Letters to the Editor

Gonzales doesn't deserve loyalty

President George W. Bush apparently thought the testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Senate enhanced his credibility.

But both the Democrats and Republicans who questioned him thought he lowered his credibility.

The president's priority seems to be loyalty to his appointees regardless of the facts.

Norman Shainmark


Windmill power is too expensive

"Windmill fight goes on" [Business & Technology, April 25] highlighted one super-obvious problem with the Long Island Power Authority's proposed wind farm that chairman Richard Kessel just doesn't get.

How can LIPA justify and "sell" to Long Islanders a $600 million-$1 billion feel-good project that may produce 28 to 35 megawatts of the most expensive electricity the Island has ever seen?

Spend the $1 billion and repower Long Island's ancient, inefficient and polluting power plants and generate more than 1,000 megawatts of cleaner, cheaper electricity.

It's a no-brainer.

John R. Brooks

Garden City

Making schools free of bullying

Due to the tragedy in Virginia, we find ourselves revisiting the issue of bullying in our schools. The shooter was apparently teased and taunted from a very young age due to speech and language difficulties that may have compounded a pre-existing mental disorder.

We cannot continue to underestimate the importance of prohibiting bullying in our schools. When I posed this question in 1995 to New York's chief school security official, the answer was "it is impossible to enforce a ban on bullying."

We do not institute law with regard to the difficulties of law enforcement. We institute law because it is ethical, moral and right to do so. Bullying in our schools must be met with the highest degree of enforcement on school grounds, with extreme vigilance. Punishment should include suspension. Sensitivity training should be mandatory. Our schools should not only be a safe haven from physical violence but from psychological trauma as well.

Kathryn Riviello

New Hyde Park

Use income tax to pay for schools

Regarding the upcoming school district budgets, I urge all residents to make an appointment with the superintendent of schools and request, through the Freedom of Information Law, to view the teachers' contract as well as the administrators'. I promise you will find it an interesting read.

While you are reading the contracts, compare the annual salary increase, health care benefits and fringe benefits to your own. After reading the contracts, you can make an informed decision on how to vote on the school budget.

Then write to the governor and state Legislature demanding that school taxes be converted into an income tax, similar to FICA, so every person in the state will contribute and the homeowners may feel some relief from the out of control school budgets.

Barbara A. Damon


We were lied to about Iraq

There is no doubt in my mind that Vice President Dick Cheney represents a threat to our Constitution. He has done everything in his power to circumvent the people's right to know and Congress' right to authorize war in his quest to plunge this country so deep into war in the Middle East that we may never get out.

We must remove this man if we have any hope of righting what has gone so terribly, terribly wrong.

Patricia Goldsmith

Island Park

The war in Iraq, as defined by President George W. Bush, is indeed lost because it was and is all a lie.

The war against Iraq, which is the reality, is also lost because Iraq's national oil assets will never fall safely into ExxonMobil's and BP's hands.

Stephen Wohl

Rockaway Beach

The Democrats are equally responsible for the war in Iraq. They "believed" and supported President George W. Bush's war while millions of regular Americans like myself suspected lies, expected the worst and asked questions that our representatives never echoed.

I never thought even for a nanosecond that the pretext for this invasion was even remotely related to the facts, and I was sure that we would be caught in a quagmire.

Ordinary Americans had enough information about that part of the world, the questionable integrity of Bush & Co. and history in general to consider the adventure to be a severely misguided one.

And yet most educated, presumably intelligent, elected Democrats fell in line like the amoral, political creatures they were. And are.

Bring the troops home yesterday.

Frank Leone


Health care's a struggle

Thank you, Newsday, for alerting the public about the part-time county workers' health insurance that our governing bodies in Nassau and Suffolk take so willingly from our tax dollars ["They still benefit," News, April 25].

That these people were getting compensated when their spouses' insurance covered them was even worse to read. Some of us out here are weighing whether to pay our constantly escalating health insurance or pay our constantly escalating taxes.

If I don't pay my health insurance, I take the chance of incurring huge medical debt. If I get sick, or get a lien on my house if I can't pay my taxes ... What a choice. My health insurance is covered now by my partner's company. We are of the same sex, so on top of the high cost ($500 a month) of our contribution to our medical insurance, my partner has to pay tax on my share of the company's contribution. We have not been granted marriage rights yet, but that is another letter.

My partner's company, a huge corporation, has let all the workers (not management) know that there will be no more raises. We are very concerned, mainly because of the rising cost of our medical insurance. I have a small business that doesn't keep up with the economy anymore, and I am looking for more employment.

We are doing well compared to some. I have had a bout with breast cancer and the chemo is almost done. Unfortunately, if I lose my health insurance, I will have to pay more because of the pre-condition of cancer. I am thankful for my heath insurance. I just wish it were more affordable. It would be of help if we could get back that tax money the county so generously gave away.

Edie Cunningham


Combine the school districts

Regarding attempts to lower school taxes:

There is one simple way. Reduce the number of school districts. Why do we need so many?

Answer: politics. If we had one or two districts per town, we would save thousands in salaries and expenses.

I realize this would not be popular with the school boards and teachers' union.

Ivan M. Pollack

Huntington Station
Join the dialogue
Join the dialogue
This week experts will take part in a panel discussion on state aid for public schools. Using this forum, you can leave a question or comment to the panel by 8 p.m. Monday and the moderator will try to raise it during the discussion. To read our coverage on this matter, view the stories in the column at right under "More Coverage."
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