A reader suggests that Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood would...

A reader suggests that Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood would have been a better home for the Islanders than Belmont or Ronkonkoma. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Nitrogen indeed leads to LI pollution

I was surprised and disappointed that Newsday chose to publish statements by a purported “expert” insisting that nitrogen from cesspools and septic systems is not a significant source of pollution, without pushing past the rhetoric to examine the underlying science [“Suffolk getting $20M for septic upgrades,” News, July 8].

The fact that the lack of sewer infrastructure and continued reliance on cesspools and septic systems presents a significant threat to Long Island’s water resources is not a new issue, but it has been an acknowledged problem since the 1970s. Sadly, those predictions have been borne out by the highly visible degradation of water quality caused by excess nutrients that Long Islanders can see with their own eyes, including discolored water in our bays and harbors, beach closures, and warnings from public health officials.

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that cesspools and septic systems are the primary source of excess nutrients in surface waters, accounting for about 70% of the nitrogen finding its way into our bays and harbors. Publishing a comment mischaracterizing that established fact as a myth without providing any supporting scientific evidence is a disservice to readers.

 — Peter A. Scully, Hauppauge

The writer is deputy county executive for administration for Suffolk County.

Acquire energy that can be controlled

Michael Dawidziak paints a broad picture when he states that Gov. Kathy Hochul will be personally responsible for the Long Island Power Authority’s inevitable failures when it shifts to public power [“LIPA a Long Island political tripwire,” Opinion, July  11]. The legislative commission implementing a new plan for public power is bipartisan — four Republican and four Democratic legislators are tasked with making a workable plan to make LIPA a true public power.

We need a LIPA led by and accountable to those most impacted by decisions concerning our energy system: ratepayers, union workers, municipalities, community organizations, low-income households and environmental justice groups.

This will mean ensuring that all parts of the commission process include the needs of impacted stakeholders who have a vision for a truly accountable, democratic, renewable and affordable energy system.

Public power is not a government takeover of the utility but creating a utility that is responsible to the ratepayers and constituents. The current model of PSEG Long Island, a private entity, is untenable when lights can go out for 10 days after Hurricane Isaias. Several Long Island communities successfully take advantage of public power.

Governors come and go, but ratepayers live here and need reliable energy that they can control.

 — Marion Flomenhaft, Malverne

It’s important we heed Jan. 6 hearings

Pay heed to the House Jan. 6 committee hearings [“Takeaways from seventh Jan. 6 committee hearing,” News, July 13]. This is not a Republican, Democratic or independent issue. This is an American issue. Yes, truth is important. Without truth, tyranny will prevail.

All eyes should be open to comprehend how harrowingly close our country came to losing our democracy. One man who did everything in his power to hold onto office is what makes a dictator. Democracy is fragile and shouldn’t be taken for granted. It can be lost in a heartbeat.

 — Diane McGuire, Northport

Franklin lessons of old can help us all today

Benjamin Franklin once said, “I imagine a man must have a good deal of Vanity who believes, and a good deal of Boldness who affirms, that all the Doctrines he holds, are true; and all he rejects, are false” [“Benjamin Franklin can teach us about having an open mind,” Opinion, July 14].

It’s a lesson we can all take to heart in this day of extreme political division. So many Americans view politics as a sporting event, watching their favorite “news” outlet and rooting for their team regardless of the issue, unable to bend to logic, fairness, or truth.

Sadly, Franklin’s natural ability to consider disparate opinions and adapt when those points of view are proven correct would be viewed as flip-flopping by many in today’s society.

 — Doug Otto, Massapequa

Islanders missed out on perfect new home

The perfect spot for the UBS Arena at Belmont would have been the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood [“Isles’ home should’ve been in Ronkonkoma,” Letters, July 12].

Most of the buildings there are sitting empty. It certainly is large enough. One could reach it from the Long Island Expressway, Northern State and Southern State parkways as well as the Sagtikos and Sunken Meadow parkways.

It also used to have a train line going to it, so that could have been restored, too.

 — Richard Koch, Copiague

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