About this photo, one of many that Anthony Michael Marinello posted...

About this photo, one of many that Anthony Michael Marinello posted on Facebook in his Long Island Native Plant Gardening Group, he says, "Cleared a bit more of last year's growth. Cut much of it back in relatively large pieces to facilitate the safe harbor of any pollinators still within the stalks. Not so big that you'll have sections of tumble weeds rolling down the street, but small enough to act as a mulch and allow emerging plants do grow through." Credit: Anthony Marinello

Thank you for Jessica Damiano’s article about the remarkable native plant garden that Anthony Marinello created in the front yard of his parents’ West Hempstead home [“Growing a connection to nature,” LI Life, May 3]. As the article points out, native plant gardens have many significant advantages. Most notably, they require minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall and little to no fertilizer (or pesticides). Smaller amounts of fertilizer and pesticides and less irrigation helps protect our drinking water supplies and local waterways.

Understandably, not everyone can make the leap from lawn to native plant garden in one fell swoop. For those who choose to keep their entire lawn (or part of it), the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) offers eco-friendly tips for proper lawn fertilization and irrigation. The LINAP recommendations include best practices and are designed to help curb the pervasive over-application and misapplication of nitrogen-laden fertilizers. Turf-grass fertilizer recommendations can be found on the Long Island Regional Planning Council website: www.lirpc.org

Kyle Rabin,


Editor’s note: The writer is LIRPC’s program manager for the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan.

Addressing virus’ collateral damage

The economic impact of our leaders’ decisions keeps me up at night; unimaginable devastation and loss of life is headed our way. I am tired of hiding in the shadows about my concerns. This letter would be longer if I addressed data on human destruction caused by joblessness. Yale researcher M. Harvey Brenner concluded in 2002: “Employment is the essential element of social status and it establishes a person as a contributing member of society ... When that is taken away, people become susceptible to depression, cardiovascular disease, AIDS and many other illnesses that increase mortality.”

Although I have had COVID-19 symptoms, my fears are about the human brokenness we are knowingly marching toward. I am scared of a cure as much as of the disease because of what may result.

Media personalities in their homes or empty studios pontificate on the importance of staying home. If we disagree with the government’s drastic measures, we are heartless and immoral. I am neither.

As a culture, we must accept the reality of suffering. Everything swirling around us highlights our refusal to accept death and suffering. Ironically, this nonacceptance will expedite even more the very thing from which we are running.

Jennifer Strauss,


Utilities, TV should lower prices

There is a way to help those with low or no incomes and little or no savings, people who will need financial help more and more as time passes during this pandemic. Companies with substantial yearly profits could choose to temporarily reduce or eliminate bills for electricity, gas, oil, telephone service, cable and satellite television, and perhaps other such expenses. Corporations that usually have substantial annual profits could reduce or temporarily stop billing those suffering the most financially. Grocery stores, for example, might consider sale prices for all products and would benefit because it might enable most of us to continue buying close-to-normal quantities.

Paul Lieberman,


Stay home — everything is relative

To all the bored, complaining and selfish: When you think you’ve had enough of being cooped up, put yourself in the place of the countless medical and multiservice people doing nearly impossible jobs every day — without a break for themselves or their families — and stay home for the good of so many potentially new victims who could get the coronavirus.

Nancy Favilla,


Acknowledging an unsung hospital team

Kudos to Newsday and reporter Joan Gralla for her article on hospital cleaning crews [“Hospital cleaning techs: ‘They come here to fight,’” News, May 9]. As a nurse with experience in the intensive care unit, I can attest that the hospital environmental team is truly a group of unsung heroes. They clean up whatever infectious, bloody and just plain gross materials are left behind after the discharge, transfer or death of a patient. Nurses and physicians cannot perform their duties in an unclean environment, magnified tenfold during a viral pandemic. This group is an invaluable part of the hospital team that often goes unrecognized. The members are certainly a large part of the front-line team as well as any physician or nurse. Hats off to all environmental service hospital workers.

Jennifer Bring Ingber,


Tennis balls can carry virus, too

After reading opinions and articles by tennis enthusiasts [“Reopen indoor tennis while we still can,” Letters, May 14], one major issue has yet to be addressed: How does a participant avoid transmission of the coronavirus onto the tennis balls, which continually are shared during games? Will players be wearing gloves?

Ralph Hosemann,

West Hempstead


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