Letters to the Editor

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LaGuardia Air Train Project

Dear Editor:

There are several fatal flaws to the proposed LaGuardia Air Train project supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Queens Boro President Melinda Katz and other elected officials that no one seems to want to address.

Promises of a “one seat ride” for those traveling to and from LaGuardia Airport isn’t born out by the facts. There will be significant conflicts when the LaGuardia Airtrain is built and open for service with connections to both the Mets Willets Point #7 subway and LIRR stations. Why would any LaGuardia Airport bound travelers with luggage attempt to squeeze in on already packed rush hour subway and LIRR trains?

Two, the Port Authority 2017–2026 capital budget plan lists this project at $1 billion. Costs will be further refined by award of construction contracts followed by change orders to the base contracts during construction. The Port Authority has only $70 million of $1 billion resulting in a $973 million dollar shortfall to complete the project.

Three, there is no room to run additional trains in or out of Penn Station during rush hours via the East River tunnels with connections via the Port Washington LIRR branch to any LaGuardia Air Train. This conflicts with Cuomo’s promise to have the MTA LIRR introduce a new frequent service between Penn Station and Mets Willets Point LIRR Station. The same would be true for any similiar service from Grand Central Terminal once LIRR East Side Access is achieved in December 2023 or later. Three of four East River tunnels running inbound during a.m. and outbound p.m. rush hours have very tight spacing between trains. One tunnel is shared by the LIRR, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak for reverse train movements with equally tight spacing during rush hours. There is no platform capacity at Penn Station to accommodate any additional trains during rush hour. Penn Station is currently operating at 100 percent capacity during both a.m. and p.m. rush hours. If one of the four tunnels is temporarily out of service, the result is numerous delays and cancellation of trains.

There is no space to run any additional #7 subway rush hour trains to serve the LaGuardia Air Train. Completion of Communication Based Train Control followed by implementation later this ;year will only result in increasing the number of trains per hour from 30 to 32 in each direction during rush hour. After that,the MTA NYCT no longer has any other opportunity for increasing rush hour capacity.

A true one seat ride could have been accomplished by simply extending the N & W subway lines from their current terminus at Astoria/Ditmars Blvd to LaGuardia Airport. This previously died due to local community opposition.


Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office).

Outraged with AIPAC Position

Dear Editor:

It is outrageous that Howard Kohr, the president of AIPAC, (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) should publicly announce to thousands of AIPAC delegates and to the world that the Palestinian Authority flag should fly over a so-called “Palestinian” state carved out of Israel

He is clearly out of touch with the reality of the unfolding events. Neither the Israeli government nor the Trump team have endorsed such a scenario . It puts a proverbial nail in the coffin of AIPAC, signaling that it no longer represents a pro-Israel stance

Supporters will flock to the YESHA group which held its parallel meeting in the nation’s capital on Monday. Hundreds of people stood for two hours listening to an array of Israeli dignitaries, while hundreds stood outside, unable to enter the building. Sovereignty is what is coming to Israel, not surrender.


Helen Freedman

Co­Executive Director

Americans for a Safe Israel

Taking the Israeli Supreme Court to Task

Dear Editor:

Although Israel’s excellent Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, is working hard at changing the make-up of the Supreme Court, there are still too many injustices that occur because of a left-leaning Court. One has to do with the planned demolition of homes in Netiv Avot. This is so wrong on so many levels that it defies understanding . The power of the Supreme Court to overrule the Knesset is absurd . We wish Minister Shaked additional success in re-structuring the Court. It can’t happen too soon.


Alan Bulwarky

Purge Anti­Semites from Congress

Dear Editor:

Seven long-serving Democrats have close ties with Louis Farrakhan. Each of them should resign.

They include former Nation of Islam employee, Congressman Keith Ellison, who is Deputy Chair of the DNC. Ellison has tried to excuse his 2013 meeting with Farrakhan, while ignoring his more recent meeting with the NOI leader in Farrakhan’s hotel room, in 2015. At least six other Democrats are known to have embraced Farrakhan. These members of Congress–Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Danny Davis, Andre Carson, Gregory Meeks, and Al Green–have all, while in office, sat down with Farrakhan for personal meetings.

There can be no question about how abhorrent it is for these Democrats to be connected to Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is first and foremost a preacher of hate. He preaches about Jewish “control” over the government and media and has claimed to have “pulled a cover off of that Satanic Jew,” saying “your time is up, your world is through.” And those were just the comments from last week.

Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Farrakhan is the moral equivalent of a leader of the KKK. If it was discovered that members of Congress had met with the leader of the KKK, they would need to resign. In this case, for meeting with, and embracing, Louis Farrakhan, nothing short of resignation is acceptable from these seven Democrats.


Matt Brooks

Republican Jewish Committee



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