Volume 18 • Issue 13 | August 19 - 25, 2005

Letters to the editor

Freight tunnel waste

To The Editor:
Re “Over $100 million passed for freight tunnel, transit projects” and “Transportation priorities” (news article and editorial, Aug. 5 – 11):

Although Congressmember Nadler is rarely on the wrong side of the tracks when it comes to a Congressional vote, I have to take exception with his grandiose dream to build a rail freight tunnel at a cost of X billions of dollars. This scheme should be derailed before the first bucket of muck is scooped out from under the harbor.

I am completely at a loss as to how this project will benefit anybody other than construction contractors.

The major contention is that there will be a lessening of truck traffic through Lower Manhattan. There actually has been a dramatic decrease in truck traffic along the Canal St. corridor which includes, Houston, Broome and Walker Sts. because of the Port Authority’s post-9/11 closure of the Holland Tunnel to tractor trailers. Although there is still an inordinate amount of truck traffic using the corridor outbound due to the notorious one-way Verrazano Bridge toll, the removal of probably 1,000 daily tractor trailer trips from the corridor has greatly improved our air-quality of life.

The other use for the tunnel, not really scrutinized in your article or editorial is that it would help revitalize the Brooklyn waterfront. Although it seems unlikely that mammoth container ships requiring deep and wide berths would end up in Brooklyn, let’s say they did. Instead of unloading their cargo in Port Elizabeth where the containers are shifted to flatbed tractor trailers that have easy access to the Jersey Turnpike and points north, south and west on the connecting interstate highway system they would unload their cargo in Brooklyn where some of the containers would end up going outbound through the billion-dollar harbor tunnel but the rest would end up on the backs of flatbed tractor trailers and end up on the B.Q.E., a road that is already paralyzed for most of the day.

You report that the project is funded as a “project of national and regional significance” and will not detract from other transportation priorities. That’s not good enough for a project whose main rational is as leaky as Boston’s $14 billion Big Dig.

What would truly benefit us the most would be enactment of laws that lower the sulfur content in diesel fuel, equivalent catalytic converters for diesel engines and the use of alternative fuels.

Carl Rosenstein


Lopez and Scientology

To The Editor:
Re “Lopez talks about finances and Scientology” (news article, Aug. 12 - 18):

What the hell is wrong with Margarita Lopez? At issue isn’t what people believe or don’t believe. At issue is her taking money from Scientology Inc. — and then taking taxpayer money and handing it over to Scientology under the guise of their thoroughly dubious treatment.

Lopez could have spent five minutes on the Internet doing her homework to find out about Scientology, that it was contrived by a science-fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard who was a dope addict and alcoholic with no medical credentials or background.

Our elected officials are supposedly supposed to be smarter than the average citizen — at least that would be nice if they were. Instead, Margarita Lopez comes along and hands these people our money without a moment’s thought. What’s next? What other organization is she going to climb into bed with and then get paid by for screwing with our tax dollars?

Let’s get this woman out of politics and out of our pockets.

Fredric L. Rice
Chairman of The Skeptic Tank


To The Editor:
Re “Margarita Lopez stays mum through Scientology flap” (news article, Aug. 5 – 11):

I take offense to your article’s anti-Scientology slant.  Since when do Scientologists not have the right to support candidates who support their causes?  People of all other faiths donate to candidates who actually care about and do something effective to handle their concerns.  To insinuate that Scientologists do not have that right or that Councilmember Lopez is wrong in some way for accepting donations from her constituents based on their religious beliefs is discriminatory and an attempt to incite hatred toward my religion.  I hope the local Scientologists take your story to their attorneys.
 
Luba Meltzer


Glick sticks

To the Editor:
I regret that I was on vacation and unavailable to answer the call last week regarding my support for Margarita Lopez. For the record and contrary to what the New York Post reported — I am now, have always been, and will continue to be a strong supporter of Margarita’s bid for Manhattan borough president. I firmly believe that she is the most progressive and best candidate in the race.

I am always skeptical of the New York Post’s reporting. From their repeated slanders of me, to their bold front-page pronouncement that Kerry had chosen Gephardt as his running mate, the Post has time and time again proven to be highly inaccurate.

In the present instance, the Post’s story was simply wrong. My support for Margarita is absolutely unwavering.

Deborah J. Glick
Assemblymember, 66th district

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