Josh Chapin speaks at Long Island Cares on Monday in...

Josh Chapin speaks at Long Island Cares on Monday in Bethpage, where a proposal was announced for a Harry Chapin Day in Nassau County. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Telling a true patriot from a wannabe

The group led by Shawn Farash, Long Island Loud Majority, is not a group of patriots ["Anti-government list includes 2 LI groups," News, May 2]. Wearing T-shirts and flying the American flag on the back of a pickup truck and wearing a colonial hat does not make a patriot. Disrupting school board meetings with hateful rhetoric, when they don’t even have children in the district, is not being a patriot.

A patriot is someone who has served their country in a positive, meaningful way. My husband served 20 years in the military. My father was a Marine at Iwo Jima, and my brother-in-law is a Vietnam veteran. These are people who sacrificed and served their country and asked for nothing in return. If Farash feels so strongly about communism, maybe he should join the military and be a true patriot.

Diana Carroll, Long Beach

If a PSEG exec falls for a money scam . . .

PSEG Long Island's law-breaking refusal to publicly disclose executive salary figures leads me to reasonably assume that these well-paid executives are all receiving multimillion dollar annual payments that include not only their "official" salaries but also deferred compensation, bonuses, stock options and life insurance premiums ["PSEG declines to release pay of execs," News, May 3].

PSEG assistant counsel Jeffrey Greenblatt has claimed that disclosing these secret compensation figures to PSEG's bill-paying customers "would create unreasonable and unnecessary risks for the employees identified" and also that these redactions are necessary to "protect named employees from financial scams." Really?

Any PSEG executive who falls for a financial scam is not bright enough to be entrusted with an important, high-level, highly paid job.

As for PSEG LI's $9.4 million bonus compensation for achieving target scores on 24 of 26 performance metrics, this retired teacher gives PSEG an A-plus in the 27th metric of "redacting."

Richard Siegelman, Plainview

I can only assume that the PSEG executive salaries are tremendous with excessive perks. Likewise, I have read that the oil and gas companies have made billions of dollars of profit on the backs of Americans. Why does this happen? Many of us in the middle class get hit with expenses that we don’t have the money to pay -- just to make energy companies fabulously wealthy? Why isn't the government stepping in? Are politicians also becoming millionaires? We struggle, and the rich thrive.

Barbara Hansen, Smithtown

The reason that PSEG does not want to disclose executive pay is crystal clear -- people would flip if they knew the salaries being handed out for standing at the helm of such a company. PSEG could eliminate a lot of those prestigious jobs and outrageous salaries -- and the lights would still be on. What about all those commercials showing how PSEG tries to give you the best possible service? And those mailings. Eliminate them and give us the lowest rates we can get.

PSEG must disclose its salaries. What is the justification for an enormous salary for mostly being a gatekeeper?

Anthony Tanzi, Mastic Beach

Another way to have Harry Chapin Day

It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on 41 years since we lost a great Long Islander, singer-songwriter and social activist Harry Chapin, who dedicated his life to ending food insecurity not only on Long Island but worldwide. But I do question the need to proclaim a “Harry Chapin Day” ["Harry Chapin Day' proposed in Nassau," News, May 3]. Here’s why.

Long Island is diverse in many ways, including economically. It’s true that we have a substantial population that suffers from food insecurity, especially in these challenging economic times, but there is also a substantial portion of our population that is fortunate enough to not worry about where their next meal will come from.

Lately, I've done this: When shopping, I add a few nutritious nonperishable items to my cart. At work the next day, I deposit these items in a food bank collection bin that my employer maintains. Doing this regularly need not be costly, and I'm certain it's appreciated by the recipients. It’s also a way of showing gratitude that I’m among those fortunate enough to not require assistance. If all who are able did this one small thing, every day would be Harry Chapin Day on Long Island.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh


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