Hofstra history professor Michael D'Innocenzo, who also ran for Congress,...

Hofstra history professor Michael D'Innocenzo, who also ran for Congress, leaves a far-reaching legacy, writes one of his students.  Credit: Howard Simmons

Hochul must act now to slow COVID

Walking into some Long Island supermarkets these days is like walking back in time. One might find the experience bittersweet, even nostalgic. Unlike the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, when indoor mask wearing was common practice, these final months of 2021 have seen shoppers shed their masks for a facial freedom unseen since 2019. Yet this lack of mask compliance, amid the looming threat of the omicron variant, is both reckless and in need of governmental intervention.

With statewide hospitalizations soaring over 3,000 and more than 600 of those patients admitted to the intensive care unit, Gov. Kathy Hochul needs to act immediately. Putting aside the concerns of those who consider mask mandates to be an inconvenient violation of the Constitution, the governor must require face coverings in all indoor settings that don’t currently have them in place (unlike schools, prisons and hospitals, which do).

It’s the only way we can get this pandemic under control. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves locked in brutal repetition – a continuous cycle of peaks, valleys and ideological debate that surges and recedes with the seasons. We can all do better, and it starts with Albany.

Jason Wirchin, Huntington

A professor whose legacy is profound

Like thousands of other Hofstra University alumni, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Michael D’Innocenzo on Nov. 18 ["Michael D'Innocenzo, 86, Hofstra history professor," Obituaries, Nov. 25]. "Mike" made a positive impact on thousands of college students over the course of his distinguished career. I am fortunate to count myself among that group. As a history major in the Class of '85, I was not only a student in several of his classes but was his teammate on the History Department’s intramural sports teams, I also was one of many student volunteers on his 1984 campaign bid for the House of Representatives.   D’Innocenzo’s passion for history, social justice, civic mindedness, and civil discourse had a profound influence on my life. As a high school social studies teacher, I strive to impart these values to my students. D’Innocenzo's appreciation for both the blessings and shortcomings of our democracy, as well as the importance of being an engaged citizen and striving to make a positive difference in the lives of others, were lessons he instilled in his students through words and actions. Consequently, D’Innocenzo’s legacy as a professor, writer, activist and citizen is far-reaching and profound.

Carolyn Faggioni, Bellmore

Hodges' election to Hall was long overdue

As a Brooklyn Dodgers fan since I was 7 (in 1951), I was ecstatic over the election of Dodgers great Gil Hodges to the National Baseball Hall of Fame ["Hall in the family," Sports, Dec. 7]. Long overdue! Hodges was not just a top player for the Dodgers for 18 years, despite missing two years in the Marines during World War II, but he was also a strong team leader. That’s how Hodges managed the 1969 champion Mets, direct and firm, and he kept it simple.

Michael J. Gorman, Whitestone

Baseball prices too high? Here's a solution

I grow weary of reading complaints regarding the exorbitant salaries that Major League Baseball players earn ["Time for fans to fight all the high prices," Letters, Dec. 3]. Of course, ticket prices will increase based on these salaries, which also means the price of food and parking will rise as well. Why would you waste your hard-earned money to pay these prices to watch grown men play a child’s game? Does anyone really think that baseball owners or players legitimately care about fans? The solution is simple: Stay home.

Mike Baard, Merrick

The Mets finally energize their fan base with the signing of one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a reader writes that the games are too long and his hot dogs cost too much. Here's a tip for those who have a problem with players making what the market is paying them: Don't go. The rest of us will appreciate the available seats.

David Shaw, Valley Stream

I agree with the reader about the high cost of going to go to a baseball game. Even if you never went to a game in your life, though, you are paying the owners and players whenever you buy something that they advertise during the game, be it a soda, beer or a car. Most teams still collect TV money paid to broadcast the games. The only ones you are hurting by not going are the workers selling the hot dogs or beer who are just looking for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Ron Boehning, Massapequa