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Letters: How to pay to bury local power lines

Many people in Port Washington want their electric power lines to be installed underground, but do not accept having to pay the cost of $4 million to $6 million per mile themselves ["Paying to bury power lines," Editorial, March 28].

East Hampton residents similarly don't want to pay the $30 million it would cost PSEG Long Island -- and, ultimately, its other customers -- to bury their electric lines.

Here's my King Solomon-like plan sure to please both parties: Each community will simply pay for the other community's underground wires, much like they both want us to pay for theirs. Case closed!

Richard Siegelman, Plainview

Boycotting ex-sponsors of St. Pat's Parade

I have been a Guinness customer for more than 30 years but will no longer support a European company that seeks to dictate to a private organization in the United States how it should conduct its events ["Catholic leader plans to be in pride parade," News, March 21].

Guinness and Heineken withdrew from sponsorship of New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade because of the policy against displays of gay pride. Guinness' feeble attempt at self-righteousness fails even more so because it waited until after it sold and delivered its products in New York for St. Patrick's Day events. The company made sure that it got its money first.

I hope that all pubs and restaurants in New York will discontinue selling Guinness products. There are plenty of good stouts on the market. Neither Guinness, Sam Adams, Heineken, nor Mayor Bill de Blasio will be missed.

Brian Reilly, Lindenhurst

Small business is on the ropes

I've been in the auto-repair business for 27 years, and I've ridden out many ups and downs in the economy.

Each time the economy tanked, customers would not have the money to spend on their cars, and business would suffer. In time, things always got better.

This time, many of my customers lost their jobs, and many lost their savings. Many left New York and continue to do so. I have just barely managed to keep the place open.

Now the cost of doing business is rising dramatically. In the last year I have seen 25 to 50 percent increases in payroll taxes, insurance, health insurance and parts. My PSEG Long electric bill doubled. Now officials want to raise the minimum wage.

It seems that our government, big corporations and the banks don't give a damn about small businesses anymore. Every business owner I know is in the same situation. Many are laying off employees, dropping health coverage and closing down.

The federal and state governments need to correct the issues now before it's too late.

John Burns, Sayville

Concern about mosquito season

The coming of mosquito season should give Long Islanders pause. For decades, mosquitoes have been seen merely as a backyard nuisance. But for most of human history, and still in much of the world today, mosquitoes are a mortal danger.

Long Island, like much of the East Coast, is seeing rising numbers of the Asian tiger mosquito. It is a foreign species that can breed in just a puddle of water, is highly resilient, and is out feeding night and day, unlike our native mosquitoes that come out at night.

The rise also of West Nile virus in our area should be a blaring alarm to anyone paying attention. Mosquitoes are one of nature's greatest spreaders of disease.

A focused, concerted public effort to eliminate much of the mosquito population is one way we can protect ourselves and our families. Backyard barbecues are really the very least of our mosquito problems.

Scott Salvato, Wantagh

No longer sure where GOP stands

I consider myself a Republican, but I have been baffled since Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lost the presidential election in 2008. It's as if my party has lost all motivation to come up with legislation. Our party has done nothing in the last several years except try to debate the validity of the president's birth certificate or place blame for the Benghazi attack in Libya, rather than identifying and reinforcing other potential targets.

What happened to the Republican Party that seemed to have a direction in the early 2000s? Our party doesn't even bother to offer solutions anymore to the problems it points out. The party needs to take a stance, but not one that is focused solely on criticizing the president.

We are already hearing that President Barack Obama's weakness caused Russia to attack Crimea. This world revolves around the sun, not around America. Congress has done nothing in response to Crimea. Why has no Republican or Democrat proposed a joint resolution condemning the invasion and seizure of the Crimean Peninsula? Our party needs to show some strength itself if we are going to complain about weakness.

J. Edward Stewart, Babylon