Rail freight can improve regional air quality and achieve climate...

Rail freight can improve regional air quality and achieve climate neutrality. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Gender-neutral idea a big loser for girls

The state Board of Regents believes the new proposed gender-neutral rules will open the door to more co-ed teams [“Gender-neutral rule pitched,” News, May 7]. The co-ed teams that they are trying to manufacture already exist in gym classes.

What this rule does is further devalue girls’ protections under Title IX and adds loss of safety, fairness and opportunities for girls across New York.

The article reported that both Robert Zayas, state Public High School Athletic Association executive director, and Regents board member Roger Tilles said “they do not expect the proposed rules to impact the controversies regarding transgender school athletes. Tilles noted the state already has rules for transgender issues, and these plans do not change them.”

While both Zayas and Tilles have made sure the transgender athletes remain protected, I ask: Who is protecting our girls? The past few years, girls have had to endure biological boys in their bathrooms, in locker rooms and on their teams, taking away roster spots and records. How much more do they have to give up?

— Maureen Liantonio, Locust Valley

Will Rogers supposedly said, “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” Well, this seems to be the conundrum that the Board of Regents has gotten itself into with its revised proposal of gender-neutral rules for sports.

We parents have taught our children that people come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and that every individual is entitled to equal respect. But people also come in only two distinct “models,” male or female. Each model has a distinct genome designed for the species’ propagation.

Most males and females are not designed with equal strength. This is biology. Political correctness is irrelevant. So “Robert” cannot become “Roberta” just because he cannot defeat Tom, Dick or Harry in sports but he knows he is stronger than Sue. Biologically, he is still Robert.

Sue should and must compete against other females on an equal basis without men in the game or locker room. If the Board of Regents does not understand Will Rogers as it ignores Title IX, maybe the board members should take biology again because they seem to have failed it in high school.

— Richard Staudt, Mount Sinai

Freight trains better for air than trucks

The American Lung Association report giving Suffolk County a failing grade for high ozone levels is troubling [“Suffolk ozone cited again,” News, April 26].

While the report is specific to ozone pollution, air quality is a persistent regional problem. Rail freight can improve regional air quality and achieve climate neutrality.

Unlike other modes of transportation, it produces fewer greenhouse gases and particulate emissions.

Here’s why: A single 25-car freight train carries as much cargo as 100 trucks, significantly reducing transportation emissions. It also eases the burden of truck traffic on our roads, making them less congested and reducing stress on the infrastructure.

New York & Atlantic Railway, a short-line freight railroad operating under contract with the Long Island Rail Road, operates a fleet of locomotives, including several newer, clean-burning engines that run on ultra-low-sulfur diesel, adhering to the Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent emissions standards.

Railcars sharing the tracks with the densest passenger system in the United States remove over 120,000 heavy truck trips from roads throughout the metropolitan area, resulting in a significant reduction of emissions by 75%.

Until technology finds a solution for moving bulk freight in a carbon-free, cost-effective manner, rail is essential in achieving New York’s aggressive carbon-reduction goals by offering low-carbon transportation solutions.

— James P. Bonner, Hempstead

The writer is president of New York & Atlantic Railway.

Put the kibosh on misleading PAC ads

Roger G. Wieand’s guest essay, “It’s time to expose the source of dark money” [Opinion, May 2], was right on point. These super political action committees have been skirting the law in elections, and this behavior must end.

A point not made is that super PAC ads are not always truthful. There is no accountability, and either the ads contain lies or candidates are quoted out of context in order to skew a certain view.

When a candidate’s campaign creates an ad, the wording “I approve this message” must be included to show authenticity. The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act included this Stand by Your Ad provision. The super PACs do not need to adhere to this practice, thus creating the exaggerations and untruths.

— Christine Gietschier, Westbury

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