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Letters: Busy flight paths need rerouting

Thank you for your editorial on the marked increase in airplane noise in our area ["FAA, Port Authority must help rattled residents," June 5].

We all understand that the airports play a vital role in our economy. However, as residents and taxpayers, we too contribute to the vitality of New York City and its suburbs. As someone who lives in northern Queens, I have always accepted a degree of noise from LaGuardia Airport. However, the increasingly liberal usage of the Runway 13 climb is unconscionable. The Federal Aviation Administration adopted this stealthily and despite much opposition from residents and local elected officials in 2012.

All we ask for is rationality and a more equitable distribution of runway usage and flight paths.

Susan Carroll, Flushing

In a previous editorial regarding the new NextGen flight route out of LaGuardia Airport, Newsday asked residents of Bayside to take "one for the team" ["Airplane earful for some -- but progress for all," Aug. 29, 2013].

The June 5 editorial seems like a careful rewording of the previous editorial, albeit with a softer, gentler ending: a candid dialogue between Kennedy Airport and its neighbors. However, that's not what the aviation roundtable is for. It's a vehicle for change.

If Newsday is serious about an open dialogue, here are some things that have been missing from your narrative. Most people complaining about the drastic increase in air traffic did not buy homes under flight routes. New routes have been implemented.

Overland routes that had been sparingly used in the past have been upgraded for general use, and some water routes have been abandoned.

These changes have occurred for one reason only: operational efficiency. LaGuardia may still put its arriving planes into the wind, but nearly all departures now use Runway 13 because it allows the airport to clear the runway intersection quickly. With the intersection clear, arriving planes can be spaced more closely, and the capacity of the airport increases.

Brian F. Will, Auburndale

Islam doesn't mandate conversion

As a Muslim, I am shocked that Meriam Yehya Ibrahim was sentenced to death for the sole reason of changing her faith from Islam to Christianity ["Forced faith can't ever be real faith," Opinion, June 6].

What shocked me even more was that the government of Sudan, where Ibrahim resides, supports such a heinous punishment. The Quran explicitly states that there is no compulsion in religion. The Quran clearly prohibits forcing someone to convert to another religion and rejects any justification for it.

I support Ibrahim's decision to stick to the faith she chose. I hope that she receives her freedom very soon.

Taimur Ahmad, Dix Hills

Cut emissions, tax carbon production

President Barack Obama's plan to raise Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards is a good start, but it addresses only power plants and will not cut emissions to the level we need to avert a worst-case scenario within a few decades ["The power of competition," Editorial, June 8].

The only measure that would result in a rapid decline in heat-trapping emissions is a gradually increasing carbon tax. The revenue-neutral carbon tax proposed by the nonpartisan group Citizens' Climate Lobby is economically sound and should satisfy those who prefer free-market solutions over government regulations.

Leading economists at both ends of the political spectrum agree that a carbon tax at energy sources would not only cut fossil fuel use, but would create an abundance of jobs in clean energy. Returning the revenue to households in the form of dividend checks would offset inflationary effects and render the plan palatable to conservative members of Congress.

A carbon tax would essentially level the economic playing field between fossil fuels and clean energy, and allow the free market to choose.

Lynn Meyer, Bayside

Vitamins unnecessary for good health

I would like to comment on "Vitamin deficiency" [News, June 1]. Ed Scicchitano states that his use of about 20 vitamins daily, along with his diet and exercise, is the cause of his good health and lack of diseases at age 83.

I am 82. I have never taken a vitamin, have had one of the world's worst diets, and the only time I exercised was when I was scheduled for a knee replacement.

I still work as a tax preparer and, during 100 days of tax season, I average 12 hours of work a day. I bowl two to three times a week and have coached junior bowlers for more than 30 years. I never get sick.

If I am used as the proof, Scicchitano's claims about vitamins and his good health are just a lot of hot air. There is no possible way he could prove it, just as I wouldn't be able to prove that my good health is a result of never having taken a vitamin.

Jerry Schreibersdorf, Douglaston

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