Common Sense: Odds and ends

Senator Golden (whom I serve as Chief of Staff) has been making a big push on the MTA to re-establish an R train express. The reasons I say re-establish is because we once had the equivalent of an R express which was called the Chambers Street Special. It was an R train that ran express from 59th Street to Chambers Street in Manhattan. I used to take it every day to classes at Pace University, so it was quite a few years ago. But it did run and it was heavily used by those who worked in lower Manhattan. Restoring it would help alleviate some of the long delays Bay Ridge commuters experience.

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Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis has joined State Senators Simcha Felder and Marty Golden in supporting legislation that would make it illegal for a municipal government to impose a five-cent fee on paper and plastic bags. In a statement, the Republican-Conservative assemblymember said New York City officials leave no stone unturned when it comes to nickel-and-diming residents. This is just another gimmick to squeeze more money from the poor and middle-class families who are already over-taxed.

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A number of state legislators have written the FDA urging it to approve a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, eteplirsen. You may have seen televised coverage of a meeting of an FDA Medical Advisory Committee which agreed that clinical data and patient experience confirmed that the drug was safe. Unfortunately, the committee on a split vote chose not to recommend final approval of the drug to the full FDA. The committee simply refused to vote to recommend approval because the study had not been long enough.

The disease affects one out of every 3,500 boys and leads to death. Eteplirsen represented the first successful treatment and was endorsed by 36 Duchenne researchers. The benefits of this new drug need to be evaluated in light of the severity of the disease being treated.

The FDA needs to weigh the lack of options available to these young boys when making its final decision.

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A lot has been written about former presidents and former presidential candidates not supporting Donald Trump. Frankly, I am not a fan of Trump, but when given a choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton, the choice for me is clear. I will be voting for Trump.

It is however easy to understand why so many present and former party and government leaders detest him so much. The personal attacks on many of these individuals by Trump was relentless. And some of the policy rhetoric is so harsh that others in government will never be willing to accept him as their candidate until he tones down.

People like Trump because he takes no guff. He tells it like it is, many have been quoted as explaining their solid support. In that vein, even if one disagrees with both Presidents Bush, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the others who have not jumped on the Trump bandwagon, we should at least respect them for keeping to what they consider their principles. And in the end, I believe very little of this election will revolve around these endorsements which probably amount to little more then the votes of the individuals.

Donald Trump and those supporting him need to focus on the real target, Hillary Clinton.

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