The LIRR's new second track is seen in August in...

The LIRR's new second track is seen in August in Wyandanch. Credit: Chris Ware

As a 35-year rider of the Long Island Rail Road, I have little sympathy for the commuter quoted on Sept. 22 as being inconvenienced by the completion of the double track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma [News, “Main Line second track done: LIRR”].

“Those 15 minutes are precious,” he complained, since he now might have to walk hundreds of yards (gasp) to a track overpass.

May I make a recommendation, based on what thousands of commuters have done for decades? Find a seat on your train that stops by an overpass at your branch. Commuters are like lemmings: We find a location that we like and tend to stick there because it shortens our commute leaving the train, because it syncs with other people we meet along the way, because we’ve become familiar with the conductor (a life blessing if you’ve forgotten your monthly ticket).

Stop bemoaning that the train doesn’t drop you off right next to your parking spot. Adjust your commute so you get back some of those precious minutes. In the meantime, enjoy the expanded service.

Jeffrey Cohen, Flushing

Racism is implicit in professor’s thesis

Why were Americans disturbed in 1988 by Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis’ furlough of convict Willie Horton, who then raped a woman? According to University of Pennsylvania Professor Jonathan Zimmerman, the “implication was obvious: Dukakis had failed to protect innocent white womanhood from a rampaging black man . . . The Willie Horton ad stoked our deepest anxieties and hatreds” [“A generation after Clarence Thomas,” Opinion, Sept. 20].

Well, the implication of all that is certainly obvious: Had it not been for Horton’s skin color, our racist society (including its female half) would have merely yawned at his committing rape.

Denizens of the ivory tower often hurl holier-than-thou slanders at the American people, but this one is without doubt the most outrageous.

Barry Loberfeld, Commack

View waste disposal as a social problem

When I began studies at Stony Brook University’s Waste Reduction and Management Institute, we were taught there were only three things to do with items we wished to throw “away.”

We could throw them in the air, but they would fall back down. We could put them in the sea, but they would probably wash up back on shore. Or we could bury them in the ground, until we ran out of space.

Another way of looking at the problem of waste disposal is there is no “away” when we throw things “away.”

Recycling of items we no longer want is the only answer to waste disposal [“Does recycling have a future?,” Editorial, Sept. 2].

Waste disposal is a societal problem just as important as street maintenance and snow removal in the winter. No one expects snow plowing or bridge and tunnel maintenance to show a profit, so why is recycling any different?

Perhaps we should consider a Waste Force instead of a Space Force. Pollution created by items we try to throw away should be considered a matter of national security. We are running out of space on land and in the sea.

William Stein, Kings Park

Gauging the effect of U.S. trade tariffs

I am a retired businessman and World War II veteran. As an industrial and commercial builder, I had many opportunities to see the actual details of the way each company produced their product. In many cases, the biggest single line item expense was labor.

Costs from tariffs increased by President Donald Trump should be more than offset by the new tax code that reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent [“The impact of tariffs on LI companies,” Business, Sept. 2]. American ingenuity will continue to get us through this.

Anthony Lembo, Syosset

I have searched online and in other newspapers, but I can’t find the answer to one simple question: Do any of these tariffs affect the products that President Donald Trump’s companies import from China? If they don’t, it would be unfair to other U.S. companies and the people who run them that are affected by the tariffs.

Christine Parker, Middle Island


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