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Cuomo should open visitation for seniors

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks on Monday about

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks on Monday about COVID-19-related deaths of nursing home patients in New York. Credit: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Darren McGee

Our seniors in nursing homes will be in lockdown for one year on March 12. This was done to protect them from COVID-19 spreading and killing them. Since then, cases of COVID-19 are still in nursing homes, and seniors are still dying from it. I believe they also are dying because of isolation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has loosened restrictions on dining, sports, gyms, etc., feeling it is safe. Why hasn’t he reexamined nursing home visitation regulations? Families of loved ones would follow the same procedures that staff adheres to in taking care of our precious seniors. Where is the justice? Please let our seniors have the same rights that prisoners have. Open up visitation, governor. Save our seniors.

Charlotte Derose,


Some of my views of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo: Anyone who had to make a simple transaction at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the past year knows that Cuomo screwed up. Anyone who lost a family member in a nursing home to COVID-19 knows Cuomo screwed up. Anyone who has tried to make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine knows Cuomo screwed up. Anyone who owns a business in New York knows Cuomo screwed up.

Thomas Tierney,


Focusing on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s hidden numbers on the deaths of nursing home patients allows him to avoid the question of why up to 15,000 COVID-19 nursing home patients died while 2,800 federal Javits Center and USS Comfort hospital beds went empty. Cuomo made a choice. I wonder what 15,000 Medicaid/Medicare/COVID-19 reimbursements were worth to the powerful nursing home and hospital lobby?

Nancy Fetherston,

St. James

Choosing to rename isn’t black & white

Newsday’s editorial "School renaming gets failing grade" [Feb. 15] seems to me to merely echo Cathy Young’s recent Feb. 2 op-ed "A ludicrous school-renaming spree" to utilize the misguided efforts of one California school board to claim there is some mushrooming movement to discredit all historically powerful U.S. figures. If Newsday’s editorial board doesn’t believe most Americans think that all such figures, generally white and male, should bear such indignity, then why the hysteria? Is the board issuing an admonition when it states, "A vocal minority shouldn’t be able to impose it," or is the board stirring incitement? As Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Joseph J. Ellis points out in his book "American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic," American history has unfortunately been presented as either a narrative of the Founding Fathers as demigods or as a critique of a cast of opportunistic villains. Ellis suggests that all the "triumphal and tragic elements" need to be "rooted in the coexistence of grace and sin, grandeur and failure, brilliance and blindness." In short, it’s a story of humans whose actions often fall short of their aspirations. We really don’t have to simply choose between two conflicting and incomplete narratives.

William G. Holst,


You made good points in your editorial "School renaming gets failing grade." I was in class when President John F. Kennedy was shot in 1963. He didn’t live in nor was he born in New York, but an airport was named for him. What does Gen. Douglas MacArthur have to do with Ronkonkoma’s airport? He was a soldier known for walking ashore in the Philippines. All this brings to mind many renamings on Long Island. I admire former President Barack Obama but see no reason why a Long Island school removed the name of an already honored local educator to rename it for Obama. True, few people alive remember that educator, but I say that’s the fault of the school district. I grew up in the Connetquot school district. As you walk into the lobby of the John Pearl Elementary School there’s a lovely portrait of Pearl. My wife graduated from James Wilson Young High School, which is now Bayport-Blue Point High School, but the district didn’t discard Young’s name. They moved it to the middle school. Save local history and don’t jump on the latest fad.

Steve Birkeland,


Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Oakdale Historical Society and Bayport-Blue Point Heritage Association.

Your editorial on the San Francisco school renaming was well-reasoned and to the point. America does not need committees re-imagining our history so political activists can push their agenda, particularly poorly informed ones. Our history is what it is, warts and all, and has created the greatest country known to humanity. I am also encouraged by the editorial board’s use of the phrase "common sense" about this. It is my hope that the board continues to use "common sense" as a yardstick for the actions of President Joe Biden’s administration.

Kenneth P. Lebeck,