A battery storage facility substation in East Hampton pictured a month...

A battery storage facility substation in East Hampton pictured a month after a fire broke out on May 31. Credit: James Carbone

Battery storage sites: Regulate them

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s report on toxins released by a lithium battery fire failed to address an important issue “Fire safety for battery storage facilities,” News, Feb. 7].

The report stated that the fire in East Hampton resulted in no release of toxins to the surrounding area. This may be true because the batteries were housed in a building which contained the emissions. Larger lithium battery facilities, however, will be in open air, and any fire will immediately release toxins into the surrounding area.

These are two different situations. Any open-air facilities should not be located near preexisting schools, homes or businesses. Thus, the health and safety of people living nearby would be protected. The state should regulate where each of these storage facilities can be located.

— Mark Galligan, Holbrook

Apply pressure for release of hostages

Many articles have been published, including this one, illustrating that the world is putting pressure on Israel for a cease-fire “Blinken: Deal is possible,” News, Feb. 8]. Where is the pressure on Hamas to release the hostages?

— Leslie Solomon, East Meadow

Planning board must have skilled pros

Brookhaven Town’s call to eliminate the town planning board is dangerous [“Planning to ditch planning board,” Our Towns, Jan. 29]. Removing state-sanctioned sharing of duties from credentialed sub-boards in the largest town in Suffolk County is foolish.

Our planning board, in town code, must contain several skilled professionals such as architects, engineers, certified planners and lawyers. By contrast, the town board requires members to be elected, not skilled planners. This presents a problem.

— Ed Silsbe, Blue Point

The writer is president of the Blue Point Community Civic Association.

Single seniors need SALT help the most

When I learned that the state and local tax relief bill would help only married couples with incomes less than $500,000, I thought that can’t be right [“Raising SALT cap isn’t good if you’re single,” Letters, Feb. 7]. What a slap in the face!

I guess our local congressmen don’t realize that if some seniors lose a spouse, a Social Security check is also lost, and a single taxpayer moves to a higher tax bracket. So, being unable to deduct property taxes in excess of $10,000 doesn’t help when you’re on a fixed income. I don’t know what they were thinking, but thanks for nothing!

— Elizabeth Ranker, Amityville

This time, bombing Iraq by U.S. is justified

In 2003, then-President George W. Bush had U.S. forces invade Iraq. Most members of Congress fell for the “weapons of mass destruction” delusion or knew better and went along anyway. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed or maimed. Thousands of U.S. soldiers died or were maimed. Nearly $2 trillion was added to the national debt.

What did we accomplish? Not much, but we did create a ton of global ill will. The war elated one country, though. By eliminating Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, we did a huge favor for his enemies, the dangerous, religious fanatics running Iran. They had been fighting secular Saddam for decades.

So now we’re bombing Iraq again, and this time we are justified in doing so [“U.S. hits Iran-backed militias,” News, Feb. 3]. Saddam is long gone, so now we’re bombing the Iran-backed militias who set up shop in Iraq like they owned the place.

Unfortunately, sometimes war is necessary. However, I hope enough Americans have learned a lesson to elect leaders who are smart and savvy enough to see the big picture.

— Ray Xerri, Oceanside

New? No, our puppy was sick 20 years ago

The article on Shake A Paw mentions people who allegedly purchased sick pets from 2015 to 2021 [“Trial begins in AG’s civil lawsuit over LI pet store’s sick animals,” News, Feb. 8]. I had a horrible experience with Shake A Paw in 2004. So, this issue is not new — it goes way back. We purchased a Maltese puppy from the Hicksville store. I spent well over $1,000, and within two days, the dog was lethargic and needed veterinary attention.

X-rays showed her lungs as a large black mass. The diagnosis was severe pneumonia. The veterinarian told us to take the dog back to the store and “return” her. We were also strongly advised not to let the store tell us the employees would nurse her back to health and we would take her home again. Our vet said this dog would always have major respiratory issues.

So, within a week of being dog owners, we made the difficult decision to surrender the pup. It was heartbreaking.

— Lois Nosowitz, Bethpage

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