A small item caught my eye in the May 18, 1983, reprint of Newsday distributed to many subscribers on May 13. It is very relevant to what is happening with the Environmental Protection Agency.
On May 17, 1983, the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm the appointment of William Ruckelshaus to lead the EPA. The previous head of the EPA was forced to resign under pressure of several congressional investigations into allegations of mismanagement, political manipulation and sweetheart deals with polluters.
Scott Pruitt, the current EPA administrator, faces several investigations into allegations of ethical and other misconduct [“Environment under attack by EPA head,” Letters, May 6]. Yet he still has the presidential seal of approval. I’m curious to know what level of corruption it will take for this president to ask Pruitt to resign.
Alan Wolsky, East Meadow
Why is anyone surprised about the comments made by White House aide Kelly Sadler that Sen. John McCain’s opinion is not worth anything since he is dying anyhow?
We need only remind ourselves who is president. Candidate Donald Trump said McCain is not a hero because he got captured. He made no apology to McCain or the veterans who have served our nation, even those who were captured.
He mocked a physically disabled reporter and described how to sexually assault women. In a meeting with lawmakers, he ridiculed nations in Africa and elsewhere.
The problem in the White House is that we have a president who has no moral compass. Do not be surprised about cruel, vulgar or shameless comments from any person in this administration. They simply follow the leader.
Paul Wenger, Hicksville
Get rid of dams to let local rivers run
The $2.5 million Suffolk County project to dredge aquatic plants from Canaan Lake, while understandably welcomed by nearby residents and anglers, sets a worrisome precedent for dealing with the hundreds of aging dams across Long Island [“Lake in North Patchogue drained to eliminate nonnative plants,” News, May 10].
Many of our man-made lakes and ponds face similar problems, or soon will. Silt builds up over time; when sunlight reaches the bottom, plants grow. Eventually they choke completely and fail to provide recreational or ecological benefits.
Dredging is one (expensive) solution, but it’s only temporary; eventually these lakes and ponds refill and plants return. Dredging is economically untenable, especially since the dams also impose a severe ecological cost. They break the connectivity of waterways, prevent sediment from reaching marshes, and block migratory fish from reaching upstream habitats.
A better solution? Remove the dams. It’s a onetime expense and a permanent fix. Streams reform, tidal and freshwater meadows take hold, usable property expands, and migratory fish rebound, which benefits our entire coastal ecosystem.
Dams are coming down across the country as communities recognize it makes good economic and ecological sense. There has yet to be a dam removal on Long Island, but it’s time to let our rivers and streams run!
Enrico Nardone, Islip
Editor’s note: The writer is director of the Seatuck Environmental Association, an advocacy organization.
Use of torture is the worst of humanity
Two letter writers defended the use of torture when interrogating terrorists [“The United States and torture,” May 15].
I disagree. Torture is about vengeance, not intelligence. It diminishes us as a nation and in the eyes of the world. We all need to understand that any bombastic and pompous society can claim the moral high ground when it is untested. A truly noble society maintains its morality when times are dark. Which are we?
Michael Melgar, Glen Head
Both of those May 15 letters made excuses for America’s use of torture after 9/11. Both said, basically, “Well, they tortured us, so it’s OK for us to torture them.”
If the worst of humanity is the highest we can rise, then God’s entire creation is nothing but a cruel joke. We do not have to be horrible, yet many seem very eager to join in.
Ann Kemler, Long Beach