TODAY'S PAPER
48° Good Afternoon
48° Good Afternoon
OpinionLetters

NFL player's anti-Semitic remarks

DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up

DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up prior to the start of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Atlanta. Credit: Getty Images/Carmen Mandato

The fight over monster utility poles in Garden City doesn’t involve the “sad, old refrain” of being on the “wrong” side of the tracks as the Newsday editorial board suggests [“On the line over MTA poles,” Editorial, July 6].

Rather, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Long Island Rail Road / 3rd Track Constructors’ promise to our village to consider burying these lines now appears hollow and their placement predetermined. That complaints started in Garden City isn’t surprising as we’re at the front of the line to receive these monstrosities. Far from “important,” they have been described by the LIRR as cost-effective choices and redundancies to lines already buried. Far from “minor,” they are 120-foot blights. Their prior description as 90 feet tall is confusing or misleading at best because, as the LIRR has said itself, “Industry terminology generally describes the entire length of the pole, including the below-ground portion.” Meaning, we’d be forgiven for believing that any poles described previously by the LIRR as 90 feet tall would only rise about 60 feet above ground.

Moreover, LIRR project executive Mark Roche conceded in April that “the Village is correct that initial design plans envisioned that the permanent utility poles would be installed on the north,” that a burial study was conducted but apparently not yet publicly shared, and that changing the poles’ location last minute “should have been communicated to the Village.” To say we knew what we were getting is false.

Far from wanting to hamper progress, we want what was sold to us in 2017 when the LIRR promised that new utility poles “would not result in any significant adverse visual impacts” or “significant adverse impacts to visual and aesthetic resources.” Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, elected last year, should be commended for actions on behalf of constituents and the environment. His focus certainly stands in contrast to the MTA/LIRR’s focus on timelines and profits. Richard Corrao Jr., Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of ReVAMP, representing a group of concerned Garden City residents.

As a lifelong resident whose family has been in Long Beach since 1915, I feel that it is time to move forward with the recent Superblock plan [“Vetting plan for Long Beach site,” Editorial, July 7]. The land has been vacant for far too many years. We are missing out on tax revenue and jobs that such a development would bring to our city. Developer Engel Burman is asking for an abatement on just the rental part of the build, and it would pay taxes on all the other construction (condos) once complete.

Marvin Weiss, Long Beach

Subsidies essential for families

Congress needs to provide unemployment benefits [“Key stimulus-bill issues,” News, July 14]. It is essential for families. They need help to cover their rent or mortgage payments. Stop giving subsidies to corporations and help us.

Marie Duryea, Northport

NFL player’s anti-Semitic remarks

The board and staff of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County were appalled, angered and, yes, frightened by the anti-Semitic social media posts by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson [“Jackson apologizes for anti-Semitic post,” Sports, July 8]. For a prominent professional athlete to disseminate such words of hate and intolerance, particularly when our nation is convulsing with racial tensions, means that the goal of respect and understanding for all people is still far down the field. Our center has spoken against all forms of bigotry and racism, and has called for reform of our police and criminal justice systems.

Those dedicated to memorializing and educating about the Holocaust and intolerance can and should express their concerns about Jackson’s remarks. More important would be public recognition of the seriousness of his quotes, and condemnation from his team, the National Football League, the commissioner, team owners, coaches, players, the media and fans. There must be concrete repercussions for what he did. A tour of a Holocaust museum is not adequate; players and owners who have made racially charged statements have paid heavy prices for their actions. An unequivocal act of anti-Semitism deserves the same.

Steven Markowitz, Glen Cove

Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

Kicking off a name change in Washington

The Washington Redskins, at last, have agreed to change their name [“Washington finally says no Redskins,” Sports, July 14]. Since they play in Washington, D.C., I propose they be known as the Washington DC’vers.

Bill Greer, East Meadow

The Electoral College is truly outdated

It seems every person responding to Steve Israel’s op-ed “Electoral College vestige of racist past”  got one thing wrong about the Electoral College. They missed the inconvenient fact that slaves were, for purposes of representation in the House and therefore Electoral College votes, counted as three-fifths of a person, thereby substantially raising the representation of many states in the House and therefore the Electoral College without a corresponding increase in the number of available voters. Slavery thus was among its other unsavory characteristics, including voter suppression. Today, other tools are used to suppress minority voters, but the outcome is the same. States get the advantage of counting suppressed voters for purposes of raising their representation in the House and therefore the Electoral College without affording many of those same people a say in selecting representatives. The Electoral College is an institution whose time passed 155 years ago.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

Probation department deserves more funds

I do not believe many people would feel safer with fewer police officers on duty. The push to defund police can be reframed as reallocating law enforcement funds. As a retired 35-year veteran of the Suffolk County probation department and an active union member, I am reminded of advice I got 25 years ago by Suffolk Legis. Sondra Bachety while advocating for probation funding. She advised that the only way probation was going to get proper funding was to be funded through the police line on property taxes. Probation has a successful history of dealing with mental illness, domestic violence and substance abuse. Budget limits have severely limited many programs. These are the highest-risk crimes for police to respond to. If probation intervention were more widely involved with identified cases, police first-responder confrontations could be reduced. Diverting funding to probation would help both agencies’ effectiveness by letting each focus on its strengths.

Charles Weiss, Islip

There’s purpose for offensive statues

Call me naive, but perhaps a repurposing of the nation’s unwanted bronze statues would be to melt them for springs, bearings, bushings and similar fittings [“Reconsidering controversial statues,” Letters, June 28]. It would save industries costly resources and perhaps become an acceptable practice.

Thomas Olivieri, Smithtown

Columns