2017-04-12 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Clean Up Subways

To The Editor:

It makes sense for the MTA to cancel its ill-conceived subway station garbage can removal program. In the 1960s it was common to find both penny gum and soda machines dispensing products at many subway stations. Clean and safe bathrooms were readily available. It was a time when people respected authority and law. Previous generations of riders did not litter subway stations and buses leaving behind gum, candy wrappers, paper cups, bottles and newspapers. No one would openly eat pizza, chicken or other messy foods while riding a bus or subway. Everyone paid their way and there was no fare evasion.

Fast forward to today. Commuters have to deal with conductors who close the doors before they get across the platform, attempting to transfer from a local to the express train. Try looking for the proper way to dispose of your old newspaper as more trash cans are removed from more stations. Riders have to deal with aggressive panhandlers, others eating as if they are at home or a restaurant, those hogging two seats, yawning, coughing or sneezing without covering up and the release of flatulence. Women are routinely accosted by gropers while perverts engage in other unhealthy sexual activities.

It is now time to add, not remove of garbage cans. NYC Transit should consider installing separate cans for recycling newspapers, plastic and glass, along with regular garbage. Selling advertising on sides of cans could generate revenues to help cover the costs of more frequent off-peak and late-night collection and disposal. If asked, the city Department of Sanitation might consider doing the same on the street adjacent to subway station entrances.

There are also solutions to dealing with waiting for or riding the subway and having the “urge to go.” The odds of finding a working bathroom for “relief” may be too late. Until the early 1960s, most subway stations had clean, safe, working bathrooms with toilet paper. Revenues generated from a 10-cent fee helped cover the costs. Why not consider charging a fee between 25 cents and a dollar? That would generate revenues to assign a matron along with covering security and maintenance costs. This could help provide secure, fully equipped bathrooms at most of the 471 subway stations. Many riders would gladly pay this small price to ensure working bathrooms, rather than face the current unpleasant alternatives, which contribute to dirty subways.

At a recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting, the MTA's own independent engineering firm, which provides oversight over various major capital construction projects, announced that reconstruction of the Cortlandt Street World Trade Center NYC Transit #1 IRT subway station may miss the most recently anticipated reopening date of June 2018. How disappointing that 16 years after 9/11, the Cortlandt Street WTC station is still 16 months away from returning to service. The original completion date was in 2014. If there are no new delays over the next 16 months to the most recent project construction recovery schedule, perhaps the June 2018 date may still hold. Do not be surprised, based on past history for other subway station construction projects, that there will be additional delays. Who knows if we may have to wait until December 2018 or some time in 2019 before the station reopens. The PANYNJ and MTA fought for years over budget, funding sources, scope and schedule. The MTA assumed total control of this project from PANYNJ in February 2015. Construction for the MTA portion of the project began in February 2016. This station was totally destroyed as a result of 9/11, suffering far more damage than others. Why will it take the MTA 17 years to rebuild it? Taxpayers and commuters deserve better.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

God Forbid

To The Editor:

I strongly believe that our president must notify Congress and get a vote from them prior to sending troops or bombing any place in a foreign country. That violates the Constitution.

I am appalled that ISIS destroyed Christian churches in Egypt during Palm Sunday. This act of terrorism is heinous and an abomination.

I hope that the NY State Legislature and Governor Cuomo do pass the budget and that our governor signs the agreement. I am finding that even at the city, state, federal and international level, sad to say, that people cannot sit down at a table with different opinions and listen to differing opinions and try to agree. What happened to diplomacy? Is that word not in existence any more? Our world must wake up if nations will survive and a war that can kill everyone occurs, God forbid.

I am appalled to learn that your president plans to eliminate senior centers, boys and girls clubs, the National Endowment for the Arts and Meals on Wheels. This is an abomination, since he is picking on vulnerable people, children and senior citizens. Senior citizens are the Greatest Generation and meals and recreation at senior centers are important to eliminate depression, loneliness and it will cost more to place these people in facilities and the lonely Meals on Wheels people will find it hard to get meals, since they cannot prepare meals for themselves due to age and disability. For 26 years I have been working with senior citizens, first at two senor centers and now as a telephone reassurance volunteer for Meals on Wheels people. It will cause such sadness and illness – emotional and physical – amongst these people. The boys and girls clubs are important, since they keep youngsters off the streets and teach them many skills that are necessary in life. When these children are left to roam the streets trouble and crime begin, and more money will have to be spent on correctional institutions.

Our infrastructure is failing and there are too many derailments.

Also, hate crimes are rising and something must be done to prevent these from happening.

In addition, it is important for people to care about each other. I applaud the Astoria Center of Israel for the food drive they sponsored during Passover and for Easter for those who cannot afford food or who are hungry. This is the true meaning of the holy days. We must cherish our freedom and admire what Moses and God did when the children of Israel were led out of the house of bondage of Egypt into the Promised Land.

Passover is not a seder or reading material, but having a strong belief in God, in preserving freedom, not taking freedom for granted and standing up for what is right and not letting terrorists destroy freedom through the world.

I am not pleased at the proposed closing of Rikers Isaland and creating local jails.

Also correction officers will lose jobs and are currently targets of abuse, both verbal and physical, by inmates at Rikers and that has to stop.

There are too many traffic deaths – hit and run accidents throughout the country. Drivers must stop and slow down. Also I am glad that April is stop using cell phones and texting while driving month and adding points to a person’s license if they text and use cell phones while driving. This will save lives. Fines are also a good idea.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Work Now To Avoid WWIII

To The Editor:

The recent gas attacks and resultant U.S. strike against the Syrian regime, the mounting tension with North Korea and rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia do not bode very well for international peace and stability. If these situations continue to worsen, larger and broader conflicts may arise, which could be disastrous for the entire world. It is now time for all leaders of civilized nations to begin seriously working together to diffuse these worldwide hot spots now, through diplomatic channels, so that the risks of wider conflicts will be stopped.

The recent incident in which three students were stabbed by three other students at John Bowne High School is yet another example of the increasingly violent situations that are occurring in our city’s public school system. There should have been metal detectors at that school, which might have prevented this incident from happening. Our public schools are supposed to be institutions of safe learning in a well disciplined atmosphere. Students, teachers, administrators and other school staff should not have to come to school every day fearing for their safety. The DOE should hire more school security guards and upgrade other methods of preventing weapons from being brought into school buildings. Also, the UFT needs to take a stronger position on the safety issue. Its members deserve to have safe conditions to teach under.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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