• October 19, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Letters to the Editor

Trains and tennis

Dear Editor:

I have a suggestion as to how to ameliorate the huge cost of reactivating the old Long Island Rail Road line from Rego Park to Howard Beach (“Pricey but possible, rail study concludes,” Oct. 10). Move the US Open Tennis complex to a closed Aqueduct racetrack. They have been talking about closing the track for a long time. Now they have a reason.

The Resorts World Casino will have a 400-room hotel on-site and an infrastructure that will easily accommodate the 750,000 people that attend the matches. A huge simulcast facility can be opened at the current clubhouse as well as the restaurants.

The existing courts in Flushing can be rebuilt at Aqueduct or moved to the new site.

The Flushing facility can be used to host the New York State Fair, which will get more attendance than they do in Syracuse.

The tremendous revenue generated by the Open can offset the bill for the renovation of the LIRR tracks.

Ray Hackinson
Ozone Park

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Old tracks a top issue

Dear Editor:

With the long-awaited release of the MTA cost estimate for reviving the LIRR Rockaway Branch, the least expected excuse for its ongoing abandonment does not surprise anyone — $6.7 billion. Coming from an agency famous for its cost overruns, overtime pay abuse and construction delays, most of us still cannot wrap our heads around it. The most expensive part of a railroad project is acquiring the land. In this case, that’s been available since 1908!

Then this report incredulously hikes the cost to $8.1 billion for connecting the line to the Queens Boulevard subway in Rego Park. One does not need to be a transit historian to know that there is a ghost tunnel at 66th Avenue branching off from Queens Boulevard for a few yards. It was built in the 1930s in anticipation of this proposed connection. A couple of blocks of tunneling would be needed to connect this tunnel stub to the railroad line, and for this they’re asking for upwards of a billion dollars?

With the borough president’s seat open to a crowded primary, candidates are pitching themselves as transit advocates. Donovan Richards speaks of making Queens LIRR fares affordable. Elizabeth Crowley speaks of reviving the Lower Montauk Branch. Costa Constantinides speaks of expanding transit options as part of an emission reduction plan. But none has spoken at length about reviving the LIRR Rockaway Line.

Now that the report is out, where do they stand? As the line runs through a sizable portion of Queens, this transit issue ought to be the leading one in the race for borough president.

Sergey Kadinsky
Fresh Meadows

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Keep baseball on air

Dear Editor:

Re “Mets’ loss, radio’s win,” Richard Reif, Letters, Oct. 10:

Richard, what if you’re driving in your car and want to listen to the ballgame, as so many of us have done?

That’s why we still need radio broadcasts of baseball games.

Martin Bender
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

‘Reform’ risks our safety

Dear Editor:

Re David Russell’s Oct. 10 article: “Katz talks DA race, reform and

Rikers”:

The statement that New York State’s bail reform law, which goes into effect in January 2020, “eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenses” doesn’t tell the whole story. The law also requires judges to immediately free those charged with criminally negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, assault on a person under 11 years old and other serious offenses, notes New York Post columnist Bob McManus (Oct. 7).

This means more dangerous thugs like Rodriguez Santos, charged with fatally beating four homeless people, will be on the streets. He had 14 prior arrests, including one for groping, but was bailed out by the Bronx Freedom Fund. Under the new reform law, he would not be required to post bail for that offense, says McManus.

Violent vagrant Laurence Gendreau, charged with attacking a 6-year-old boy in Kew Gardens on Oct. 10, was allowed to roam free after being arrested for throwing a chair at an elderly woman at a Manhattan Popeye’s restaurant in January (New York Post, Oct. 11).

Bail reform stems from an initiative by civil liberties lunatics like Mayor de Blasio to replace incarceration with a concept they call “restorative justice.” They are returning New York to the bad old days of the 1970s, as depicted in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver.” That movie could be remade today with just two changes. Robert De Niro’s character would be an Uber or Lyft driver, and the guy yelling, “Are you talking to me?” would be de Blasio whenever anyone points to his failures.

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Pilla vs. Trump!

Dear Editor:

Here comes a 12-round political boxing bout … Pilla vs. Trump. 1) Mexico will pay for my wall. Trump, you stole $3.5 billion from our military to fund the wall. 2) Our federal debt will be gone in my presidency. The debt went from $19 trillion under Obama to $21 trillion under you! 3) I will drain the DC swamp. Hey, you spread it all over the USA. 4) I will unite all Americans. You mean rural vs. urban? 5) My effective policy will stop illegal invasion. Yes, by separating children from parents! 6) I reached out to world leaders. Yeah, by kowtowing to four dictators! 7) I support strong gun control laws. After a chat with the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, you changed your tune to: We need to protect our Second Amendment, and study the problem. 8) Whistleblowers are spies! Sir … Congress has protected them since 1777. 9) Kurdish militia supported our troops in Syria. You suddenly withdrew our military, in a betrayal that allowed Turkey to launch military action against the Kurds. 10) If Congress removes me from office, by the “tiny margin” of Democratic control in the House, civil war will break out! Trump, you will go the way Civil War Confederate President Jefferson Davis went! 12) I have an effective foreign policy. Really? You backed away from a nuclear treaty with Russia and Iran and you pulled America, along with Israel, out of the 197-nation Paris Accords — some effectiveness. “Mr. 45.”

Yes, you are the best of the worst (Harding, Hoover, Nixon). Note: All Republicans like you!

Queens Chronicle readers, I’ll let you decide who won this boxing match.

Anthony G. Pilla
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Some ‘rights’ deprive others

Dear Editor:

The transformed Democrat Party has embraced the failed misguided notions and promise of a utopia as articulated in Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Food, clothing, homes and medical care do not grow in nature. These are goods and services produced by men. Who will supply these goods and services? Who will pay for them?

If some men are entitled by “right” to the products and work of others, it means that those others are deprived of their rights and property. No man has the right to impose obligations, unrewarded duties or involuntary servitude on other men. There is no such thing as a “right to enslave.”

Entitlements, welfare and expanding list of rights like healthcare, food and housing are not freedom; they’re dependency. Those aren’t rights; those are rations of involuntary servitude.

Self-sustaining, self-reliant citizens are the foundation of a free society.

Our culture no longer reflects this ideal and our educational system no longer teaches how and why the individual rights protected by the Constitution created the highest standard of living on the planet. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generating actions, and the Constitution guarantees our right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The right to life does not mean others must provide you with the necessities of life.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 10/10/2019
Mets’ loss, radio’s win

Dear Editor:

The Mets fired manager Mickey Callaway after two seasons because his team failed to win a wild card spot in the playoffs.

As a Mets fan since 1964, I was thrilled when they won the 1969 and 1986 World Series. I’m delighted that rookie Pete Alonso set a new MLB home run record. But I’m glad that the Mets didn’t make it to 2019’s postseason because my favorite radio station, WCBS-AM, can now return to its regular all-news format.

Under new ownership by Entercom, Radio 880 this year began airing play-by-play broadcasts of all Mets games, including spring training contests. This annoyed many listeners like me, who want the latest news when we tune in. Why air games on radio when Mets fans can see them on TV, computers or phones? Radio play-by-play broadcasts are as outdated as rotary dial phones and black-and-white TV.

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (1)

Subway open sesame

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year there was a report that the MTA loses close to $225 million a year to fare beaters. Given this statistic, one would think that the MTA would do more to crack down on them, but I found that at least in Forest Hills they are doing just the opposite.

In one secluded section of the 71st Avenue station there were two floor-to-ceiling turnstiles that fare beaters could not use. They were recently replaced with three new turnstiles with only a bar needed to be pushed to get through. I assume this was done to speed rush-hour traffic, which was really never that bad. It is not hard for someone to jump over or crawl under the bar.

In the past, I noticed many fare beaters using the emergency exit door to successfully sneak in even though it is in view of the token booth attendant. Why does the MTA need to make it even easier for fare beaters by giving them an easy to use isolated spot to cheat the system?

The next time the MTA wants to raise fares I hope readers will remember all the lost revenue they are giving up.

My apologies to Larry Penner, who always writes excellent informative letters on transportation issues, for encroaching on his territory. It is just that when I see something so stupid I have to point it out so people will know how much mismanagement is going on.

Lenny Rodin
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

GOP vs. the Constitution

Dear Editor:

Regardless of political affiliation, the refusal of Republicans to support congressional oversight of the executive is frightening. If permitted the role of Congress as a co-equal part of government will be diminished to meaningless.

The Founders created our political system with checks and balances. Congress, the judiciary and the executive have coequal status in the Constitution. Though there have been past conflicts between these entities the balance of power has always prevailed, proving the elasticity and genius of the Founders in drafting a living, viable Constitution.

If Trump is permitted to deny Congress its constitutional powers it is not hard to consider he would do the same to a Supreme Court ruling. If Congress must depend upon the court to confirm its coequal powers, Congress is a paper tiger.

Republicans may rejoice that Trump has stymied Congress. Trump’s clear violations in seeking foreign intervention in our democracy, if unchecked, empower him to commit other forbidden acts. Future presidents may act with the impunity Republicans have rewarded Trump with by freeing him of any restrictions.

One day a Democrat president may violate the Constitution as Trump has. A defending future administration would rely upon the defenses the Republicans are providing to Trump. A future president in violation of his constitutional obligations would play the videos of Congressman Jim Jordan, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Lindsey Graham and other Republicans defending Trump’s impeachable acts.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Impeach the thug Trump

Dear Editor:

Ed Konecnik says Democrats are blinded by hatred of Trump (“Dems blinded by the hate,” Letters, Oct. 3). Well, since the GOP refuses to accept the abundance of evidence against Trump, it’s obvious that Repugnantcans are blinded by facts. They must live in terror of turning on the television and finding it not tuned to Fox.

Supporters in Trump’s administration are actually saying that they don’t trust the FBI or CIA. Yet they trust Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Disgraceful. Now a second whistleblower has come forward in the Ukraine scandal. If Trump’s inquiry pertaining to Biden was simply a legitimate investigation of “corruption,” why didn’t he go through all the official agencies at his disposal instead of using three private lawyers? State Department? No, Rudy Giuliani. Yes, the same Rudy Giuliani who has been subpoenaed by three different House committees.

The president asked for a quid pro quo, the White House tried to cover it up and they got caught. That’s it. Trump has blatantly called for Russia, Ukraine, China and Australia to “assist” in his re-election. To borrow from CNN’s Jim Sciutto, China and Russia are authoritarian countries with no credible rule of law, which imprison and kill political opponents. For a U.S. president to call on such countries to investigate an American is incredible.

The phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demonstrates “both criminal and impeachable behavior.” Is that my opinion? No. That’s a quote from Fox News’ senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitano.

Trump said Nancy Pelosi was “no longer the Speaker of the House because she’d been taken over by the radical left.” If the impeachment investigation leads to its logical conclusion and Trump and Pence are both removed from office, Trump’s statement will prove true. Nancy Pelosi will no longer be speaker of the House. She will be president.

Robert LaRosa
Whitestone

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Abortion on the docket

Dear Editor:

The State of Louisiana enacted a law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. Opponents to the law claimed only one doctor in a single clinic in Louisiana has been able to meet the requirements. In short it would be extremely difficult to have an abortion.

It was further pointed out the law is virtually identical to one in Texas that was struck down in 2016 by the Supreme Court when Justice Anthony Kennedy was still on the court and sided with four other justices. Since that decision two other right-wing justices (Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh) have joined the court. A divided three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in New Orleans upheld the Louisiana law, notwithstanding the 2016 Texas law decision.

The Louisiana case is now before the Supreme Court, but will not be heard until next winter, and a decision not rendered until next June. In that respect a motion was made to seek a stay of the law until a decision on the merits is rendered. In a 5-4 decision, a stay was granted with Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in the minority opposing a stay. Had a stay not been granted, it would have meant the Louisiana law would have gone into effect for almost a year until a formal decision was rendered by the court.

At Justice Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, he stated: “ As a general proposition, I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade.” He also told Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) he agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts, who called Roe v. Wade settled law. Having stated Roe v. Wade is not only settled law but that he is also a believer in stare decisis, the principal of following precedent, and since the current Louisiana law now before the Supreme Court is virtually identical to the one in Texas struck down in 2016, his refusal in the Louisiana case to grant a stay until the case is heard raises serious questions about Justice Kavanaugh’s previous statements.

It is true a justice’s refusal to go along with a stay until a case is heard does not indicate how he or she would vote when the case is fully heard and decided. But when all is said and done, I believe it would be a surprise if Justice Kavanaugh follows stare decisis (the Texas decision) and that Roe v. Wade is settled law, having opposed a stay, would vote to strike down the Louisiana law. Unless Chief Justice Roberts assumes the robe of retired Justice Kennedy, abortion supporters have much to be concerned about. It is also unlikely Justice Kavanaugh and some of the other justices will follow the legal principle that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.

Benjamin M. Haber
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 10/03/2019
Bet on toll hikes

Dear Editor:

If you read my letter to the editor about the amount of money the MTA was going to collect with all the tolls going up, which they did, no surprise there. You read that I said that if the MTA got these bridge tolls raised that the Port Authority would say, “Hey we have to raise our tolls also!”

What did the PA do? It raised the tolls also. Now the MTA wants $51 billion to revamp the subway and buses in the city, and congestion pricing is coming in 2020.

Hey, Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, how about bringing sports betting to New York and giving us commuters a break with the congestion pricing plan? We, the taxpayers of New York, need a break also.

Kathleen Schatz
Rego Park

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Bus stop, wet day … no info

Dear Editor:

The downgrading of the signage at many Queens bus stops is irritating due to the erasure not only of the printed schedules noted in “Few support MTA schedule removal” (Sept. 19), but also of the accompanying QR codes. Scanning those codes with a cell phone camera pulled up links to schedule information that could be updated without any need to revise them — and even provided up-to-the-minute wait times for the buses approaching their particular stops.

Joel Schlosberg
Bayside

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

MTA money for maintenance

Dear Editor:

I don’t want to rain on your MTA editorial (“Big transit upgrades at last,” Sept. 26) parade or downplay the size and scope of the proposed MTA 2020-24 Capital Plan, but most of the money in the program, $37.3 billion of the subway and bus system money, is just for normal replacement of things that have worn out.

Our transit system has a huge asset base and every year the agency must spend billions just to replace normal wear and tear on tracks, retire old buses and maintain stations. NYC Transit needs to buy 475 buses a year just to stay on its normal 12-year replacement cycle. While the program does propose necessary modernization of the overaged signal system and more station elevators in the core program, only $4.6 billion is dedicated to system capacity expansion, mostly for the next phase of the Second Avenue subway.

My point? New Yorkers need to recognize the high cost of maintaining and expanding our critical transportation infrastructure and its importance to the New York economy.

Steve Strauss
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Rock rail study shelved

Dear Editor:

“Big transit upgrades at last” (Editorial, Sept. 26), but not restoration of service on the old Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road branch. There is no additional funding in the MTA’s $51.5 billion 2020-24 Five Year Capital Plan to proceed beyond the feasibility study.

The original completion date for the Rockaway Beach LIRR restoration study was June 2017. It was delayed until December 2017 and again to June 2018. Another 15 months have come and gone with no reports ever been made public. The MTA never committed to a new schedule and release date of the study. No wonder it stonewalled release of the study. The results probably concluded that both feasibility and costs had been found to be prohibitive.

The estimated costs previously grew from $600 million to a $1 billion. This may explain why no further funding has been allocated toward this project. You may have to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the MTA to obtain a copy of the study. So much for the honest, open transparency in state government that was promised by Gov. Cuomo under his administration for all state agencies and authorities, including the MTA.

The only winners from this study will be the well-paid consultants. They will move on to the next transit planners’ dream, leaving Rockaway residents once again holding an empty bag.

It appears that elected officials who supported this project, such as state Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato and others, have no clout with Gov. Cuomo, MTA management and board members and the Albany Capital Program Review Board. They all talked the talk, but could not walk the walk, coming away empty-handed, with no additional funding to advance the project.

RIP restoration of LIRR service on the old Rockaway Beach branch.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI
The writer is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who worked for 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office.

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Creedmoor court and jail

Dear Editor:

On Aug. 30, 2018 you very kindly printed my letter, which made a suggestion to move the Queens House of Detention to Creedmoor. In that letter, I detailed some possibilities based on what I read online about the property.

This letter is an expansion on a theme. I can’t help but mull over this idea, since I pass that underutilized site weekly. To refute the argument that a jail must be near a courthouse, I am proposing that they build a new courthouse as well on said site. It’s been almost 60 years since the Queens Criminal Courthouse was built. Surely, in this time period, computers must have replaced stacks of files, etc. as well as employees needing offices. So, a new courthouse would probably not need as much space as back then. At any rate, plenty of room is available at Creedmoor for the jail and courthouse, and space can even be rented out to bail bond offices. Additionally, the Kew Gardens site can be developed for more housing and consumer services such as supermarkets.

Still trying to think out of the box.

Deborah Crane
Kew Gardens

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

For library sanity, unify

Dear Editor:

Former New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley urged “Queens Library Equity” in a New York Daily News op-ed piece (Sept. 23). Citing $200 million in unfunded capital needs for Queens’ 66 library locations, she called for “sanity in how we allocate resources throughout local branches of the Queens Public Library system.”

But more sanity would result from consolidating New York City’s three separate public library systems — one for Queens, another for Brooklyn and one for Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island — into a single centralized system.

A fragmented structure wastes money on separate computer, inventory, book buying and administration operations. It stems from a time before the five boroughs were consolidated into one municipal government in 1898. But 121 years is far too long for three systems to endure. Centralization will lower costs and increase funds for all local library branches. That’s something NYC leaders should “check out.”

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Dems blinded by the hate

Dear Editor:

I am bothered by the number of my fellow Americans who have expressed vitriol and hatred for President Trump who, after two years of exhaustive expensive investigations, was found innocent. In light of his success in growing our economy and lowering unemployment to historic lows, you would expect expressions of gratitude and relief, but instead the Democrats have extended and intensified their inquiries and are now preparing for impeachment. They are consumed with hatred and are angry he was not found guilty.

For years the Democratic media cabal has been perpetrating a Russian Republican collusion hoax all the while ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s connection to the Steele Dossier, which confirms actual collusion. The media also showed no interest in China’s $1.5 billion investment in then-Vice President Biden’s son’s startup in an industry in which he had no experience.

We would all be better served if, instead of searching and trying to unearth an incriminating document from President Trump’s teen and college years, the investigators look into the deeds and examine the emails and phone calls of the members of the previous administration. They will be difficult to retrieve because many hard drives were deleted and “bleached” and phones were hammered into oblivion by Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats are accusing the president of doing what Joe Biden as vice president proudly boasted and admitted: meddling in Ukrainian government affairs on behalf of his son.

The extreme loathing and hatred for the president cannot be assuaged because he committed the high crime and misdemeanor of winning an election that belonged to Hillary Clinton.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (1)

Thursday 09/26/2019
MTA wi$hful thinking

Dear Editor:

“MTA seeks $51.5B for modern transit” (by Michael Gannon, Sept. 19) to pay for the next 2020-24 five-year capital plan is wishful thinking.

A significant portion is dependent upon a number of taxes and fees including real estate transfer and internet sales tax along with congestion price tolling, which combined equal $25 billion, plus $10.7 billion in anticipated Federal Transit Administration funding.

There is no guarantee of the FTA providing $3.5 billion in New Starts Funding for the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2. Congestion pricing does not kick in until January 2021, or the second year of the five-year capital program. The final details of who will pay what have yet to be worked out.

Many elected officials and others continue lobbying for exemptions to congestion pricing. This list includes those who provide essential services such as the police, fire and sanitation services and teachers; low-income, outer-borough, suburban and out-of-state residents; seniors; those with physical challenges; small commercial-based delivery businesses; and other special niches. Some of these exemptions will be adopted to placate different elected officials’ constituents. As a result, the MTA may not be able to count on all $15 billion in congestion pricing funding.

A downturn in the economy could result in less revenue from the real estate transfer, internet sales (how will this be collected?) and other tax income sources. The MTA could end up with a shortfall in the billions.

There are many higher priorities than the $7 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project. Why not postpone it until the 2025-29 five-year capital plan? Use billions in local funds designated for this project instead to accelerate bringing more subway stations up to a state of good repair and into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by adding elevators.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI
The writer is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who worked for 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office.

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (1)

MTA digital discrimination

Dear Editor:

Re Richard Heaton’s Sept. 19 article “Few support MTA schedule removal”: Opposition to the MTA’s plan to remove printed schedules at bus stops underscores public pushback against the transit agency’s pattern of digital discrimination.

Expect more protests when the MTA implements its Tap & Go program to replace MetroCards with smartphones and credit cards. How will those lacking either option — including low-income people and seniors — be able to access public transit? Are any provisions for them being made? Tap & Go is a budget blunder, since the MTA spent $645 million to replace MetroCards while subways are falling apart. Debris dropping from No. 7 line tracks is one example.

The MTA wants $51.5 billion for new capital expenses. But how can we expect it to spend this money wisely when it has already made such huge costly mistakes?

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Telehealth for seniors now

Dear Editor:

I am a primary care triage nurse, working for a practice that offers telehealth services for allergies, colds and cough, rashes and gastrointestinal issues, a great convenience to those patients with small children at home, with busy jobs or those who travel out of state for work or vacation.

Although the Institute of Medicine identifies telehealth as “technology that will enhance the ability to better meet healthcare needs of the underserved” (Nies, M. A., & McEwan, M. (2018). Community/Public Health Nursing (7th ed.). St. Louis, Mo. Elsevier.), these services are not broadly available to our seniors as Medicare only allows telemedicine “in rural areas, under certain conditions” (medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth, 2019).

Transportation is a major issue for seniors, especially in our area, which has few options available to commute into Manhattan. If a patient needs to come in for a medical visit and does not drive, options like Access-A Ride need 24 hours’ notice, thus making it very difficult for them to get to the office. Our seniors deserve better! “The overall burden of chronic disease with the aging of the U.S. population will necessitate an added focus within public health practice” (Erwin, P.C. & Brownson, R.C. (2017). Macro Trends and the Future of Public Health Practice. Annual Review Public Health (38), 393-412).

Medicare has stated that in 2020 it may offer more telemedicine benefits, no matter where the beneficiary is located. Telemedicine is a necessary option that should be available to everyone. Write to your local representatives today — they need to know how important this is for our seniors — and together, let’s change Medicare’s “may” offer to “will.”

Lou Ann Cettina
Bayside
The writer is a registered nurse and also sent her letter to state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, state Sens. John Liu and Toby Ann Stavisky and U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

End DC’s circus of chaos

Dear Editor:

Now the Democrats are really out to push for a resolution to impeach President Trump. Why are they looking to cause even more political chaos and upheaval? There has been plenty of that going for months and months and months!

Now the political circus even becomes more entertaining, the ring masters being Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, and the clown being Rep. Jerrold Nadler. These three people have been pushing all along to find reasons to proceed with impeachment hearings. Do they really think that these impeachment proceedings are actually going to come to pass? This country and the American people are fed up with all of the political infighting, lack of bipartisanship and gerrymandering.

It is high time to stop all of this unnecessary ballyhoo and allow President Trump to do his job even more effectively. He does always speak his mind, sometimes very bluntly, but he speaks the truth and gives the American people the facts as they really are — no fudged-up news or fake news from him ever! Also, it is high time for both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come together and work bipartisanly with each other as well as to work with the president to tackle the issues that our country has: gun control, immigration, unemployment, bringing American jobs and companies that have gone to other countries back to the U.S., strengthening our foreign policy and making major improvements in race relations among all people of all colors and ethnicities.

Our country still is the greatest place in the world to live, and we, as Americans, should be thankful that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that we have. Our men and women in all the branches of the military are constantly risking their lives every day to protect our country; our first responders each and every day also risk their lives to keep our cities, towns and streets safe.

We as Americans need to also be proactive in local civic organizations in our communities and become more involved overall.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

The Supreme Court at risk

Dear Editor:

Trump has so far defeated the House of Representatives’ attempts at oversight. The White House has made claims of executive privilege, applying the exception in unheard-of and extraordinary ways, even to those who were never members of the executive branch. Trump’s success attacks the basis of our democracy, which is founded upon three equal and separate parts of government.

Congress has sought adjudication of the dispute in the judiciary. The courts, unlike the executive and Congress, are allegedly an independent branch of government. Trump has appointed two members to the Supreme Court and seemingly selected Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his beliefs in the unlimited powers of the presidency.

The road to judicial determination of the conflict between the executive and Congress is slow, tedious and infuriating. Each ruling will be contested by the loser, removing each claim to the next higher court. Eventually the Supreme Court will render the final decisions.

The tendency of the conservatives on the court will be to back the executive. To do so, turning its back on the decisions made by the court during Watergate and the Nixon tape struggle would neuter the Supreme Court. It would end its perceived dominance of being the bastion of fairness in a world controlled by partisan politics.

Chief Justice John Roberts will confront the realities that if the court fails to uphold the Constitution the future of the court as a coequal part of government will end. He would also face the reality that when power shifts demands will be made to amend the makeup of the court, ending lifelong appointments and dramatically increasing the number of justices.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

One is the losiest number

Dear Editor:

Notwithstanding that I am a Democrat and have in the past occasionally voted for a Republican I believed more qualified than a Democrat in a particular race, it is my opinion every one of the persons currently seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, on a scale of one to 10, qualifies as a 10, compared to Donald Trump who is a one.

There is no end to the list of Trump’s pathological lies: the absurdity that he is the self-described greatest president in the history of this country; that he knows more than this country’s generals and professional intelligence experts; that there is no necessity for climate control and that not only scientists who believe otherwise are not worthy of belief, but all persons in the presidential cabinet are prohibited from making reference to any scientists in their reports; that he supports Saudi Arabia, run by a person who caused not only the murder of a resident of the United States but the death of tens of thousands of persons that include women and children in Yemen, and the starvation now facing millions in that country.

There is no end to a continuing negative list, which now reduces the United States to the level of a dictatorship. I am referring to Trump’s attempt to tie military funding to the Ukraine to unfounded Joe Biden allegations.That attempt may well fall within a criminal act and again demonstrates a president who does not believe in law and order. It is also clear the reason for what Trump attempted is that Trump is afraid to run against Biden in the 2020 election and created phony allegations hoping Biden would not receive the Democratic nomination.

America, wake up! Trump is unfit to be president.

Benjamin M. Haber
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)