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Newsday reader letters for Thursday, June 15, 2017

Long Island Rail Road passengers wait for the

Long Island Rail Road passengers wait for the doors to open at the Mineola station on Aug. 4, 2016. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Grateful for info during LIRR incident

People have been complaining lately about the service on the Long Island Rail Road and how ill-informed commuters are about interruptions [“LIRR worker killed by train near Queens stop,” News, June 11]. This was not the case on Saturday.

I boarded the 10:06 a.m. train leaving Merillon Avenue for Manhattan. Not 20 minutes in, the train stopped abruptly. I thought it was a signal issue, but then an announcement came that there had been an incident on the tracks.

Within 10 minutes, it was confirmed that there had been a fatality. LIRR employees immediately received assistance from paramedics, the NYPD and the fire department. The electricity was shut off to ensure the safety of those on the tracks, and we no longer had air conditioning.

The conductor profusely apologized for the delays, and within a half an hour, water was provided for everyone aboard. Updates were given every 10 minutes or so. A million thanks to all of the selfless employees of the LIRR, NYPD and FDNY.

Denice Giacometti, Garden City

Low Ariz. standard degrades teaching

The news in the May 15 story “Arizona, needing teachers, is lowering its standards” is deplorable. No formal training is needed as long as applicants have “relevant” experience in a field they would be teaching.

As a retired teacher with 40 years of experience, I find this a personal affront to every prospective teacher, as well as those in the field.

Our profession should embrace men and women who diligently follow a course of study that prepares them for the classroom. Only then will they be prepared to teach.

John J. Scibelli, Rosedale

All pay school taxes for common good

A June 6 letter complains about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new, free college tuition program [“Children are grown, but he’s still paying”]. The writer says he pays $6,000 a year in school taxes, although his children are done with public school.

This isn’t the first letter like this from a longtime Long Island resident.

It should be repeated loudly, over and over, that an educated population is a benefit to everyone in this country. It’s well worth paying for.

Dan Welsch, Patchogue

I paid property taxes for 24 years before my first child went to school. What this letter writer implies is that only parents of children presently in school should pay property taxes. That would be considered tuition.

John Fallon, Kings Park

Reward merit, not titles, in Albany

Three members of the Independent Democratic Conference are paid stipends for chairing committees, even though they are not chairmen [“Dust-up over Dems’ stipends,” News, May 16]. This practice is plainly a fraudulent conversion of a job description into a payroll category. This is corrupt and should be a crime, not a custom. It’s a theft of public money.

Insofar as this practice fails to assign committee tasks to those most willing or best able to perform them, it’s inefficient and ineffective government.

I suggest making the stipends performance bonuses, payable after some identifiable improvement. Also, publish a list of committees with some connection to accomplishments, efforts or proposals.

Brian P. Kelly, Rockville Centre

Trump wrong to criticize London mayor

When the United States missed many signs that resulted in almost 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11, 2001, Britain and other nations came to us in solidarity, not criticism.

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, there was, again, no criticism from our foreign allies, only solidarity and empathy. So I find it reprehensible that President Donald Trump, in another one of his childish tweets, criticized the mayor of London for comments he made while trying to calm the residents of his city [“Anti-PC Trump calls again for travel ban,” News, June 5].

After 9/11, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani encouraged New Yorkers to continue with their normal lives, go to plays, go out to dinner, etc. That was considered to be great leadership under pressure. Will this president ever grow up?

Jim Kiernan,Holbrook