I lived in New York, including on Long Island, for 55 years. I moved to North Carolina in 2008. It was a pleasant change in climate and cost of living.
Then in 2013, the North Carolina legislature came up with a new method to tax "transplants" like me. Our hard-earned pensions are no longer exempt from state taxes. And they no longer allow medical deductions.
North Carolina forgets that many of us worked 30 years and can bring many thousands of dollars to the state's economy.
My advice is to retire elsewhere. There are many states that are more elderly friendly. North Carolina legislators are shortsighted. - Douglas Sherrow, Mint Hill, North Carolina
Just Sayin': Climate deniers are wrong
Recently, a cliche has been born emblematic of dodging facts or delaying the obvious -- or merely just exposing stupidity. I'm talking about the response to a question about climate change that begins, "I'm not a scientist but . . . ."
It's not necessary to be a scientist to believe that if 97 percent of scientists make a claim to a scientific enigma, and suggest a scientific reason for it, one may accept their conclusion. No "buts" about it.
Climate-change deniers claim that they also have scientific evidence disproving that climate change is real and is largely due to human contribution. One of those renegade scientist myth-busters is Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The "not a scientist" contingent has presented a supposed research study by Soon. However, the environmental group Greenpeace revealed through Freedom of Information filings that Soon has received research funding of $1.2 million since 2008 from fossil fuel interests such as Exxon Mobile and the American Petroleum Institute, as well as a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers. Soon's study delivered the scientific proof that money could buy. So much for the deniers.
Perhaps as more of these paid-for scientific opinions are exposed, even the "I'm not a scientist" group will start thinking with its brains and conscience. - Nicholas Zizelis, Bayside
Just Sayin': Naming big storms
The New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission, in its annual report of March 2014, states that the National Weather Service has begun naming winter storms. The report says the Feb. 8, 2013 winter storm "Nemo" is the first winter storm named by the National Weather Service to impact New York State. This is untrue. The National Weather Service names only tropical storms and hurricanes.
Many homeowners have an additional deductible for claims of damage due to an officially "named" storm. The Weather Channel names winter storms to hype its programming and boost ratings. However, The Weather Channel is a TV show, not an official government entity.
Insurance adjusters and homeowners claiming damages due to winter storms should not be fooled by a misleading document published by the New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, Disaster Preparedness Commission. I have requested that this document be corrected but there has been no response from the state to date. - Vincent Novak, Shelter Island