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Letter: Limit commercial fishing

In response to "Ease rules on LI fishing businesses" [Opinion, Feb. 19], I'm in favor of economic development, but not at the cost of our oceans.

This issue raises an obvious question: Why should New York State support commercial fishing when it is essentially a group of people entering our collectively owned public waterways, removing wildlife and then profiting from it? Fishermen do not own the oceans.

Many reports have shown that the world's oceans are overfished. Is Long Island the exception? Are we a society that sees only the economic side of this issue and is not willing to look at the ethical side?

Beth Fiteni, Oyster Bay

Ethanol mileage is better than half

I am not a fan of E-85 fuel, which contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, because the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages. However, the writer of the letter "Don't be fooled by low price of E-85" [Feb. 24] is wrong when he says, "Simply put, a gallon of E-85 will only carry your car half the distance of a gallon of gasoline."

A simple Internet search will show that E-85 does significantly better than 50 percent. The federal Department of Energy's website says that "since ethanol contains less energy per volume than gasoline," flexible-fuel vehicles typically get about 25 to 30 percent fewer miles per gallon when fueled with E-85. This is borne out by independent private-sector tests.

Ed Schwartz, Dix Hills

Politicians should back MTA demands

With all the documented operating inefficiencies of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, how can Reps. Peter King, Tim Bishop, Steve Israel, Carolyn McCarthy, Gregory Meeks and others not address the union contracts, which are the root cause of the MTA's problems?

Instead, they back the unions and urge the MTA to back off its demand that Long Island Rail Road workers accept a "three-year freeze on wages or make big concessions" ["LIRR workers backed," News, Feb. 20].

Our politicians should put their heads back in the sand and let the MTA handle this issue without political influence. If the MTA operated as a real business, it would streamline operations, cut costs and not hit commuters with unjustifiable rate increases to cover its mismanagement and wasteful spending.

Newsday and its editorial page has written about the money wasted by the Long Island Rail Road and MTA in the East Side tunnel project, the "Watch the Gap" campaign, platform alterations, and the repair of escalators that were not maintained for years, as well as LIRR workers arriving late to work and leaving early.

If the MTA board cannot streamline operations, New York State officials should step in and conduct an independent operating audit with binding recommendations or seek an independent entity to run the MTA efficiently.

Robert Lorelli, Speonk

Weak response to Putin in Ukraine

Can you just imagine the fear that struck Russian President Vladimir Putin when President Barack Obama told him there were "costs" for his invading Ukraine ["Russia moves draw warning," News, March 1]?

Putin should remember that this is the president who warned Syria's leader, Bashar Assad, that he, Obama, was drawing a red line that Assad should not cross.

Seriously, when will Obama realize that a threat must have consequences before anyone will take him at his word? He's dealing with Russia, not Afghanistan.

Anthony DiDonato, East Northport

President Barack Obama's statement that "any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing" sounds ominous.

But considering Putin's lack of respect for -- or lack of fear of -- the United States and Obama, he probably laughed himself silly.

Michael A. Guerriero, East Northport

The Evil Empire is back with a vengeance. Over the past six months, Russia has given asylum to Edward Snowden, dramatically slowed momentum against Syria and invaded a neighboring state with only a lukewarm response from the West.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has terminated America's manned space program and seeks to return our military strength to pre-World War II levels.

Eight years of hard work by President Ronald Reagan has gone down the drain. Whether he wants to admit it, Obama has lost the peace that Ronald Reagan won.

Welcome to Cold War II.

Kenneth E. Heard, Smithtown

How to check into a charity

The article "AG eyes charities relying on telemarketers" [News, Feb. 27] reported that most money solicited by telemarketers never gets to the charities. I have a simple solution. When called, I politely ask if there is a website where I can make my donation. On occasion, the telemarketer immediately hangs up -- a sure sign that something isn't legitimate.

If I receive the name of the website, I then check with to see if it actually is a charity. I can also see how much of the money donated is for programs rather than fundraising and administration.

Nancy Maia, Bay Shore