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Tough Choices

The time has come for painful common sense.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to spend nearly half a billion dollars to buy and demolish some of the homes wrecked by Hurricane Sandy. The state would then permanently preserve the land as undeveloped coastline.

As we saw during this storm, some places are too dangerous to live, including some coastal communities in Queens.

To do this, Albany would use a portion of the $51 billion disaster relief package approved by Congress. This buyback would require federal approval.

It’s not enough to say that Sandy was an every-hundred-year storm. There is no proof the state can build coastal barriers that can protect residents from future storms that strike at high tide.

Cuomo’s program would offer full-market value for homes in the 100-year flood zone. The governor’s office estimates that 10 percent to 15 percent of 10,000 owners might apply.

For any homeowner, this is a painful decision. The same offer has been presented to homeowners in coastal New Jersey by Gov. Chris Christie.

But the recovery cost following Sandy has been monumental. Tough decisions need to be made.

Mean-Spirited Jerk

The tantrum thrown by Russian President Vladimir Putin has caused great pain for a family in Little Neck already in the process of adopting a Russian orphan.

Putin placed a ban on Russian adoptions by American citizens, even though in the past these adoptions have given thousands of Russian children the hope to live with family and be taken care of.

Nick and Dania Mavros were in the process of adopting a 1-year-old boy named Ari in December when Putin issued his decree. They don’t know what will happen next.

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel is offering his help.

“President Putin is jeopardizing the future for thousands of Russian orphans and their adoptive parents here in the U.S. over a political disagreement with the administration,” he said.

It is sad that there are children in Russian orphanages hoping to be adopted. The last thing Putin should be doing is using them for political purposes.

The people of Russian should be ashamed of their president.

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