Angela Pollina reacts as guilty murder verdict is read Friday in...

Angela Pollina reacts as guilty murder verdict is read Friday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nothing new about CPS dropping ball

Child Protective Services was fully aware that there were problems in the Valva home, but nothing was done to protect the children [“A measure of justice for Thomas,” Editorial, March 12].

Four other children in that home witnessed the abuse. They, too, are affected by what they saw. What kind of people will they become? Six children were affected, and CPS did nothing.

This agency needs a thorough investigation. The revelations of the horrors that Thomas and Anthony Valva went through are not isolated. There is a decades-long history of CPS’ failure to respond to credible reports of negligence and abuse of children.

As a retired social worker, I referred dozens of reports of abuse and neglect of children to CPS. Not one was a frivolous complaint. All were thoroughly documented, and yet most referrals were considered “unfounded.” This experience was not isolated. It was common among my peers and still is.

Time is long past when we must hold CPS accountable for failing to fulfill its mandate to protect children. We, as a society, also need to look at what value we place on meeting the needs of our people, especially the vulnerable.

— Joan Sele, Ridge

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said after Angela Pollina was convicted of Thomas Valva’s murder that he was going to examine the system that failed Thomas and his brother Anthony. Tierney said he would use subpoenas and a grand jury investigation.

Thomas was murdered three years ago. Shouldn’t those things have been started as soon as possible?

The systems to protect these children seem to be broken. Why isn’t every report of a child being abused not directly reported to the police and investigated by detectives?

It appears that Child Protective Services did not do anything more than generate paperwork. I think we would all agree that our most vulnerable deserved a detective looking into this case. Detectives work 24/7 and could investigate at all hours, weekends and holidays, including the times when Thomas and his brother were sleeping on a freezing garage floor.

I look forward to reading about what is being done to ensure that this never happens again.

— James Murtha, Mineola

Tragically, the convictions mean nothing for Thomas Valva or his mother, who was repeatedly denied custody.

I cry every time I think of this innocent 8-year-old sleeping on a concrete garage floor in freezing temperatures. All I can envision is a shivering little boy who’s forced to endure horrific treatment from his own father, the person Thomas should have been able to rely on.

Michael Valva and Angela Pollina cannot be punished enough for their heinous crimes, but while incarcerated they will have a bed, clean clothes and enough food, more than Thomas and Anthony had. The boys’ suffering is hard to comprehend.

And why isn’t CPS facing charges? It was informed repeatedly by different teachers and school personnel that Thomas and his brother came to school dirty and starving. I cannot fathom that no one jumped into action to save these boys.

How must Thomas have felt to be subjected to all this cruelty with nobody there saving him? My heart hurts for him.

— Shari Hecht, West Islip

The trials are over. When the lawsuit filed by the mother of Thomas Valva is settled, will we find out why Child Protective Services failed so miserably with its only job — protecting the child?

Thomas Valva and his brother Anthony were neglected and abused. Why did CPS not remove both of them from that house? Why did CPS not handle the complaints appropriately?

When all is said and done, will we learn what happened, or will everything be swept under the rug and nothing said?

— Marguerite Connell, Wantagh

Fox News’ lies finally are out in the open

Finally, lying has caught up with Fox News [“Carlson text on Trump: ‘I hate him passionately,’ ” Nation, March 9].

We read about revelations regarding its hosts and senior executives, including company chairman Rupert Murdoch, admitting broadcasting lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election while texts showed they were not truthful.

Fox’s conduct helped the Jan. 6 coup attempt that placed our nation at risk. Fox cannot escape responsibility for its lies that created an existential threat to our nation’s democracy.

— David G. O’Brien, Mount Sinai

What a disgraceful “journalist” Fox News host Tucker Carlson is. We saw the violence perpetrated at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

Truth matters. Actions matter. Releasing edited videos showing only peaceful behavior on Jan. 6 is a new low, even for Carlson and other Fox News personalities. I am stunned by his unethical behavior.

— Rhonda Weintraub, Kings Park

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