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LIRR adds cars, but service is still cut

LIRR riders board overcrowded trains at Penn Station

LIRR riders board overcrowded trains at Penn Station on the first day of systemwide MTA service cuts on Monday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Thank you, Long Island Rail Road, for doing your job by addressing the reduction in train service during rush hours ["Riders livid over LIRR cuts," News, March 9]. Although adding cars might alleviate crowding, it’s doesn’t change the terrible new schedule. I understand the need because of lower ridership levels, but not at the expense of the current riders or during rush hour. Now, if I miss my normal morning train, I’ll be late getting to work because the next train is an hour later. Forget about getting home on time — the LIRR still has canceled the 5:20 direct train to Long Beach, so it doesn’t pay to go to Jamaica because there’s no train to transfer to, and the new one at 5:45 p.m. to Long Beach will be more crowded and will make every stop from Jamaica to Long Beach. I’ll be lucky to get home by 7 p.m. Despite adding more cars, the social distancing issue still could be problematic. I’m lucky I got my first COVID-19 vaccine because I predict the LIRR still could be the new hotbed for coronavirus transmission.

Mark Silverman,


As a former Long Island Rail Road daily commuter, I recognize that the new normal will likely be largely decreased demand and usage patterns becoming permanent ["New service cuts in effect on LIRR," News, March 8]. The powers that be, including management, consultants, union, and passengers need to come together now to recognize this. They need only to study how the U.S. Postal Service has failed to adjust to a 50% drop in business by putting its collective head in the sand, and the ensuing financial distress that has caused the USPS and taxpayers who prop up the mail. With LIRR bailouts eventually ending, all involved parties should join together and start the process of reinvention.

Doug Heimowitz,


Change can be scary, but alleviated

The term "cancel culture" cannot be applied to everything, especially the titles voluntarily removed by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which updated its catalog — the company’s choice, and a move it is free to make ["Hypocrisy reigns on Dr. Seuss stir," Opinion, March 9]. More than 50 fantastic Dr. Seuss books will continue to be published, and no one is suggesting anyone stop loving the discontinued titles. I see this as an evolutionary change that comes naturally as the world learns what could feel "unkind" to many young people. Also, the Mr. Potato Head packaging is changing, and a few vintage Muppet Show episodes will have a helpful tagline to let parents know that content might require discussion or consideration because of changing thoughts on appropriate language and humor. Both moves are generated from within the companies that own the rights. Not cancellation but curation, marketing and content labeling choices. Change can be scary, but a little research can quell a lot of fears.

Julie Anderson Slattery,

Long Beach

The left is losing its direction

I consider myself a centrist, but liberals are pushing me further from their point of view. Two things in particular stand out. First, I was raised by a liberal mother, in the 1960s and ’70s, who strove to make her five boys color-blind: to never judge a person by skin color. But it is becoming more and more evident, in my view, that liberals today want everyone to look at everything based on race. My second issue is the notion of cultural appropriation. A child who wears a feather in a headband as a Halloween costume, to me, is celebrating Native American culture, not stealing it. I’m surprised that The Beatles haven’t yet been chastised by the American left for wearing "Nehru" jackets in the late 1960s. I believe that we, as Americans, should be embracing, and incorporating aspects of each other’s cultures, attire and language — not staying in our own little cultural cubicles. I also believe that cultural "borrowing" will encourage us to better blend into one pot. As I see it, how incomprehensively twisted the left’s mindset has become.

David Rogers,


Cancel culture did not affect Seuss

To all the self-righteous, outraged people screaming about the Dr. Seuss books: There was no movement to remove those six books ["Seuss, too? Cancel culture goes too far," Letters, March 5]. There was no "cancel culture" (the newest right-wing term that never seems to apply to them) pressure. And so, you defenders of individual rights and the free market, understand this: The owners of the books decided, on their own, to remove these books from print. It is their right, since they actually own the rights to and produce the books. If it were up to me, I would have asked that they change the illustrations and some rhymes. But, in my opinion, screaming because you’re upset over their decision only shows that you have not learned anything from the other Dr. Seuss books. Perhaps you should go back and read them all again.

Russell Alexander,