Deer graze in Southold on Monday.

Deer graze in Southold on Monday. Credit: Randee Daddona

Look to our oceans for fresh water

The development of low-cost desalination of seawater is the ultimate solution to global warming and rising ocean levels [Cartoon, Opinion, Aug. 12]. Ten thousand years ago, the Sahara Desert was the site of a vast freshwater lake, with surrounding forests and wild life (the “Green Sahara”). Now climatologists cite this desert as an incubator of Atlantic Ocean storms and hurricanes. The desalination research effort should be of the highest priority, on scale of the World War II effort to invent the atomic bomb, with associated nuclear power. We need to replenish our freshwater resources to avoid becoming a “Global Sahara.”

 — John J. Fruin, Amityville

The writer is a retired research engineer.

Hunting deer is not the solution

For more than a decade, conservationists have shouted that lethal wildlife management doesn’t work [“Deer-hunting bill introduced,” News, Aug. 11]. The high reproductive rate of deer can quickly compensate for declines in population and deer exhibit higher productivity when subjected to intensive hunting.

At the same time, Long Island has been ravaged by unbridled hunting, coming to a head earlier this year when a hunter killed a deer outside Suffolk County’s only wildlife hospital, blowing a hole through a wildlife enclosure and containment fence, endangering the lives of recovering animals and a hospital worker toiling mere feet from the slug’s trajectory.

Rather than learning from our mistakes and pursuing humane and effective wildlife management to coexist with our native wildlife, Southold officials seem determined to turn the township into a war zone complete with silencers, bait stations, and shootings near homes and from inside vehicles.

My organization, Humane Long Island, urges Assemb. Steve Englebright, who chairs the Environmental Conservation committee, to shoot down Southold’s proposal to circumvent laws set in place to ensure “fair chase” and protect our communities before our human neighbors are the next ones killed to satisfy the hunting lobby.

 — John Di Leonardo, Riverhead 
The writer is president of Humane Long Island.

Senate bill doesn’t end rich tax edge

The just-passed Inflation Reduction Act originally contained a provision reclassifying carried-interest income generated by private equity and hedge-fund managers from capital gains (lower tax rate) to ordinary income (higher tax rate) [“Climate, health bill passes,” News, Aug. 8]. However, it was omitted at the insistence of Sen. Kirsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). But should it ever have been a capital gain?

Suppose you invest $1,000 and agree to give 20% of the profits to the manager. In year one, you make $100 so the manager gets $20, treated as capital gains. But what did he actually own? Nothing. Your investment made the profit. His $20 should be income, but not a capital gain. This loophole deprives the Treasury of receiving tax payments at higher ordinary income rates. More important, it completely bypasses Social Security — no employee and employer-match payment for the capped Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) portion and no contribution to Medicare on this unlimited segment.

Multiply this scenario by thousands of funds, trillions of dollars in assets, and at least 25 to 30 years that this has been happening. You can see the enormity of this mistake and why fund managers are so keen to pressure politicians to keep the good times rolling.

Close this loophole. Make billionaires pay their fair share.

 — Bruce Glaser, Manhasset

Charlie, the steer, is gentle and sweet

In my experience, Charlie-the-steer is a sweet, gentle animal, not “ferocious and vicious” as characterized by the woman who sued Hoyt Farm [“Town, woman steer toward $20G settlement in attack suit,” Our Towns, Aug. 10].

Our granddaughters, ages 3 and 5, have enjoyed feeding Charlie for many years. It’s natural for him to move his head toward approaching food, without intent to bump into anyone. I’m sorry the woman was hurt, but I can’t imagine Charlie purposely provoking an attack.

On our many visits, Charlie has always been mellow and was never agitated when being fed, even by more than one person. Parents need to teach their children to love, respect, and gently deal with all animals. They should also know how to protect themselves and their children during encounters with animals. It’s a shame that because of this incident the height of Charlie’s paddock fence has been raised, and our grandchildren won’t be able to get as close to this sweet and peaceful creature as they could before.

 — Sylvia Grossbach, Commack

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