When politicians with no business experience and a self-serving political agenda negotiate business transactions, the result is an unnecessary giveaway of up to $2.8 billion to Amazon [“The Amazon impact,” News, Nov. 14].
I believe Amazon’s decision to locate a new headquarters in Long Island City was going to happen with or without incentives from New York City and New York State, and the economic package was just the icing on the cake.
This giveaway could have been used for many other needed things, including updating the infrastructure in Long Island City to accommodate such a significant impact to the area, and/or lowering our taxes, to name a few.
Businesses that will sell buildings to Amazon will get top dollar because they are run by experienced people.
Perhaps former Mayor Bloomberg, a brilliant businessman, or another New York business person now residing in Washington, would have negotiated a better deal for the people of New York.
Leo Farrell, St. James
With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fare hikes having been disclosed, New Yorkers now see how Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sealed the Amazon-Long Island City deal, on the backs of commuters.
Glenn Tyranski, Huntington
How very generous of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to offer these incentives to Amazon. Perhaps Cuomo should look into his New York Rising program and victims of superstorm Sandy.
Some have received letters saying they were overpaid by the government and should send money back. Grants were determined by New York Rising representatives and inspectors. The money was used accordingly. The inspectors approved the repairs when they were done. Many homes are still being repaired. It is very traumatic to have this extra burden. Are Sandy victims paying toward the Amazon deal?
Barbara Welch, Deer Park
Let New Yorkers vote on Albany pay raises
Taxpayers deserve an honest, full-time, functioning state government, and it is they who should be making the call on a pay raise for Albany lawmakers. Are we not the employers, and they the employees?
The lack of accountability and transparency in governing, and the rush of actions in a few hurried and chaotic months, are unacceptable.
A base salary of $79,500 with additional stipends for part-time work is more than fair for the lack of quality work.
No one is forcing anyone to run or continue to run for office.
First implement the ethics reforms outlined in the editorial. Pass much-needed campaign-finance reform. Then let the legislators present their case for a raise — and let it be voted on by the people.
Tony Giametta, Oceanside
Homeless veterans need shelter quick
It has been apparent since the spring that the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport has had no plan to reopen the homeless domiciliary formally run by the United Beacon House, and before that, the Salvation Army [“Shut shelter leaves void,” News, Nov. 24].
As reported, $250,000 from private sources has been poured into this building by people who believed the VA’s claim that it would be open by October. The hospital has spent its own money as well.
Now, we are being told that there has been no serious attempt to remedy the core problems, and an opening date is undetermined. The administration at this facility has had the better part of a year to come up with a plan, seek contractor bids and start work on the collapsing infrastructure. New paint, kitchens and computer rooms are very nice and greatly appreciated. All those amenities do no good if the core mechanical and environmental aspects of the building are not dealt with.
Homeless veterans who need medical and mental health care at this location are being pushed to the back of the line. Veterans abhor the thought of neglecting their brothers or sisters, especially when logical, reasonable solutions exist. It is high time that the Long Island veterans community raise a collective voice and demand that veterans in need of a hand be treated with dignity and respect.
Hutch Dubosque, Huntington
Editor’s note: The writer is president of the PTSD Veterans Association of Northport Inc.
As a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran, I found this article very disturbing. Many of these fellow veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. How is it possible that the federal government could let this Northport facility fall into such bad shape?
Many don’t realize that Long Island supports the second-largest veterans population in the United States behind the San Diego area. With Lee Zeldin as my congressman and fellow veteran, I would think that this type of situation would not occur. I certainly hope this situation takes top priority and will be resolved so these people will not be left without lodging in the cold winter.
Bob Hall, Middle Island