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OpinionLetters

Letter: Montauk shoreline hardening is a mistake

Reader letters to Newsday for Dec. 11, 2018

A view looking east shows erosion along the

A view looking east shows erosion along the ocean beach near the Atlantic Terrace Hotel in Montauk on Nov. 27. The beach has eroded to expose sandbags placed beneath the sand. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The Dec. 3 news story “Eating away at Montauk” states that seasonal erosion of the beach “underscores the need for a more permanent solution to stabilize the shoreline.” That’s dead wrong.

Long Island’s ocean shoreline has been around for thousands of years, and our ocean beaches are considered by many Long Islanders our island’s most precious asset. The ocean shoreline is in constant flux and resists stabilization. This and many other oceanfront stabilization projects have taught us that when trying to keep the shoreline fixed in one place, the sandy beach will wash away.

Meanwhile, a natural dune exists a stone’s throw to the west of the artificial sand-bag dune placed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It sits where dunes tend to be when left to their own devices: on ground above the high-tide line. That natural dune survived Sandy in good form, and looks fine after this fall’s early seasonal erosion that exposed the adjacent sand-bag dune. This side-by-side contrast provides an excellent example of how to manage our shoreline: Move structures off the primary dune and let it and the priceless beach do their dance with the ocean.

Mike Bottini, East Hampton

Editor’s note: The writer, a member of the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue & Auxiliary Squad, is a veteran ocean lifeguard.

Wary of Trump handling of trade

I would like to see the Securities and Exchange Commission fine President Donald Trump for his untruthful remarks about a tariff deal with China [“U.S., China agree to pause trade war,” News, Dec. 3].

Trump tweeted on Dec. 2 that China and the United States had made progress in trade talks, sending stocks higher Dec. 3, only to have them plunge Dec. 4 when doubts emerged. The result directly affects my investments and retirement accounts.

If Elon Musk was fined for his fraudulent remarks about his Tesla automobile company, which primarly affected his company and investors, the president should be held responsible for remarks that affect the world economy.

Rich Chapman, Smithtown

Larry Kudlow, director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, took it upon himself to warn Chinese President Xi Jinping “against trying to wait out” President Donald Trump in their trade negotiations [“Trump adviser warns Chinese leader,” Business, Nov. 28]. Kudlow could not have chosen a worse way to gain Xi’s trust and cooperation.

Whether the United States likes it or not, China has emerged as a world power. After centuries of subjugation by foreign occupiers and decades of isolation under Mao Zedong, no Chinese president — and particularly one as determined as Xi to assert his own leadership, as well as his country’s global standing — could accept warnings from a subordinate bureaucrat. Indeed, if anything is likely to raise Xi’s hackles and deter him from making concessions, it is the suggestion of a threat to his own negotiating position. Can we just imagine how Trump would react to a comparable warning from the Chinese minister of finance?

Perhaps Kudlow should avoid mixing in diplomatic issues and to stick to domestic economic analysis. His predictions on that front would at least avoid the risk of counterproductive reactions by foreign leaders.

Robert I. Adler, Port Washington

Scarves endanger young children

Thank goodness that nothing serious happened to the 6-year-old girl who was sent to a hospital after a boy pulled on her scarf on a school bus [“District warns about incident on bus,” News, Nov. 29].

I worked 12 years in transportation, including as a dispatcher, van driver and school district road supervisor, and always worried that young children wearing long scarves could get them stuck in a bus or classroom door or become injured if they were stepped on by another student.

Parents should never let elementary-age children wear scarves. With cold weather upon us, I suggest that a shirt or sweater with a turtleneck is safer.

Steve Hinderhofer, Middle Island

Reduce packaging to reduce waste

With the dire straits the United States faces regarding recycling [“Recycle: Ready, set, sort,” News, Nov. 28], some companies are making things worse by overpackaging.

I just received a plastic iPhone case from Amazon. It came in a 13-by-15-inch bubble envelope that could hold a dozen such cases. I ordered a stapler and a box of staples from W.B. Mason. Each item came in a separate box large enough to hold a pair of boots.

The waste is enormous, and it’s been getting worse. I can understand the need to protect fragile items, but the iPhone case could have survived a drop from a plane without damage.

Shippers need to be more conscientious about the garbage they create. Smaller packages might save them money, too.

Robert Broder, Stony Brook

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