Local animal rights activists demonstrated at the Northport Fire Department's...

Local animal rights activists demonstrated at the Northport Fire Department's Firemen's Fair on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, because of an attraction called the Banana Derby in which were attached to dogs and made to race. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Help Riverhead by electrifying LIRR

Your July 16 editorial, “Still a long way to go,” offers an excellent menu of projects to expand transit on Long Island. But noticeably absent was electrification of the Long Island Rail Road east of Ronkonkoma to Riverhead.

Riverhead is in desperate need of revitalization and could benefit enormously from the transit-oriented development that would follow electrification.

It’s fortunate that Riverhead is the Suffolk County seat. It is perfectly located to serve the transit, economic development and housing needs of the twin forks. This strategic advantage has already proved itself with the massive retail development of the Route 58 corridor.

As a Greenport resident, I would happily drive to Riverhead to access modern transit, especially if it eases development pressure and helps preserve the rural quality of the North Fork. Please add this to your transit wish list.

Dave Kapell, Greenport

Editor’s note: The writer is a former mayor of Greenport.

Why aren’t Trump backers appalled?

During the primaries, other Republican candidates were the enemy. During the campaign, Hillary Clinton was the enemy. Always in need of an enemy, President Donald Trump has taken on the press [“Trump: Jr. snared in witch hunt,” News, July 13].

His insistence that mainstream media are promoting “fake news” is simply not true. I follow the administration by reading Newsday, The New York Times and The Washington Post. I listen to NPR and watch PBS, CNN and MSNBC. These outlets may lean to the left editorially, but they also broadcast his speeches, publish his tweets, and air news conferences and press briefings. Americans have access, but inconsistencies make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

After his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20, Trump tweeted that they did not discuss sanctions. Yet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said sanctions were discussed.

Trump touted the opening of a coal mine in Pennsylvania, claiming that his undoing of Obama-era regulations made it possible. Yet an easy computer search showed that plans for the mine were issued during the Obama administration.

Why are his supporters not appalled by his behavior?

Margaret Bell, West Islip

A caring decision to stop using animals

Kudos to the Northport Fire Department. Its compassionate decision to stop bringing in animal acts for its fundraisers means monkeys will no longer be tethered to dogs and forced to race; pigs, too, will be spared the trauma of racing [“Dog & monkey show draws ire,” News, July 13].

Long Islanders have made it clear that they care about the welfare of animals, and that exploiting them for some fraudulent notion of “entertainment” will not stand.

The fire department listened. So did the Town of Southampton when it banned wild animal acts.

It’s past time for Suffolk County to do the same and join them in the 21st century.

John Di Leonardo, Malverne

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, an animal advocacy group.

Single-payer would be Medicare for all

For more than eight years, the debate has gone on. This country simply can’t make up its mind about universal health care.

At the same time, however, experts by the dozen have long agreed that a single-payer system is the way to go. And they don’t just talk theory. A number of major developed countries have had single-payer systems for years. Their outcomes are at least as good as ours, but their costs are substantially lower — billions and billions of dollars lower.

Some naysayers insist single-payer systems are European socialism. They aren’t. They’re simply Medicare for everybody. Patients remain free to choose their doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Why is this subject virtually ignored by Congress? I would much appreciate it if Newsday or its readers would explain this. Why is this country not even considering a single-payer system?

James E. Stubenrauch, Amityville

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