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OpinionLetters

Fossil fuels, tax rate, fireworks and road repairs

Offshore wind farms is among priorities of the

Offshore wind farms is among priorities of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. Seen here, Deepwater Wind turbines off Block Island, R.I. Credit: Newsday/Mark Harrington

It’s time to forget about fossil fuels

It’s time to make fossil fuels a thing of the past ["LIPA: Renewables future of LI electric grid," News, July 11]. Every second that we rely on them, we threaten the air our children breathe, the water we drink and the planet we rely on. The solution is clean, renewable energy resources throughout the country.

In the United States, we have more than enough solar and wind potential to meet our energy needs now and in the future. In 2021, the technologies are more affordable and more efficient than ever. From solar panels and wind turbines to energy storage and efficiency, we have the tools we need.

A new report from Environment America lays out four areas in which we can make progress: building more renewables; updating our power grid; reducing and managing energy use, and using electricity to power as much as possible.

We could turn the earth’s heat and the wind on our plains and off our shores into powerful tools to tackle climate change and ensure a livable future for our children.

— Jennifer Valentine, Massapequa Park

As long as people draw breaths, offshore wind farms will be criticized ["Offshore wind farm plans draw criticism," News, July 1]. Change is hard, but think hard about climate change, triple-digit temperatures in places that didn’t need air-conditioning before, such as the Pacific Northwest; and farmers in the West selling water instead of crops. Don’t you think climate change is killing birds? It’s killing people, too, through excess heat and fiercer storms. When will we see food shortages?

Offshore wind may not be perfect, but there is no free lunch. It is a far better deal than fossil fuels, which are killing our environment. We need renewable energy to replace it. Fighting offshore wind is fighting for more fossil fuels, and for the death of wildlife and human life by climate change.

— Alexa Marinos, N. Babylon

The writer is a Sierra Club volunteer.

Tax rate is the key, not assessed value

In the debate over Nassau County’s problems with property assessment, a fact everyone seems to miss is not the assessed value but the tax rate per $100 ["Nassau sees rise in assessment reductions," News, July 6].

Many homeowners have challenged their assessed value and had it reduced, but the tax rate per $100 is increased, which leads to little or no overall reduction in the tax bill. To me, this is the best-kept secret of the tax system. Everyone complains about the assessed value, politicians vow to make it a top issue in their campaigns, but the tax rate per $100 flies under the radar. My own experience shows that from 2015 to 2020 my assessed value was reduced by 13%. During that period the tax rate per $100 increased by 29%.

The reality is that home values increase. And it is reasonable for assessed values to increase. But the tax rate per $100 should be a constant. It seems as if the Department of Assessment knows how much money the schools need and adjusts the tax rate to offset any reduction in assessed value, ensuring that the schools get all the money they ask for.

— Mark Herzog, Rockville Centre

All illegal fireworks cannot be monitored

The concerns expressed by a North Bellmore reader about the illegal fireworks situation in her neighborhood are not unique to the Bellmore area ["Put a halt to illegal fireworks on July 4," Letters, July 7].

Unfortunately, such firework displays have resulted in numerous fires, injuries and deaths to young and old across the country. The reader’s call for proactive police patrols to stop the situation, especially since she fears retaliation if she calls 911, is not realistic because although the police do give the safety and quality-of-life issue attention, they cannot be everywhere. And in Nassau County, when one asks the police how often, on average, they patrol residential streets, we’re told, "There is no average."

So, when July Fourth comes around, the reader might need to stay inside, stay vigilant and maybe say a prayer or two.

— John Minogue, Manhasset

Fix local roads before new high-speed train

The proposed high-speed train to Long Island and on to Connecticut really angers me ["LI high-speed rail plan moves ahead in D.C.," News, July 3]. We can’t drive on the Long Island Expressway without hitting potholes, raised ridges, etc. Some of the local roads are equally treacherous.

It is dangerous and destructive to our vehicles. Repair is the priority. This rail concept, which likely will get tied up endlessly by local municipalities, should be second to our immediate need. Let’s spend all this money with level heads.

— John Darr, Port Jefferson

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