Your editorial on the pharmaceutical companies taking a pledge not to release a vaccine until it’s safe, to me, only tells half the story. After the disastrous results of the 1976 swine flu vaccine, the injured parties I believe rightly sued the makers. Big Pharma asked for and received from Congress the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which provides complete financial immunity from any future liability for damages the vaccines create. What other industry gets a deal like that? After this act, we saw the childhood vaccine schedule balloon. To me, any pledge that these vaccine makers sign is meaningless. There is zero incentive to provide anything safe or effective because there are no consequences for not doing so. Until Congress repeals the liability protections, I believe Big Pharma’s pledge is a collection of empty words. I doubt that will happen since the politicians know who butters their campaign bread.
Sell Coliseum parcel to benefit everyone
What is the future of the Nassau Coliseum? To me, the saga is a textbook case of free-market capitalism v. socialism.
The government has attempted to “plan” the future of 77 acres situated in one of the most valuable locations on Long Island for the better part of two decades. The 77-acre parcel is owned by the citizens of Nassau County, and I believe it has been underdeveloped, wasting a valuable resource for more than two decades. The simple solution would be for Nassau County to “sell” the property to the private sector via a transfer to New York State. The state could rezone the property as unrestricted, which would unleash the property’s value and its highest and best use. I believe the parcel would fetch more than $100 million and attract more than $5 billion in construction activity, producing more than $10 billion in market value. Nassau County would pay down more than $100 million-plus of debt guaranteed by New York State and eventually receive more than $300 million per year in property taxes. What would the Coliseum’s future be? Only the market knows.
Septic system key to LI’s clean water
I believe that the article on Suffolk County legislation requiring clean-water septic systems when new homes and commercial buildings are constructed misrepresents both the science and benefits of these advanced systems. Given that all of us, including Long Island’s $5 billion tourism industry, depend on clean water, Suffolk County legislators are urged to support this legislation. Scientists uniformly agree that nitrogen pollution from wastewater is the leading cause of harmful algal blooms (HABs), fish kills and beach closures on Long Island, and that treating this pollution onsite, with clean-water septic systems, is essential to improving our water quality. Clean-water septic systems, used around the country and world, have been tested in Suffolk County with impressive results. I believe the new legislation will create new jobs in the septic industry here and drive down system costs, spurring economies of scale. It will streamline regulations for builders, who currently face a patchwork of municipal septic regulations. And, because HABs and nitrogen pollution endanger our health, it will improve public health. To me, this legislation is a fair way to make meaningful progress in cleaning up the nitrogen pollution that threatens our economy, health and Long Island way of life.
Editor’s note: The writer is a public policy adviser for the Nature Conservancy on Long Island and has been involved with water quality and marine habitat for more than 25 years.
Republican eager to vote for Biden
So let me get this straight: If you don’t vote for President Donald Trump, then he says you are against law and order. I’m a registered Republican since 1968 and know when to call out a lie as blatant as this. I’m all for law and order, and I believe anyone who breaks the law by rioting and destroying property should be held accountable. I don’t support liberal, Democratic causes but am still going to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden because I believe he will bring our opposing voices back to reality. I see Trump as a divider, not a uniter. And plenty of other voters, many of whom I know, feel as I do. I believe that if Biden is elected, he will restore honor and character to our country. And I’ll say good riddance to our divider-in-chief.
Story on Trump was for Pelosi’s benefit
I believe the story about President Donald Trump saying bad things about our fallen heroes [“Biden, prez react to ‘suckers’ report,” News, Sept. 5] was a lie and designed to take the heat off House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s beauty parlor situation [“Pelosi’s salon visit criticized,” Nation, Sept. 3]. Unfortunately, I believe there’ll be more lies about our great president because the election is near.