Kindergarten, the filibuster, composting, and more
Ah, the golden rule of kindergarten
With summer break ending for my three children — ages 5, 11 and 15 — this year feels different. We know what to expect, and that almost makes me feel worse. This year, parents are fighting with each other over masks ["Smithtown rally protests masking," News, Sept. 5]. Our children are watching us. We need to be united to have any chance of normalcy. For the last year and a half, I had chosen virtual/distance learning. At times, I thought I wouldn’t make it when I saw my children struggling. School was just one hour a day for elementary and only two hours a day for the middle and high school grades. My older children missed their friends, and I thought the school wasn’t keeping kids safe. My school district, from September 2020 to June, had many cases of COVID-19 among students, teachers and staff.
Our children are our future. As adults, let’s not forget the golden rule of kindergarten: Treat others the way you want to be treated, and if you don’t have anything nice to say . . .
— Lyndsey Proscia, Lake Ronkonkoma
Ending the filibuster is not a good idea
A reader desires to end the filibuster, an important minority protection and moderation mechanism of the U.S. Senate ["Save voting rights: End the filibuster," Letters, Aug. 30]. How did the reader feel during the hearings for Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett? Did he like the lack of input, the inability to block via the filibuster? Sadly, former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) was the first to eliminate the 60-vote rule for judicial nominees, setting a terrible precedent. His would not be the party in power forever and would be helpless when things change. Things always change. The ending of the filibuster would lead our nation to even more extremes in the future, not to unity.
By using or even threatening to use the filibuster on legislation or appointments, the minority party can exert influence on events. This forces moderation of the party in power. Members from across the aisle are needed to pass legislation or to confirm an appointment.
While it may appear to some to be expedient, even wise, to ditch the filibuster now, it would be foolish for sometime in the future. Things change.
— Mark R. Smith, Sayville
I assume the reader wants a fair election in which only all eligible votes count. Eliminating the filibuster in the Senate is not the answer. To assure accurate voting results in the future, we need to go back to our former voting system.
Voting in person and absentee voting are the only answer. In both cases, there must be voter verification. Why can’t we submit our vote into a machine by simply switching a lever?
— Heinz Mayer, Garden City
Composting a way of life for generations
My mother always gardened and encouraged us to play in the dirt. As a child I saw she was way ahead of the curve in awareness of recycling and reusing items ["Going to the ground," LI Life, Aug. 29]. When I had my own children (now in their 30s), she taught them composting early in life. They would love to help Grandma Pauline make worm food, as she called it, from food scraps. They learned early on the importance of composting, and once gave a wonderful gift of a backyard compost tumbler.
For years, I have created my own magic soil that helps all my vegetables and herbs grow. It is full circle, easy to do and does not take up a lot of yard space.
I’ve never had a smell or animal issue. Other Long Islanders can start in their own yards to reduce the waste stream each of our households create.
— Irene Crovets-Prager, Valley Stream
While I was glad to see the story about composting and its importance in keeping food waste out of our landfills, Newsday should look into the trash collectors who consistently take compostable brush with regular trash, as they do at my house. I separate it from my regular trash in paper bags, away from my trash cans, yet they always take it with the regular trash. My emails and calls to the Town of Brookhaven haven’t changed this practice.
— Laura Smith, Centereach
Another source of Jewish history on LI
In "A sanctuary for history," about the Jewish Historical Society of Long Island, it said no one is recording local Jewish history [LI Life, Sept. 5]. Long Island Traditions has documented ethnic traditions of different groups, including Jewish families, since the 1990s. Our recorded interviews are available for researchers at the Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University. We also have recorded interviews with Jewish musicians and storytellers.
— Nancy Solomon, Port Washington
The writer is executive director of Long Island Traditions.