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OpinionLetters

Open up SUNY seats for New Yorkers

Reader letters to Newsday for Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

A sign for Stony Brook University is pictured

A sign for Stony Brook University is pictured on March 1, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Open up SUNY seats for New Yorkers

Newsday reports that enrollment by students from China is down at many U.S. colleges [“U.S-China trade fight affecting colleges,” News, Oct. 13].

This is not a bad thing for college applicants from New York State who would like to attend the higher-level SUNY colleges but might get shut out because of so many international students. I understand the need for diversity and balance on a campus, but I believe many of our SUNY colleges have taken in far too many international students. Many New York State applicants have parents who have paid state taxes for many years, but their children are denied admission.

Stony Brook University had 2,378 graduate and undergraduate students from China in 2018. That’s almost 10% of the university’s overall enrollment. I know intellectually qualified Long Island students who would have loved to attend Stony Brook, but were denied entry and had to attend another state school.

Lower my state taxes and the state funding of the SUNY system, and then let these schools do whatever they want.

John Roche,

  South Setauket

For NBA players, money matters

LeBron James was correct about the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who tweeted support for pro-Democracy protesters in Hong Kong [“LeBron: Rockets’ GM was ‘misinformed,’  ” Sports, Oct. 15].

Forget about the Hong Kong protests for human rights. The real issue with China has to do with the color green.

As James knows, professional athletes — with few exceptions, the late Pat Tillman being one — have a motto, and it’s, “Greenbacks matter.”

John Fallon,

Kings Park

It is interesting to see how basketball star LeBron James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. According to James, Morey was “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” in Hong Kong.

“Even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, it can be a lot of negative that comes with it,” James said.

Pro athletes receive endorsement fees from the sale of athletic products in China. Of course, if they condemn China for abusing the rights of the people of Hong Kong, those endorsement fees will disappear. After Morey made his remarks, and was backed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, China decided not to televise two recent games in that country between Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

James and some other athletes are quick to exercise their freedom of speech to point out the shortcomings of America and our current president. Freedom of speech — yes, by all means, some athletes say — unless it’s going to hurt your bottom line.

Tom Buonomo,

Islip Terrace

Debate goes on over cross-endorsements

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone presented a cogent argument against fusion voting [“End cross-endorsements in NY,” Opinion, Oct. 4].

However, his sole focus on former District Attorney Thomas Spota unnecessarily narrowed the serious impact of fusion voting on the rights of every citizen in Suffolk County. Although I have run on the Working Families, Independence and Democratic party lines, I agree that there has been abuse of the practice.

Voters in Suffolk did not have the opportunity to choose their countywide elected officials, with the exception of county executive, in the 2009, 2010, and 2013 elections. (I am not including judgeships.) The five countywide seats in question are district attorney, treasurer, comptroller, clerk and sheriff.

Spota won 12 years as district attorney without a challenger. The county clerk, treasurer, comptroller and sheriff were all awarded eight years in their positions without the voters’ voice.

Clearly, the party bosses were the only individuals with a vote.

To further exacerbate this assault on the ballot, New York State courts deemed it unlawful to impose term limits on three of these officials, thus potentially providing them with jobs for life if they stayed on the right side of the party bosses.

Vivian Viloria-Fisher,

East Setauket

Editor’s note: The writer is a former Suffolk County legislator.

Fusion voting allows minor parties to unite to put forth candidates whom they agree on, especially when one major party is dominating elections.

I believe a prohibition on multiparty endorsements would limit the free-speech rights of parties to nominate whichever candidates they want. The prohibition of cross-endorsements would make it more certain that a dominant party could retain power indefinitely if minor parties are not allowed to ally with others to combat that dominant party at the polls.

Note that it is Democrats in New York State who are advocating this change.

John J. Budnick,

Massapequa Park

Editor’s note: The writer is a committeeman in the Nassau County Republican Party.

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