LIRR conductor punches tickets on an eastbound train on the...

LIRR conductor punches tickets on an eastbound train on the Babylon branch on Friday, March 29, 2019. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

LIRR’s one-zone pay idea is absurd

The concept that the Long Island Rail Road wants riders in Zone 12 to pay the same as riders in Zones 1, 2, 3, etc., in my view, is absurd ["MTA eyes price change for LIRR," News, Dec. 14].. I commuted from Zone 4 for more than 25 years. Major rail systems across the country (Amtrak, etc.) charge riders by distance. This is common sense. If the management of the LIRR wants to raise revenue, I suggest it keep close watch on middle management, trackmen and other laborers across its system who have run up overtime, or leave work early or those who almost never show up while still getting paid outrageous salaries. This will help the LIRR gain revenue and keep things fair for its riders.

George T. DeSpirito, Williston Park

The short answer for the Long Island Rail Road is, and I’m confident it will be decided, that Long Island will be divided into three zones: All of Nassau County and dividing Suffolk County into western and eastern zones. Few people, I presume, commute on a daily basis from eastern Suffolk County.

Michael C. Lefkowitz, East Meadow

It’s time to unite as one nation

President Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The rally and violence in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12 was just another example of our divided house ["Trump supporters rally in D.C.," News, Dec. 13]. If we remain divided, if we continue to fight our neighbors in the streets, if the response to losing an election is to make threats of secession and armed violence, then I believe our enemies win. China wins. Right now, we need to focus on rebuilding our nation. We must unite as a nation of laws under the Constitution to successfully tackle the real issues of the day — jobs, trade, technology, health and the environment. It is time to unite our house and come together as a nation.

Gerry Ring, Old Bethpage

Biden to get credit for Trump vaccine

I’m a 92-year-old Republican centrist. Early on, I was a staunch union Democrat but soon learned they were not suitable to my thinking. I know that President Donald Trump suffers from braggadocio, however, I believe he is a workaholic for the Republican way of government and Americans. Throughout his presidency, Democrats have constantly unloaded on him, including blaming him for 300,000 lives lost because he failed to control the pandemic. He may not have worn a mask, but we have been told by a number of government medical personnel that’s our choice. In my view, Trump marshaled all available resources, making emergency funds available so pharmaceutical companies could rush a vaccine to the public. President-elect Joe Biden is to become my president for the next four years. He will undoubtedly get credit for vaccines produced under the Republican administration. So as Democrats have blamed Trump for coronavirus deaths, we Republicans will be able to say that under Biden, as of January, all deaths will cease, "the holy grail of the Democratic Party." The pandemic will end and flowers will bloom throughout the land. It is nice to still believe in fairy tales — it makes me feel young again.

Roy Willis, Massapequa

I don’t need Biden’s olive branch

Adam Fisher’s letter stated that President-elect Joe Biden should extend an olive branch to disrespected, uneducated blue-collar Americans ["Biden must help all of us feel respected," Dec. 4]. The days of feeling useless or inferior are long gone. Case in point: Many of our fellow "educated" Americans have a useless sheepskin attached to their McDonald’s resume. One merely has to look up at a skyscraper, flip on a light switch or even flush a toilet to beam with pride and self-respect. Tell those who think otherwise to take their highfalutin diplomas and test that very toilet we all take for granted.

Anthony Bordano, Glendale

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired and pensioned member of Bricklayer Local 237.

New York bailing out red states

In the article regarding the injustice of the SALT cap to New York State taxpayers, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) points out that from 2015 to 2019, New York sent $116 billion more to the federal government than it received in state aid while during the same period, Kentucky received $148 billion more than that state contributed ["Push to dump SALT cap," News, Dec. 8]. Afterward, when commenting on aid to state and local governments in a potential federal stimulus package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated that this would be a "bailout for blue states." Based on these figures, it would appear that New York and other blue states have been bailing out and subsidizing red states such as McConnell’s Kentucky for years. If federal aid distribution were balanced and equitable, taxpayers in states such as New York wouldn’t need federal help. In addition, since state and local governments are the ones paying our police officers, denying this funding to New York is essentially "defunding the police." The hypocrisy here is astounding.

Mark Nocero, Smithtown


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