A women pushes a stroller along a tree-lined street in...

A women pushes a stroller along a tree-lined street in Southampton last summer. Credit: Tom Lambui

Public LIPA will save money for good use

Michael Menser and Lisa Tyson made a convincing case for why the Long Island Power Authority should be made into a fully public utility, including the projected cost savings of up to $75 million per year and the democratic input that the Community Stakeholder Board will offer to ratepayers [“Make LIPA a fully public utility?”, Opinion, Feb. 20].

The savings can pay for transitioning our power grid to renewable energy and hardening our transmission facilities against the increase in powerful storms and floods that will result from climate change.

A public LIPA will also have more incentive to pursue measures to reduce electric consumption as part of the international effort to reduce carbon emissions to avoid the deadliest rises in global temperatures. The additional funds can also help ensure that the workers who take care of our power grid are fairly and competitively compensated as we make this transition.

Given the costs of these necessary initiatives and mandates, there simply is no room to pay for PSEG’s corporate profits and large executive compensation packages. It is time to end the failed public-private partnership that has been foisted upon ratepayers for too long. Give the power to the people!

— Michael Brady, Kings Park

Bill would help LI curb plastic waste

Long Island’s impending waste management crisis includes a large amount of single-use plastic packaging that cannot be effectively recycled [“DEC: Covanta violated law,” News, Feb. 28]. In 2018, 35.7 million tons of plastic were produced in the United States. That number is expected to double over the next 20 years.

On its own, recycling is not a viable solution. Only 5% to 6% of plastic waste is actually recycled. New York can lead the nation in curbing the flow of plastic waste and holding plastic producers responsible.

The proposed Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act will reduce the amount of plastic waste produced, while saving taxpayers money and protecting our health and environment.

The bill requires that corporations reduce plastic packaging by 50% over the next 12 years. Remaining packaging will need to be 70% recyclable. The bill prohibits 15 toxic chemicals, including PFAS (a large, complex group of synthetic chemicals), phthalates, bisphenols, lead, mercury and formaldehyde from being used in plastic packaging.

Companies will be held responsible for the costs of disposing of the plastic waste that they create. With this bill, we can decrease the amount of plastic waste produced, decrease plastic in our streets and waterways, and help to decrease toxic pollution in our environment.

— Jennifer Vogt, East Northport

These finance classes let kids be consumers

I taught the deaf for the state BOCES and New York City Board of Education for 20 years. My mainstream students took the regular Economics 101 course mandated for one term in state and city high schools [“Class on managing cash,” News, Feb. 27]. For special-education students, we taught a consumer economics course.

Economics 101 is not practical or relevant to today’s high school students. This course taught economic systems, theories and politics. Consumer economics was much more practical in its approach in teaching banking, investing, shopping, gambling and everyday aspects of economics as a consumer, not a theorist.

Economics 101 must be useful for today’s students, also including financial fraud, which has become prevalent.

— Edward Marlatt, Mattituck

Planting trees is nice, but at what price?

To offset climate change, Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to plant trees for shade [“Planting a grand idea,” Editorial, Feb. 25]. Nice idea but complicated and costly. Once a tree is planted, it must be irrigated twice a week to survive, and even mature trees need irrigation during the periods of drought we have experienced. At the same time, our water authority is concerned about the declining water levels in our aquifers and stress on water supply infrastructure.

In addition, pruning trees is an expensive service necessary for proper growth. Also, beech trees provide a shady habitat and food for wildlife. But trees killed by leaf disease must be cut down and disposed of, a costly expense. And then they need to be replaced by disease-resistant trees. Trees that fall from a storm also have to be cut and disposed of.

Our village is supporting Suffolk County’s program of acquiring undeveloped treed parcels for permanent preservation. Our village also has a system of regulations aimed at preserving trees. Both are in line with the governor’s tree initiative.

Hopefully, the governor will also provide municipalities with funding for tree maintenance and/or a shared services system to provide necessary tree maintenance.

— Doug Dahlgard, Head of the Harbor

The writer is mayor of Head of the Harbor.

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