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Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill
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A matter of funding
BY LARRY PENNER
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s recent audit
report “MTA Subway Station Repair List Is Growing”
told us nothing anyone in the transit industry did
not already know.
Di Napoli and others through the years have
issued reports going back decades on NYC Transit
station shortfalls. Th e MTA and NYC Transit have
internally tracked the state of good repair for stations
and individual station components for years.
In 2016, the NYC Citizens Budget Commission
issued a report which said, it will take 52 years
or until 2067 when all 468 NYC Transit Subway
Stations reach a state of good repair. Also in 2016,
Governor Cuomo said, “New, modern subway stations
across the system are an essential part of our
eff orts to rebuild and reimagine the MTA for the
He talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk when it
comes to providing the additional billions necessary
to reach these goals.
Th e MTA’s own 20-year Needs Assessment Report
is in the process of being updated. It will tell you the
same information provided by this audit.
At the end of the day, it is a question of suffi cient
funding not only for maintenance but also upgrades
to various components to bring each station up to a
full and complete state of good repair.
DiNapoli bears part of the blame for “years of
under funding for the MTA Capital Program has
resulted into a longer list of needed repairs in NYC
subway stations and fewer stations in good condition.
When did he ever introduce legislation, cast
a vote or lobby any governor to increase funding
during the past 32 years to fi nance MTA NYC
Transit shortcomings as identifi ed in his MTA audits
past to present?
One challenge facing the MTA as it develops the
next $40 billion Five-Year Capital Plan is to come
up with funding. It is dependent upon a number of
taxes and fees including Real Estate Transfer Tax and
Congestion Price Tolling, which combined equal $25
billion, plus another $7 billion in anticipated Federal
Transit Administration funding. But this leaves a
shortfall of $8 billion. Neither the MTA nor any
elected offi cial has yet to identify the source of funding
to close this $8 billion gap.
Th e MTA may not be able to count on all $15 billion
in projected additional revenue from congestion
pricing. A downturn in the economy could also
result in less revenue from the Real Estate Transfer
and other tax income sources. Th e $8 billion shortfall
could easily grow by billions more.
Th e real battle is between reaching a state of good
repair versus system expansion. I would argue that
it would be better to place the $6 billion Second
Avenue Subway Phase 2 project on hold. Use those
funds to accelerate bringing more subway stations
up to a state of good repair and into compliance with
ADA by adding elevators.
Th e MTA must not initiate any new system expansion
projects until each operating agency — NYC
Transit bus and subway, MTA bus, Long Island Rail
Road and Metro-North Railroad — have reached a
state of good repair for existing fl eet, stations, elevators,
escalators, signals, interlockings, track, power,
yards and shops.
Th is should also include insuring a majority of
subway and commuter rail stations are in compliance
with the Americans With Disabilities (ADA)
Larry Penner is a transportation historian, writer
and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the
United States Department of Transportation Federal
Transit Administration Region 2 New York Offi ce.
WILL SILENCE WORK?
A suggestion to radio and TV
broadcasters and newspapers: I wonder
if all advertising of shootings
were not reported for a while, would
this “copycat” type of goings on slow
down a bit?
Maybe it should be attempted as a
To me, this seems like a “monkey
see, monkey do” syndrome, as infl uence
seems to be a great percussor,
and those shooters want chronicalization
Th ere’s all to gain and nothing to
lose in trying.
Charles J. Lercara, Flushing
A CHURCH BREAKIN
Th ere was an attempted break in
at the parish of the Holy Child Jesus
church in Richmond Hill, where
Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros is
pastor, on Aug. 10. Th e suspect broke
into the rectory using a battering ram
until an alarm went off , causing the
suspect to fl ee.
Th e Bishop mentioned that the
church is in the process of raising
funds for better security like cameras.
Th is is a sad situation where there
are those seeking to break into houses
Auxiliary Bishop Cisneros is an
associate chaplain of my council,
which is St. Anastasia Knights
of Columbus council #5911 in
Douglaston, where I am grand
knight, and my heartfelt prayers goes
out to his parish at this time.
Back in May, I ran a security meeting
with the help from the NYPD,
parish members of St. Anastasia and
my council members. We discussed
ways on better securing the parish
from harm and its members from
harm. We came up with some plans,
which we put into motion.
It’s a shame we need to better
secure our houses of worship from
the criminal element. Our churches
should be places for prayer and helping
those in need.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
DANGERS OF ECIGS
Th e e-cigarette was invented in
2003 by a Chinese pharmacist, and
subsequently developed into the
third generation of customizable,
refi llable e-liquids (of nicotine and
other chemicals), and rechargeable
products of a USB fl ash drive design,
such as JUUL.
Th e JUUL pod is the replaceable
nicotine cartridge, which contains
the e-liquid of the addictive alkaloid
of the plant, Nicotiana tabacum.
Th e pharmacologic eff ect in the brain
involves binding of nicotine to the
nicotinic cholinergic receptors, with
the release of the neurotransmitter
dopamine, which presents as a feeling
of pleasure and mood modulation.
Tolerance, physical dependence
and addiction are resultant from
behavior reinforcement, neuroplasticity
and altered neuronal synaptic
circuitry. Withdrawal leads to
the feeling of anxiety and militates
Furthermore, nicotine is a neuroteratogen
and has permanent adverse
eff ects upon brain development manifested
in adult anxiogenesis, cognitive
impairment, other drug abuse,
high-risk sexual behavior and psychiatric
JUUL is simply rechargeable with a
USB port, plus the pods are in a variety
of fl avors, with dangerous substances
such as metals and carcinogens,
which are derivatives of fl avoring
agents. Moreover, fl avoring compounds
are linked to respiratory diseases
such as bronchiolitis obliterans,
due to inhalation of the ultrafi ne
aerosol of e-cigarettes.
JUUL, and similar products, should
be banned by the federal government.
Joseph N. Manago, Briarwood
Editor’s note: Th e writer says he is
a molecular cell biologist, and former
visiting professor of biochemistry
and physiology of the Research
Foundation of SUNY Downstate
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