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Letter: Get students involved in a solar inventory

A photo taken on August 9, 2013 shows

A photo taken on August 9, 2013 shows sun rays over a wind and a solar hybrid parc on the Pellworm island, northern Germany. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / Frank Zeller

Newsday’s April 12 editorial is right about the siting of solar farms on Long Island: “Trees-vs.-solar is a choice the Island need not make.” But Newsday’s proposal to quickly take an inventory of solar capacity on rooftops, parking lots, etc., needs expansion. Why not invite college students who are technology or sustainability majors to work on this inventory? This could be a powerful teachable moment for them.

While the inventory is being completed, the low-hanging solar fruit can be captured. Unions for teachers, construction workers and municipal employees could unite to demand of school boards, town boards, county legislatures, etc., that the roofs of all Long Island schools, municipal and public buildings be outfitted with solar panels right now.

Long Islanders have an opportunity to get our renewable energy future right. Let’s work together as a community, build something we can be proud of, and protect our kids’ futures, the economy and the environment.

Peter Maniscalco, Manorville

Editor’s note: The writer is a local energy activist.