As a high school football coach for more than 45 years, I have always believed the football field is aptly suited to teach lifelong core values. Discipline, work ethic and accountability are constantly present in the everyday rigors of football practice. Respecting and working with teammates is crucial for success. Learning the proper response to a loss and taking responsibility for it is an extremely difficult but important lesson to be learned. I believe after the past four years, now more than ever, our young people need the positive experience of athletics and the lessons that can be learned. I would encourage elected officials in addition to State Assemb. Edward Ra (R-Rockville Centre) to support legislation to play high school sports ["Ra: All sports can be played," Sports, Jan. 17]. District superintendents and boards of education should share dialogue, using data from other states that recently completed their football seasons, to ascertain that it can be done safely and move forward with the March 1 starting date.
Police reform editorial is lopsided
Your editorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Nassau County police reform activities presents a lopsided view of the county’s reform process. We have conducted more than 120 meetings to obtain public input, assembled a draft plan in outline form and issued the draft plan on a public website, nassaucountyny.gov/EO203, to invite comment and further input. Statistical data, policies and procedures are on this website for public review.
While community activists have been asking repeatedly for demographic data, the county has continuously responded that the data requested was not collected and therefore cannot be provided. However, as a result of the same activist input, the Nassau County Police Department ordered the collection and compilation of demographic and other information during any traffic or pedestrian stop. Activists were informed that this change in departmental policy was being made, and the change appears in the draft plan. This is just one example of the listening-and-learning process that resulted in a new policy.
We will continue to consider community activists’ perspectives and recommendations, once shared by them, during this public comment phase. Reform of policing is about moving forward, and that is what Nassau County is doing based upon constructive public comment. We encourage and invite all to join us.
Editor’s note: Laura Curran is Nassau County executive, and Patrick Ryder is the county police commissioner.
Here are some cold, hard facts
A reader asks her fellow readers to answer questions she poses "based on cold, hard facts" ["Danger of QAnon, other conspiracies," Letters, Jan. 19]. I see the summer riots as a reaction to a white police officer killing an unarmed Black man, a cold hard fact, while the insurrection at the Capitol was a response to then-President Donald Trump’s baseless lies. Cold, hard facts indeed.
Beach erosion plan no long-term fix
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is ignoring the long-term consequences of climate change when he touts the beach erosion mitigation plan finally getting underway on Fire Island and in Montauk ["On the horizon," Our Towns, Jan. 19]. The continual dredging and replenishing of sand, to me, is like keeping one’s head in the sand. Ultimately, rising waters will win. East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc more sensibly calls beach replenishment an intermediate solution, while Montauk makes a strategic retreat from the coast. Long term, however, I believe it’s renewable energy that we need to combat climate change. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has consistently reiterated that facing down climate change with renewable energy is a top priority, and that doing so will bring manifold economic benefits in investment and jobs. Zeldin could learn a lot from the governor.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and The Nature Conservancy.
Socialism comes in many helpful forms
For anyone who feels that the Democratic Party is going to turn us all into socialists, socialism is imbedded into our society. If you served in the military and used the Department of Veterans Affairs, that’s a form of socialism. If you received a stimulus check, unemployment or food assistance, they’re forms of socialism. If you are on Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, they’re forms of socialism. The U.S. government is not forcing anyone to accept any of these services. If you want nothing to do with socialism, opt out.