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Elder parole, Oyster Bay history, energy costs and more

A mechanical clam rake yields some bounty in

A mechanical clam rake yields some bounty in Oyster Bay last year. Credit: Barry Sloan

Elder parole is part of healing process

Elder parole is not about minimizing the life-altering violence that people have committed or experienced ["Victims oppose parole reform," News, Nov. 10]. The whole point of parole is to evaluate a person’s growth, remorse and rehabilitation and to determine if people can safely return to their communities. Reckoning with the harm a person may have committed is essential to the parole process. This effort to paint crime victims with a broad brush and deny rehabilitated people a chance to even be considered for release does not serve the needs of victims of violence like me and thousands of other Long Islanders of color. Prison is part of the cycle of trauma that people I love have needlessly endured for decades. Our healing requires support, which looks different for different people, but vengeance is not the answer.

In my experience, healing requires collective care, community support and resources like counseling and stable housing, not life sentences that disproportionately impact people of color. In addition, the hundreds of millions of dollars estimated to be saved annually by passing the elder parole bill could be spent on helping survivors heal.

Elmer Flores, Brentwood

The writer is Long Island organizer for the Release Aging People in Prison campaign.

Oyster Bay should learn from history

The Town of Oyster Bay should take a lesson from the history of the Great South Bay maritime culture ["Seeds of doubt," Our Towns, Nov. 5]. For centuries, baymen on the Great South Bay cultivated and harvested marine culture, including oysters, clams, crabs, fish and even horseshoe crabs. The Blue Point Company was the most respected brand for oysters and clams for decades. But the municipal governments wanted the same bay for public clamming. They tried to condemn and cancel leases and permits in court. Eventually even the Blue Point Company gave up. With no baymen to cultivate the shellfish, the shellfish disappeared. So we lost the baymen, and we lost the use of the bay for public clamming. The choice for Oyster Bay is to let the baymen operate or have a dead bay.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Rates will drop if Shoreham is paid off

Kudos to a reader for bringing up a creative solution to cut energy costs on Long Island by paying off the bonds of the defunct Shoreham nuclear plant with federal money from the recently signed infrastructure bill ["Paying off Shoreham debt is worthwhile," Letters, Nov. 9].

Whenever a family gets a sorely needed cash influx — which is precisely what these infrastructure funds are to New York — isn’t the prudent, responsible action to take paying off old, nagging debt to enhance its standard of living?

And can anyone think of a better example of a nagging debt than the nearly 50-year-old defunct Shoreham nuclear plant, which never produced a watt of power for Long Islanders but became a part of our electric bills? And people wonder why we pay the highest electric bills in the country.

With the Shoreham debt finally wiped off the books, the structural barrier that the Long Island Power Authority has erected that doesn’t allow for energy supply choice through energy supply companies — which every other utility company in the state happily allows — would be effectively dissolved.   Long Island ratepayers would easily experience a nice discount. 

Jack Louro, Hauppauge

LIRR bosses should be penalized big-time

I agree that Long Island Rail Road management should be held responsible for their misdeeds ["Hold LIRR bosses accountable," Letters, Nov. 15]. These abusers of the system not only should repay the system what was stolen but lose their jobs, go to jail and lose their pensions. These penalties would be a deterrent to those thinking about doing the same bad acts.

Stuart Becker, Long Beach

Baseball just isn't what it used to be

Erik Boland's article "The battle rages on" [Sports, Oct. 31] makes the case that new-age metrics and analytics that have taken over baseball are here to stay. Alas, with the past season having recently ended, he likely is correct. I couldn't care less about exit velocity, spin rate and launch angles. I'm also tired of nine-inning games lasting four hours, in part because managers wear a path to the pitcher's mound each game. Some defensive shifting is fine, but not on almost every batter.

Nearly half of all TV sets were tuned in to the All-Star Game in the late 1960s, but now the ratings have tumbled to about a fifth of that. The World Series hasn't fared much better. I know there are other reasons, but the games have become slower, overmanaged and, I hate to admit, sometimes boring. I never thought I'd hear myself say that about our national pastime.

Jerry Giammatteo, Sayville