Tunnel a better option for replacement of Tappan Zee Bridge
It’s hard to comprehend why the public heard so little about a Tappan Zee bridge replacement over the Hudson, instead of a tunnel under the river. The projected cost for the new bridge will undoubtedly double by the time its completed — $4 billion to $6 billion is a reasonable guess.
The governor is also hedging on the proposed toll for the new bridge. A $20 charge could be in the cards, which would hurt a lot of commuters and visitors.
Tunnel building today is a pretty cut-and-dried construction process which goes back to 2180 BC, when the Babylonians dug a 3,000-foot tunnel under the Euphrates River. The Holland Tunnel under the Hudson was completed before the 1930s. In 1988, Japan opened its 33-mile Seikan Tunnel under the ocean, connecting its two big islands. Currently, Seattle is building a tunnel under the center of town.
Decisions like this can be made more for political reasons and financial gain for some than for less costly and more feasible options.
Hawkish Gates was wrong about Obama, Biden
I read with interest excerpts from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new book, in which he says President Obama had serious reservations about committing additional troops to Afghanistan.
Gates accused Obama of lacking confidence in Gen. David Petraeus’ leadership and expressed pessimism that he could work with Afghan President Hamid Kharzai because of rampant corruption. Gates also sharply criticizes Vice President Joe Biden for standing up to the military leaders and advocating against sending more troops.
I think Obama and Biden should be proud to receive such so-called criticism.
This is exactly the kind of behavior I want from a president and vice president. Too many American soldiers have paid with their lives because previous presidents failed to be skeptical of the military adventurism too often advocated by our military leaders. In the final analysis, the president did send those additional troops to Afghanistan, and I suspect he regrets that decision today.
George W. Bush bought into the “cakewalk” scenario presented to him by his military advisers prior to the invasion of Iraq, and we all know the results of that miscalculation. Lyndon Johnson would likely have gone down as a great president if he had not been seduced by Gen. William Westmoreland’s siren song. That miscalculation cost the lives of more than 50,000 Americans in Vietnam.
I say “right on, President Obama and Vice President Biden.” Keep asking those tough questions.
Tragedy was endured with community’s help
There was a reason why we chose to raise our children in Clifton Park, Latham and the 518 area. We love the people, the place, the sense of community.
If we ever had doubts, our individual decisions to plant roots in this community were confirmed 13 months ago, following the tragic Northway accident that claimed the lives of two of our children and seriously injured two others.
Since the accident, members of this community have embraced us and taken us into their extended families. They have cooked meals for us, raised money in memory of our children, started charities, written to legislators to urge changes in traffic laws and prayed with us.
We can never begin to repay the many gestures of kindness that the community extended to us. All we can hope to do is pay it forward, and be there for others when they face tragedy and offer our assistance.
As we turn the calendar page into a new year and try to move ahead while always cherishing the memories of Chris and Deanna, we thank you for all your love, kind words and assistance. We’re so grateful, and we forever will remain part of the 518 strong family.
The letter was also signed by Brian and Debbie Rivers, Mike and Regina Stewart and Robert and Dawn Wind.
N.Y. senators shouldn’t have cut vets’ pensions
I am very disappointed in our elected Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
In the new federal budget that was just passed, they voted to cut the pensions of our retired veterans. This is so very wrong.
Sen. Schumer thought “it was time for the veterans to do their part for America by taking a cut in pay.” Senator, I think the veterans already did their part. Did Congress do its part and take a cut in its pay or benefits? How about Congress cutting out those department conferences (you know, the ones where they tape the videos of themselves)?
I can think of a lot more places to cut, but not our vets. Really, senators.
They just lost my vote, and I hope to show support for our troops and that many New Yorkers won’t vote for these senators again.