Although Long Island has 30% of the electric vehicles in New York State, a frustrated reader with a Hyundai Kona made a great point in his Sept. 22 letter, “Long Island needs more places to charge cars”: We need more direct-current fast-charging stations for his model, as well as Nissan Leafs, Chevrolet Bolts and other electric vehicles.
Tesla is the exception. It already has four charging stations on Long Island: in Valley Stream, Plainview, Islandia and Southampton, each with at least eight charging stalls. This is a key reason that Teslas comprise about 89% of nearly 5,000 purely electric vehicles registered in Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to the state Energy Research and Development Authority.
Unlike other companies, Tesla invested in building a proprietary fast-charging infrastructure. Unfortunately, there are two other fast-charging standards for the rest of the auto market. Not serious about electric cars until recently, the other automakers have had little skin in the charging game. So government should step up with some carrots and sticks. For electric vehicles to go mainstream, consumers need to see plentiful fast-charging stations for all brands. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should invest more political capital in making that happen.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Tesla Owners Club of New York State.
$39,551 for three parking meters?
The Village of Babylon paid $39,551 for three parking meters [“Village to expand, tweak parking spaces,” News, Sept. 26]!
Holy mackerel, is somebody crazy? How long does it take for a meter to make up that expense? Has anyone, or is anyone, going to justify this expense? Maybe I just haven’t bought a parking meter for a while!
Climate change hurting our wildlife
The new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts devastating impacts on the ocean and the wildlife that depend on it [“UN report: Oceans in big trouble,” News, Sept. 26].
Seabirds, like the endangered roseate tern, nest on land and forage at sea. As the ocean absorbs excess carbon dioxide and heat from the atmosphere, the chemistry of ocean water changes and oxygen becomes less available. This can negatively affect plankton, which are crucial to seabirds’ main prey: forage fish. Forage fish populations are declining and shifting in range, moving northward and deeper to colder water. Thus, seabirds have to expend more energy foraging, and they may not find enough nutritious fish for their young. Also, seabird nesting habitat is threatened by sea level rise.
As a Long Island native and New York’s Coast program manager for the environmental organization Audubon, I ask my elected representatives and fellow New Yorkers to please take action to protect the ocean and seabirds.
Please support the federal Forage Fish Conservation Act to help ensure that the next generation can enjoy seabirds and other fish-eating wildlife. Also, please advocate to protect marshes, which store carbon, provide important habitat for wildlife, and buffer coastal communities from flooding and storms.
NY should outlaw neonic pesticides
The beautiful flowers that adorn our summer landscapes are harboring a silent killer. Neonic pesticides pumped into some of the plants we buy and foods we eat are harming bees and butterflies vital to our ecosystems and food chain [“This bird crisis is our crisis, too,” Opinion, Sept. 22].
Neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides, are so prevalent that it is virtually impossible to avoid them. They stay in the plants to which they are applied for many months, causing immediate or eventual harm to insects and birds that come in contact with their pollen and seeds. Their use contributes to rapidly declining insect and bird populations. It is time to ban these pesticides and protect our environment.
When people realized in the 1960s that the insecticide DDT could lead to the extinction of our national bird, the bald eagle, and other birds, it was banned. Neonicotinoids harm our wildlife and our chances for a sustainable future. We need to call upon the governor and the State Legislature to ban neonicotinoids in New York.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Volunteers for Wildlife, an organization that rehabilitates wildlife.
Fix grade crossings in East Rockaway
I read that the Long Island Rail Road is going to spend $5.7 billion to improve its service [“What’s in store for LIRR’s future,” News, Sept. 23].
How about spending some of that money in East Rockaway? Our is a small community, but we have four gated train crossings. Eliminate the crossings and you will lower vehicle pollution and make our streets safer. When trains come through, traffic backs up and becomes a nightmare.