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Newsday letters to the editor Thursday, April 13, 2017

Traffic builds in Wantagh on the Southern State

Traffic builds in Wantagh on the Southern State Parkway near the Meadowbrook Parkway Sept. 4, 2009. Credit: Newsday / Joe Epstein

Mailers, packagers must reduce waste

A recent letter suggested that Long Islanders be penalized for disposing of excess trash [“How to reduce LI’s garbage output,” April 3].

I disagree. We’re already paying in the form of disposal and recycling costs, litter, landfills and environmental destruction. Penalize those who produce the garbage in the first place.

How many years of unanswered brochures will it take companies to realize I’m not interested? Must store cashiers pack five items into five separate bags? Why are products packed in plastic wrapping, inside sealed plastic clamshells, nested in even larger boxes?

Fine the producers, not us. Or even better, send their garbage back to them.

Daryl Altman, Lynbrook

Support for Israel a unifying cause

In today’s polarized society, finding a cause that inspires friendship and support among both ends of the American political spectrum is rare and galvanizing [“Liberals gravitate to support Israel,” Opinion, March 30.]. But it’s not totally surprising when that cause is Israel.

The reason Israel garners such widespread support from an unusually diverse base in both America’s government and among its people is as multi-dimensional as Israel itself.

Israel has freely shared with us its water management technologies, which the country has used to reverse desertification. Israel has improved and increased the yield of crop production in both America and undeveloped countries to generate goodwill and strengthen relations with the West. Israel has been a constant, reliable and invaluable source of anti-terror intelligence that helped save American lives.

Even without all these factors, the fact is that Israel is the only truly western Democratic ally we have in that part of the world.

Robert Socolof, West Hempstead

Editor’s note: The writer is director of the American Jewish Committee, Long Island region.

Road safety, cronies editorials correct

It’s been a long time since I’ve agreed with a Newsday editorial, but the editorials on March 31 were right on [“The best answer for road safety” and “Root out nepotism in Long Island gov’t”].

Newsday would do all Long Islanders a favor by continuing to focus on these issues in the coming months and perhaps bring about some meaningful changes.

Dunstan Bradley, Lindenhurst

Guv’s food waste idea worthwhile

Hurray for Newsday’s endorsement of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to reduce food waste going to landfills [“A better way to use and dispose of excess food,” Editorial, March 31].

Organic waste, which represents about 30 percent of the solid waste stream in New York State, is a renewable resource that, unfortunately, is most often disposed of in landfills, at great financial and environmental expense. The governor’s plan would redirect eligible food to food banks to help feed hungry New Yorkers, and the rest to compost facilities and anaerobic digesters, where it produces a renewable, clean fuel that can replace the use of dirty fossil fuels.

If this is enacted by the State Legislature, New York would join several neighboring New England states in making a resource of what is now considered waste. This is smart public policy that would help feed the poor, extend the life of landfills, help battle climate change and clean New York’s air. The legislature should enact this measure without delay.

Joe Martens, Albany

Editor’s note: The writer is a senior fellow with the Open Space Institute in Albany and a former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Break up old boy political networks

Columnist Anne Michaud described how Donald Trump’s presidency has inspired ordinary women to enter politics [“Trump’s antics stoke new opposition,” Opinion, March 31].

The gridlock we see in Washington, Albany and Mineola is the result of career politicians who are more interested in maintaining their seats than providing good governance. We need more women to answer the call and break up the old boys’ clubs that we see running our government.

Maybe electing more women who are not career politicians will end the gridlock.

Leigh Gholson, Baldwin