‘Do No Harm’ policy cheats our students

I would like to applaud and wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Jester’s letter regarding “Do No Harm” and the NYS Regents exams. After retiring as a science/biology teacher for 27 years, my biggest regret is missing my interactions with so many amazing students in Southold High School. My regrets at retiring disappear when I think about the reduced and disappearing standards required by the state and local administrations. They have made a high school diploma little more than a “participation trophy.” Mr. Jester’s fine comments about how America will compete in the fields of science, math and technologies in the future with foreign countries is a major concern of mine and should be of everyone in this country.

Teresa Lewandowski Rich


Why the media double standard?

On Dec. 7, 1941, 2,800 Americans were killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Our retaliation killed an estimated 200,000 Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We were called patriots. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas slaughters, rapes and murders 1,200 Israelis. Israel retaliates by bombing known Hamas hideouts and they are called murderers. Antisemitism rules the world’s news media.

John Copertino


We must honor our war dead

Barack Obama said that the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.” Well, I’m not saying he’s wrong, but as a young man serving in the Navy, my memory of sunset is that of the lowering of our flag. This is a daily occurrence at all our military bases. Why is this so beautiful to me? At first glance it might seem as just something you do, you raise the flag and then at sunset you lower it.

However, it is more then that! When you hear “Colors” (that’s the Navy name for the bugle call to attention at the lowering of the flag) the entire base becomes motionless, every activity stops, all eyes are in the direction of the base flagpole. If in uniform a salute is required other wise you place your hand over your heart. It is a sign of respect.

This is a time of daily reflection. For me, I always reflected on those who wore the uniform before me and their sacrifice. Did I measure up, was I worthy of their sacrifice? Would I do the right thing when called upon? Would I train those coming after me correctly so our integrity would prevail?

The last time I heard that bugle call was over 50-plus years ago, but I know it has gone on each day since. I can hear it in my memory as clear as day. This Memorial Day please remember the sacrifice of our war dead and pray that God’s eternal light rests upon their souls. 

Bob Bittner


Be careful with new septic installations

Your story on the benefits of new septic systems as being impeded by costs (“Benefits of new I/A septic systems limited by high costs,” May 16) was thorough and illuminating. We all have a role to play in denitrifying the bays. I tried to have a direct impact on the nitrogen leaching problem from Suffolk County’s aging on-site cesspools. The IA/OWTS is not cheap at all. Although South Fork towns have an edge thanks to the use of Community Preservation Fund money, in my case the cost was significant. 

The county required me to change my home insurance as a condition of receiving the grant. I relied on the representations touting that the benefits of participating would involve little to no cost and that I would be reimbursed by the Town of East Hampton for the costs. The outlays for the cost of engineering drawings and permitting involve thousands of dollars. 

I incurred $20,520 in costs for the home insurance change. It turns out the installer had $5,000,000 worth of insurance, workmen’s compensation and could have added my property to his coverage for the two days of installation at my property. Unfortunately I am left fighting for reimbursement and I appear to be one of the few people in the septic improvement program that had this problem. I share my story with the community to make sure that others go into this process with their eyes open.

Steven Ludsin


Will Trump be held accountable?

This past week the news reported that an American Flag flying upside-down was observed at the home of Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the Dobbs decision reversing Roe v. Wade. A flag flying upside down used to indicate a distress situation. As of late it has become a symbol of The Big Lie and Stop the Steal. And a guy sitting on the highest court in our land, who has a lifetime position, was flying it at his home. Once discovered, he immediately blamed his wife for advertising Stop the Steal at his home.

A couple of weeks ago, Florida Federal Judge Aileen Cannon put the national security classified documents case against Donald Trump on what looks to be a permanent hold. If he’s elected, he can simply instruct the Justice Department to drop the case against him and never face accountability for something for which others have gone to jail for years. As far as one can tell, that case may be the first time in American history that someone who unlawfully possessed and unlawfully refused to return highly classified national security documents actually got away with it.

Cannon has added insult to the injury of the Supreme Court which has taken under review the question of whether Donald Trump can have absolute immunity for any act he took while still president, including whether he would have been immune from prosecution even had he ordered the assassination of a political opponent.

By taking up that issue and now sitting on it, the Supreme Court has effectively made it impossible for the criminal case against Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol to go forward any time soon.

Before the presidential election this year, the American public will be denied an opportunity to know whether juries will hold the Republican presidential nominee accountable for his criminal conduct, virtually all of which has been video-recorded. And this denial of public scrutiny will be the product of judges from the Trump-appointed Cannon in Florida all the way up to a justice of the Supreme Court who flew a Big Lie symbol at his own home.

We used to have three branches of government — the legislative, the executive and the judicial. They were intended to provide checks and balance on each other. No more. The result may be that Trump will never be held accountable for his criminal conduct. 

Michael Levy


Are these candidates the best we have?

Frustration. Is this the best our nation can do? A frail president who will probably hand over to a vice president no one would ever vote for as president? A loose cannon ex-president who would pardon Jan. 6 rioters who beat law enforcement? And now a third-party candidate with the Kennedy name and a brain worm. Lord, take me now! Our enemies see us getting weaker and weaker. Pray for our children and grand kids. Their future will be more class divisiveness and global turmoil.

Gerard Kearney

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