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Readers sound off on dyslexia, graduations and embryonic life

NY Daily News, May 24, 2022.

Learning problems can become society’s problems

Opelika, Ala.: It’s imperative that Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks heed Dr. Sally Shaywitz’s recommendations and fight effectively to diminish the dyslexia scourge. Shaywitz said that slow reading, so common in dyslexia, is often mistaken for slow thinking. However, anyone who watched Muhammad Ali in his 1960s verbal and fistic prime, as he spewed retorts with speed akin to a humming bird’s flitting wings, knew he was no slow thinker. Nevertheless, Ali displayed characteristics associated with dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association considers it a neurological specific learning difficulty, manifested by difficulty with accurate and fluent word recognition and poor spelling abilities.

Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins sponsored a bill that includes early diagnosis identification, specific support for dyslexic students and prepares college students to develop expertise in science-based reading instruction. In the August 2019 Prison Legal News, a 2000 Texas study revealed that 48% of prisoners were dyslexic and two-thirds struggled with reading comprehension.

Ameer Baraka hated school. An undiagnosed dyslexic, he was shamed, scorned and stigmatized. Defeated and distraught, he began selling drugs. He was a 23-year-old prisoner when he was diagnosed as dyslexic. Reading “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” filled him with hope, and he earned his GED while imprisoned. Since his release, Baraka has developed into an author, actor and producer, and launched Us Helping Us New Orleans, a free after-school program for children in first through eighth grades.

Adams and Banks must remain steadfast in their desire to establish a program that diagnoses and treats dyslexia — or be prepared to build more jails and prisons. Marc D. Greenwood

Cause for celebration

Brooklyn: It was wonderful to attend my older daughter’s SUNY college graduation ceremony in person on Sunday. Our younger daughter’s high school graduation was online and just wasn’t the same. Folks, please stay healthy, practice proper hygiene protocols and be grateful for the resumption of in-person ceremonies such as these. Ellen Levitt

Better oversight

Manhattan: William Mersey’s colorful and reflective op-ed (”The feds running Rikers? Are you joking?” May 20) needs some clarity. From personal experience as a man who has been imprisoned on Rikers Island and at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center, he notes that both are disasters and that Rikers wouldn’t benefit from a federal takeover. If a receivership is placed, the Federal Bureau of Prisons would not be running Rikers. A judge would appoint an administrator, an expert on corrections, who would temporarily oversee all aspects of the jail, including hiring, programs, staff, health care, etc. Mr. Mersey is correct that our concept of punishment — falsely called corrections — is a disaster up and down the line. But federal intervention at Rikers would bypass the existing failing administrators, both local and federal. Perhaps Mersey should apply for the job. He seems to have the credentials. David Rothenberg

No progress

Bronx: I voted for Eric Adams because the others were too liberal. However, since he became mayor, murders, shootings and subway crime have increased. He should have police riding the trains, going from car to car, not just standing on the platforms chatting with each other. The incidents take place on the trains, not on the platform. Decourcey Hurley

Highway robbery

Milford, Pa.: I saw MTA chair Janno Lieber on the news saying that the MTA is cracking down on drivers who cover their plates in order to avoid tolls. What do they expect when they charge $19 to cross the Verrazano Bridge — a bridge that does not even take you out of the city, much less the state? I’m shaking my head. Robert K. Greco


Brooklyn: This country has reached an all-time low. It is absolutely disgraceful that new mothers have to scrounge for baby formula. Our country is more concerned about feeding the world than feeding its own people. We were once a self-sufficient and proud nation. Look at us now. Melissa Lieberman

Low marks

White Plains: President Biden ran on uniting the country. I don’t think he knows what unite means. Most people don’t believe that he united the country. With inflation so high, food prices so high, gas prices so high and crime out of control, how can anybody believe Biden is doing a good job. Most people believe they were better off before he became president. Joan Cocurullo

Unity or my silence?

Manhattan: I’m hearing the term “unite us” bandied about when it comes to President Biden, a man I did not vote for because of his history in the Senate. However, how can anyone unite us as a country when many people refuse to discuss the history of our country that is built on division, hatred and racism? You cannot fix a problem until you acknowledge there is a problem that has been here for centuries. You cannot support banning the discussion of racism in schools when it’s the cornerstone and foundation of our country. A segment of Americans refuses to accept the truth about our country yet demands that we unite. We cannot have it both ways; either we tell the truth, right some historic wrongs and work as a country to unite, or live in our own bubbles and be comfortable with the lies we tell ourselves. Heyward Johnson

Parade pass

Kew Gardens Hills: It is bad enough that there are numerous politicians and academics out there who wish to see the end of the state of Israel by supporting the vile BDS movement. Now the Daily News has joined the cancel Israel crowd. How? Yesterday’s Daily News did not even make a mention of the Celebrate Israel Parade held Sunday on 5th Ave. in Manhattan. Not even one photograph. I guess the only parades you cover are those in which the revelers get drunk out of their minds or attack parade-goers in Central Park. Barry Koppel

Thinned down

Stamford, Conn.: What is going on with the Daily News? There are fewer and fewer pages, plus the price is at an all-time high of $3. There are huge photos with very little story print. There should be fewer big pictures and more stories. I’ve read various articles about “Top Gun: Maverick” actors but no reviews about the film itself. And what has happened to movie reviews, anyway? Most other N.Y. newspapers feature eight or more reviews on Fridays. I don’t even mind all the typos as long as there is more to read. Please do something or this decades-long reader may drop his subscription. Nelson Jimenez

Sacrificing life

Purchase, N.Y.: To Voicer Joan Silaco: You can have all the sex you want; pro-lifers aren’t stopping you from that, as pro-abortion propaganda would duplicitously like people to believe. But like driving a car, having sex comes with responsibility. So you want to have sex? Exhaust yourself, knock yourself out. But people should not be allowed to kill a baby in the womb with an abortion when they make a mistake (the reason for the overwhelming majority of abortions). That unborn baby is a human life and should not have to suffer from your mistake. Terminating the life of that child in the womb should be illegal, not to mention that killing your own child to correct your mistake is the epitome of selfishness. Marlene Danoff

Continuum of life

Fair Lawn, N.J.: It’s never surprising how pro-abortionists concoct all sorts of excuses to rationalize the killing of pre-born children. Voicer John A. MacKinnon uses the feeble excuse of semantics to justify abortion, saying the human life in the womb is not a “baby.” Sorry, but it is an early form of a baby, even if your conception of a baby is something you can see. Scientists say the universe was created almost 15 billion years ago, even if it looked a lot different in its first milliseconds than it does today. They don’t say the early universe was just a clump of elements or a “fetus” or “embryo.” No matter what you call it, aborting it is killing it, and the last time I checked, the intentional killing of innocent human life is defined as murder. Jennifer Berenbaum

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