2017-09-13 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Test Water For Legionnaires’

To The Editor:

The ongoing investigation into two recent Legionnaires’ disease cases at a Rego Park apartment building is sadly another example proving the Health Department’s current narrow policy to prevent this disease is ineffective and that a more comprehensive and proactive approach is necessary. It’s unfortunate that a second victim had to be hospitalized before the city was willing to test the building’s water system – especially considering this additional case might have been prevented if the water system was tested when the first case was originally reported.

Not including this most recent diagnosis, 212 people in New York City have reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease to the CDC so far in 2017. That’s an 81% increase in cases over the same amount of time in 2016. It is unacceptable that hundreds of New Yorkers continue to be infected with this potentially deadly but preventable disease every year. New York City can and should do better.

It is time for the city and the Health Department to reconsider their narrow-minded approach to Legionnaires’ disease prevention. Its singular focus on building equipment is failing to keep the public safe. By not routinely testing the water entering our homes and buildings – especially those housing older and immuno-compromised populations – for Legionella bacteria and testing water systems after each and every reported case of Legionnaires’ disease, people in New York City will continue to get sick and cases will continue to climb.

The Alliance To Prevent Legionnaires’
Washington, DC

‘Liberal’ Is A Compliment

To The Editor:

I often hear certain politicians and ordinary citizens attacked as “liberals.” Those who do so invoke the word as if it was a slur, denigrating the accused with all types of negative implications.

John F. Kennedy was alleged to have been a liberal, to which he responded he was a “pragmatist.” FDR was perhaps the ultimate liberal of his time, as his New Deal was counter to all prior dogma of governmental involvement in the daily life of Americans. He also proved to be an ardent pragmatist, proven when a new program failed he ended it or when the Supreme Court ruled against a new effort he created another to take its place.

If a court rules against what the right deems correct, the judges are condemned as “activists.” What is meant is liberal. Judicial rulings objected to by this definition are meant to question the patriotism and loyalty to the Founding Fathers, deserving of invective and personal attack.

Liberal is defined as, “Favoring reform, open to new ideas and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others.” Strict constructionists defame those who rely upon the realities of a changing world to interpret the Constitution. They believe they know the mind of men who lived over 200 years ago.

Our Founding Fathers were the preultimate liberals! They lived in a world that demanded a universal change from the norm. They accepted new ideas that permitted individual freedom from the dominance of a monarch. If any group of people understood the power and the purpose of reform, new ideas and tolerance to admit, “All men are created equal,” it was the Founding Fathers.

America has and hopefully will always be the home of the rebel, the free thinker, the independent hard-nose who sets out on new trails leading to frontiers yet unknown. Our nation is devoted to the principles that created a burning light the likes of which had never been seen and one strong enough to reject conformity.

Ed Horn,
Baldwin, LI

Must Fund MTA Now

To The Editor:

While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo continue to fight over who is responsible for management of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and how much each should contribute for funding the current $32 billion 2015-2019 Capital Program, Washington continues to be a reliable funding partner.

Federal support for transportation has remained consistent and growing over past decades. When a crisis occurred, be it September 11, 2001 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Washington was there for us. Additional billions in assistance above and beyond yearly formula allocations from the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration was provided. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided billions more.

Most federal transportation grants require a 20% hard-cash local share. In most cases, the Federal Transit Administration accepted toll credits instead of hard cash for the local share. This saved the MTA over $1 billion in the previous 2010-2014 five-year capital program. The same will be true with the 2015-2019 Capital Program.

Washington has made available over $1.3 billion in 2017 Federal Transit Administration formula funding for the MTA which helps pays for 25% of its capital program. This includes $23 million in Buses and Bus Facilities, $699 million in State of Good Repair and $647 million in Urbanized Area federal funding. There are other opportunities for up to several hundred million more in discretionary competitive federal grants. The MTA can also take advantage of Federal Transit Administration pre-award authority prior to grant approval. Use of pre-award authority affords the MTA an opportunity to start projects months earlier and incur costs for reimbursement at a later date after grant approval and obligation of funding. The MTA currently manages an active portfolio of federally funded capital improvement projects and programs in open grants worth over $12 billion in direct Federal Transit Administration financial assistance.

Instead of complaining, Mayor Bill de Blasio should come up with the balance of $2.5 billion the city still owes toward fully funding the $32 billion MTA 2015-2019 Capital Program and provide several billion more. City Hall should match Albany dollar for dollar in any increased assistance. Governor Andrew Cuomo should deliver the outstanding balance $5.8 billion balance toward his original $8.3 billion pledge plus his most recent new commitment of an additional $1 billion. The MTA can’t afford to wait until 2018 or 2019 for both de Blasio and Cuomo to make good on their respective promised financial commitments. Neither can transit riders and taxpayers who are looking for accountability, efficient and timely completion for both capital projects and routine maintenance to assure more reliable and safe on-time service.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Purely Chaste Thoughts

To The Editor:

Sorry, but it’s time for more “random ramblings.” Here are two dozen one-liners to celebrate the silver anniversary of the random ramblings:

Just finished reading Chernow’s “Alexander Hamilton.” I recommend it.

Prior to “Hamilton,” I read “The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty” by Hal Bock. This 2017 book is a must if you are a baseball fan. Incidentally, Hal is an East Williston resident.

I really miss Bill O’Reilly. His show was fair, impartial, interesting, informative and entertaining.

Defense plays second fiddle to offense in nearly every sport, particularly basketball.

I’ve become a fan of TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Can I attribute this to old age?

Traveling is no longer fun. Florida is the only place I look forward to going to.

Terry Collins (Mets) is unquestionably the worst manager in baseball. Maybe the Mets can lose the rest of their games and management will get wise and fire Collins.

The US EPA has thankfully come to its senses about global warming…or is it climate change?

A second edition of “Basketball Coaching 101” is in the works and it will unveil my umbrella offense.

It was our 40th straight year of vacationing at the fabulous Sandcastle Resort in Sarasota Florida for Easter. Unfortunately, I fractured a vertebrae slipping in the bathroom.

Planned on attending the Annual International Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) Conference in Pittsburgh in June. It would have been my 50th consecutive year in a row of either presenting a technical paper or giving a seminar, or both. Unfortunately, the fractured vertebrae eliminated my travel plans.

Just celebrated Mary’s 50th wedding anniversary. Planned on visiting Ireland again to also celebrate Mary’s family reunion. Unfortunately, Mary fractured her femur which eliminated all travel plans. Not the best of summers for the Theodore clan.

Noted sports historian, Arthur Lovely, celebrated his 89th birthday this past April 23 at the 4.5-star restaurant L’incontro in Astoria. The party of eight included handsome (that’s yours truly), the irrepressible Danny Doyle, Ed “The Glider” Charles of the fabulous 1972 Mets, and TV fight analyst/ former boxer Tommy Gallagher.

The indifference and incompetence of government officials continues to amaze me – particularly here in Nassau County.

The indifference and incompetence of government employees also never cease to amaze me; I could write an article on my experience with the US EPA and the Albertson Post Office.

I keep preaching that defense is as important as offense in basketball, and all my “expert” friends keep agreeing with me. But do they really? Other than Bill Russell (and possibly Dennis Rodman), name one Hall of Famer in Springfield who was selected for his defensive play.

Capitalism (along with democracy) is what has made our nation great. But there are times when capitalism has to be harnessed for the common good.

Liberty and freedom? Somehow, there is a need to balance these against anarchy and disorder.

Manufacturing runs has become a lost art in baseball. Everyone is trying to hit a home run.

Every batter who regularly faces the infield “shift” should be required to learn how to hit to the opposite field.

Lost another of our gang – Zack Mehale. He was one of the good guys who made us laugh and who everybody loved. We’ve become depleted; there’s only a handful of us left.

Visited Saratoga in late August (my 61st straight summer visit) – NYRA’s THE place to be if you want to get ripped off. And what does that say about me?

A couple of people complained about my June 1 article titled, “On Great Eats.”

I hope most of you read Ron Roel’s three-page feature article about me in Newsday on June 25. It modestly describes my successes during my illustrious career, more in next month’s posting.

Once again, this is the silver anniversary edition of the “random ramblings.” Thanks are due to friends, relatives, colleagues, etc., for their interest and support for this unique category of article; my indebtedness is also extended to those individuals in this group who are currently incarcerated or institutionalized.

Lou Theodore
www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his
Facebook page at Basketball Coaching

Kudos To Mets

To The Editor:

The Mets have had a bad season due in part to players’ injuries. But I feel they are big winners in the help they gave while playing the Astros in Houston, Texas. Many players helped at churches, food banks and food kitchens. As was said, the Mets have truly exemplified real charity and with that I truly agree. A.J. Hinch, the manager of the Astros, while addressing a crowd at the start of a doubleheader in Houston, spoke about the Mets. He gave a shout out to the Mets and said, “The Mets helped in a city they rarely come to, and for that we are forever grateful.” Now for that I say, kudos to the Mets, who demonstrated the true meaning of caring, and that makes them a winner.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

‘Pork’ Is ‘Baloney’

To The Editor:

Senator Ted Cruz, who is from Texas, is nothing but a true hypocrite. After Hurricane Harvey’s passage, he immediately lobbied his fellow senators to pass legislation to release funds to help Houston and its surrounding communities begin to rebuild. As Americans, we all want to help the people of that devastated region in any way that we can, and assistance is pouring in from all across the country, including New York and New Jersey. Five years earlier, when Hurricane Sandy slammed our region, causing billions of dollars in damage, Senator Cruz and some of his fellow Republicans in Washington voted against emergency funding to assist New York and New Jersey in recovery efforts following the devastating storm. The bill was delayed until the following January, because it was claimed by Senator Cruz that there was too much extra “pork”. That was actually a lot of unsubstantiated baloney. The senator should hang his head in shame for what he did to the Northeast in 2012. We are all one country united under one flag. In times of calamity, the American people have always given so generously and unselfishly to help those affected by all types of disasters, both natural and manmade. That is what makes this country the best in the whole world.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Remember 9/11

To The Editor:

I am glad that IS 125 and PS 11 were rebuilt and modernized. That is a step in the right direction. Learning is important, and improvement of test scores are next in line, in addition to the modernization of senior centers.

I am proud of Paul Vallone, Councilman of northeast Queens, who is my councilmember. I met him in person and congratulated him for a fine job he has been doing for the past four years. I am also proud of his brother, Judge Peter Vallone, Jr., who was my council person when I was living in Astoria and his father, former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, as well.

I also am appalled at President Trump rescinding the DACA program. These young people who came here as children are well-educated, contribute to society, and are our tech people, as well as work in other professions. They should be given green card residency status. Trump reminds me of Hitler, sorry to say.

I urge all to vote in the mayoral primary and vote for the issues, not for the person. The life of our city lies in our hands. I admire our governor and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for their plans in suing the feds about the cancellation of DACA. They are true political giants and care for all people.

As for 9/11, we must all remember that day and have a national day of prayer and remembrance. We must never have this happen again and be on our guard, have good intelligence and praise and salute all who were involved. I admire the first responders, and particularly those of Flight 93, ordinary passengers who risked their lives so that the hijackers would not harm our country or our democracy.

I also hope that the same attention and funding should be given to the sufferers of the hurricane in the Caribbean as it was in Texas. We are all members of the family of God.

I applaud Councilman Danny Dromm, who has helped homeless families and I’m glad that he was honored. To me that is the true meaning of doing a good deed, caring for others and making a difference in this world of ours. That person is an inspiration.

I am glad that $2 million will be given to update firehouses.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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