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Renewable energy, bike paths, a bus stop and tax credits

Randy Ramnarine, director of transportation at NICE, on

Randy Ramnarine, director of transportation at NICE, on Monday demonstrates how to access the bike racks installed on Nassau's buses. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

The reality of LI’s renewables future

The Long Island Power Authority projects it will increase its share of renewable energy to 58% by 2030 and be carbon-free by 2040 ["LIPA: renewables future of LI electric grid," News, July 11]. While this is an ambitious and noble goal, nowhere does it address the practical reality of cost.

Long Islanders currently pay some of the highest electric rates in the country. What will happen when LIPA switches from relatively cheap oil and natural gas to expensive solar power and very expensive wind power? Also, what happens to tax revenues of the school districts that current rely on payments from LIPA when the existing power plants are decommissioned?

Finally, the permit process alone would seem to make these goals unattainable. Look at how long it is taking to get approval for one wind farm off the South Fork.

— Gerard Sewell, W. Babylon

LIPA’s projection of about 58% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2030 makes one wonder what those people are smoking. This is the same LIPA that brought us the aftermaths of Hurricane Irene and superstorm Sandy, and that made electricity on Long Island super expensive, and LIPA now pushes heat pumps in an area where they don’t work well. They work well where winters are warmer. LIPA knows that but apparently is fighting the decline in kilowatts delivered by creating more demand.

Heat pumps, as efficient as they are in the right climate, supplement with expensive electrical heat when the temperature is low enough. Renewables are great — but subject to NIMBY and other issues. I think they are harder to achieve than LIPA would like us to believe.

— Ron Troy, East Northport

More bike paths benefit everyone

I agree that Long Island needs bike paths ["Build the path, they will come," Editorial, July 12]. Traffic can be a challenge on Long Island, with slow commutes at almost any time, not to mention many discourteous and distracted drivers often having near-misses with cyclists because they do not follow motor vehicle rules about proper yielding.

Providing convenient, safe bike paths can reduce the number of vehicles on the road and encourage cycling, running and walking for fitness. Bike paths can be constructed or designated along streets and sidewalks, and connected throughout Long Island on public lands, such as parks, municipal properties, schoolyards and rights-of-way or easements.

Plenty of cycling clubs, fitness enthusiasts and community organizations can advise and assist in laying out routes and helping keep down taxpayer costs.

— James T. Rooney, Centerport

As a Suffolk County biker, pedestrian and motorist, I applaud the efforts of the county to provide bike paths. Currently, it’s frightening to ride a bike in most of the county.

It would benefit residents and visitors to take steps throughout the county to provide more bike lanes that are clearly marked, and to educate bikers, pedestrians and motorists on how to share the road. Promoting the healthy habit of safe biking will reap both human and environmental rewards.

— Martha Solowey, W. Sayville

Make Captree Park a full-time bus stop 

One simple, inexpensive, perhaps free, way to increase ridership of Suffolk buses would be to make the "sometimes" stop at Captree State Park a full-time stop ["Next stop for Suffolk buses?," Editorial, July 11]. Currently, the bus travels between the Babylon train station and Robert Moses State Park and stops at Captree only twice a day, bypassing it the rest of the time. Originally, this schedule may have been created because of the timing of fishing boats. But with the heavily used bicycle path ending at Captree, there is no easy connection back to Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, about a 19-mile trip.

I am an avid user of the Captree path, having ridden it almost daily since it opened. Bike-rack-equipped county buses could easily provide a reliable link at almost no cost.

— Ed Langone, Lindenhurst

Child tax credits should be fair for all

Kudos to President Joe Biden for giving families with young children tax credits ["Expanded child tax credit: 5 things to know," News, July 12]. However, I would like to know why taxpayers with no minor children and earning well below the yearly earnings of families with young children are not given any credits. Surely, families earning up to $440,000 yearly can afford to feed their children.

Who will help feed older adults struggling to pay bills, earning well below that amount? Why aren’t Social Security benefits raised? The elderly, who raised children without tax credits, deserve it.  Are they now the forgotten people?

— Barbara McNally, Lindenhurst