Before the next storm comes ....
Once again, I see that Nassau County residents have been let down by our public officials, PSEG Long Island and the Long Island Rail Road [“Amid outages, trouble with PSEG reporting,” News, Aug. 5]. For days, they knew a storm was coming, but I believe they were unprepared, again, for the onslaught of wind that always comes with a storm such as this. I see no plan for proper tree trimming; the only concern is making sure the lines are free, but this often results in tree imbalance. A few suggestions for the next storms:
1) Hire proper tree professionals to work with crews to make sure trees are cut correctly; 2) require tree maintenance every five years so dead limbs are removed; 3) remove any tree near train tracks so they don’t keep falling on them; 4) replace worn poles, especially ones near the coast; and 5) start the long-term project of placing wires underground.
I suggest that every time a road is opened, all utilities, phone and cable companies should be brought in to move cables underground. This may take 20 years but must be done. It’s time to take a long-term view on storms. I’m tired of hearing excuses.
I can understand the problems PSEG Long Island is having, given the storm’s severity [“Criticisms over outages,” News, Aug. 6]. Our power went off twice while the storm was at its worst midafternoon, each time for less than five minutes. What I can’t figure out is why the power went out six hours after the height of the storm, at 9 p.m. And the power was still out 20 hours later.
In addition to the PSEG app not working correctly for communications, it also shows fewer than 15 customers affected in three outages covering three or four parallel blocks, where no house has power. The app also shows that power for each of these outages will be restored at various times.
We have become a country of whiners and blamers. We deserve what we get because we do not demand that problems actually get fixed. Thursday’s edition was full of blame for PSEG Long Island because the power is out. The governor is ranting about an investigation. Local politicians carry on about how bad the response by PSEG was. Blah, blah, blah. It has happened before and will happen again because we are unwilling to actually fix the problem. In a week, the power will be back on and we will forget about it until the next storm. Solving these power outages every time there is any kind of storm is simple. Expensive, but simple. Bury the power lines in residential neighborhoods. Start with the older, established neighborhoods in the western part of the county and work east. Set aside money and start tomorrow. It is big trees in older, established areas that cause the most problems. All it takes is money and the will to do it.
Ah, another weather event has passed by Long Island. What are those sounds I hear? The gentle breeze of an event gone by? Songbirds? Neighbors conversing? No, it is the sound of generators throughout the neighborhood.
We have lost our power — again. We are promised reliability, but PSEG Long Island has failed us again. This wasn’t even a Category 1 hurricane but a tropical storm that mostly passed west of Long Island. We lost our power at 12:30 p.m., long before the strong winds. The outage map showed widespread power losses. It will be days, maybe weeks before power is restored to many. After living in Massapequa for 47 years, this reminds me of the bad old days of the Long Island Lighting Co. This is what PSEG has become — the new LILCO, which, to me, has meant Long Island’s Least Competent Organization.
Since taking over the local power authority in 2014, PSEG Long Island faced its first major test with Tropical Storm Isaias. The result for hundreds of thousands of customers who lost power was a failing grade. Makes me almost yearn for the good old days with LIPA and, yes, even LILCO.
I want to thank the hardworking PSEG Long Island crews for restoring my power in a timely manner. Meanwhile, I believe the grandstanding politicians, such as Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin, who immediately called for an investigation because the PSEG call center lines went down, should relax. How many people repeatedly called to report outages? Endless calling just overloads the system. The utility knows the power is out. We were in the middle of Tropical Storm Isaias.
When one considers the volume of downed trees and branches and the antiquated labyrinth of power wires, it’s a wonder power is restored so quickly. And to the politicians, I say today is an opportunity to show your appreciation to all utility workers and volunteer to cut up fallen trees.
Washington must help MTA, LI
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing an unprecedented fiscal emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, needing as much as $12 billion to get through 2021.
Without federal relief, Long Island Rail Road riders face deep service cuts, significant fare hikes and reduced cleaning. Layoffs would further erode our fragile economy.
“Ease the pain” [Editorial, July 26] noted that the MTA is “ ... a crucial ingredient in a dynamic economy. Supporting [it and other transit agencies] is costly, but letting them languish would be far more expensive.”
It also could be deadly. Service cuts would lead to overcrowded trains and eliminate any possible social distancing — critical to getting through this pandemic. At the same time, system modernization is on hold and in jeopardy. Long Islanders deserve a 21st century system and we were close to seeing that dream realized. Without reliable transit, Long Islanders will give up on the train and opt to drive, clogging the roads and our air.
The LIRR is a vital economic engine for the region. Our recovery cannot happen without critical federal aid now being debated in Washington. The message to Congress must be loud and clear: Long Islanders rely on the MTA and the MTA is relying on you!
Editor’s note: The writer is chair of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council.
Fox should also remove Cannon
I am glad ViacomCBS fired Nick Cannon [“Demanding apology after ouster,” Flash!, July 16]. In addition, Fox should fire him from “The Masked Singer.” Anti-Semitism has no place in this world. Cannon has been in the public eye for years. In 2011, Gilbert Gottfried made a stupid joke about Japan’s tragic tsunami, and was fired as the voice of the Aflac duck. In 2018, Roseanne Barr posted a racist joke on Twitter and was fired, losing her show. They both apologized, but the firings stood. Cannon does not deserve a pass.