FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JULY 2, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 21
MTA CAPITAL SPENDING
FREEZE SHOULD EXEMPT
Th ere is more to the MTA extending
their hold on initiation of capital projects
until they obtain a second COVID-
19 CARE $3.9 billion federal bailout.
Th ey continued to be unwilling to
sacrifi ce some capital projects, as a way
to cover operating defi cits. Th is makes
no sense when you look at the facts.
Most Federal Transit Administration
grants require a 20 percent hard cash
local share. In many cases, Uncle Sam
accepted toll credits instead of hard
cash for the local share. Th is saved the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
$1 billion in each of the previous 2010 -
2014 and 2015 - 2019 Five-Year Capital
Programs. Even more savings thanks to
Washington will be true with the 2015 -
2019 Five-Year Capital Program.
Th e MTA has $12 billion worth of
FTA funding for projects and programs
in active grants. What is the current
balance of these grant funds not yet
under contract? Th e FTA has made
available $1.4 billion in various formula
program funds. Has the MTA
submitted grant applications to access
Th ere is no savings to the MTA when
federal dollars are left on the table
unspent. In many cases, FTA is funding
the purchase of new buses, subway
cars or renovations to subway stations.
MTA Chairman Pat Foye should
make it clear that all federally funded
capital projects, including those not
yet awarded, are exempt from his freeze
and will go forward. Th e alternative is
to take advantage of reprogramming
these funds toward covering capital
improvements and operating defi cits as
a result of COVID-19.
It is diffi cult for the MTA to make
a case for additional discretionary
funding from the Federal Transit
Administration if you don’t use your
previously approved FTA formula
along with Superstorm Sandy Recovery
and Resiliency funds.
Millions of Americans make due with
what they have, when facing a loss
of income. Th ey delay purchasing of
new appliances, automobiles, central
air conditioning, roof and other home
improvements. We prioritize based
upon risk assessment of what is needed
today and what can wait until tomorrow
or next year.
If the MTA has billions in carryover
projects not initiated in previous capital
plans worth $29 and $32 billion, the
odds are they would have all been initiated
under the new $51 billion 2020
- 2024 Five-Year Capital Plan even if
MTA has an asset management plan
for each operating agency by category.
MTA has an asset management plan
for NYC Transit subway, bus, Staten
Island Railway, MTA Bus, Long Island
Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad
for agency by category.
Th ese categories include bus and
commuter rail fl eet, stations including
elevators to meet Americans with
Disabilities Act and escalators, track
and switches, signals and interlockings,
communications, line structures as well
as painting, power substations, yards
and shops and supervisory vehicles.
Billions in capital projects scheduled
for award and notice to proceed in
2023 may have to be delayed two years
until the fi rst year of the next 2025 -
2029 Five-Year Capital Plan. Even more
planned for in 2024 may have to be
delayed one year until 2025.
MTA Management must stop crying
and step up to the plate. Diffi cult
decisions must be made today, not next
year. Commuters, taxpayers, transit
advocates and elected offi cials should
ask for no less.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
OH, THE IRONY
So poor Danny Dromm doesn’t like
when protestors show up at his door?
Your article even acknowledges that
he’s been leading protests since the early
1990s. It would appear he’s always been
a supporter of most the Democratic
Socialists’ positions here in the city
since he’s been in the City Council.
Maybe that’s why they targeted him,
because they feel he‘s not doing enough
for their cause. Funny protestors were
rioting, looting and causing chaos
in the fi ve boros early this month he
remained silent, but when they showed
up at his residence, then he felt threatened.
Typical progressive phony …
cause fear and spread anarchy anywhere
you want, just keep it away from
where I live.
I wonder if Councilman Dromm has
his own NYPD security detail or had
to (gasp) call 911 for police help. Th e
same police he now wants to defund.
Oh the irony.
Sebastian Mannuzza, Astoria
oped letters & comments
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can provide critical
support to NYC’s
students of color
BY AARON BARNETTE
Th e COVID-19 pandemic and the long-overdue
outcry against police brutality have disrupted
the lives of New York City’s children
and are rapidly turning existing issues of inequity
into dire crises.
Students of color are the most likely to fall
through the cracks. Boys of color in particular
have been systematically under-served in
terms of their emotional wellbeing. For many,
school provides a needed source of stability and
community, but now learning virtually and facing
a summer with few options to keep them
engaged, they are without their support networks,
leaving them disconnected and potentially
unable to process these stressors.
We must fi nd a way to keep our boys engaged
through their school communities.
It is crucially important for our schools to
invest in virtual mentoring programs for all
New York City students. By connecting students
with one another and trained staff , virtual
group mentoring sessions are an eff ective
way to ensure that every child is socially and
Group mentoring sessions provide space for
students to connect over their shared experiences
and work together to fi nd solutions to
issues they face. Th ey can also off er an opportunity
to introduce students to topics that are
crucial to their development outside of school.
At the Eagle Academy Foundation schools, a
network of public schools focused on educating
boys of color across the fi ve boroughs of New
York City and Newark, NJ, our students and
staff have shown us the value of school-wide
virtual support networks. Students who are
engaged in these programs are aff orded another
level of support that ensures they are continuing
to learn and on track to reach important
emotional and educational milestones.
With many summer programs now shut
down and parents returning to work, the need
to conduct regular virtual mentoring sessions
is becoming even more apparent. As the summer
already poses an increased risk of learning
loss for students of color, this will be a crucial
period in which we can either step up and support
our students or allow an entire generation
of vulnerable youth to fall behind.
Th e DOE and Mayor de Blasio must make a
commitment to support our students by making
mentoring and counseling available to all
New York City students. Partners in the public
and private sectors must be leveraged to provide
We must rise to this challenge and create
lasting models that can help us better engage
all students — especially those that have been
historically marginalized. By taking these vital
steps now, we will establish a needed tool to
assist our students during this time. Only by
providing this emotional support can we stem a
looming crisis in the life outcomes of our young
men and set them up for better futures.
Aaron Barnette is the director of strategic
partnerships and mentoring for the Eagle