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Readers sound off on prosecuting addicts, jailing the Bling Bishop and countering fossil fuel advocates

Punishing an addict does not heal the addiction

Millville, Del.: To Special Counsel David Weiss and the U.S. Department of Justice: Your prosecution of Hunter Biden reminded me of Dana Carvey’s iconic “Saturday Night Live” character, the Church Lady, with her trademark phrase, “Isn’t that special?”

Prosecuting an addict for bad behavior? Better buckle up and hire as many non-thinking people as possible. You will be very busy. All you did was a complete disservice to anyone who would seek help. Punishment for addiction is far from a new concept. Anyone can see how well that has worked.

Amidst the political theater and rhetoric, one truth emerged: The revelation of Hunter’s struggles with addiction, along with 50 million other Americans, and all you proved is that he was/is an addict. This does not excuse past behavior at all, but it helps to put whatever action was done in context. The implications of prosecuting individuals for their struggles with addiction are that we confront a tragic reality: Addiction knows no boundaries of class, race or privilege. It’s a relentless adversary that defies easy solutions or punitive measures, especially for those who already fear treatment or being locked up for something they did in the past. Addiction is not merely a personal affliction; it’s a family disease. Its tendrils extend into every corner of our lives, leaving no one untouched. Families grapple with the heartache, devastation and loss that accompany the struggles of their loved ones.

After 40 years of working with addicts and then losing two of my children to this hideous disease, I want to thank you for helping to stomp on what hope an addict may have if they come forward. John Sgarlata

Hard times

Whitestone: America, what is happening to our country? Where is the love and respect for all? I read the paper every day and there’s so much hate. Parents killing their own children, teenagers shooting teenagers. What happened to family values and teaching children respect for everyone, not by words alone but by deeds and actions? How did we get so low? I pray that my children and grandchildren will have long and happy lives, but now I don’t believe the world will let them unless we once more have respect, love and compassion. Sally DeFelice

Scammer in the slammer

Wappingers Falls, N.Y.: It was such a pleasant surprise for me Tuesday morning when I picked up the Daily News and saw a picture of the Bling Bishop on the front page (“Bling Bishop behind bars,” June 18). It is about time they finally got this low-life. It’s a damn shame that with so many people of color starving and not being able to afford decent medical care, this low-life is thumbing his nose at his own brothers and sisters. Great, lock him up and let him enjoy the company of other prison low-lifes. I’m surprised that Mayor Adams or the Rev. Al Sharpton didn’t come running to get him off. I guess they see this guy for what he really is, a crook who would swindle even his own mother to fill his pockets. As they say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” Stan Siekierski Sr.

Nailed it

Brooklyn: Re “Bling Bishop behind bars”: Kudos to your alliteration editor! P.J. Salber

More Bs

Yonkers: Your front-page story “Bling Bishop behind bars” was very captivating due to its alliterative quality. Now I would suggest adding two more words that fit the alliterative pattern and situation, namely “bad” to accentuate character and “banished” to emphasize current status. The fuller headline would then read: “Bad Bling Bishop banished behind bars.” Frank Brady

Liquid coolant

Brooklyn: I recommend to your readers to buy an iron flask water bottle and ice cube tray to have ice cold drinks. You can buy both for $40 total. Having ice cold drinks can make you more productive and happy. Shlomo Klein

Scale it back

South Orange, N.J.: As a transplant from NYC to New Jersey, I support the concept of congestion to reduce car traffic in the city and improve air quality. However, $15 is too much. I think $5 to $7 is fairer to keep the original purpose instead of pouring more funds into the MTA money pit. The MTA needs to spend its money smarter instead of always asking for more. Laurence Hirsch


Staten Island: The congestion pricing cameras are up and running. This is an opportunity to get real data about who will be the likely payers of congestion pricing fees. One may then compare who pays to where the MTA plans to spend the money and see how equitable the program will be. Will the money be spent to create an equitable mass transit system? One where every part of the city gets an equivalent level of service? Or will the money go to wealthier zip codes while residents in areas less well-served by mass transit still need to use their cars — just at a higher cost? How about it, MTA? It’s time we had some answers based on data. Carl Peters

Who speaks for drivers?

Jamaica Hills: When did it become that the care and maintenance of the MTA became the responsibility of New York motorists? Isn’t there anyone who will speak for motorists to say enough is enough? It’s like the government wants to drive auto owners out of the state with toll increases, bike and lanes, and bike stands in parking spaces. Robert Gibbs

Sounds good

New Rochelle, N.Y.: As a Con Edison retiree, I was pleased and reassured to read Matthew Ketschke’s article on the status of the present and future electric power supply (“NYC’s power must be clean and reliable,” op-ed, June 17). Although Con Ed and many other utilities were required to sell their generating plants to third parties (ostensibly to foster competition and decrease prices), we must still closely monitor anticipated growth of electric demand and reinforce and build out our transmission and distribution systems to handle that growth. Near the end of his article, while addressing reliability and the need for more research and development to produce as-yet-nascent generation technologies, Ketschke notes, “We can’t retire current resources until new resources are available.” Thanks to our former fearmonger-in-chief, Andrew Cuomo, New York lost 2,000 megawatts of non-fossil power with the closure of Indian Point. How’s that workin’ out? Richard Rodrigue

True path to clean energy

Fresh Meadows: Every CEO of every power company in New York should heed Matthew Ketschke’s bold stance. His call for a clean energy future as outlined in his recent endorsement is spot-on. Ketschke understands that New York’s commitment to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act demands swift action on the clean energy transition. Despite this, the fossil fuel industry continues to push back, peddling the myth that renewables are unreliable and promoting methane-based fuels like liquified natural gas as superior. LNG is not a climate savior — it’s mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas. And hydrogen, touted as a cleaner option, isn’t economically viable without fossil fuels. The solutions are clear. It’s time to expand battery storage, scale up solar and wind power, and embrace offshore wind projects. Sara Rebecca Storch

Try again

Suffern, N.Y.: Maybe if Donald Trump saw his doctor more often, he’d remember his name: Ronny Jackson. Rick Sinclair

Neutral enough

Marlboro, N.J.: To Voicer Denise Fortino: I too read the Wall Street Journal article on concerns about President Biden’s mental acuity. You write that no on-the-record praise by Democrat officials appears in the article. True, but neither were there any negative Democrat remarks, as the article stated also existed. It cited several public instances of the president’s diminished mental acuity (in addition to those in closed-door meetings). It also included several instances of Trump’s miscues, as well as deep concern by some of his cabinet officials after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and “whether there should be a greater check on his power and at least one considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.” I would absolutely call that fair and balanced reporting. The WSJ is a conservative publication that does not endorse presidential candidates. I love the paper and how they report, whether or not I agree with it. Howie Winick


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