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When Steinbrenner was a face in crowd

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, right, during

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, right, during a visit to spring camp in Fort Lauderdale in 1993.   Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

Simple way to keep trash off beaches

We all should be appalled at the amount of trash left at the beach, in parking lots and along the highways [“Leaving the beach? Pick up your trash, please,” Opinion, July 11].

Kate Cimino points out that because there are trash receptacles all over the beach, there is no excuse for beachgoers to leave trash behind. Full trash cans are still no excuse. Recently, a passenger noticed that I have an empty garbage bag in my car. “Oh, just like my grandmother used to have in her car,” she said. I responded, “She must have been a thoughtful and diligent woman.” We load up our vehicles with coolers, blankets, beach balls, floating devices and food. How difficult would it be to also bring a bag for garbage? If everyone would treat not only the beach but also our entire environment as if it were our own property, as Cimino suggests, what a beautiful planet we would have.

Marion Skirbe, Bay Shore

When Steinbrenner was a face in crowd

I enjoyed reading the reminiscences by Newsday reporters about George Steinbrenner [“Chasing the boss,” Sports, July 12].

Around 2004, I was working at a national high school track and field meet in North Carolina. The last day, I spotted Steinbrenner in the stands. I introduced myself, and we talked only about track for about an hour. I’ve met many top-tier people over the years, but that day Steinbrenner was just a track and field fan, sitting anonymously. Asked to join me on the infield, a place reserved for celebrities, he declined. He was content to just watch. I asked whether he would mind if his presence were announced. He half-heartedly accepted. He did not exhibit harsh traits he was known for as “Boss” of the Yankees; no intimidation, no hint of his wealth, no Yankees owner airs. Just another guy watching a track meet.

Leigh Pollet, Seaford

Editor’s note: The writer is head coach of Uniondale High School’s girls track and field team.

Don’t compare the two generations

The writer of “Two different sets of ‘We Generations,’” [Just Sayin’, July 11] states that during World War II we were “all in this together.” I think his nostalgia has caused him to ignore or forget quite a bit of the history he speaks so fondly of. He should begin by reading up on the Jim Crow laws. Follow that up with the Zoot Suit Riots, Japanese American internment camps, the Philadelphia transit strike of 1944, and ongoing race riots in dozens of cities. And don’t forget that in 1939 “we” also turned away 937 Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis who had to return to Europe, where 254 were killed by the Nazis.

Every generation has its demons, but don’t condemn this generation without realizing the flaws of your own. Also, no American wants to “end religion and the family unit,” and is free health care and free tuition really so horrible? (Ironically, Germany has both.) When we know better, we do better, and as Billy Joel wrote, “The good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

Tiffanie Kempf, Remsenburg

Responding to the letter “Two different sets of ‘We Generations,’” I’ll say that in my 65-plus years, I’ve witnessed the decline in our society where income inequality is so great that it is virtually impossible for anyone starting out today to have the opportunities their parents had. I believe that to put the blame on the current “We Generation” is narrow-sighted and unfair. They are not asking for “free” stuff, nor do they not want to work for it. They are asking for the same opportunity of affordable college without years of student loan debt and affordable housing where they can buy a house in their 20s and not have to live with their parents or wait until their student loans are paid off.

This “We Generation” that the writer speaks of is not demanding an end to capitalism or religion, nor do they want to destroy this country. They want a level playing field where they can work to obtain the basic things their parents had. I think if certain changes aren’t made in this country, it indeed will be the demise of a once-great nation.

Pat Di Salvo, Copiague

The generation that fought in World War II and those who supported them from home deserve all the acclaim given. They returned from war and had a GI Bill that sent many to colleges and universities for free. They formed unions that ensured them good-paying jobs, health care and pensions.

These advantages also were denied to soldiers of color who also fought so bravely (in segregated units). They allowed the Jim Crow laws to flourish, further disallowing generations of fellow citizens equality and a chance to be part of that growing middle class. The demise of our “once great” nation will not happen because we have a healthier, more educated population. It will be because we continue to elect those who cloak themselves in the American flag while simultaneously defying the Constitution, scheming to prevent voting rights for all and dismantling the very structure of our government for their own benefit.

Leslie Altman, Rockville Centre

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