I was dismayed to see Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin attack Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s administration over county property taxes ["Clavin urges assessor’s firing," News, Dec. 15]. One important job of our county government is to provide an accurate assessment of the property so that taxes are divided fairly. The previous Republican administration under former County Executive Edward Mangano completely ignored this responsibility. The majority of taxpayers were grieving their assessments every year, getting reductions, and paying their lawyers 50% of the first year’s savings. The people left holding the bag were those who did not realize that they had to grieve. These people ended up paying more than their fair share for many years. The people who now got tax increases need to realize they were underpaying for years. Their neighbors were paying for them. They must understand that they are now paying their fair share, and nobody is subsidizing them anymore. I thank the Curran administration for being responsible and providing good government. They should not be criticized for doing their job.
LIPA should check PSEG-LI’s flaws
With many years of utility experience and having spent the last decade dedicated to smart energy policy and advancing clean energy in our region, I believe it appropriate for the Long Island Power Authority to examine the shortcomings experienced by PSEG Long Island in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias and complete a thorough review of all the options going forward ["LIPA seeks ‘reset’ of PSEG pact," News, Dec. 15]. The future of the arrangement with PSEG Long Island or a restructuring of LIPA will affect Long Island’s 1.1 million electric customers and impact approximately 2,000 employees who work hard every day. These men and women — people like linemen and customer service representatives — are dedicated professionals, and it must be heartbreaking for them to not have the appropriate resources to accomplish their jobs. Having served as chairman and chief executive of a utility, I believe in President Harry S. Truman’s maxim that "the buck stops here" with leaders. As we rightfully assess Long Island’s electric utility future, please thank the women and men who work hard every day to make sure the lights stay on, and let’s do everything in our power to make sure they have leadership and resources worthy of their talent and dedication.
Robert B. Catell,
Editor’s note: The writer, chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University, was formerly chairman and chief executive of KeySpan Corporation.
Cuomo, Trump and following COVID-19 rules
So let me understand Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s actions related to indoor dining in New York City ["NYC indoor dining to be halted," News, Dec. 12]. He himself stated that 74% of new COVID-19 cases have been traced to small home gatherings, and only 1.43% traced to restaurants. What does the governor do with these statistics? He announced that starting on Dec. 14 all indoor dining in the city will be halted. I sincerely doubt that anyone can make any sense of this uncalled-for overreaction to Cuomo’s own statistics. I believe his actions in this case are contrary to logic. It seems to me that the governor wants to show voters he is doing "something," even if that "something" is illogical and counterproductive. Governor, stop pandering for future support and votes. Do what’s statistically right, not what is absurd.
I am going to try to keep my anger in check as I respond to the letter "Biden to get credit for Trump vaccine" [Dec. 17]. Let’s start with the obvious — it’s not the Trump vaccine, but it sure is the Trump pandemic. If you want to give credit, give it where it’s due. President Donald Trump lied to the American people from the start about the dangers of COVID-19. He downplayed in public what he admitted on tape in private: This would be deadly. In my view, to suggest otherwise is to perpetuate the lies we have dealt with for four tortuous years. President-elect Joe Biden will not get the "credit." The scientific community will, and rightly so.
I guess it’s out of the question for Newsday and the rest of the "drive-by media" to give President Donald Trump any accolades for his amazing accomplishment of getting a COVID-19 vaccine in miracle time ["First vaccines administered," News, Dec. 15]. Only history will tell the accomplishments of this man as described in Attorney General William Barr’s resignation letter, which Newsday did not publish.
In an interesting juxtaposition, an article on page 4 of the Dec. 13 Newsday detailed how hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise in New York State and quoted Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer of Northwell Health, declaring, " ... it’s critical people continue masking, distancing" until the vaccines are widely distributed ["NY hospitalizations, deaths still on rise," News]. Fast-forward in the same edition to page 20, and one sees 11 Nassau County police officers at a crime scene in proximity to one another — and not one is wearing a mask ["Police: Man shot at elderly woman, then killed himself," News]. Obviously, not everyone is on board with the recommendation of Battinelli and so many other U.S. medical experts.
Newsday has been filled with COVID-19 news citing warnings to stay home and hunker down, especially during the holidays. Then I see the travel feature story "Getting away nearby for New Year’s Eve" [FanFare, Dec. 13]. Really? I understand that the restaurant and hospitality industries are extremely stressed, but is this the time to encourage travel, albeit nearby? This is not only contrary to advice from experts, I believe this contrariness in reporting is one of the major factors fueling the skepticism displayed by many regarding safety precautions and the new vaccine. We are all tired of the pandemic. To me, these travel feature stories simply serve to confuse, infuriate and exacerbate the us-versus-them attitudes that are so prevalent.