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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, June 2, 2017

President Donald Trump, left, NATO Secretary General Jens

President Donald Trump, left, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk through NATO headquarters at the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Credit: AP / Geert Vanden Wijngaert

Skeptical of LIRR’s third-track project

Although the Long Island Rail Road borders my property, the idea of the third track isn’t my complaint. My opposition to the plan is a result of the questionable ways of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

MTA Capital Construction will administer this work, and this entity’s record of going over budget and past projected time lines speaks for itself. I’m thinking of the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access.

Another concern is taking on another $1.95 billion in debt.

Last, I don’t believe that the third track will alleviate any of the issues that commuters are facing at this moment: the faulty signal systems that are out of date, the Jamaica station bottleneck, the issues at Sunnyside yards, the East River tunnels and Penn Station issues.

The governor wants to use this project to enhance his progressive profile in his ambition to run for president in 2020.

Kevin G. Collins, New Hyde Park

Fond memories of Ringling Bros. circus

In the 1940s, my family would take the subway from the Bronx to Madison Square Garden to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus [“Greatest Show’s final curtain call,” News, May 20].

We would arrive a few hours early, which gave us time to view the menagerie while eating cotton candy in the basement. We saw some animals in cages up close.

Most impressive were the special individuals. There were the tallest people, the smallest people, the bearded lady, the tattooed person, the strongman and others.

These special attractions were among my most memorable recollections.

Richard Kahn, Merrick

NATO nations must fund their shares

Newsday’s headline for its article on President Donald Trump’s remarks to NATO leaders suggested that the president’s rebuke to the nations not paying their fair share for defense cast doubt on the U.S. commitment to NATO [“Trump lashes out at NATO allies: Rebuke over payment strains military alliance, with doubts about U.S. commitment,” News, May 26].

Seems to me that it’s the commitment of the countries that haven’t paid their obligations that should be doubted. As the story says, only five of 28 NATO countries met the guidelines for defense spending in 2016.

It was totally fair and in the interests of the United States for Trump to point that out. Of course, many of today’s European leaders would rather forget who bailed them out of Nazi domination.

Michael Quane,South Hempstead

Angry about more parking meters

I am beyond disgusted that Islip lawmakers have expanded the town’s parking meter program [“Uproar over parking meters,” News, May 24].

Long Islanders pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation; now we’re expected to pay for parking as well? I went to Bay Shore for an appointment with my doctor, only to find the parking lot metered. I read that soon I will have pay to park at the Sayville train station.

There are not many things we get free of charge these days, but I didn’t think we would lose our parking lots, too. We live in the suburbs, not the city.

Kim Kamensky,Sayville

Fix the deadly Oakdale merge

The May 21 news story about the piping plover, “Hoping for a retweet,” reminded me of the fiasco known as the Oakdale merge.

That part of Sunrise Highway was designed to be the same wide road that runs smoothly from Lindenhurst to Patchogue. Because of wetlands to the south, some community members put up such a fight that the politicians made the state change the highway plan to what we see today — a series of lane shifts in both directions between exits 46 and 47 on Sunrise Highway.

For many years, the Oakdale merge has been the site of many accidents, some fatal. How many more people have to die at this dangerous stretch of road? Nature runs its own course, and we are part of nature. Fix the Oakdale merge once and for all, and stop this insanity.

Arthur Abrahamsen, Brookhaven