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JV Editorial

Letters to the Editor



The Hudson River Gateway Tunnel Project

Dear Editor:

New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo naming their representatives to the Gateway Development Corporation board of directors will do little to advance the new Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project. Creation of GDC duplicates the work of New Jersey Transit, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Amtrak. Each has experienced staff who know how to manage both the project and receipt of federal funding. It will only result in creation of another bureaucracy duplicating existing transportation agencies and their staff.

All four agencies already have their own veteran engineers, operations planning, procurement, legal, force account, quality assurance and quality control, financial and the civil rights employees necessary to manage the Portal Bridge, new Hudson River tunnels and rehab of existing Hudson River tunnels. They have successfully managed numerous Super Storm Sandy projects along with other Federal Transit Administration New Starts, formula and local funded capital projects. Since NJ Transit runs 90% or more of service between the Portal Bridge and Penn Station, they should manage Gateway.

The proposed $9.5 billion new Hudson River Tunnel and $1.8 billion repairs to the existing tunnels damaged by 2012 Super Storm Sandy combined are looking for $5.4 billion in FTA New Starts funding in 2020 under a Full Funding Grant Agreement. This is more realistic than the previous $29 billion with a $14.5 billion federal share. Gateway advocates forgot the competing MTA Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project. This proposal will cost closer to $7 billion, looking for between $3 and $3.5 billion from the same federal source. The odds of both securing FTA Full Funding Grant Agreements are the same as the Giants playing the Jets in the Super Bowl. The FTA funding both projects in 2020 would leave little for many other proposed New Starts projects around the nation.

Starting in January 2021, New Jersey motorists entering Manhattan south of 60th Street starting will have to pay a congestion price toll. Murphy should ask for a 10% share using these dollars toward Gateway.

There are other federal and local funding opportunities for Gateway. NJ Transit receives almost $1 billion and MTA $1.4 billion in annual FTA funding outside of the New Starts process. Allocate some of these funds toward Gateway. Both can request the Federal Highway Administration transfer Congestion Mitigation Air Quality and other flexible funds to FTA for Gateway. Use some of the NJ State Transportation Trust funds for Gateway. Ask Amtrak to increase its $1.6 billion contribution.


Larry Penner

(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the New Jersey Transit, MTA, NYC Transit, LIRR & Metro North Rail Roads and 30 other New York & New Jersey transit operators)

Are Israelis “Racists”?

Dear Editor:

The Washington Post recently called Israelis “racists” because they are skeptical about electing more Arabs to their government. Instead of writing a balanced and fair synopsis of the background factors which contribute to their hesitation, you use this to unfairly smear Israelis again. Your newspaper’s clear emerging pattern of always blaming Israel while rarely, if ever, placing any responsibility or blame on Arabs, violates your own code of professional ethics.

Carolyn Glick exposes the true reasons for skepticism, ‘A note on Tuesday’s elections’, “This week the Washington Post slandered Netanyahu — and Israeli society. The editorial board falsely claimed that the public’s aversion to including the Arab parties in a government is a product of racism. This is a lie. Israelis don’t want to share power with the Arab parties because there is not one Arab party that accepts Israel’s right to exist. There were Arab politicians elected yesterday that have written odes to terrorist murderers on their Facebook pages. Arab lawmakers were elected that have met with terror kingpins. Arab lawmakers routinely support the Palestinian war against Israel and express support for Hamas.

It is not racist for Israelis not to want Hamas supporters and champions of terrorist murderers in the Israeli government or receiving security briefings from the military and intelligence services. It is rational.”

Media bias always against Israel has become the new default norm. History teaches us- When they come for the Jews…you are next.


Ginette Weiner

Scottsdale, AZ

Bernie Sanders’ Ties with Linda Sarsour

Dear Editor:

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) on Monday called on Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders to sever his ties with Linda Sarsour, who was recently named a surrogate for his campaign.

Sarsour is a co-founder of the Women’s March, which was heavily criticized for fostering anti-Semitism and refusing to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of making anti-Semitic comments. She is also an unabashed supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS movement and has a troubling track record of making derogatory comments about Jews.

“The National Council of Young Israel calls on Senator Bernie Sanders to immediately end his campaign’s relationship with Linda Sarsour in light of her controversial history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic associations and anti-Semitic support,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “There is no room in any political campaign for anti-Semites to have a role, regardless of whether they are there in an official or unofficial capacity.”

“Bringing Linda Sarsour, who has demonstrated open animosity toward the State of Israel, on board a presidential campaign is a tremendous cause for alarm,” added Weiss. “Her anti-Semitic statements, her eagerness to vilify Israel, her blatant disregard for the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing glorification of terrorism, and her proud support for the BDS movement, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has stated is unquestionably anti-Semitic, are beyond the pale. Individuals who exhibit hate and promote anti-Semitism should have no involvement whatsoever in a political campaign for the presidency of the United States. It is our hope that Senator Sanders will do the right thing and immediately distance himself from Linda Sarsour and her hate-mongering ways.”


Nat’l Council of Young Israel

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