Rockville Centre, L.I.: Re “Don’t be fuelish, Tom," (Sept. 2): New York’s retirees served the state all of their lives. As a former vice chairman of the FDNY Pension Fund and advisory board member for the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity, I know that it’s up to the public pension fund fiduciary to be able to hold up their end of the bargain and ensure retirees’ financial security is well-funded. As state controlleroverseeing New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF), Tom DiNapoli has been doing just that. But the recent outcries to divest our public pensions from fossil fuels are based purely in politics and will harm our retirees.
The NYSCRF oversees $210.5 billion, which benefits more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries. Taking steps like divestment are futile and only jeopardize the financial security of the pension recipients.
Climate change is obviously an important issue, which is why DiNapoli released the Climate Action Plan. The plan seeks to double the fund’s commitment to its sustainable investment-climate solutions program to $20 billion over the next decade.
Currently, New York’s pension fund is 94.5% funded, which is above the 69% average for state pension funding. The NYSCRF is clearly performing well based on the current investment allocations. If DiNapoli is forced to divest from profitable investments, the fund’s financial integrity may be jeopardized. Through its current course of action, New York has ensured that pension recipients will receive their hard-earned retirement.
I applaud and support DiNapoli as he prioritizes his fiduciary responsibility over political whims. Activists’ and politicians’ actions only risk our well-deserved retirement. Richard Brower
Williamsburg, Va.: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the most recent public official to admit to wearing blackface (or brownface) and now must face the scrutiny of the media. I really don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about. Once, in a school play when I was in grade school, I painted my face green to imitate a Martian. Does that mean if real Martians arrive on this planet that I would have to confess to having worn greenface? John Lemandri
Edinburgh: Re Trudeau: Neither Donald Trump nor Boris Johnson has ever been caught wearing brown- or blackface, but America’s president locks brown babies in cages and our UK prime minister has been openly racist against Muslims, is a known liar and just suspended Parliament. Trudeau is not a racist and he apologized. Get things in perspective, Canada. Amanda Baker
Scranton, Pa.: Justin Trudeau apologized for appearing in brownface at a party in 2001. Earlier this year, the governor of Virginia was shamed over an old photo of him in blackface. It’s now time for fast-food clown Ronald McDonald to say he’s sorry for appearing in white, red, yellow and blue face all these years, and for Alec Baldwin to apologize to Donald Trump for all his spot-on lampooning of him in orangeface. Vin Morabito
Metuchen, N.J.: I just went on the internet to find out how many Americans are sleeping on the streets of America. Now, as a Democrat, I take our party to task. Not one of them speak about this. Error is likely in figures but the numbers are astonishing. God bless the child that has his own. Guess what. We have to start taking care of our own also. Carol Hoousendove
Seaford, L.I.: I find it intriguing how our government stays so silent on the most important issue of our lifetime while our kids are so vocal and knowledgeable. In the U.S., climate activists are up against a president who thinks that fighting climate change would put a drag on the economy, so he makes public statements sowing doubt about humankind’s contribution to the crisis. To make matters worse, our government works overtime to fight against the future survival of this planet by repealing environmental legislation already in place, thereby putting the quality of our air, food and water at risk. When it comes to climate change, America’s youth has placed the earth’s welfare as their top priority while Washington prefers to put corporate profit ahead of human survival. The activism of the young people is fantastic, especially when taken into the voting booth. Bob Bascelli
Bronx: When did Ticketmaster become its own scalper? I bought tickets myself online, never relied on the services of a wage-earning human, and was charged a fee of $30 per ticket — 20% of the price — to see a concert at the Garden. I can see an off-Broadway play for that amount. Elton John will not be the only one saying farewell. Maria Bonsanti
Manhattan: You’re the one who’s delusional, Voicer Carmel Harrigan. The Republicans are guilty of obstruction as well. Didn’t Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, block a Senate hearing to consider Merrick Garland, Obama’s pick to fill Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat, while there was still a year left to his presidency? And didn’t McConnell also state that in 2016 he would block any further Supreme Court candidates from consideration if a Democrat won the presidency? And aren’t Trump and the Republicans the ones blocking any attempt at the passage of reasonable and meaningful gun control legislation, something that most people in this country desperately want? If those actions aren’t obstructionist, I don’t know what is. Chana Schwartz
Lackawaxen, Pa.: Assuming that Voicer Ernest Kienzle writes with a sense of humor when he asks rhetorically “Is diversity payback for segregation?”, one might reply with a question to a question: Is Howard Beach payback for diversity? John MacKinnon
Whitestone: How can a referee enforce a rule that is not in place and force a young man to make an instant decision on something as important to a young man as his hair (“New Jersey referee suspended for two years after forcing high school wrestler to chop off dreadlocks,” Sept. 19)? Clearly this was a mean-spirited, racist referee who has no place being around young people. He displayed total disregard and disrespect for this young man. Young people need to be surrounded by adults who will encourage, motivate and support them, and be role models. Actually, this referee is a role model of sorts — a role model of what not to be! He needs to be fired and stay away from young people! Ursula Paciullo
Forest Hills: I am so sick and tired of people who have made racist and bigoted comments saying “if I offended you.” It means that you have doubts about it and are not really sure what you did. It means that you really don’t get it or understand. It’s a hollow apology. Stew Frimer