LIRR schedule changes, Ukraine war, America's minuses, artificial intelligence, and pets
Misgivings about new LIRR schedule
The new Long Island Rail Road schedule is atrocious “Grand Central Madison to fully open on Feb. 27,” News, Feb. 9]. To provide the much-heralded East Side Access, the new schedule will immiserate most commuters who choose not to endure a vertigo-inducing escalator ride plus a 10-minute hike to the already overcrowded Lexington Avenue subway.
Here are some specific shortcomings:
Elimination of direct service to Brooklyn. Having to transfer at Jamaica for a shuttle located on an entirely different platform will add 10 to 20 minutes to each trip. Traveling to Brooklyn for the Atlantic Terminal “shortcut” is no longer an option.
True express service to and from either Manhattan terminal seems to no longer exist.
Jamaica transfers still are required more often than not.
Why are there still trains to Hunters Point, a stop no longer needed for East Side access? Wasn’t the whole point of the East Side Access to eliminate inconvenience?
Finally, if the LIRR insists on torturing commuters, why not bring back paper schedules so we don’t have to play internet hide-and-seek to find an alternate train to get home during the inevitable breakdowns, delays and cancellations of our usual trains?
— Michael Campanelli, Greenlawn
A year of war: Why isn’t Russia crippled?
Next Friday, Feb. 24, the world will be reminded that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has lasted a full year [“Ukraine renews request for fighter jets from allies,” World, Feb. 15]. I hope enough people are paying attention to recognize this ongoing atrocity.
Thankfully, our internal debate on helping Ukraine has not, to a large extent, descended into our typical partisan political paralysis, but what happened to the “crippling sanctions” that were supposed to bring Russia to its knees?
Maybe Russian citizens are feeling some hardship from our attempts to economically cripple their country, but it is clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t care about them, making such efforts essentially meaningless. And we know what happens to protesters in Russia.
We and our allies must provide Ukraine with sophisticated weapons. By the time Russia finishes its relentless bombing of Ukrainian cities, most of the country will be nothing more than piles of concrete rubble.
We didn’t get to be America by backing down from bullies and dictators. It’s time for America to be America.
— Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn
Nation has pluses, but work on minuses
Chris Talgo’s essay, “Show Valentine’s Day love for America” [Opinion, Feb. 14], was insightful and appropriate. Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for in America.
Our leaders in governmental agencies maintained our democracy after the Jan. 6 insurrection. We took aggressive steps to minimize the pandemic. Our leaders and Congress passed significant legislation, including infrastructure bills and pandemic relief.
Our economy is improving, inflation is declining, and jobs are coming back with reductions in unemployment. We have achieved much.
However, more needs to be done, including improving race relations, gun control and police policies.
— Peter Bonet, Garden City
Artificial intelligence will be new norm
Educators who question or condemn the value of the latest advances in artificial intelligence should keep in mind that all of life is a continual evolution of growth and development “Colleges examine value of app in learning,” News, Feb. 13].
History has demonstrated that the inevitable downsides of new advances eventually get successfully addressed, as do consequences that emerge.
Artificial intelligence, as has happened with past technological advances, will gradually become the new norm for future generations to creatively build upon.
— Fred Barnett, Lake Grove
Real or not, all pets can be therapeutic
I was a nurse in nursing homes for 20 years. It’s wonderful, if appropriate, for certain residents who love animals and want an animatronic pet that they have one [“Stuffed animals aren’t replacements for pets,” Letters, Feb. 14]. Live animals are brought to these residents, too. And they love it.
Years ago, I saw a resident wrap up one of her birthday balloons in a blanket and treat it as if it was her baby. She would bring it to meals, and other residents loved seeing her with it. It calmed her down and kept her spirits up. Her family supported this.
For someone to have a cuddly cat or puppy to pet and love is certainly a type of relaxation therapy. Similarly, caring, loving and even worrying about a “pretend” pet is fine indeed.
— Carol Salerno, Huntington
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