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Letters: Maintain existing LIRR equipment first

For most of a week, Long Island Rail Road workers toiled to replace a signal box that was crushed in a March 29 derailment west of Wyandanch station ["LIRR working on signal box," News, April 2]. Tens of thousands of commuters waited through delays and cancellations as a result.

The destroyed device had 30-year-old components no longer in production. The box contains circuitry for three crossings and the railroad's speed-control system. How could something so critical be so outdated?

Rather than spend billions of dollars to connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal so people won't have to walk a couple blocks, why isn't the Metropolitan Transportation Authority spending money to make sure the existing infrastructure works? Crews shouldn't have to go back to 30-year-old documents and scramble to build something from scratch that controls how hundreds of thousand of riders use trains every day.

Michael Connor, Centereach

Skeptical about Nassau's 'surplus'

After reading "Borrowing fuels surplus" [News, April 7], I wondered whether Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos understands generally accepted accounting principles when he indicates that Nassau County had a $10.7-million budget surplus last year, primarily because the county borrowed millions to pay property tax refunds.

Does Maragos understand that borrowing is not income?

Then, according to the article, Maragos reported that the Nassau Interim Finance Authority treats borrowings and one-time revenues differently, which would turn his surplus into a large deficit.

What is really going on?

In plain English, accounting is accounting, so who is fooling whom?

Dave Beldner, East Rockaway

Editor's note: The writer is a retired certified public accountant.

Baseball is still relevant in 2015

In "National pastime is past its prime" [Opinion, April 3], Jonathan Zimmerman is quick to point out how baseball has its roots planted in the farms and villages of generations long ago. He sees baseball as being stuck in the past. Maybe the past is not a bad place to be.

There is no game clock in baseball! That's not a problem, that's a blessing.

Baseball resists the standardization of modern life? Thank goodness! Ballparks are unique in their looks and reflect their cities. PNC Park is Pittsburgh. Yankee Stadium is New York.

Hunting and fishing are definite signs that our national pastime is living in the past. Really? Maybe it's better that we should keep our heads buried in our smartphones and our tablets?

Baseball has lost its patriotic rationale! Tell that to someone who witnessed Mike Piazza's post-9/11 home run.

As writer Terence Mann says in the film "Field of Dreams," "This field, this game, it's part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again."

Oh, people will come, Jonathan. People will most definitely come.

Alan Bacci, East Meadow

Enforce Long Beach's existing traffic laws

I had to laugh after reading "Slow in the city" [News, March 30], about Long Beach reducing speed limits and adjusting lights to improve safety. It notes an excessive number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

I visit relatives there, and I always consider driving in Long Beach to be the most dangerous part of my trip. If city leaders insisted on enforcement of existing laws, they could -- easily and cheaply -- save themselves money and improve safety. If they stopped pedestrians from running out from between cars, and got police to get rid of double-parked cars, they might avoid a few hospitalizations of pedestrians and cyclists. But, of course, the roads would be less exciting to drive!

Ward Deutschman, Mount Sinai

Women deserve equal coverage

Why has Newsday, year after year, treated the NCAA women's basketball tournament like a poor stepchild while devoting page after page to the men's games? In the past few weeks, the paper has given many full pages to the men's tournament and far less space to the women. I watched some of the women's games and they were played in sold-out arenas, just like the men's.

Leon Bolognese, Freeport