A monarch butterfly rests on a thistle in a plot...

A monarch butterfly rests on a thistle in a plot of wildflowers in Edinburg, Va.  Credit: AP/Rich Cooley

Union isn’t against biometric clocks

I am disappointed with the editorial on the Long Island Rail Road “MTA needs to manage better” [Opinion, April 5]. While I appreciate the attention given to this issue, I believe some points need clarification.

As someone who has been following the mismanagement of the LIRR for the past 20 years, I feel that your editorial missed crucial details.

It says that Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials suggested to the editorial board that the unions are against the use of biometric clocks to document time and attendance accurately. However, it is unfair to suggest that all unions are against this technology without specifying which union is opposing it.

I want to clarify that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 589 is not against the use of biometric clocks to document accurate time and attendance.

Accuracy is crucial, and we believe it is our responsibility to provide the public with truthful information.

Painting all unions with the same brush is unfair and undermines the editorial.

— Ricardo Sanchez, Patchogue

The writer is general chairman of IBEW Local 589, which represents LIRR electricians.

LIRR group seeks a bit too much

As a hardworking commuter who cannot rely on patterns of raises as mentioned in the article “Cracks in LIRR unions” [News, April 8], I found this tough to read.

Ricardo Sanchez, general chairman of IBEW Local 589, the union for which he speaks, can’t be that greedy to say that a 9.5% wage increase is not enough on top of the amazing benefits and pensions I understand these railroad workers get. That is just insulting.

At least Anthony Simon, general chairman of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, showed some responsibility in accepting an offer that seems to be the norm for the MTA and without risking a work stoppage.

Sanchez and anybody else should not rely on public support for bigger raises while the MTA keeps asking for more from its riders. Especially with all the controversy over congestion pricing, funding woes and overtime abuse.

— Bob Fritz, Merrick

Together, we can enhance LI’s beauty

It was heartening to see the “creek defender” volunteers of the Babylon nonprofit Save the Great South Bay cleaning up trash in Penataquit Creek in Bay Shore to help lessen pollution in the bay [“ ‘Creek defenders,’ ” Our Towns, March 27].

With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22, it’s the perfect opportunity for all of us to take community responsibility for the relative tsunami of trash inundating our roads and public spaces and commit to collective action.

Community groups of all types can include on their agendas’ action plans to address the need to create a trash-free environment. When meetings are held with local politicians and law-enforcement agencies, they must be made aware that dumping of trash in our parks, woods and also dead-end streets isn’t acceptable.

We can show them we will do our part by cleaning up after block parties and local activities and teaching our children to throw their snack wrappers in the garbage and water bottles in recycle bins and, hopefully, we do this ourselves.

I’m confident that if we put our heads together and act like we mean it, more and better ideas will be found to reclaim our environment and showcase our beautiful Island.

— Catherine Leibowitz, Oakland Gardens

Climate change goals must not fly away

I got a sinking feeling when I read about monarch butterflies and wind turbines [“Turbine caution on butterflies,” News, April 9]. Will monarchs be the next whales, a symbol for clean offshore wind opposition?

Empire Wind 1 doesn’t have any turbines yet, and the monarchs have long been decimated by pesticides, climate change and suburban sprawl, just as the whales are being fatally rammed by boats and tangled in fishing gear.

Tackling carbon and methane pollution is of primary importance to all species. Gov. Kathy Hochul must swiftly implement the nine gigawatts of offshore wind that our climate law mandates.

Expressing concerns about enriching energy monopolies and multinationals are used as a signal to oppose renewable energy. What about the energy monopolies and multinationals that have been exploiting oil and gas to our detriment?

We’re on the hook for climate change already. Just look at your home insurance bill [“Home insurance premiums rising,” News, April 9]. All those billion-dollar climate disasters, 28 in the United States last year alone, are bad business for insurers, and we are paying the price.

— Alden Pearl, Valley Stream

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