to undermine democracy — by suppressing voting rights, distorting representation by extreme gerrymandering, or replacing bipartisan election commissions with hyperpartisan committees and individuals hellbent on overturning election results if outcomes are not to their liking.

These efforts are fueled by the myth of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, a claim refuted in several dozen federal and state court cases, some of these presided over by judges appointed by then-President Donald Trump.

This campaign will ironically and dangerously make a reality of the very thing falsely attributed to the last election — namely a process where the will of the majority is ignored by election officials.

Democracy means that every eligible citizen should have access to the vote, and every vote counted.

Bipartisan cooperation and honesty in elections are indispensable. This wave of anti-voter laws must be stopped to save our democracy.

— The Rev. Ben Bortin, Port Washington

Teacher’s salary not relevant to article

Whether you believe in vaccinations or not, I feel most of us can agree how wrong this teacher’s action was on many levels ["Herricks: Teacher reassigned after giving vax to teen," News, Jan. 5].

I believe in science and feel we all should do our best to not only protect ourselves and our families from this pandemic but also our neighbors.

As this was a high school science teacher, I suppose it gives the story an interesting twist. But to post her salary? How is this relevant to the story?

Long Island has some of the country’s best school districts, and many families are drawn here to take advantage of our high levels of education. I am aware that teacher salaries are a trigger point for residents concerned about rising school taxes. The last sentence with her salary would elicit anger toward not only this teacher but to all Long Island educators. Reporting her pay in the article was irresponsible.

— Lewis Biblowitz, Sea Cliff

Disgusting flags don’t make good neighbors

My heart goes out to my Babylon neighbors who can view the large flag that reads "--- Biden" ["Are there limits to freedom of speech?", Letters, Dec. 22]. I feel their annoyance, frustration, embarrassment and disgust. I could never do such a thing to my neighbors, just out of common decency, no matter how big an egomaniacal, loudmouthed, self-righteous fool I was.

I’m so sorry for the insult that reaches them and their families every single day when they step outside their homes as their flag-flying neighbor sits proudly by its display.

— Mary Taylor, Massapequa