Despite red tape, marathon is helping

The Suffolk County Marathon, along with the rest of the Suffolk County Veterans Run Series, has raised awareness of Long Island’s large population of veterans. These races enable veterans, their families and the public to acknowledge and improve the lives of the homeless and needy among these heroes by raising funds for charitable organizations.

Unfortunately, the March 7 news story “Veterans wait for race funds” focused only on the difficulties of a few recipient organizations. While I am sympathetic to the frustration of dealing with paperwork and government regulations, our organization, General Needs, has found Thomas Ronayne, director of the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency, and his office, to be committed and helpful in negotiating these issues.

Let’s not lose sight of what Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s vision has yielded. From the marathon proceeds, my organization received a $12,300 grant that purchased 23 household setups, including beds, mattresses, bedding, kitchenware, etc. This was for formerly homeless veterans who had found permanent housing.

Mitchell L. Schare, Commack

Editor’s note: The writer is vice president of General Needs, a nonprofit that provides necessities for homeless veterans and their families.

Rethink plan to leave seats empty

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The renovated Nassau Coliseum will dedicate eight seats to the members of our military, prisoners of war/missing in action soldiers, first responders and Long Islanders who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks [“8 Coliseum seats idled in tribute,” News, March 25]. Railings will block anyone from sitting there.

Why not give tickets for these seats to the people they are honoring, or their families, for all events? Let them enjoy the venue!

Susan O’Donnell, Wantagh

Wrong to charge for parking at Coliseum

I haven’t been to an event at the Nassau Coliseum in more than 20 years, and the main reason is Nassau County’s gall to charge $5 to $40 for parking at a venue that lacks public transportation options [“Coliseum will get express parking lanes,” News, March 23].

Every other major venue in the area — Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden — is accessible by public transportation. If I choose, I can drive to them and then pay for parking.

Others venues, including NYCB Theatre at Westbury, The Paramount in Huntington and The Space at Westbury, offer parking for their events.

New options at the Coliseum, such as purchasing a parking spot in advance, are improvements. But the closest I’ll get to the Coliseum is waving as I drive by on Hempstead Turnpike. It’s just another money grab.

Phil Cicciari, Westbury

Hasn’t Sen. Schumer been watching?

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Chuck Schumer has been part of the Washington establishment since he became a senator in 1999. Our federal government has amassed more than $20 trillion in debt. Does this number mean anything to Schumer?

In the March 25 news story “Health bill vote off, Obamacare stays,” he says, “I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House.”

Really? Where has he been the past 18 years?

John Roche, South Setauket

Trump needs to protect the planet

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The Trump administration plans to let automakers argue for less stringent fuel-economy standards in the United States [“Trump move sets up Calif. emissions battle,” News, March 16]. If they succeed, this will increase pollution and possibly cause a violation of the 2015 Paris accords on climate change.

President Donald Trump and his advisers don’t seem to grasp that global warming is an ongoing process. The carbon dioxide in the air today is greater than 400 parts per million, which is a result of carbon pollution from previous centuries. If we put more carbon into the atmosphere, the temperature in this century could rise 6 degrees Celsius. We could be close to a tipping point for climate disaster.

If the planet reaches a carbon dioxide level of 1,000 parts per million, there will be very little ice on the planet. Trump ought to read climate scientist Joseph Romm’s book, “Climate Change.” If we care about our children and grandchildren, then we had better act now to prevent a climate cataclysm.

William Lemmey, Astoria