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A former high school basketball coach wrote recently to ask why he cannot question a referee’s incorrect call [“At times, referees do make mistakes,” Letters, June 2].

I have been a basketball official for 50 years at the high school and college levels. Officials have no problem with any coach who would like a rule explanation at the appropriate time. However, most times during a game, a coach rarely is questioning a rule as much as disagreeing with a call, and sometimes vehemently, to no avail. The coach might even draw a penalty, which certainly won’t help his or her team.

Referees take their jobs very seriously. They attend rules refresher meetings, watch videos, take annual certification exams and prepare for the season by working one or more scrimmages for which we are unpaid.

I believe most coaches rarely if ever sit down to review the rule book or take a rules exam.

As is posted on many school gymnasium walls, let the players play, the coaches coach and the refs ref.

Parents get involved because so many believe their child is the next professional superstar. Time for a reality check. Sit back, enjoy the game, and root respectfully for your athlete and team.

Joe Fasano,

  Massapequa Park

Ramadan stress in area with mosque

I share the celebratory mood of my Muslim neighbors as they mark the end of Ramadan, but for different reasons [“LI celebrates end of Ramadan,” News, June 5].

I live near the Islamic Association of Long Island mosque on Parkhill Drive in Selden. As Muslims come at night during the month of Ramadan, residents on the street endure heavy traffic, blocked driveways and litter. We cannot find parking in our own neighborhood. Sometimes the noise does not die down until 1 a.m. As your June 5 story reported, the mosque’s parking lot was used for an overflow crowd of people praying on Tuesday night.

Residents raised these concerns in 2010 when the Islamic Association sought to build a larger mosque. Our fears fell on deaf ears with the Town of Brookhaven.

These issues must be addressed if we are to live in harmony with mosque attendees. I respect anyone’s right to practice religion, but this is too much. I can only imagine what awaits in 2020.

Monica Morton,


Don’t flush drugs down the drain

Thank you for reporting that Long Island’s drinking water is filled with contaminants and lags behind the rest of the state in terms of drinking quality. While contaminants such as pesticides, fertilizers, household chemicals and sewage all play roles in our water crisis, let’s not forget the pharmaceutical drugs that are flushed down drains on Long Island. Those discarded medications also make their way to our underground water supply. While federal and state drug take-back programs are one way to combat this, the practice of disposing unused medications down the drain should be outlawed. Only with effective legislation and public awareness can we one day hope to tackle this important issue.

Beyond take-back programs, medications can be dropped at many police precincts. These drugs also can be mixed with cat litter, salt, ashes, dirt or another undesirable substance and disposed of in the trash.

Gaetano DiPasquale,

Central Islip

Editor’s note: The writer, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, heads up the agency’s drug take-back program for Long Island.

Sorting of resumes seems like favoritism

In the June 2 news story “Teachers tell it like it is,” Plainview-Old Bethpage Superintendent Lorna Lewis is quoted as saying that she goes through resumes looking for clues to indicate that someone is from a minority group. She then flags that resume for a definite interview. According to Lewis’ statement, it is her “duty to have them get the experience.”

As a retired teacher who interviewed and hired many candidates during my career, I find her comment a bit unsettling. Lewis’ assertion  indicates that some candidates receive preferential treatment right from the start. Unfortunately, her selection method comes across more like racial profiling or reverse discrimination than a fair and open process.

Marie G. Nuzzi,


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