Should Taxpayers be Concerned?
How Governor Cuomo finds funding to finance his $100 million worth of transportation projects should be of concern to taxpayers. To pay back the $1.6 billion dollar federal loan and $1 billion State Thruway Authority Bond which financed the $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge along with several hundred million in contractor final bills, tolls starting in 2020 will double. They will possibly go higher over the next few years.
The MTA paid for Positive Train Control on the Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads by a $967.1 million Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Financing loan from the Federal Rail Road Administration. It is a 22-year loan at 2.4 percent interest. The loan will have to be paid back over future MTA Five Year Capital Plans.
The MTA had to borrow most of the $3 billion which paid for LIRR Main Line Third Track and part of Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 to increase its 2015–2019 Five Year Capital Plan from $29 to $32 billion. Cuomo still owes the MTA most of his promised $8.5 billion contribution to help finance the full $32 billion.
The Governor would pay for his 25% share of the $13 billion no frills or full $29 billion Gateway Tunnel project via a Federal loan.
When it comes to paying for all his $100 billion worth of transportation promises, Cuomo reminds me of Wimpy who said “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Taxpayers and MTA riders will deal with higher fares, taxes, more debt and borrowing in coming years to cover the costs for all of his transportation improvements. Cuomo doesn’t believe in pay as you go, balanced or transparent budgets.
(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office) .
Remembering the Legacy of Anne Frank
As I stood outside Anne Frank’s childhood home in Frankfurt, Germany, it was easy to meditate on her life. The perfect weather contrasted the melancholy twist in my heart. A calm, sunny, summer day, with a pleasant breeze passing through, rustling the grass. Not a person walked on the street, in a beautiful, quiet suburb not far from the city center. If you weren’t looking for it, you could walk by here without ever having realized it the famous family that it once belonged to. The only indication is a green plaque on the fence, as the house is still in use as a private residence – not a museum. Standing in front of Anne’s house will only make you think in “What If’s?”
What if she survived..?
What happy life was she deprived of?
She could still be living today, at age 90, if she wasn’t murdered in the Shoah. Perhaps she would be in this house still, a prolific writer, happily enjoying her life. But no. Civilization was denied the chance at knowing the person and writer young Anne would’ve became. Her story became the one that encapsulated the horror and tragedy of the 6 million lives destroyed in the Holocaust.
Her story comes to life upon visiting her homes. The Anne Frank home in Amsterdam, saved in 1957 of demolition, is visited by millions of eager tourists ever year. They are hungry for the truth, to see how Anne lived, to see where she was torn away from, like a page out of her diary. The importance of preserving her homes is central to preserving and teaching her story. Without proof, without evidence of her existence, it will be denied.
And without Anne, the Holocaust in its entirety can be denied too. Her story alone protects the dignity of the 6 million who were lost, and allows us to viscerally feel the anguish, sorrow, and grief that comes from mourning the life of someone murdered. Children across the world learn, and are captivated by the story of Anne, an important introduction central to fully comprehending the Holocaust.
I leave the neighborhood slowly, wondering how I can best defend her legacy. A painting of Noah’s Arc is coincidentally (?) nearby, lightening the mood. The story of Noah will be here for as long as us Jews are here to tell it—and Anne’s story, too. Her story must be told and retold, until everyone has learned it.
Clothing Pantry at LI Shul
I am contacting you regarding an upcoming event at Beautiful Memories Gemach located in Young Israel of New Hyde Park; we are a clothing pantry specializing in business and formal wear and we regularly assist those in need from NYC and Long Island by providing free gently used and even new clothing for business purposes and special events.
On Sunday, March 17 we will be having an open to the public sale, with profits to offset the costs of running the Gemach. Visitors will be able to shop from a selection of new and like-new formal wear (including bridal/bridesmaid/mother of the bride, prom, Bat Mitzvah, etc) as well as business clothing, vintage finds, jewelry, accessories, shoes and more. Many items are new-with-tags and designer, all available at outstanding value.
If you would be interested in sharing this event, more information on the Gemach can be found at beautifulmemoriesgemach.org. I am attaching the event flyer, and information can also be found at https://patch.com/new-york/queens/calendar/event/20190317/500250/ladies-shopping-extravaganza-benefit-shopping-day
Thank you for your time.
Ilana L. Mele
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