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Biking and walking reduce emissions

Greenport village has converted dozens of parking spaces

Greenport village has converted dozens of parking spaces and a stretch of roadway downtown into safe spaces called parklets. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Gyms in parking lots, restaurants in roads [“Outdoor services redefining public space,” News, Aug. 10]. It truly seems that the car’s stranglehold over Long Island’s culture is loosening, if only for the warmer months.

Let’s assume we go downtown by bicycle or walking. Then, beyond improving our pandemic lives, using our towns’ outdoor spaces for pedestrians rather than cars can radically reduce our car miles traveled and thus reduce the pollution we spew into the atmosphere. As of 2018, transportation accounted for 28% of greenhouse gases.

Efforts to be safe during the pandemic turn out to be ways to remodel our towns to be more climate friendly. This is a trend that was already on course. Let’s keep it up.

Karen C Higgins,

Massapequa Park

Home Depot deal could’ve been better

Why a 15-year tax reduction given to Home Depot for a piece of property perfect for their “last mile” distribution center? [“Home Depot tax aid,” LI Business, Aug. 11] Did the Nassau County Industrial Development Association even consider the valuable location of this site for Home Depot located in the heart of Nassau County, with Suffolk County and New York City within 25 miles in either direction?

Who needs, buys and has more home appliances delivered than Long Islanders? The IDA’s negotiation of this deal was conducted by amateurs. Couldn’t they have negotiated five or even 71⁄2 years? We’ll take the 25 permanent jobs, but the cost is unreasonable. As usual, the Nassau County taxpayer picks up the tab. And where’s County Executive Laura Curran’s input?

Louis Knecht,

Jericho

Investigate, reform internet utilities

With power mostly back up on Long Island, we need to also get back our internet, phones and TV [“No internet, no work,” News, Aug. 8]. Businesses and people working remotely because of COVID-19, all of us, need it. But this is new owner Altice-Optimum’s territory. During the superstorm Sandy blackout weeks, Cablevision set up generators to keep its system up where it could. Now, with Altice-Optimum, we can’t do anything. And the company apparently won’t tell anyone the status of repairs.

Here is Altice’s post-storm behavior as I found it: 1) It was difficult to get through by phone, text, app, website; 2) There was no outage map or estimated repair times; 3) A service rep admitted the staff had no connection to anyone doing repair work; and 4) I would phone and ask for a manager and get disconnected.

Pre-storm: 1) I experienced horrible tech support; 2) I found broken Wi-Fi hot spots all over Long Island; 3) My Altice box had to be rebooted every few days to maintain internet access; and 4) Reaching Optimum is almost as hard as it was post-storm. You can’t email, it’s hard to text the company and I found the online chat hardly works.

I say elected officials should investigate, then reform Altice, a public utility that must be responsive or lose its franchises.

Ron Troy,

East Northport

Vanished racing strips are a drag

Great article on the lost circle tracks of Long Island [“Driven to remember,” Fan Fare, Aug. 9].

I would like to add that we also have a history of drag strips here that began in the 1950s that are also gone. Westhampton Raceway aka Suffolk Raceway and New York National Speedway in Center Moriches were purposely built drag strips. Impromptu strips were built in Glen Cove, Huntington, Northport and Roosevelt. Even Islip Speedway had a one-eighth-mile drag strip besides the oval track. Just wanted to add these to the “ghost track” list. Not all of us go in circles.

Charles Powell,

Bayport

All LIRR riders should wear masks

“Crowding at Penn raises LIRR riders’ concerns” reports that railroad officials say they’re doing all they can to keep riders safe, including requiring the use of face masks [News, Aug. 8].

To me, this is false. I see the Long Island Rail Road doing nothing to require the use of masks. I have been commuting daily in and out of Manhattan for the past three months. Every single day on every single car that I have ridden in, a handful of people never wear masks. Many days, I have to change my seat. I see the conductors checking tickets but never even politely informing the offenders that masks are required. Some conductors tell me it’s not their job to enforce. I believe they at least should inform individually, not just through a faint speed-talking public address announcement.

As ridership continues to increase, so does the increased probability of a second wave. With appointment power of six of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s voting board members, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has the biggest bloc on the MTA board. He can mandate that the LIRR makes a serious effort to require commuters to use face masks.

This is a public health emergency with deadly consequences.

Michael Sullivan,

Garden City

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