Congress and probes of Trump
First we saw supposed collusion with Russia and the Mueller report, and then demands for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, and now allegations of Trump using the presidency for personal enrichment [“House Dems to probe Trump patronage,” News, Sept. 8].
Really! Those in Congress who have not sinned should cast the first stone. Some of them have accumulated wealth after they were elected. Trump was wealthy before he became president. When is Congress going to work for the people, instead of a single-minded agenda to remove the president?
Since Trump first campaigned for president, many lifelong politicians began attacking. Trump won just the same, and his presidency has been hampered by the hounding of constant probes and committees.
Our congressional leaders have shown an ugly and vindictive side of themselves, and the American people have been cheated by their representatives.
Victor C. Guttilla, Huntington
Why is President Donald Trump again attempting to block the release of his tax returns? As a candidate, he repeatedly promised to eventually release them \[“Trump in bicoastal battle over tax returns,” News, Sept. 20\]. The question is manifestly rhetorical, since I believe the obvious reason is that he has a great deal to hide. Whatever they would reveal, the American people have a right to see how their president has made money and continues to earn income while in office.
This isn’t too much to ask of anyone who aspires to the highest office in the land. All of Trump’s predecessors, going back to Richard Nixon, released their tax returns for multiple years. I think that every candidate for public office should be transparent about their finances. This should be a requirement for anyone seeking the public’s trust and votes.
Richard J. Brenner, Miller Place
Second Ave. subway costs keep rising
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority started 2019 with a financial commitment for construction of the second phase of the Second Avenue subway of $1.7 billion. It would have to find at least $2.3 billion in its 2020-24 capital plan. This would bring total local funding to $4 billion. At the time, this was necessary to count on the Federal Transit Administration New Starts program providing $2 billion in funding to fully finance the expected $6 billion cost.
In April, the MTA said it could save between $500 million to $1 billion in costs for this project. This could have reduced the overall tab to $5 billion. Promised savings were based on reduction in excavation for the 125th Street Station and building the 116th Street Station in space no longer needed for other work.
Under the proposed $51 billion 2020-24 capital plan, the price tag has risen to nearly $7 billion. The previous federal share of $2 billion (33%) is now assumed to be nearly $3.5 billion (50%). While the MTA says part of that increase was due to contingencies requested by the federal government, more explanation for these changes, and whether the numbers will change further, would be helpful. The project still faces myriad hurdles.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
Editor’s note: The writer is a transportation historian.
Floral Park attitude hasn’t changed
I must comment on the residents of Floral Park who have complained and opposed the third-track expansion and the Belmont Park arena \[“Seeking to block Belmont,” News, Sept. 11\]. The residents are typical of the not-in-my-backyard syndrome so prevalent on Long Island.
I graduated from Floral Park Memorial High School in 1971. However, I lived in Bellerose Terrace, which some considered a lower-class area. We were looked down on because we did not live in Floral Park.
I find it amazing that nearly 50 years later, things haven’t changed. Oh, and by the way, I lived a block away from the Long Island Rail Road tracks and never thought the trains were a bother or intrusive.
Sal Campanella, Ridge
Don’t let bureaucracy stall wind power
Wind projects don’t need excessive review. What they deserve is our hearty endorsement, approval and encouragement [“Wind projects deserve review,” Editorial, Sept. 9].
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in July, calls for a 100% renewable electric grid by 2040. Long Island, slated to provide nine gigawatts of offshore wind power to 4.5 million homes, will make that possible.
Calling for further and more comprehensive review of climate action smacks of purposeful delay on the part of a federal administration not keen on science, infrastructure investment or the validity of climate change.
We have our climate leader in Cuomo. Since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration controversy over Hurricane Dorian, do we really accept the word of federal agencies about what’s true and necessary?
David Bissoon, Lindenhurst
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Sierra Club environmental organization.