Policymakers must begin preparing ferries and other methods of maritime transportation to ensure public health as the economy reopens [“Power boost for LI electric ferry,” Business, April 16]. Anyone who has experienced the Long Island Rail Road’s Ronkonkoma line at rush hour knows that social distancing will be impossible without significantly limiting ridership. Incompetence and bureaucracy have historically prevented commuter sea routes between Long Island and Manhattan. The coronavirus presents an opportunity to rectify this failure while facilitating commuters’ social distancing.
Politicians must put aside their differences for the health of Long Island. When the economy reopens, hundreds of thousands of daily commuters will risk their own health to provide for their loved ones. Any economic reopening strategy must account for commuters’ safety.
While public officials have previously failed to deliver affordable maritime transit for Long Island commuters because of petty politics and bureaucratic gridlock, the health of hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders is at stake. This project is crucial.
Support global stability efforts
Various pieces of COVID-19 legislation have been discussed and voted on to combat the coronavirus crisis. I’m hoping that our two senators and Long Island’s representatives support legislation that continues to protect aid programs through the International Affairs Budget to help protect Americans from future pandemics.
I volunteer with The Borgen Project, which has helped me understand the importance of aid programs that enable global stability. Our elected officials should support legislation such as the Global Health Security Act and End Tuberculosis Now Act to ensure health safety for Americans and the world. Some of these officials have consistently supported such legislation as well as the protection of International Affairs Budget funds. I hope these programs will receive more coverage.
Opening racetracks bad for gamblers
It is difficult to understand why we need to open Aqueduct and Yonkers racetracks [“Preakness on Oct. 3, Belmont undecided,” Sports, May 17]. At a time when many people struggle to pay for food or other living essentials, we are providing an outlet for them to waste some of their limited financial resources. Many individuals have a gambling addiction that will become one of their primary spending needs. The major beneficiary of opening these tracks will be the state when it collects its share of revenue associated with the money bet made, in some cases, by those who can’t afford wasteful spending.
John R Volpe,
Commercial property owners also suffer
After reading that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo extended the no rent/no eviction order for families and commercial tenants, I am compelled to speak out [“Cuomo extends rent moratorium until Aug. 20,” News, May 8]. In my view, he has never been pro-business, and this is just a slap in the face to any commercial property owner. Yes, many people are feeling the pain from not working to just barely hanging in there. If we can’t collect any rent, how are we supposed to pay our ridiculously high property taxes? Cuomo should suspend property tax payments to level the playing field.
Phrases that have marked an era
The Donald Trump era has given us many catchphrases that define both him and, to some extent, us: First, “You’re fired!” Attention-grabbing but short on substance. Then, the showman ventured into politics and the contributions to the daily discourse became more intense and memorable: “Build the wall!” got things started and taught Trump the value of chants and grandiosity. “Lock her up!” had a certain cadence that made it appealing to a segment of the population. Finally, “Drain the swamp!” was a fitting crescendo to his whole sham.
How about adding “Trump lied, people died” to the legacy. The coronavirus that is ravaging our nation was “one guy from China,” “under control” and going to “miraculously disappear.” In my view, if only the governors had been “nice” to him, he might have actually done something besides read from a podium.
Postal workers put lives at risk, too
I, for one, didn’t need a pandemic to appreciate postal workers [“Deliver for the Postal Service,” Editorial, April 27].
In almost 47 years of dealing with two post offices, Bayport and Sayville, I have not had a single incident where my mail was delayed, damaged or lost. It is particularly disturbing that exactly now, when thousands if not millions depend on the U.S. Postal Service for delivery of medicines, our calm genius leader, President Donald Trump, has seen fit to threaten its future — again.
To me, our postal workers should be treated with the same respect as our medical workers — they, too, risk their lives every day. They deserve hazard pay as well.
Ernst P.A. Vanamson,
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