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JV Editorial

Letters to the Editor

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Thinks LIC Amazon Deal Was a Scam

Dear Editor,

I wanted to write about your ongoing coverage of Amazon deciding to not follow through with its plan to build a new headquarters right here in New York. There’s no way of knowing what would have happened, so we’re just left to speculate now, but I think the entire thing was a scam that we’re fortunate to have avoided.

One of the biggest contentions with the Amazon deal was that the massive company would get billions of dollars in tax incentives with no evidence that these incentives work or would net the city more benefits in the end when taking into account things like jobs created and money brought into New York because of Amazon’s business. I agree with this line of thinking because this is what seems to happen all across America, where some corporations even bought off towns by giving them free products so that the town could be renamed after the company.

We can see what’s happened with job promises like the Foxconn debacle. How was there any way of knowing if Amazon was actually being forthright and if they would actually stick to any set plans and agreements with New York? Let’s assume that the city did get Amazon to agree to a number of stipulations, like making sure Amazon would set aside funds to help with better education and fixing mass transit. What guarantees would we have that the company would even bother to actually do these things?

Those kinds of promises seem like the exact promises that politicians like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo would tout, and then a year later when everyone forgets about it and one reporter calls out the politicians and Amazon over the lack of sticking to promises, everyone would just shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, too bad. Oops.” And let’s just say for a moment that New York threatened to kick Amazon out of the city if the company didn’t adhere to the agreements. After Amazon starts to build up its presence, could you for one second imagine de Blasio and Cuomo telling Amazon to pack its bags?

Good riddance,

Dean Green


Israel’s Space Exploration

Dear Editor,

So far so good for Israel’s space exploration. Good news after reading your article “Israel’s Beresheit Successfully Completes First Maneuver in Space.”

The planned maneuver took into account the problems that were identified regarding the star trackers’ high sensitivity to blinding by the sun’s rays. The star trackers are used for navigation.

This was the first time Beresheit’s main engine was activated. The 30-second maneuver was made at a distance of 69,400 km from Earth and will increase the spacecraft’s closest point of approach to Earth to a distance of 600 km.

Space has always fascinated me. There’s an unfathomable amount of things out in space, from planets to supernovas to dark matter. There are countless worlds out there, and maybe some of them even hosted or host other life forms. From a more practical scientific perspective, trips to places like the moon can let scientists run all sorts of tests and make a whole number of discoveries. It’s not always readily apparent what the information and data could mean, but by collecting it, it leaves open the possibility that someone in the future could see some of these findings and use that to make further discoveries and inventions. It’s like some of the discoveries Albert Einstein made, which didn’t have much of a practical application at the time but later helped lead to some of the modern advances we have today.

I still remember very well when the first Israeli astronaut went up into space. I was in middle school, right around the time when I and all of my friends were having Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Little did we know that those astronauts were dead men walking. During liftoff, a small piece of the space shuttle broke off and slammed into the body of the spacecraft. It wasn’t a hard piece of debris, but at the velocity it hit, it did damage, unbeknownst to the crew and Mission Control. Those astronauts were floating around space in a doomed space shuttle. I remember the images of the space shuttle breaking up in the sky into a bunch of pieces during its attempt to return to Earth. That’s a pain that’s stayed with me

While this mission is unmanned and therefore doesn’t carry those same risks to human life, there’s still something magical and emotional about watching a nation embark on a journey which, even less than a hundred years ago, would have seemed absolutely crazy, but that was before Apollo and Sputnik.

Sincerely,

Robert Mennel


Loathes “Pedophile” Jeffrey Epstein

Dear Editor,

What is there even to say when I read a headline like “Convicted Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal Ruled Illegal”? Everything about this story makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t even know where to begin because I’m so blinded by rage. Jeffrey Epstein raped and sexually assaulted countless girls while trafficking them and passing them around to his creepy buddies. He raped children! What kind of a monster does such a thing? It happens from time to time, that someone who is truly sick goes on to do absolutely horrid things to children, but what about all of the supposedly normal people who could have put an end to this mess, or at least brought Epstein to justice?

I cannot comprehend the level of cynicism and evil that is required to take the side of a serial pedophile rapist while lying and misleading the victims who these prosecutors were supposed to be helping. We’re talking about children. Children. As if rape and sexual assault weren’t bad enough, we’re talking about children, and these federal prosecutors, who are supposed to uphold the law and protect innocent girls against predators like Epstein, took it upon themselves to help out the predator.

How many other sickos are out there right now who have the money and power to buy off people? How many other predators out there only avoid legal trouble because of the countless enablers who let the abuses go on uninterrupted?

Sincerely,

John Kumulainen


Climate Change & Electric Cars

Dear Editor,

I’m both cautiously optimistic and worried after I read your article with the title “Amazon Gives Tesla Run For Its Money, Invests $700M In Electric Truck Company.” We need to address our environmental and climate change problems as soon as possible. We’re already decades behind schedule. The United Nations gives us 12 years to stave off climate change’s worst effects. We’re already experiencing the effects of climate change, and without a dramatic correction in the course we’re pursuing, things could get really bad by 2050.

The world relies on freight being moved around, so it’s not as if we could just stop using trucks. Trucks have long been very inefficiently designed because of their poor aerodynamics. They spew diesel emissions all throughout the country, whether they’re traveling on an interstate or on Avenue U, although vehicles exceeding the 55-foot bumper-to-bumper limit are illegal on ALL New York City roads. While it would be great to improve things like aerodynamics and while that should be a part of the equation, there’s no way around the fact that we need to move away from fossil fuels.

Electric cars have made promising strides in recent years. They are superior to internal combustion engine cars in just about every way right now except for range, but that’s getting there too. Trucks and buses are much harder to run on just electricity because of the amount of energy they require. If Amazon can figure out how to start rolling out a fleet of trucks powered by electricity, we could dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. People who live along truck routes also wouldn’t have to breath in noxious fumes day and night.

My only concern is that Amazon is a juggernaut and already controls so many things. I worry that Amazon having its own truck fleet to use with its online marketplace, and maybe even delivery drones, could make it a company that has way too much power and could never be competed with by any other organization.

Sincerely,

Jamie Bridgeman

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