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Letter: Another idea for license-plate design

The winning design announced as New York State's

The winning design announced as New York State's new license plate. Credit: NY Governor's Office

Maybe Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should have had a license plate designed with cars packed with families leaving New York State [“In a New York plate of mind: State picks new design,” News, Sept. 7].

Why does New York need to spend money on new plates? Will other states do so if their plates can’t be read by toll scanners here? What other plans are there to take more of our money?

What’s really needed is a cut in school, property and income taxes, in regulations and in the cost of living in New York. How about fixing the roads and helping young people and seniors to live in this state? The charge for new plates is another money-grab for no good reason.

Patrick Nicolosi,


When can taxpayers opt out?

The public school scores reported in Newsday continue previous patterns for the Bellmore-Merrick school district — high percentages of students opting out of the annual spring tests in math (68.1 percent in 2019) and English (67.7 percent) [“LI English, math scores tick up a bit,” News, Aug. 23]. Among the top school districts in Nassau County were Jericho, Manhasset, Great Neck and Herricks, where the opt-out percentages were significantly lower and student performance was generally higher than in my district.

Life is a series of tests; students should not be sheltered. Living in Merrick for more than 50 years, I’ve seen school taxes rise almost every year. If the district continues its high opt-out percentage, I want the privilege of opting out of my high school taxes by the same percentage. I am 89 years old and have paid my dues.

Harold Duchin,


Pay for unused sick days can make sense

Contrary to Michael Dobie’s column “Largesse at taxpayer expense” [Opinion, Sept. 8], I believe it makes sense in many cases for government employees to be paid for unused sick days.

Teachers, police officers, train engineers, bus drivers and others must be replaced when they are out sick, incurring either overtime or substitute salary costs in addition to an employee’s sick-day pay. To avoid those costs, municipalities would rather workers not use their sick days. Often, the payout on the unused days is not at the current rate of pay. So while for some the practice is wasteful, for other employees it makes sense.

June Nachtigall,


Editor’s note: The writer is a retired public school teaching assistant.

American Jews have a right to opine

A reader wrote that Israelis “don’t need advice or interference from American Jews, right or left” [“Israeli voters will decide on their own,” Letters, Sept. 5]. He certainly has a unique perspective on what constitutes appropriate discourse among American Jews.

The reader suggested that so much as voicing an opinion on the upcoming Israeli election or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was tantamount to robbing Israel of its sovereignty. This is a ridiculous argument. All Americans have a right to express their views on the state of Israeli politics. Honestly expressing one’s opinion on a foreign election is not comparable to Russian spies, hackers and trolls trying to surreptitiously undermine our democratic process.

As for the reader’s suggestion that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has some kind of mandate, the reason Israel is conducting its second legislative election in 2019 is because Netanyahu couldn’t cobble together enough support to form a government.

The reader clearly hopes to guilt anyone who disagrees with him into silence. Fortunately, we live in a democracy where everyone can freely express an opinion, and no one gets to decide what is and isn’t an acceptable topic of discussion.

Matthew Zeidman,

  New Hyde Park

Grateful that Comey took a stand

James Comey was fired as FBI director four years into a 10-year term by President Donald Trump, perhaps because Comey would not pledge his personal loyalty to Trump and would not agree to stop the investigation into Michael Flynn’s dealings with Russia. (Trump told NBC News it was because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.”)

Comey made his own notes about his conversations with Trump. Now, the Department of Justice inspector general says Comey violated FBI procedures by making “unauthorized disclosure” of “sensitive information” — his own memos of conversations with Trump. And Newsday signs on to this nonsense [“The hubris of Comey,” Editorial, Aug. 30].

The title of Comey’s book said it all: “A Higher Loyalty.”

Don’t you think Americans deserved to know why Trump fired Comey? And that the American people deserved an independent investigation — which I believe they never would have gotten but for Comey’s “unauthorized disclosure”?

Anyone who reads the Mueller report will be stunned by the breathtakingly outrageous behavior of Trump and his campaign. Sometimes, a man has to take a stand. I am eternally grateful that Comey took a stand.

Carl Grasso,