Plastic straws are a worthy target
I disagree with Opinion-page writer Adam Minter that plastic-straw bans are not useful [“Plastic-straw bans won’t do much, Opinion, June 12].
Of course we need to deal with discarded fishing gear, as he suggests, but that’s not something anyone can do every day. Anyone can stop using plastic straws. They are generally used once and then thrown away. They are too small for curbside recycling, and no one can tell which kind of plastic they are made from. Even if they don’t end up in our oceans, they end up in landfills or incinerators. In some ways, they are the low-hanging fruit in addressing the huge problem of single-use plastic.
Children can pledge to stop using plastic straws. The Earth Ranger trainees at an elementary school in Wyandanch recently held a one-week No Straw Challenge at their school. These fourth-graders are quite serious. They intend to take this issue to the wider community next year and make the No Straw Challenge an annual event. This is something they can do to address one of our world’s problems. Their actions and choices are important. We should applaud these awesome kids!
Editor’s note: Laurie Farber is an Earth Rangers trainer with the nonprofit organization Starflower Experiences in Wyandanch.
Don’t compare with the Holocaust
Once again, the media are conflating issues — using the Holocaust as a benchmark to force a false narrative [“Remember how the Nazis normalized evil,” Opinion, June 19].
Let’s us be clear. The Holocaust was a concerted effort to kill every Jewish person on Earth by gassing, shooting or working them to death — in addition to the Nazis’ heinous methods and experiments.
To compare the current immigration policy with the Nazi regime marginalizes the tens of millions who died in World War II, including 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. No one from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is killing immigrants here illegally. Stop the comparison. It is insensitive and ignorant.
Editor’s note: The writer’s mother survived the concentration camp at Auschwitz.
Top priority should be to fix the subways
I think most of us who ride the New York City subway system can live with using a MetroCard for the foreseeable future, but what we cannot continue to live with are the delays, cancellations and overcrowding that we face on a daily basis [“MetroCard in its last days, News, June 14].
If the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has its way, we’ll have a state-of-the-art payment system for one of the most broken-down transportation systems in the country.
The MTA should invest the time and money into fixing the system instead of putting lipstick on a pig!
Karen Boldizar,Garden City
Long Beach tragedy raises concerns
Another summer starts, and we read about adults and children missing in the surf on Long Island [“Boy, 8, missing in ocean,” News, June 20].
The article reported that two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were dispatched from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Atlantic City, New Jersey to assist in the search for an 8-year-old boy. That sentence had to scare any Long Island boater, swimmer or parent. Nassau and Suffolk counties alone have a population of about nearly 3 million, many of whom enjoy the ocean.
Out of more than two dozen Coast Guard bases in Nassau and Suffolk, which were opened as far back as the 1800s, only seven stations remain.
Our local and state police do an excellent job with air support, but our federal tax dollars should justify at least one Coast Guard station equipped to respond with air rescue 24/7 to emergencies anywhere on Long Island.
Rick Hannsgen,West Islip
Anyone can access the ocean in Long Beach, even though some of the beach entrances have signs indicating swimming is not permitted when no lifeguards are on duty.
Nobody should expect signage to keep children away from the water! On nice spring days, the city should offer minimum wage part-time jobs for people who would like to sit on the lifeguard chairs and catch sun, play with their cellphones, read books or whatever else they want to do, as long as they watch the beach and notify authorities immediately if someone enters the water.
Undoubtedly more people would apply for the jobs than are needed, from college students to retired senior citizens!
Chef Anthony Bourdain is missed
Thank you Verne Gay for your wonderful reporting on Anthony Bourdain’s death [“Top chef, storyteller,” News, June 9].
We cannot travel with him anymore, for he is now out in the universe using the Big Dipper to collect stars to put into his bowl of noodle soup. He was the best!