Ukraine, Regents exam, college debt, etc.

Questioning the world after the war in Ukraine

When the term “Ukrainian post-war period” is mentioned, what does it really mean? This can only mean that Russian President Vladimir Putin no longer holds any power or, in other words, is dead [“Russia asserts progress,” News, May 29].

Ideally, the will of the Russian population and/or members of the Russian intelligence or autocracy communities will rise for Putin to indeed follow the same path as Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini.

In a “poetic world”, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny would become president of Russia and forge democratic ties with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a better world. Such poetry would lessen, if not end, the necessity of NATO based on its original founding purpose.

Some of the money to rebuild Ukraine already exists in the seized accounts and assets of Putin and his associates, and this would increase further with the end of Putin’s regime.

Do you believe this cannot happen to a person who will likely be prosecuted as a war criminal with genocide on their hands? So that’s misunderstanding how quickly “strong men” can be overthrown and prevented from causing more harm to humanity.

Steve SwalgenFarmingdale

Even Year Voting Is Exactly What We Need

Newsday editorial staff get electoral reform wrong [“Even-year vote plan premature,” Editorial, May 31]. Consolidation in even years would eliminate the “out of year” election, a definite advantage. It would also save county election commissions a lot of money. Turnout would surely increase from low rates in off-year elections. Since we are currently using paper ballots, the ballots may need to be larger, but the scanners can handle it.

Moreover, we already have too many votes: May, it’s school budgets; June (March in some villages) corresponds to mayors and local administrators as well as the primaries of the main parties; November is the general election; and December is for special districts. Sufficient?

Finally, if we really want to reform, end the election of judges who appear on our ballots and instead have them appointed with a nominating commission process, as is done for the Court of Appeals. This would significantly shorten the ballot and presumably lead to a better judicial system.

If the reform passes, it will not come into force immediately, leaving a lot of preparation time.

I vote “yes”.

David Zielenziger, big neck

Lowering Regents’ standards is a wrong answer

I disagree with the revision of the Regents exam rules to allow students to graduate with scores as low as 50 [“Regents exam relief,” News, June 1]. The state’s actions defy logic, claiming that the increase in COVID-19 cases has created a significant disruption in the educational process to justify this decision. At a time when U.S. students’ math and science rankings continue to decline relative to other countries, this move (albeit temporary) sends the wrong message. Obtaining a Regents degree was once met with respect and admiration.

Extended time for teaching and test preparation with delayed exam schedules would probably have been a wiser approach to solving this problem, but it requires the cooperation and agreement of educators, parents and students. Has this option been discussed before? Instead of acknowledging and confronting the fact that lower academic achievement likely has a long-term impact on America’s global competitiveness, the Board of Regents’ decision points us in the wrong direction.

John Santamaria, Farmingdale

Debt? Colleges should reimburse students

If President Joe Biden wants to cancel student debt, he should make these overfunded, wealthy colleges repay students for selling them degrees that many won’t be able to use to find jobs. [“Alternatives for student debt,” Letters, May 31]. Why should the taxpayer guarantee these students when colleges continue to make profits at our expense? Get to the root of the problem.

Frank Grunseich, Deer Park

Use Lotto Millions to Help Feed Students

As an educator in my 25th year, I am still trying to figure out how our system has benefited from the millions of dollars we are supposed to receive each year from our state lottery. [“Free school meals for all kids ends in June,” News, May 31]. With the free lunch plan set to expire at the end of this year, and it’s estimated it will take $200 million to continue in New York, is it too much to ask that we use that lottery money and use in our schools? Let’s not let our children suffer unnecessarily with unequal access to basic foods. Relying on an ineffective Congress will not solve more related problems.

Tom Sena Merrick

The new LIRR terminal is a long time coming

Making the dreaded commute to New York shorter and a world-class experience will help Long Islanders finish their Zoom calls and get back to their offices when the Long Island Rail Road opens its new terminal in December. [“It’s Grand Central Madison,” News, June 1].

Laura Schultz, Syosset

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