Students visit a makeshift memorial, which honors victims of the bus...

Students visit a makeshift memorial, which honors victims of the bus crash, outside Farmingdale High School on Sunday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Who’s accountable for students’ debt?

No number of stories by Newsday or any other entity will change the opinion of so many taxpayers who went to college and paid off their debts [“ ‘I’m terrified,’ ” LI Business, Sept. 24]. Or even the many more people who chose not to attend college but still became productive taxpayers.

I worked in higher education for 30 years and counseled students against taking seven years or more to earn a four-year degree. Some listened, and some didn’t. It was their choice to incur this needless debt. Those who didn’t listen had this all-too-common answer: “I’ll just borrow more money.”

I’m sure my family’s story is similar to many millions across this country: My wife and I worked while attending classes and purchased a home with a high mortgage rate; ours was 8.4%, which we were happy to get. We both attended public and private universities, earned master’s degrees and paid off all loans on time without complaining by sacrificing today with an eye on tomorrow.

Are the individuals to blame, or is it easy money or higher education’s costs, which have gone up more than twice the rate of inflation? The readers can decide.

— John Vatalaro, Sayville

I do not resent generosity or kindness when it is given to others. Even though I paid off my student loan and the loans for my children, I do not resent others getting loan forgiveness.

A parable in the Bible, in Matthew 20, tells us about a man who owned a vineyard and hired a group of men early in the morning to work a full day under the hot sun at an agreed amount of pay. Later in the day, he hired more men to work a partial day, and later, did that two more times.

At the end of the day, he paid all the men the same amount. The first group was angry and resentful because the last group, which worked only one hour, did not make less money.

The owner explained that he paid the first group according to the conditions they all agreed on. His generosity and kindness to others had no bearing on the first group.

— Ralph Daino, Wantagh

Prayers for victims of Dalers’ bus crash

As I do every Friday night at Sabbath services at Temple B’nai Torah in Wantagh, I join the congregation in reciting two special prayers. one for spiritual and physical healing and the other, the mourners’ Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for those who have died.

These prayers took on a poignant meaning for me on Friday as I offered my prayers to God to reach out to the members of the Farmingdale band and their families, the first responders and their community after the Farmingdale band bus crash.

I hope they will be strong and courageous. During a silent prayer, though, all I could do was ask God, “Why?”

— Howard Lev, East Meadow

Menendez indictment shows DOJ isn’t biased

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee continued to accuse Attorney General Merrick Garland of singling out former President Donald Trump for selective prosecution, slamming him for what they call a two-tiered system of justice [“House GOP clashes with AG,” News, Sept. 21].

Then, 48 hours later, the Department of Justice indicted Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey — one of the Senate’s most powerful Democrats and the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee — on bribery charges, publicly exposing a boatload of evidence, including cash and gold bars stashed at his house [“NJ’s Menendez indicted on bribe charges,” News, Sept. 23].

Garland’s aggressive pursuit of Menendez is just another example that disproves claims that Trump is the victim of pervasive political bias that targets the GOP while ignoring criminality on the left. This case really should silence any critic who wrongly suggests that the DOJ is politicized under Garland. But it won’t because the GOP seems allergic to evidence that doesn’t support their claims.

— Robert LaRosa Sr., Whitestone

New York fans need to think more positively

I never have understood how New York sports fans could boo their hometown players when the players are struggling [“Power of positivity,” Sports, Sept. 23]. Do they think that’s going to magically get them to turn around their slump? Can these fans do better? Are they flawless in their own jobs?

I’d love to see relentlessly booing fans get in the batter’s box or on the pitcher’s mound and face an opposing player.

It’s so clear to me that a struggling player needs support and encouragement — not pointing out the obvious fact that the player is struggling.

If only our Mets fans could learn a lesson from the Phillies fans on how they treated struggling shortstop Trea Turner, helping turn around his season.

— Rocey Lester, Glen Head

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