FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 12, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
A NEW ERA FOR
It looks like there’s going to possibly
be a change in ownership of the
New York Mets with Steve Cohen
negotiating a deal with the Wilpons.
Th e deal would be worth $2.6 billion
and Cohen would buy 80 percent
of the team, which would end,
over a fi ve-year period, Fred and Jeff
Wilpon’s reign over the team.
Th eir ownership of the team has
produced a number of losing years
and they have disappointed fans,
including myself, time aft er time.
I have been a die-hard Mets fan
since 1963 with my father, who was a
Dodgers fan and started rooting for
the Mets when the Dodgers moved
to Los Angeles. We both remained
dedicated Mets fans, through the
good years and the bad. My father
remained a Mets fan until the day he
passed away in 1973.
I have felt the Mets could have
done better and produced another
World Series championship, so
for that, I would like to praise Steve
Cohen for stepping up to the plate
and wanting to produce a winning
team. LET’S GO METS!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
TO JUSTIFY MTA’S
Commuters, transportation advocates,
taxpayers and elected offi cials
have good reason to be concerned
about how realistic the MTA $51
Billion Five Year 2020 - 2024 Capital
Program Plan is.
Th e devil is in the details, which
the MTA has been unwilling to share
with anyone outside of their 236-
page proposed prospectus supporting
this funding request.
How can the Albany MTA Capital
Program Review Board possibly
approve this proposal without suffi
cient information? Too many projects
contained in this new Capital
Plan are still in the conceptual planning
Cost estimates can easily
change. Few project environmental
reviews have been completed.
Will the environmental review process
follow the State Environmental
Quality Uniform Act or National
Environmental Protect Act?
Going through the NEPA process
is mandatory if the MTA wishes
to be eligible for Federal Transit
Administration funding. Cost estimates
for each project contained
in this new Capital Plan will have
to be refi ned as progress proceeds
beyond the planning and environmental
phases into fi nal design and
History has shown that estimated
costs for construction usually
trend upwards as projects mature
toward completion of fi nal design.
Progression of fi nal design refi nes
the detailed scope of work necessary
to support construction. Costs
would be further refi ned by award of
construction contracts followed by
any unforeseen site conditions and
change orders to the base contracts
during the construction phase.
Th e anticipated fi nal potential cost
can never be known until reaching
benefi cial use, acceptance of maintenance
manuals for the physical
assets, inspection and acceptance,
completion of all contract punch list
items followed by release of retainage
and fi nal payment to the vendor(
How will the MTA be able to integrate
management for billions in
active capital projects from the current
2015 - 2019 Capital Plan into
2020 and beyond? Many will carry
over into the next fi ve-year plan.
All of this old work will have to
be integrated with future annual
track outage, force account
(in-house employees), routine maintenance
and procurement strategy
plans starting in 2020 for for each
MTA agency, including New York
City Transit, Long Island Rail Road,
Metro-North Railroad, MTA Capital
Construction and MTA Bus.
Th is is necessary to support each
agencies respective capital programs.
Th ese concerns and questions
deserve to be answered in
detail before we invest a record $51
Larry Penner, Great Neck
WE MUST WORK
END RACIAL BIAS
With all that continues to happen
each day, one thing is for certain: the
time for all of this continued racial
polarization and hatred in our great
country to cease immediately is the
Th ere is absolutely no reason for
this type of blind hatred to continue.
Th is great country has been blessed
to have people of every race and ethnicity
living here, and it is high time
for those who continue to perpetrate
and perpetuate this racial hatred and
polarization to knock off this unnecessary
Th e media is also partly to blame for
sowing the seeds of racial divide with
their very biased reporting on this issue.
Th e groups that promote racial hatred
and violence all should be banned permanently,
including Neo Nazis, White
Supremacists and the KKK.
Our children shouldn’t have to
grow up in a world facing all of
this racial hatred and polarization.
Everyone should work toward the
goal of eliminating racial bias and
Th ese tools of anger have absolutely
no place in our society. Let us
all remember that, especially during
this season of love, peace, harmony
John Amato, Fresh Meadows
oped letters & comments
Glass ceiling for
people of integrity
BY PHILIP FOGLIA
Glass ceilings are unoffi cially
sanctioned impediments to professional
advancement that have
traditionally stymied women and
minorities from navigating traditional
paths to success in a chosen
vocation. Honesty and integrity in
our politics and government, virtues that are normally
admired, are now traits that will short circuit a career
for offi ce seekers or other public servants.
Consider the controversy over whistleblowers.
Whistleblowers are individuals who expose information
or activities that are illegal, unethical, wasteful or
harmful within an organization or government entity.
While many governmental agencies have internal
aff airs divisions and Inspectors General to root out
such activities, they can’t be expected to uncover all
improprieties. Individuals in the trenches are relied
upon to report suspect activities. It is crucially important
to encourage and support these people. Instead
we see a rash of corruption apologists calling them
spies and even surveillance by law enforcement being
described as spying. Honesty and integrity are unfortunately
not part of the equation.
It’s even worse in our political system. Personal honesty
and integrity are virtues one would think are basic characteristics
necessary for election to offi ce. In today’s political
world they guarantee failure. Today’s political culture
is a far cry from what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
John Adams said, “Always stand on principle ... even
if you stand alone.”
George Washington said, “I hope that I shall always
possess fi rmness and virtue enough to maintain what I
consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character
of an honest man.”
Th omas Jeff erson said, “Th e whole art of government
consists in the art of being honest.”
Th omas Paine declared, “He who dares not off end
cannot be honest.”
It’s not just that integrity is out of fashion, truly honest
men and women are shut out of the political process.
Individuals not willing to compromise their values
or abandon morality simply cannot succeed in
our current political climate. Not to be confused with
compromise on issues, integrity requires truth telling,
transparency and advancing the well-being of the
country, not individual ascendancy. Our Founders
wisely knew that in a large democratic republic compromise
would have to occur or oppression by one
view or another would tear the country asunder. But it
had to be done intelligently and virtuously.
Compare the Founders previously quoted with those
on the political scene today where lying and hypocrisy
are the norm. Childish name-calling, demonization of
people who disagree and telling demonstrable lies are
the currency of our so-called leaders. Th e sad reality is
that a person of virtue cannot succeed in our current
political climate and deviousness is rewarded at the
ballot box. So deeply divided is our nation that we are
willing to accept outright lies from our leaders if they
are from our side of the political spectrum.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington wrote,
“It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary
spring of popular government.” He believed
that America was becoming one of the great nations
of the world and give to mankind “the magnanimous
and too novel example of a people always guided by an
exalted justice and benevolence.”
Currently we are not living up to that aspiration.
Phil Foglia is former state and federal prosecutor and
Special Deputy Inspector General
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