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A wake-up call for a municipal LIPA

LIPA power lines along Motor Lane in Bethpage

LIPA power lines along Motor Lane in Bethpage in 2019. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The Texas crisis is indeed a wake-up call — to end the Long Island Power Authority’s failed public-private partnership model. Both National Grid and PSEG Long Island failed to respond in a timely way to storm-related power outages. Private utilities owe allegiance to their shareholders. Public utilities answer to their customers. Is Nassau County Executive Laura Curran against municipalization? Two of the three public utilities on Long Island are in Freeport and Rockville Centre. Ratepayers in both villages enjoy lower electric costs and faster repair rates. Renegotiating the PSEG contract is not the answer. PSEG seems to treat Long Island as a stepchild. Seven months later, PSEG’s outage management system that failed during Tropical Storm Isaias has not yet been end-to-end tested. Full municipalization is our best path forward to keep local control of our electric system. Public utilities are successful in four states. LIPA’s own study found municipalization would lower annual costs about $70 million. Profits could upgrade grid infrastructure. LIPA owns the grid. With municipalization, it takes full management. A public LIPA could be more democratic, accountable, resilient, innovative and sensitive to climate issues and provide a more affordable, reliable and sustainable electric system.

Billii Roberti,

Huntington Station

As Nassau County Executive Laura Curran rightly notes in her op-ed, Texas is a wake-up call, and so was Tropical Storm Isaias — and so was superstorm Sandy. However, continuing with a Long Island Power Authority-PSEG Long Island public-private partnership is not adequate given our challenges. Yes, LIPA itself needs to be more democratic, accountable and innovative and, at a Feb. 22 webinar on re-imagining LIPA, an ad hoc coalition of concerned Long Island residents did just that: We laid out a vision of a restructured LIPA that convenes the public, establishes public-public partnerships and integrates the expertise necessary to create a more affordable, resilient and sustainable energy utility to serve all Long Islanders. Our vision is based on analyses and discussions with global energy researchers and operators as well as drawing upon my own work at the Science and Resilience Institute at the City University of New York, which connects climate scientists, government officials and community stakeholders pursuing a democratic and just resilience for our communities.

Michael Menser,

Williston Park

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of philosophy and urban sustainability studies at Brooklyn College.

Why should NY come to Texas’ rescue?

Can someone explain why New York should bail out Texas? When we needed them after superstorm Sandy, Texas voted no. That state was told many times to winterize and didn’t so it could save money. Texas lost power because of that. It has no state tax, which we have heard many times, so it has less money to take care of its residents. It has low costs, so New York businesses move there, and we lose good jobs we created. With no state tax, Texas gets New York residents to move there, too. Our retirees also move there and take their pension money with them. So why should we bail out Texas?

Randy Perlmutter,


Horse’s head yields several good lessons

Bravo to the antique shop owner who had his horse’s head returned for not wanting to ruin a kid’s life. I am a mom and now grandmother of three and admit I did some dumb stuff when I was a kid that might’ve had serious repercussions for me as an adult. I hope this teenager learned a valuable lesson on the seriousness of her actions that will last a long time. Good job, Mom, on holding your daughter accountable, too. So many great lessons and examples on decency learned here.

Francis Lettieri,


Fishers Island outdoes Huntington Station

So Fishers Island is having the COVID-19 vaccine brought in by plane and boat. That’s a place with seven — yes, seven — cumulative reported cases. If you live in Huntington Station, with 3,854 cumulative cases as of the same day, just try to get the vaccine. How about bringing it to the train station parking lot?

Len Sposato,

Huntington Station

Voter suppression as defined by Democrats

Republicans are eager to have free, fair and honest elections in the future. Orwellian Democrats call that "voter suppression." The only votes that Republicans want to suppress are fraudulent votes.

Milton Brody,

Roslyn Heights