Jones Beach State Park Fourth of July Fireworks

Jones Beach State Park Fourth of July Fireworks Credit: Howard Simmons

Educators’ pay an issue, not body cams

I do not understand all the uproar over Nassau County patrol officers receiving $3,000 for wearing a camera ["Extra body cam pay makes little sense," Letters, July 4].

If we really want to look at waste, we need not look any further than teachers’ salaries, especially principals and superintendents. With more than 50 school districts in Nassau County alone and superintendents averaging more than $180,000 per year plus benefits and a hefty retirement package, this is where our focus should be.

School taxes, with teacher salaries on the top of the list, are making living on Long Island nearly impossible.

I will gladly pay extra to the police who put their lives on the line every day over the excessive salaries we pay our educators.

— Michael Statten, Patchogue

Pass financial roles to Catholic laity

The Vatican indictments of 10 people including a cardinal reinforces that priests and church officials must be stripped of their ability to manage church finances ["Vatican indicts 10 in London real estate deal," Nation & World, July 4]. Sadly, the Catholic Church has had a history of past scandals it has never learned from.

I worked for a Kew Gardens Catholic church for nine years with no consideration of a raise from my $375 weekly salary. It is clear that priests, bishops and cardinals must give the management of money and financial decisions to lay boards of parishioners. This has been successfully done in many Protestant denominations for years. Priests can deal with sacramental issues.

This will bring some credibility to a church that has much to gain by empowering the laity.

— Joe Campbell, Port Washington

Put a halt to illegal fireworks on July 4

Why wait until after July 4 to stop fireworks ["A post-Fourth respite, please," Editorial, July 5]? They are illegal — and dangerous. Anyone illegally shooting them off should be arrested. Then maybe people will stop bringing them onto Long Island.

When I was a girl in the 1960s, the firecrackers that people had were scary enough. Now, in 2021, the loud explosions start well before the holiday. On the night of the Fourth, we could see two sets of professional-style fireworks going off — but not done by professionals. Lower, smaller explosions of fireworks also went over houses.

As I looked out in fear that the embers would fall onto our house and start a fire, I suddenly saw something worse. People were in the street, a four-lane main road, firing off fireworks while cars attempted to drive safely past — inching past, some making U-turns to get away.

Calling the police might result in these people finding out our identity, and who knows what they would do with their fireworks. Oh, they continued the next night.

Police need to patrol our streets to stop this

— Mary Johnson, North Bellmore

Stiffer penalties may stop roadway litter

One of the readers who applauded Mel Silverman for picking up litter in his Coram neighborhood also proposed fining litterbugs ["Ticket and fine people who litter LI roadways," Letters, July 4].

Another reader suggested nonviolent criminals pick up our trash.

While driving to Florida, I saw a huge pile of litter at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop — next to a sign that threatened a $50 fine for littering.

In South Carolina, which appeared litter-free, I saw a sign that read up to a $1,000 fine for littering plus up to six months in jail. I only hope that these South Carolina inmates were sent to pick up the litter they discarded.

The message is clear.

— William Ober, Huntington

Why is it OK for people to throw their filthy cigarettes out of car windows, while walking on sidewalks, or extinguishing them on our beautiful beaches?

Take responsibility and spare the rest of us, please.

— Peter Verdecchia, Babylon

Trump case is a miscarriage of justice

The criminal tax case against the Trump name illustrates how the Democrats abused their authority ["Trump Organization, CFO indicted," News, July 2].

New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. have stated they were out to get former President Donald Trump. I guess that means they would even use a normal civil audit and turn it into an alleged criminal case. Talk about abuse of power.

— Michael O’Brien, Port Jefferson