First and foremost, I would like to thank the editors of this publication for allowing me to express my viewpoints over the past year or so.
Second, I have to respond to the headline “Bronx Troll Challenges Penner Again.”
There is a local publication entitled “Bronx Times/Bronx Times Reporter.” Numerous opinion pieces by Mr. Penner have appeared in that publication’s “letters” section. Ditto for a publication entitled “Parkchester Times.” I have never seen him called a “Nassau Troll” or a “Great Neck Troll.”
While admittedly I have had numerous letters appear in this publication challenging Mr. Penner, what I have yet to see is one word of rebuttal from Mr. Penner, the editors of this publication, or any reader of this publication. I also believe an overwhelming amount of the time I have provided facts, research, and specific websites to back up my assertions. I have not seen one word contradicting any of the facts I have provided.
I have seen excellent opinion pieces by Mr. Penner that “hit the nail on the head.” For example, ten years ago Mr. Penner had a verbal war of words with then Congressman Gary Ackerman in this very publication over deficit spending. Mr. Penner had another excellent piece published about the roof of the Staten Island Ferry terminal. He had a third excellent opinion piece published some years ago in the New York Times about the size of the sign of the Hotel Gansevoort. I 100% agree with him on all three.
But in my opinion, for every one of his opinion pieces that hits the nail on the head, another nine are simply an attempt to see his name in print, contradict each other, or include only those facts convenient to the author’s opinion. It would take ten of these letters to list every specific example, so I’ll give only two. In October, 2020, the author published a piece in “The Riverdale press,” informing readers that MABSTOA ordered vents on buses to remain open due to COVID, and predicted it could be a long summer 2021. While i have ridden very few buses this summer, from what I have observed the air conditioning has been on. What is the purpose of writing in October about something that could possibly occur seven or eight months later when in fact a vaccine was developed during that period of time? Mr. Penner often cites Lyndon Johnson as being the de facto “father” of public transportation without mentioning that a fair amount of that groundwork had been laid by President Eisenhower and Kennedy.
While naturally some latitude is given in the “letters” section of a newspaper, the purpose of a letters section is not, or should not be, to see one’s name in print. A letter to the editor will of course contain opinions, but should be fact based and the opinion consistent with other opinions published by the author. They can of course be the author venting about the problem, but should also contain a suggestion for a solution. I have very often read letters to the editor and marveled at a brilliant solution proposed. In my opinion, I have read very few of those letters from Mr. Penner.
I will say it again: anyone at any time is welcome to challenge any assertion in any letter I have written challenging Mr. Penner. Until I see a rebuttal, I will assume what I have said is truthful.