Bobo the giraffe died at the age of 3 at the...

Bobo the giraffe died at the age of 3 at the Long Island Game Farm. Credit: Tom Lambui

Standardized tests serve their purpose

After reading Shari Camhi’s op-ed, it seems obvious to me that this outlook is the reason education is in trouble today [“It’s time to eliminate standardized testing,” Opinion, Oct. 5].

We acknowledge that every child learns at a different rate. The argument being put forth by the school district superintendent would have you believe that the results of measuring students’ abilities are invalid.

Should we have slower runners race 80 yards in a dash while faster runners run 100 yards? She apparently is looking for equality of outcomes. The tests may very well be less significant today now that the tests have been dumbed down and passing grades have been lowered. That does not make them any less useful in measuring how students do when compared to each other.

— Roy Sperrazza, Northport

Pope’s inclusiveness is most welcome

Pope Francis is a wonderful representative of Jesus, who was so inclusive, as is Francis [“A shift on same-sex unions,” Nation & World, Oct. 3].

The Catholic Church has been stuck in neutral since Vatican II in the 1960s. It’s wonderful that Francis is addressing the pertinent needs of Catholics worldwide — women deacons (hopefully, the first step to women priests), embracing all races and individuals’ sex lives. Also, Francis recognizes the concerns of Catholics, including women, in voting for church matters and, most of all, opening the church’s arms to all.

What would Jesus do? I think he would say to Francis, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

— Rita Savastano, North Babylon

Marks showed no courage in her plea

Several Republican legislators and operatives at both national and local levels seem to often make excuses for their lies, chaos and inability to govern [“Guilty plea from Santos aide,” News, Oct 6].

For the attorney of Nancy Marks, the former campaign treasurer of Rep. George Santos, to say, “She had the courage today to stand up to the lies, to the BS and tell the truth, and she did that under oath” is a whitewash — she got caught!

Marks is an experienced, savvy campaign finance treasurer who knew what she was doing and likely never would have come clean otherwise. Her attorney should stop insulting the public’s intelligence by using “Nancy Marks” and “courage” in the same sentence.

— Peter Hellermann, Huntington

Insurance ‘opt-out’ exploits consumers

It is disconcerting that the auto insurance lobby has become so strong in New York State that even those of us who are unmarried are suddenly subject to additional charges for supplemental spousal liability coverage for spouses who do not exist — unless we formally renounce such coverage. The Sept. 5 editorial on the topic finally hit home a month later [“Cancel unfair insurance hike,” Opinion].

This “opt out” ethos, while marginally better than unreported data, seems to be a uniquely American exploitative model that is especially tragic, given all of the lip service paid to our cherished liberty by elected officials.

What is most ironic is that the most recent practices that fattened insurers’ coffers, enabling a successful lobbying effort, have extracted consumers’ information and profiles. This data certainly would have informed them who among us is married and who is not.

— Ryan Dougherty, Sayville

Giraffe was denied what he needed most

In the wild, Bobo the giraffe would have roamed a range of up to 100 square miles of African grasslands and open woodlands, shared a complex social life with a herd of his own species for as long as 25 years, and spent many hours of the day and night browsing for leaves, shoots and fruits from tall trees.

But at the Long Island Game Farm, only four miles from my suburban apartment complex, Bobo died — alone — at only 3 years old “Bobo the giraffe, a fixture at LI Game Farm, dies,” Oct. 4].

Abducted from his family and leased for public interactions, Bobo was confined to a relatively cramped enclosure without any other giraffes or even a tree.

Studies show these interactions with visitors undermine legitimate conservation efforts by misleading people into thinking that wild populations are not imperiled, making them less likely to donate to conservation. Fed an unnatural diet of lettuce, carrots and commercial compounded pellets, Bobo was denied everything he needed to thrive.

Kind people who care about animals like Bobo should teach their children that animals are not ours to exploit for entertainment.

— John Di Leonardo, Moriches

The writer is executive director of Humane Long Island.

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