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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, April 27, 2018

An illustration shows a proposed development centered around

An illustration shows a proposed development centered around an arena on a 40-acre property in Ronkonkoma. Credit: Ronkonkoma Vision Project LLC

Concern about LI’s poor air quality

The American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of the Air” report revealed that Suffolk County faces not only carbon-fueled heat waves that increase ozone and particulates from droughts and fires, but also ozone that forms when fossil fuel pollution blows in from regions upwind of New York City [“Suffolk air quality gets ‘F,’ ” News, April 18].

Long Islanders don’t get a choice about breathing the deadly results of other states’ dirty fuel use. A carbon tax could change that by incentivizing cleaner energy choices nationwide.

A tax assessed upstream on carbon fuel extraction or import would lead to better purchasing decisions by utilities, manufacturers and consumers by raising prices on fossil fuels. They would be more expensive compared with clean alternatives.

Offset the average cost increase with a flat rebate to everyone, and you empower people to make smarter investments. Whether you put your carbon rebate toward an electric car and pocket your gas savings, or just enjoy spending the extra cash, you’d be helping Long Islanders breathe easier.

Jeanne Brunson, South Setauket

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an advocacy organization.

“Suffolk air quality gets ‘F’ ” is yet another example of how Long Islanders suffer from the disastrous effects of climate change.

Increased ozone in the air leaves the most vulnerable among us, those suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, even more at risk. The price we pay in the form of associated deaths, mass migration and economic damage as a result of climate change threaten Long Islanders’ way of life.

Too often in the discussion surrounding this, the economy is pitted against the environment; however, we need to think smarter, committing New York State to 100 percent renewable energy by making sound investments in solar, wind and other renewable resources. We also need to commit to creating local jobs by building clean infrastructure for our children’s future and paying for these changes by holding corporate polluters accountable for the damage they have caused.

Anne Lotito-Schuh, Babylon

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with New York Renews, which advocates for renewable energy sources.

Market will dictate Ronkonkoma site

Newsday’s editorial criticizing the Ronkonkoma Hub proposal by Jones Lang LaSalle ignores a number of important facts [“Wait, another LI arena?” Editorial, April 15].

First, the proposal includes several options: an 8,000-seat arena, a 17,500-seat arena or some hybrid of those.

My community organization understands that the market will ultimately dictate the size and scope of the proposed sports and entertainment center. We support a number of other features, including a hotel and convention center, community public spaces, pedestrian connections to the Ronkonkoma Hub, a medical office center and off-site community development.

My organization takes offense at the Newsday editorial’s assertion that the selection of the JLL team and destination concept doesn’t reflect regional thinking. Ronkonkoma is at the geographical center of Long Island, and the site is sandwiched between Long Island’s regional airport and a busy train station. Suffolk County has 1.5 million residents, a larger population than eight states in our country. If Philadelphia’s population of 1.6 million can accommodate three arenas, why shouldn’t we be entitled to one if the market demand is there?

What is most disconcerting is Newsday’s lack of acknowledgment of a robust, community-driven planning process. We began this visioning because of missteps in previous developments. Our experience should be a lesson for others to follow.

I have lived in Ronkonkoma for 32 years and raised a family here. I love this community and I have full confidence that if given a chance, we will do great things.

Bruce Edwards, Ronkonkoma

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Ronkonkoma Civic Association and chairman of the Ronkonkoma Visioning Implementation Committee.

Reflections on Suffolk’s bag law

The April 20 news story “Survey: Shoppers’ acceptance is in the bag” said shoppers have begun carrying reusable bags after being charged a 5-cent fee for plastic bags.

Yes, I bought reusable bags, only to get to the cash register and realize they were all in the car. Did I pay the 5 cents? Yes, a couple of times, but then I began keeping the bags where I can see them.

However, why am I being charged 5 cents for a brown paper bag that is biodegradable? It’s ridiculous!

Carolyn Newson, Riverhead

It has been noted that since the start of the 5-cent fee in Suffolk County, plastic-bag use has dropped significantly. I’ve pointed out for years that we overuse plastic bags, putting one item in a bag or double-bagging a gallon of milk. In the past, when I mentioned to a cashier that milk was in a plastic container with a handle, or that one item didn’t need a bag, people rolled their eyes.

I tried very hard to be amusing and not insulting. I’ve learned a very important thing through this. All my years of thought and advice are worth less than a nickel.

Micky Curry, Massapequa Park