Letters to the Editor: Long Island Press Readers React

wind farm
Gov. Kathy Hochul held a groundbreaking ceremony for New York State’s first offshore wind farm on Feb. 11 in Wainscott.

In response to Moderna Seeks FDA OK for Second Covid Booster for All Adults:

While making sure everyone on Long Island stays properly vaccinated is important, it should also be made aware millions of people across the world still have not received any vaccinations due to poverty. Since I have volunteered with the Borgen Project I have shifted my focus towards bringing attention to these types of issues.

According to recent reports, the US could be looking at a surplus of almost a billion doses by later this year. The World Health Organization has stated this surplus could increase their chances of achieving their goal of all countries having 40% of their populations vaccinated. I would like the public to not only consider the ways they can help their own local community but consider how they can help globally as well. When it comes to things like pandemics, helping people across the world who need it is not only the right thing to do but also the one that benefits us the most back home.

Jack Casolani, resident of Yaphank 

In response to Long Island’s Offshore Wind Farm Plans Take Root:

To the Editor,

I found your coverage of the South Fork Wind project of interest as this is a project that has been dragged out for almost six years now. While there are some environmental issues that have caused this delay; the potential for water contamination in the area where the cable is being installed, in addition to the impact on whales and the fishing community, the main reason this project should be reviewed and reconstructed is economic.

The cost of this very small project, it accounts for only 4% of the total electric production potential from Offshore wind projects that have been approved at this point, is almost three times more expensive per kwh generated than the other larger projects. This will translate into rate payers needlessly coughing up an extra billion dollars over its 20-year life.

Moreover, the utility wants to charge Suffolk rate payers another $600 million to improve the grid to handle the excess power that will be generated during the winter and send it back to the middle of the island since that all can’t be used on the South Fork. This cost was never even in the original cost accounting for this already exorbitantly priced project?

While most of us understand that we need to make investments in the renewable energy future, needlessly wasting $1.6 billion would seem to be a bad idea. This project should be combined with the larger Sunrise Offshore project that will be right next to it and owned by the same developers at this point.

It would still be very profitable for them even if it was the price was reduced from the planned $.022kwh for South Fork to the $0.08kwh that Sunrise will charge – in Europe, most projects cost about $0.05kwh. In addition, that larger project already has been approved for $50 million offshore cable that could accommodate all of South Wind’s power production, thus saving the other $600 in grid upgrade costs.

For perspective, that $1.6 billion in savings could be better spent on ground-based utility-scale Community solar projects that could reduce local rate-payers bills by 10% while offsetting over 15% of all of the electricity used on Long Island. The common-sense choice would seem to be obvious and hopefully some of our elected officials will look at this issue again.

Brad Brooks, resident of East Hampton

In response to Online Sports Betting Debuts in NY:

New York State allowed Mobile Sports Betting (MSB) to begin on Jan. 8. During the first 23 days all the headlines stated that there was 1.62 billion dollars wagered and there was 113 million dollars in revenue. In all the excitement we seem to have forgotten that for some, the availability of Mobile Sports Betting could lead to a gambling problem.

With the increased availability of gambling opportunities, comes an increase in problems. Having access 24 hours a day with endless wagering possibilities makes an already-troubling issue worse. The combination of sports wagering and technology attracts a new, younger demographic of bettors and leaves young people more susceptible to developing a problem.

Mobile Sports Betting has been legal in Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 2017 and 2018, respectively. Pennsylvania has seen a 285% increase in calls to their Problem Gambling helpline. In New Jersey, about 50% of those in treatment for a gambling problem have a problem with sports betting. If New York sees a similar trend, which we expect, our helpline will be flooded with calls from gamblers and their families in need of treatment.

If you or someone you know is wagering more than they can afford, preoccupied by sports and gambling, neglecting responsibilities, or feeling stressed and anxious, the Long Island Problem Gambling Resource Center is here to help. Call (516) 226-8342 or email
[email protected]  for local, confidential support. You don’t have to struggle alone!

Pamela Brenner-Davis, Team Leader at Long Island Problem Gambling Resource Center