2016-10-05 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Mandate Auto-Brakes

To The Editor:

The train crash in the Hoboken, New Jersey station which killed one person and injured 108 others, some very seriously, should never have happened. How fast was that train going as it approached the terminal? Why wasn’t there an automatic braking system that would have been enacted to slow down the speed and to bring the train to a stop? The engineer was also injured, and he will most certainly be questioned by the officials who are investigating this tragedy. Kudos to all the first responders – firefighters, police officers and EMT personnel who immediately converged at the crash site, especially to the EMS personnel who immediately transported the injured to two hospitals in Hoboken. Their fast action and that of the medical personnel in the emergency rooms of both hospitals were critical in saving many lives, and those doctors and nurses who are true and dedicated professionals are to also be commended for their skill and expertise in the process of tending to those injured people. It is time for Congress to enact railway legislation, mandating that all trains be refurbished with backup automatic brake systems that can be used in the event that the regular brake system on a train fails to slow down and stop it. The nation’s railway companies must immediately upgrade their trains, so that accidents like the one in Hoboken will not occur again. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the injured and of the one person who lost her life.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Sue Saudi Government

To The Editor:

I applaud Congress for overriding President Obama's veto and now families who lost loved ones on 9/11 can sue the Saudi Arabian government. That country harbored terrorists. Justice will finally be done.

It is sad that the young chief of the FDNY was killed as a result of that blast in the Bronx. He was a hero evacuating people from the danger and giving his life for others to live. That is a true hero, not a baseball or football player.

It is a sad state of affairs that retirees under the NYC retirement system will only get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 1%. The cost of living for senior citizens is much higher and should not should be based on the Consumer Price Index.

I heard that the Transit Authority is no longer in the red, so why did the fare rise 45% since 2007? There should be no more fare hikes.

I was shocked and saddened to hear about that accident involving the train’s failure to stop at the New Jersey Transit’s Hoboken terminal. This is not new, and this has occurred many times at different trains on different railroads. Something must be done to stop this from happening. Trains must be inspected, engineers must be tested for drugs or alcohol, and other things must be put into place to stop a train. Life is so precious and too important to have such carnage.

I am elated that the National Museum of African American History and Culture will finally be opened. That bell rang for the liberty and freedom that African- American people deserve. Our President is an inspiration, showing that an African- American can become president and rise to the highest office even though many years ago people of the Black race were enslaved, lynched, shunned, segregated, and unable to vote. I hope and pray that the museum will open minds and hearts of all people, showing history and how we can learn from the mistakes of the past to improve the future of all people.

I am glad that small businesses in the affected areas where the bomb blast hit in Manhattan will be helped financially. We must support all small businesses and buy from them. The malls place them at an economic disadvantage, which is unfortunate indeed.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Cost Underestimated

To The Editor:

Extension of the #1 subway from the Rector Street downtown Manhattan station to Red Hook Brooklyn for $3.5 billion (a tunnel and three new stations) as proposed by Senior VP of AECOM Engineering firm, Chris Ward, is wishful thinking. This subway extension would support his proposed Red Hook economic development project, and it would be similar in size and scope to Battery City Park in Manhattan. Was this $3.5 billion figure written on the back of a napkin? There isn't even a planning feasibility study, let alone any environmental documents or preliminary design and engineering followed by final design and engineering efforts. All of the above is necessary to validate any basic estimates for construction costs. Given the narrow streets and dense development, how would he find a staging area for mobilization of contractor employees, equipment and materials to support construction? Imagine trying to assemble a tunnel boring machine at Rector Street adjacent to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. What about removal of debris once excavation begins? Hundreds of trucks needed on a daily basis to remove rock and soil would be challenging.

It cost $4.5 billion for Phase 1 Second Avenue subway (36 blocks & 3 stations) and $2.4 billion (18 blocks & 1 station) for the #7 Hudson Yards subway extension. Neither required a multi-billion tunnel under the East River. Construction of new subway stations average between $500 million up to $1 billion, depending upon location and complexity of work. All three new subway stations would require compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). This includes expensive elevators and other features.

I have a wager for Chris Ward. If you are so confident of your numbers, put up your engineering licence, mortgage your home and agree to have your firm cover any cost overruns over $3.5 billion as collateral. I won't hold my breath waiting for a response.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Stop Clinton and Trump

To The Editor:

Recently, the New Hampshire Union Leader ran a front page editorial endorsing the Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld. Thank you for the foresight and intelligence to realize this is the only way a fiscal conservative can be elected President.

The demographics in this country favor electing a Democrat to office, because Democrats outnumber Republicans and many Independents tend to be socially liberal in their views. Additionally, Trump’s blunders alienates people from various voting blocs, and this only solidifies the eventuality of electing Clinton. Clinton is untrustworthy. She used a private email server to send and receive government emails, including documents that were classified secret and top secret. Based on her handling of the Benghazi debacle, her judgement is in serious question. She is a fiscal liberal who is for big government and large welfare programs. She could stack the Supreme Court with her political ideology. Trump is disorganized and temperamental, shows signs of bigotry, and does not comprehend the nuances of the geopolitical forces in the world which impact our national security. He is unqualified to be president.

The first Presidential Debate is over and Clinton might have looked better than Trump, but she is an accomplished debater. It would be great if Johnson could make the remaining debates so we could have a more robust and meaningful discussion of the major issues impacting our country and the world, and we might be able to limit the name calling. Johnson/Weld have to poll at least 15% in a number of polls to qualify for the remaining debates.

If the Libertarian ticket can pull enough electoral votes from Clinton and Trump to prevent either one from getting 270 electoral votes, the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, will elect the next president.

Vote for the Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld. They are fiscal conservatives and have liberal-to-moderate social views. They are experienced government executives who understand our form of government and our responsibilities in the world. Johnson/Weld have the intellectual capacity to analyze complex information and make rational decisions. They are highly qualified to run this country.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

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