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OpinionLetters

Enough is enough with the MTA

A Long Island Rail Road ticket vending machine.

A Long Island Rail Road ticket vending machine. Credit: Howard Schnapp

So a company with no competition needs to be bailed out because people suddenly no longer need the provided service ["Potential LIRR cuts would be a setback," News, Sept. 21]? Did the Metropolitan Transportation Authority care when it raised fares year after year, with little improvement in service? Did the MTA care when it paid several conductors $200,000 in overtime? How many Long Islanders have stood on overcrowded trains, only to see an MTA employee vacate a seat when the train pulls into the Hillside Facility station? To me, the MTA had its time, and it’s over now.

Rafe Garet,

West Babylon

NY must do more about plastic bags

On Sept. 24, New Jersey passed the country’s strongest bill to reduce plastic waste, prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene and limiting the availability of plastic straws. If we’re New York tough, we should up the ante. Plastic pollution is a major public health threat in both states: A 2016 report found nearly 166 million pieces of microplastics, known to contain chemicals harmful to marine and human health, floating in our waterways. Toxic polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, used in plastic manufacturing, were discovered in drinking water sites across Long Island just last year. The production and burning of plastic also contributes significantly to our climate crisis. Thankfully, New York has banned polystyrene and plastic bags ["State to enforce ban on single-use bags," News, Sept. 19]. But we can, and should, do more. The Break Free From Plastic Act of 2020 would establish better recycling standards, require producers to take responsibility for waste, phase out a variety of single-use plastics, and pause permits for manufacturing facilities that haven’t complied with pollution regulations. Long Island’s congressional delegation and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand should support and sponsor the act to protect our communities.

Emily Sanders,

Port Washington

Wachtler op-ed a breath of fresh air

Kudos to retired judge Sol Wachtler for his essay "LI Republicans have been here before" [Opinion, Oct. 1]. It contained historical and personal background and humane perspective, and eloquently opposed the fearmongering in current political discourse. It was like a breath of fresh air.

John Meehan,

Huntington Station

Let’s abide by laws and principles

Lane Filler writes about this election being about the last chance to save America from the loss of values such as fairness, kindness, dignity and nobility ["America is at its best when it’s good," Opinion, Sept. 29]. I believe that it doesn’t matter whether former Vice President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump wins the election if the people have lost their will to follow fundamental human decency toward others. Whether Biden or Trump wins doesn’t change the way people will continue to hate their neighbor. The only way that people can reach the values Filler writes about is by resorting to a belief in their personal deity. Every religion has a book of laws and principles to follow, and right now it seems that some folks are not following them. I believe an acknowledgment of a higher power and a fear of eternal retribution is what motivates people to lift themselves off the floor. I believe worshipping oneself leads to depravity and wanton excess. Atheists would argue with me, but they haven’t lived their lives out yet to see the outcome of "I created myself."

Catherine Finelli,

Bellmore

We need to address climate change

Your editorial "Furious fires, fateful floods" on climate change [Sept. 26] made good points about the threats of climate change, but I feel you gave short shrift to President Donald Trump’s open hostility and actions to undermine state steps to address this threat, which is no longer looming but already here and sure to get worse. His own intelligence community has warned him of the increasing threat of water and food insecurity around the world, including in our own nation, which could lead to armed conflict and an increase of refugees, many to arrive on our shores. He denies the science of climate change and does not listen to experts about the looming crisis. He sows ignorance and contempt, leaving states alone to fill the void. But states face a federal government committed to combating state-mandated lower emissions of autos and power generation. Remember when a president would take seriously threats to our nation, sit down with members of Congress and other world leaders, and show leadership? Who knew "making America great again" required doing the exact opposite?

Jeffrey Fass,

Sayville

‘Anarchists’? NY should keep taxes

So New York City residents are now "anarchists" after that designation by the Department of Justice, and the Trump administration will not provide federal funds, thus "defunding" the city ["Leaders reject ‘anarchist’ label," News, Sept. 22]. So how about we New Yorkers all stop paying our federal taxes and let President Donald Trump and company figure out where to get the $26.6 billion it will lose. Let’s fund ourselves and tell Washington to take a hike.

Frank Socci,

West Babylon

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