The proposed LGA AirTrain is a great idea, but the connection to the LIRR and subways is in the wrong place ["LaGuardia rail link debated," News, Sept. 30]. The present connection is the LaGuardia Link bus that connects LGA with two key rail hubs: Woodside and Jackson Heights. Together, these are ideal, both for travelers from Manhattan and Long Island. It is quite convenient from everywhere possible. The proposed LGA AirTrain would, instead, connect only with the Willets Point stations on the 7 subway and the Port Washington branch of the Long Island Rail Road. This would be much worse for travelers from Manhattan (30-minute headways instead of six to 10 minutes on the LIRR and longer rides on both LIRR and subway) and virtually useless for LIRR riders (except the small percentage on the Port Washington branch). The governor chose Willets Point to take advantage of the Grand Central Parkway right-of-way to avoid taking private property. Instead, he could use the right-of-way of the New York Connecting Railroad to reach Woodside and Jackson Heights and avoid taking private property. Then, he would bring a valuable, much-used link to LaGuardia and the region, instead of a white elephant that many fewer would use.
Barrett can support the disabled
The sadness of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with her stalwart convictions defending the rights of persons with disabilities to live in the community now must be channeled to the confirmation of a younger woman not from New York but the Midwest. One of the first non-Ivy League candidates to be considered for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a Notre Dame Law academic. She has notable credentials and is the first person nominated who has school-age children. She is also a mother of a son with Down syndrome. The disability community believes she will apply the fundamental principles of the Constitution to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. As a mother, she is already beginning to see and will experience the challenges of education and employment for her son. She will have to help him as he marches through life faced with prejudice and patronizing attitudes. We believe that these experiences will not only make her a stronger parent and advocate but an unflappable justice fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Editor’s note: The writer is president and CEO of Community Options, a nonprofit supporting people with disabilities.
Native American Heritage Month nears
It’s early in the school year, and the challenges facing classroom teachers are tremendous. November is Native American Heritage Month, and teachers might consider developing a unit on the American Indian. The rich history and culture of the American Indian tribes can be presented. This would give recognition to the significant contributions native peoples have made to the United States. Important, too, would be a discussion of the struggles that American Indians faced during American expansion and modern issues important to American Indian tribes. This experience can be a great starting point for students wanting to learn more throughout the month and rest of the school year.
Editor’s note: The writer was a high school teacher who, for the last 27 years of his 36-year career, taught a course on American Indians.
Underground utility power makes sense
It is encouraging to read that PSEG Long Island is recognizing that underground power distribution networks are not as vulnerable as above ground when winds cause power outages ["Fixing Isaias errors," News, Sept. 23]. Our 176-home, senior-only Snug Harbor Condominium was built with an underground network 50 years ago. After Isaias, 148 homes had power restored the next day, but PSEG LI had connected 28 homes to above-ground lines, and power wasn’t restored to them until six days later.
Oyster Bay budget has its pluses
I believe the article "Audit: Better oversight needed" [News, Sept. 28] should have better recognized that my administration fully eliminated an operating deficit that reached $44 million under the prior administration. We inherited a mess, turned around finances and cut overall taxes. Our financial turnaround has been recognized by two independent Wall Street firms which both upgraded the town’s credit rating this year during the pandemic. Moody’s Financial Services and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings both recognized our success in reducing debt by $160 million and reported that we’re in a much better place financially. A single credit rating increase during this COVID-19 economic crisis is amazing, yet two is remarkable. Furthermore, in the same month that the state comptroller released this audit, the office also removed the Town of Oyster Bay from its fiscal stress monitoring list for the first time since the program’s inception in 2013. This is more proof of our financial turnaround. I believe it was wrong for Newsday to exclude a mention of this success.
Editor’s note: The writer is Oyster Bay Town supervisor.