Cover LI's malls

with solar panels. . .

Instead of clear-cutting 200 acres of carbon-dioxide reducing trees ["Taking a shine to solar," News, Jan. 11], why don't we cover a few of our many mega-malls and mega-stores and their parking lots with solar panels? No additional woodlands would need to be destroyed, people would not have to walk from their cars to the stores in rain or blazing summer sun, and the resulting shade on the buildings themselves would result in lower cooling costs during the peak summer season.

Bob Ocon

Wading River. . . or apartments

A major concern for the future of Long Island is the loss of our young college and tech school graduates because of the cost of living. We should make use of the available commercial property and build on what we have. Why not put second-story, one-bedroom apartments on top of our strip malls? These would be excellent starter apartments for graduates entering the workforce, and they would generate new real estate taxes, sales taxes (from the stores below) and construction jobs.

Steven Trusnovec

YaphankNational Grid respondsA recent letter ["Competition welcome," Letters, Jan. 11] left an incomplete impression of National Grid's performance in New York State.

Thanks to increased infrastructure investment in our electric system and a focus on improving reliability and customer satisfaction, National Grid met all of its Public Service Commission targets for upstate New York in 2008 and expects similar results for 2009, with no penalties.

This improved performance joins the ongoing strong performance the company delivers on Long Island, and in our New England markets. In fact, on Long Island, National Grid exceeded all of the 2009 reliability targets as defined in its Management Services Agreement with the Long Island Power Authority.

John Bruckner

HicksvilleEditor's note: The writer is National Grid senior vice president for Long Island electricity transmission and distribution.

McGwire no hero

A small group of supporters will applaud Mark McGwire for finally being forthcoming about his steroid use. Consider me not one of them. First of all, the timing is obvious. He is beginning a second career in baseball and this was most likely part of the deal. They needed him to out himself so the distractions would be behind them.

Second, he wiped clean the record of Roger Maris, a man who had achieved it and earned it through sweat, tears and respect for the game of baseball. If Major League Baseball has any sense of honor, it will finally stand up to these rule breakers. Let's go back to making baseball the honorable American pastime it was meant to be!

Arleen Farina

West Babylon