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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018

A North Carolina farm is flooded next to

A North Carolina farm is flooded next to the Lumber River after Hurricane Florence on Sept. 17. Credit: Bloomberg / Charles Mostoller

President Donald Trump disputes Puerto Rico’s official estimate of 2,975 deaths there after Hurricane Maria [“Trump disputes death toll,” News, Sept. 14]. He has a point.

There have been many academic analyses with different results. For example, Harvard University estimated 4,645 deaths above the government figure of 64. The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez estimated 605 to 1,039 deaths. Penn State University estimated about 500 deaths in September 2017, and a total of 1,085 by the end of October. George Washington University estimated 2,658 to 3,290 “excess deaths.” Then, it was decided to give a midpoint of 2,975.

These results are statistical projections based on mathematical variables instead of body counts. But somehow if you disagree, you are considered unstable or unhinged.

Peter Scott, Nissequogue

I feel sorry that hurricanes continue to devastate people’s lives [“For former LI residents, storm’s an echo of Sandy,” News, Sept. 13].

It is unacceptable that many do not acknowledge that climate change strengthens hurricanes through warmer oceans, that humans have exacerbated climate change by burning fossil fuels, and that there is still a way to turn this around and prevent such damaging storms.

We can urge members of Congress to put a federal price on carbon emissions and return the proceeds to Americans through a dividend. We can slow climate change and these horrible storms that haunt our neighbors — from Long Island to the South.

Alison Kubicsko, Lake Grove

It seems President Donald Trump has issues with female-named storms: Maria (2017), Florence (2018) and Stormy (Daniels, that is).

Michael S. Wilbekin, Bronx

Hempstead initiatives were underway

In the story “That does not compute” [Sept. 11, News], Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen again takes credit for initiatives of my administration.

Specifically, Gillen claims responsibility for expanding the number of town government locations that accept credit cards and boasts of software that is being installed to modernize payroll, finance and human resources functions.

Both of these efforts were conceived, initiated and brought to various stages of fruition during my tenure while leading America’s largest township. A simple review of town board calendars during my first term as supervisor shows that the lion’s share of the work that Gillen credits herself with took place before she ever took office.

While I commend the supervisor for following through on work begun by my administration, her penchant for taking credit for the work of others is undermining her credibility with the citizens she was elected to serve.

Anthony J. Santino, East Rockaway

Editor’s note: The writer was Hempstead supervisor in 2016-17.

Judge George Peck worthy of recognition

I have been a practicing trial attorney for more than 30 years. It was my good fortune to try a case before Judge George Peck [“George Peck, 75, prosecuted Ferguson case,” Obituaries, Sept. 14]. He was a truly independent, fair, irascible and demanding judge. He insisted that lawyers in his courtroom be prepared, professional and courteous. He was a good man.

Phillip Nikolis, Huntington

Montauk owes Paul Simon its gratitude

Once again, beloved icon Paul Simon showed his love for all things Montauk with his surprise performance at the Montauk Music Festival Rocks the Lighthouse concert [“50 ways to save your lighthouse,” News, Aug. 26].

I was fortunate enough to attend a Back at the Ranch fundraiser in the 1990s when Simon drew large crowds to raise funds to bolster the shoreline below the lighthouse, as well as to support other local charities.

Montauk is blessed to have this incredible voice helping protect this precious Long Island jewel.

Donna Panzarino,Rockville Centre

Federal workers deserve pay raise

In 2017, President Donald Trump persuaded the Republican-controlled Congress to pass a massive tax break for himself and other 1 percent taxpayers while the federal deficit grows. He plans to nix a modest 2.1 percent pay increase for federal government workers because the government “cannot sustain such increases” [“Trump cancels federal workers’ pay raises,” News, Aug. 31]. It appears that Republicans will hold up a pay raise for people who need it.

The president and Congress were elected to represent all of the people, not to line the pockets of the superrich. Unless Congress does its job by being a check and balance on the president, we will go through another recession.

Roger Kaufmann, East Northport