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LI shouldn't foot bill for NY grid upgrades

An aerial view of the never-opened Shoreham nuclear

An aerial view of the never-opened Shoreham nuclear plant in July 2015. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Long Islanders must not foot the bill for grid upgrades that all New Yorkers will benefit from ["LIPA: Share cost equally across state," News, May 3]. We’ve seen time and again the vulnerability of our transmission lines from big storms, and these experiences elevate the need to realize a clean energy economy with efficient, resilient and cost-effective infrastructure. But Long Islanders cannot be unduly on the hook.

When the Shoreham nuclear plant closed in the ’90s, Long Islanders were saddled with the bill and are still paying the price. But more recent examples of sharing energy costs are around the state, like nuclear generating plants. This state has the opportunity to flip the switch and share cost allocation for these bulk transmission and related significant distribution upgrades statewide.

As the Public Service Commission has recognized, it is appropriate to share the investment costs of Clean Energy Standard aspects across the state to meet climate goals. They have demonstrated this approach with three kinds of energy credits.

Long Island is unique in its ability to host vast amounts of offshore wind generation that will lead to thousands of good union jobs, local manufacturing opportunities, and help launch a green economic recovery in years to come. All New Yorkers benefit from a cleaner and more sustainable infrastructure. Let’s all pay our fair share.

Pat Guidice, Holtsville

Editor’s note: The writer is business manager for Local 1049 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Accessory apts. are a win-win for all

Here’s another reason to allow accessory apartments on Long Island: So many people already have them ["Dire need for accessory apartments," Opinion, May 3]. In my neighborhood, I can stand in one spot and, without moving, point out 10 accessory apartments in surrounding homes. I’ve never rented an apartment in my home, but I understand why people do it.

Make accessory apartments legal. Assure they are safe with proper egress windows and other measures. Then add $1,000 a year to the landlord homeowner’s property tax. Everyone wins. The landlords will still make, say, at least $11,000 a year in rent received. Renters will have a place to live. The town obtains funds to pay for the extra services being used, and taxes can be lowered for those who aren’t renting.

If I can see $10,000 in tax revenue standing in one spot in my own neighborhood, can you imagine the potential revenue out there for each town?

Pat McGovern, East Meadow

I’m not superior, just trying to stay alive

In her op-ed "Partisan COVID divide hurts us all" [Opinion, May 5], Cathy Young asks, "Should liberals curb the COVID virtue signaling?" This refers to wearing masks even after being fully vaccinated.

I am fully vaccinated and still wear my mask in crowded places. It has never crossed my mind to signal virtue. I wear it because COVID-19 is still here, scientists are still learning about it, and I am an older person, with medical issues, who wants to stay alive and keep others alive with me.

Why should anyone assume, when they see me, that I am trying to show off some moral superiority? I am making the best decision I can, with questions about the variants’ strengths still unanswerable.

I feel safer being vaccinated but not totally safe since there is no herd immunity. I no longer wear a mask around my family, but I will on a crowded Manhattan sidewalk. Instead of thinking I’m trying to make a point, can’t people take the moment to think that I, and many like me who have underlying, but invisible, medical conditions, may have a good reason to protect ourselves?

Let’s stop using the phrase "virtue signaling" and compassionately wish each other good health.

Roberta Comerchero, Commack

Kudos for including excluded workers

I greatly appreciated the editorial "Honoring our pandemic heroes" [April 30] and agree with the opening: "We’re still counting the many ways New York’s essential workers sacrificed and suffered through the pandemic." So I, too, support your editorial board’s call for "more than symbolic thank-yous for their service."

This is why I applaud New York State’s inclusion of the Excluded Workers Fund in the 2021 budget that will provide financial help for undocumented immigrant workers excluded for more than a year from federal and state pandemic relief.

Our economy was inevitably hit hard by the global pandemic, but these people are largely responsible for helping us keep our heads above water. But even more significant, they risked their lives — and many of them and their families lost their lives — working jobs that made it possible for the rest of us to have our elderly and sick cared for, safely obtain food and essential services, and much more.

These home health aides, restaurant, grocery, maintenance and other essential workers who have lost income during the pandemic have earned both our thanks and help paying their bills. The Excluded Workers Fund is the least that we can do.

The Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.

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