CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was the governor of New York. His brother, Andrew, is now the governor. Chris is college educated and wealthy. He should know better than to use profanity in anger just because someone called him “Fredo” [“CNN backs Cuomo after LI video fracas,” News, Aug. 14]. If an educated man can’t express himself without vulgarity, then his education is worthless.
I’m not doubting the level of his anger or his right to feel insulted, just his means of expressing it. Are we to understand or accept that he can’t control his own emotions? No grown man should exhibit a temper tantrum like that. It frightens me.
Reduce plastic, yes, but also littering
A tax on plastic straws would punish the masses, and a ban would be opposed by manufacturers [“So hard to ditch plastic straws,” Opinion, Aug. 11].
While plastics have many benefits, their effect on the environment is great, and we should reduce their use in favor of biodegradable and reusable products. Plastics will be around for a long time, so we need to employ better waste management that emphasizes reduce, reuse and recycle internationally.
However, we ignore the root cause of plastics in the environment: litter. Municipalities should enforce anti-littering laws. Municipalities, schools, social media and community organizations need public anti-littering campaigns like those of years past.
It’s not plastic bags, paper cups, cigarette butts, soda cans or straws that are the real problem. It is people littering that has to change.
James T. Rooney,
Variation on Lazarus poem is offensive
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Immigration and Citizenship Services, offered his own variation of the Emma Lazarus poem that states in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...” [“Narrow definition of poem’s intent,” News, Aug. 15].
He said, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet ...”
I believe he showed disrespect for Lazarus’ words of hope. I do not appreciate any disrespect of our national treasures, including poems and songs. President Donald Trump does not like it when athletes take a knee during the anthem, and I agree. It should therefore follow that he should not like Cuccinelli’s remarks about the famous poem.
Other bees help us grow food, too
I enjoyed reading about National Honeybee Day [“Creating a buzz,” News, Aug. 15], but I also am aware that we depend on more than honeybees. Yes, some crops need them (almonds), but there also are native bee species that pollinate many of our home- or community-garden vegetables.
Squash bees pollinate many of our squash and pumpkin flowers in the morning. Honeybees are unable to pollinate tomatoes, but watch for bumblebees, which “buzz” pollinate tomato flowers. Many of our native bees don’t live in hives, but are solitary and ground nesters. They are not great honey producers.
I don’t see honeybees around my home, but I do see plenty of bumblebees and other kinds. I get plenty of zucchini and tomatoes, so I’m happy with my bees. Yes, we should worry about honeybees, but we also should care about our native bees, which come in an interesting variety of sizes, colors and shapes.
Saddened by two passings
I’m writing to comment on your coverage of the passing of Joan B. Johnson \[“Joan B. Johnson, 85, former Islip town clerk,” Obituaries, Aug. 13\].
Joan was my Republican opponent in my first race for Congress in 2000. And what an opponent she was: spirited, passionate and tough. But also empathetic. I remember the two of us dragging to debates in the closing weeks of the race, commiserating on how weary we were. We didn’t agree on much, but we were able to disagree respectfully.
At a time when Democrats and Republicans don’t have many good things to say about each other, I want to say that Joan Johnson will be missed.
Oyster Bay Cove
Editor’s note: The writer served in Congress for 16 years.
It was with profound sorrow that I read the Aug. 15 obituary, “Shelby Lyman, 82, celebrated chess master and columnist.” Whether you are a casual chess player or a serious tournament participant, Lyman’s weekly column was a must-read. The clarity of his writing engaged even those who did not play the royal game. He possessed the rare talent of explaining how lessons learned at the chessboard applied to life’s other endeavors.
The chess community is sad to learn of his passing. He will be greatly missed by readers and fellow chess players.
Anitra A. Ahrens,