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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 13, 2006 / 17 Tamuz, 5766

Derail this deathtrap

By Michael Goodwin


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | First it was Madrid, then London and Wednesday, Mumbai. Each had subway or commuter rail cars blown up by terrorists. It doesn't matter which terrorists. All that matters is the passengers were defenseless victims.


By now, you'd think New York would be better prepared. But about five years after 9/11 and after a string of rail attacks, transit officials are still playing Russian roulette with riders' lives. Their main defense seems to be the hope that madmen won't strike here. But hope is not a strategy. Especially not when there are so many fixes that should have been done already.


Security cameras, better communication, faster station exits -- all have been promised so often that straphangers could be forgiven for assuming the talk had produced results. Not a chance. Except for sporadic bag searches by police, virtually nothing has changed underground since the twin towers fell. Exhibit A is the locked doors at the ends of many subway cars. They block riders from moving between cars -- even to escape a terrorist.


I've been railing against this outrage since last summer's London subway attacks, with the advantage of unlocked car doors being clear in the second attempted bombing. Hearing hissing sounds and seeing smoke coming from backpacks, riders streamed through into the next cars in a run for their lives. Luckily, the explosives did not detonate.


But riders on many New York trains would not have been able to flee because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority keeps the end doors locked at all times on about 25% of its subway cars. Those cars are 75 feet long and often have large gaps between them during turns, meaning riders between cars could fall to the tracks. Officials also have cited teens who "surf" or ride on top of cars as a reason for keeping doors locked.


Insane priorities is a nice way of saying the brass has its head where the sun doesn't shine. In most years, one or two people die by falling from moving trains -- a total of 14 since 1995. One terror attack could kill hundreds or thousands.


Peter Kalikow, the MTA chairman, first told me the National Transportation Safety Board required locked doors.


When that turned out not to be true, Kalikow conceded last August there is a problem, but said: "There's no perfect answer. The tradeoff is that by unlocking the doors, young people would ride between cars or get on top to surf. When they fall, we'll get the heat." By December, under pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and others to ramp up security, Kalikow promised me he would "look at" the door issue as soon as union negotiations concluded.


In January, after the illegal subway strike, Kalikow's new security boss, former FBI man Lewis Schiliro, also promised to study the door issue. To Kalikow's and Schiliro's credit, they did, though the results don't meet the emergency.


Board member Barry Feinstein said yesterday a task force concluded that, "for service safety, we could not unlock the end doors."


Feinstein, noting that doors on some of 1,650 locked cars default to an unlocked position when power is lost, said that technical fixes were being made so the others would, too. And Schiliro said the agency would install intercoms so passengers could communicate with train crews - over the next three years.


Both men said agency insiders and consultants adamantly opposed unlocking the doors at all times.


"We are of the mind that you don't risk day-to-day safety," Feinstein said. "The reality here is day to day."


Actually, the day-to-day reality is terrorism. You'd think New York would know that.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.




Michael Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.


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