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Energy crisis, school bus violations, PBA contributions and more

Joseph Payton, who drives a school bus in

Joseph Payton, who drives a school bus in the Longwood district, with one of the vehicles outfitted with a camera.  Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

U.S. energy woes keep piling up

A little more than a year ago, the national average price for gasoline was $2.20 per gallon. Pipelines were being fully utilized and developed. Today, gas is averaging about $3.40 per gallon and rising almost daily.

Long Islanders, who have a strong car culture, are suffering financially. Domestic drilling is dramatically lower than a year ago, and pipelines have been shut down. Our dependence on foreign oil is growing again.

The domestic Build Back Better bill is at an impasse due a senator from a coal-producing state, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is demanding huge accommodations ["Manchin wavers on Biden plan," News, Nov. 2]. Environmental justice advocates are up in arms, and the Green New Deal is a punchline.

America needs to make up its mind about energy and find a path forward. If the midterm elections next year yield a split government, ennui will emerge. This is not a game of ping-pong, but it is treated that way by our elected leaders. The chance of a reasonable, satisfying solution happening is bleak.

— Doug Heimowitz, Jericho

Drivers passing buses is shocking

It is not the staggering amount being collected in fines for passing a stopped school bus that amazes one, but the fact that so many drivers are violating a basic safety rule protecting their own children ["Stop passing school buses," Editorial, Nov. 3]. I guess they learned that by rolling past stop signs (at best) with impunity.

— Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington

Trotta right about PBA contributions

The concerns of Suffolk County Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) about the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association and how much money it contributes to political campaigns is warranted ["Trotta, Dems, spar over police contributions," News, Oct. 22].

I’d take it a step further, though. The PBA shouldn’t be allowed to finance political campaigns at all. They’re ultimately using taxpayer money to do this, after all.

— Robert Meucci, Smithtown

Feds need sheltered work centers open

The letter regarding the federal mandate that sheltered work centers be closed struck a chord ["Pay those who work in sheltered centers," Letters, Nov. 3].

My brother was autistic; although he could take the bus to the center and could express himself adequately, he could never, in any way, be expected to work in the "outside world."

He attended sheltered workshops in Nassau County for years. Though he never earned enough to support himself, the center protected him from teasing or worse in that outside world. It also gave him work that made him feel useful and allowed him to have a more active life. But there was no way he could have been trained to do "outside" work.

The heroic people working with them in the sheltered workshops understood their limitations and adapted their own activities. Programs tailored to those capable of developing marketable skills are to be applauded.

But removing safe centers geared to the needs of those who cannot develop those skills will leave the most vulnerable of our developmentally and intellectually challenged with no recourse for assistance and protection.

— Marian Parish, Miller Place

Budget woes didn’t come out of nowhere

The presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), said, "Nassau County is overtaxing, overbudgeting, and overspending" ["Nassau budget advances," News, Oct. 30].

This is quite a statement from the party that has been in power and still controls the legislature.

Whose fault is this? Did this happen in just three years?

— Richard Areskog, East Meadow

Baseball just isn’t what it used to be

I enjoy Fred Bruning’s Sunday columns. Baseball is changing, though, and he and I are old enough to remember when baseball was the national pastime and football was just something to watch until spring training ["Leaving it to robot umpires? Bad call," act2, Oct. 24].

Gambling firms are replacing the mere joy of winning. Most of my friends wonder why I even go to the ballpark when a game can be watched on a high-definition, 75-inch TV or on a cellphone. Still, none of my friends has ever caught a foul ball that way. I guess they can order one online and pay a little extra for same-day delivery.

If I really want to go back to the good old days of baseball, I’ll buy the 1966 version of the Strat-O-Matic game.

— Joe Rossi, West Babylon