WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES DECEMBER 29, 2016 17 LETTERS AND COMMENTS A NONPROFIT SHOULDN’T THROW ANYONE TO THE STREETS Regarding your Dec. 15 report on the holiday eviction of Astoria tenants. On its website, the New York School of Urban Ministry says it “equips Christians through cross-cultural, hands-on mission experience. We connect idealists with opportunities for action.” Is one of those opportunities the eviction of low-income tenants from its residential facilities? As a religious organization, NYSUM is probably tax exempt, but its tax exemption should be challenged by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and state Senator Michael Gianaris. NYSUM’s 990 tax forms fi led with the IRS showed rental profi ts of $446,881 in 2015. U.S. law limits tax exempt status to nonprofi t institutions. How did NYSUM qualify for this? NYSUM’s Executive Vice President Rev. Peter DeArruda is an ordained minister. Which church ordained him? Our Lady of Perpetual Greed? A profi t-making organization that’s conscience exempt does not deserve to be tax exempt. Legislators must oppose this benefi t. Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills YAHOO DATA BREACH MAY HIT PEOPLE IN THEIR POCKETS The massive data breach at Yahoo despite previous red fl ags is just one example of failure to adequately recognize and protect against the increasing threat of cybercrime across sectors in the U.S. In addition to tech companies and government agencies, as we’ve seen with past hackings of retailers, fi nancial information is another key target. Surveys of the accounting and finance industries find employees are increasingly concerned about the threat of cybercrime to their business. Unfortunately while in many cases there is increased attention being paid to the issue, these same surveys fi nd that there are oft en contradictions between the theory of cybersecurity best practices and the realities of dayto day practices. Companies need to stop jeopardizing clients’ information with poor security practices, making excuses because of the time and monetary costs of updating policies and technology. It’s essential that they instead honor the trust placed in them and prioritize the safety of their clients’ information. Warner Johnston, head of the Association of Chartered Certifi ed Accountants SHOULD YOU LAUGH OR CRY ABOUT THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY? Well, now that the Electoral College pot has simmered down and the ascension of Donald Trump is offi cial and irrefutable, we can laugh and cry about truth being stranger than fi ction. Who could have believed that this expression would spring to surrealistic life and that even Armageddon might be rendered into slapstick material? Maybe we just take things too seriously. Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows This now 50-year-old picture comes to us from our friends at the Facebook group, “You must have lived in Ridgewood if you remember...” Take a look at the old subway train on the M line departing eastbound from the Forest Avenue station in Ridgewood. The small restaurant with the 7-Up advertisement in the foreground at far right is long gone. Send us your historic pictures of Queens by email to email@example.com or mail printed pictures to A Look Back, c/o The Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you. A LOOK BACK OP-ED WHY NO NEW YORK TRANSPORTATION BOND ISSUE? BY LARRY PENNER New Yorkers missed out by not by passing our own local Election Day ballot transportation funding initiative. Voters around the nation passed 36 of 49 city and state transportation funding proposals worth over $200 billion. Our NYC and Metro NY area is still looking for $80 billion plus needed to fund major capital transportation improvements. Millions to billions more could be necessary by the time any project is completed and the true fi nal costs are accounted for. Everyone has their own priority wish list which in many cases confl icts with others who have diff erent agendas. One potential funding source for some of these projects could be future 2020-2024 or 2025-2029 Metropolitan Transportation Authority Five-Year Capital Program Plans. The list includes, but is not limited to, the following projects or proposals. Many NYC Council members are supporting the Commuter Rail Fare Equalization Proposal. This would allow NYC residents to pay the same $2.75 fare on the LIRR or Metro North Rail Road as riding the NYC subway and provide a free transfer to the NYC subway. How will the city provide the MTA with $200 million to cover the cost? Queens residents will be looking for $200 million toward the $400 million Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service. These dollars may be necessary if NYCDOT is unable to secure $200 million in U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration New Starts funding. Others will continue to lobby for $100 million to construct Light Rail between Glendale and Long Island City on the old Montauk LIRR branch; restoration of LIRR service on the old Rockaway Beach LIRR branch at $1 billion; Triboro X Subway Express (new subway line connecting the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn for $2 billion); Main Street Flushing Intermodal Bus Terminal $100 million, reopening the Woodhaven Boulevard Atlantic Branch LIRR Station $40 million and the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront Street Car Connector at a cost of $2.5 billion. This would connect various neighborhoods along the waterfront from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to Astoria, Queens. How would the MTA, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio fi nd the cash for all these projects? The U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration may be possible funding sources for some of these projects. Clearly both NYC and NYS will have to contribute some significant funding if many of these projects will ever see the light of day. Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Offi ce.
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