The West 33rd Street concourse of Manhattan's Penn Station, with a section...

The West 33rd Street concourse of Manhattan's Penn Station, with a section of the ceiling raised and lighted panels installed. Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Marc A. Hermann

Can 10 politicians be wrong on Mack?

I believe “Mack’s ride should end” is an unfair editorial about David Mack [Opinion, Aug. 1].

Mack has been appointed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board by two Democratic and three Republican county executives and one Republican and four Democratic governors. That is remarkable. Could they all be wrong? Definitely not.

What we leaders saw in Mack was a passion for public transportation and public service. He is wealthy, but it is his generosity and philanthropy that sets him apart from other rich folks.

His contributions to education on Long Island are significant. He is one of the biggest donors to Hofstra University, benefiting countless students. He has purchased ambulances for the Northwell Health network.

Mack donated millions of dollars to build our police center for training and intelligence that otherwise would have been paid by taxpayers. He puts his money where his mouth is.

Mack’s latest vote against congestion pricing was heroic. He was fighting for everyday people who can’t afford to pay a tax just to drive in New York City.

The editorial board’s priggish characterization of Mack suggests that its judgment is superior to 10 governors and county executives, and the board fails to take into account all the good that Mack has done for Long Islanders.

 — Bruce A. Blakeman,  Mineola

The writer is Nassau County executive.

Directly increase renewable power

It’s sad to see that Liz O’Shaughnessy, executive director of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, apparently has drunk National Grid’s Kool-Aid so uncritically [“Improve NY climate plan for businesses,” Opinion, Aug. 1].

National Grid is engaging in fear tactics while pushing thoroughly false solutions. Nobody is forcing businesses to electrify.

If anything, the All-Electric Building Act, which state legislative leaders Assemb. Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) blocked this session, would have required only new construction to be all-electric.

So-called renewable natural gas could only replace a small amount of natural gas, making little difference in decarbonization. Hydrogen is only green if it’s produced using renewable power. It also requires new infrastructure and new appliances.

Why not directly increase the use of renewable power?

 — Grace Mok, Jericho

House vote banning weapons is big news

I question the placement of the article on the House vote on the semi-automatic weapons ban on page 12 on July 30 [“House passes ban on semiautomatic weapons,” Nation].

It would have been wise for readers to know that House Democrats voted for our safety and our children’s safety. This should have been on the front page. If the Senate rejects it, that should be a major headline as well.

 — Carol Monyak, Rockville Centre

Ukraine? Americans need money, too

Of course we feel sorry for the people of Ukraine. However, we must also consider the current trials and tribulations of Americans. Inflation at an all-time high is decimating our available funds.

Even though gas prices have come down in the past several weeks, they are still considerably higher than a year ago [“Biden urges gas tax holiday,” News, July 19].

Retirees have seen their IRA and 401(k) holdings diminished, likely prompting many to wonder whether they’ll have enough to support the remainder of their years. The bottom line is: Americans at home need help.

We have given billions of dollars to Ukraine to assist them in what seems to be an endless war. Yet, instead of going to their European neighbors who have more of a vested interest in their fight against Russia, they continuously come first to the United States, even addressing our Congress, asking for more billions. We have more than paid our dues and can hold our heads up high for the support we’ve provided.

It’s time to spend the billions of dollars to address the monetary ills that Americans are facing at home.

 — Marty Orenstein, New Hyde Park

Does Penn project include prior work?

The article on the $8 billion Penn Station project makes no mention of work started two years ago that we have endured [“State backs $8B project to redevelop Penn,” News, July 22]. Is the associated expense and inconvenience being tossed to the wayside, or is it to be incorporated into the new plan?

I suspect this is just another waste of taxpayer money.

 — Eric Kaplan, Oceanside

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