Letters to the editor

What did we pay you for?
Since the first snowstorm at the end of December, the entrances to the Riverhead Cemetery on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead have not been cleared for family to visit their loved ones.
Perpetual care is part of the cost included when one purchases a plot. If perpetual care is included, then why aren’t the entrances and all the roads in the cemetery plowed, not just the roads where a burial is to take place?
What is the money used for that family members pay? When my mom passed away Dec. 28, I was informed the grave opening could not occur unless the maintenance fee/perpetual care fee was paid.
Brenda Brust

Can’t reach goals without music
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on this country to “spark the creativity and imagination of our people” and “out-educate and out-innovate the rest of the world.” Students in the fine and performing arts programs in Long Island schools — and throughout this state and nation — are in the pipeline, ready to take on the challenge. However, a tax cap could prevent this from continuing in future years.
There is a strong relationship between the arts and the skills in creative problem-solving and higher-order thinking that our students will need to be successful in the 21st-century economy. Our students excel not only in the arts, but academically. Many of them are in the top 10 or 20 of their graduating classes, and on the honor roll. In fact, all of the Intel Science Finalists are involved in their school arts programs.
Long Island music programs have the largest percentage of students selected to the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State ensembles, and can boast 74 selected to perform in the MENC All-Eastern ensembles in Baltimore this April.
Our art students exhibit works throughout Long Island, New York State and beyond through events sponsored by several art associations including the New York State Art Teachers Association.
Over the past four years, the Long Island Arts Alliance’s Scholar Artist program recognized 80 students as scholar artists and over 200 as Award of Excellence winners for their academic achievements and their talents in music, visual and media arts, theater and dance.
In light of cuts in state aid and the impending implementation of a property tax cap, it is imperative for our local communities to continue to ensure that our arts education programs remain intact.
Dr. John Gallagher