Loyal New York state democrats, who are still disgusted with the White House interloper, who shamelessly highjacked Representative Nita Lowey’s Senatorial bid can show their contempt for Hillary by voting on Sept. 12th for Mark McMahon, who is also on the New York State Democratic primary.
Very truly yours,
Lauds Athens SquareTo The Editor:
It is a pleasure to extend warm greetings to all gathered for Athens Square Park’s final Greek Night for the summer of 2000.
With its Doric columns and statues of Greek philosophers, this wonderful event imaginatively transports a small part of Athens to New York City to be enjoyed by many of our citizens. Located in the heart of Astoria, sometimes known as "Little Athens," every Tuesday night Athens Square Park brings the area to life with live Greek music, folk dancing and theatrical performances. These outdoor events are a testament to the generous spirit of the Hellenic community to share their heritage and culture with their neighbors. In turn, the community as a whole can witness and further appreciate the showcasing of Greek talent and venerable traditions.
I applaud the efforts of all involved in making this season a success, including Director of Entertainment Athan J. Christodoulou and Assistant Secretary Anna Mallis. Best wishes for an enjoyable evening and continued success.
Very truly yours,
George E. Pataki
State of New York
For Today And TomorrowTo The Editor:
Over the years I have been a consistent advocate, often on this very editorial page, for middle class tax relief and for protecting and preserving the benefit packages that our senior citizens have come to rely on. Both fiscal responsibility and a sense of moral obligation requires that we honor the expectations and promises we’ve committed to as a state and as a nation.
You’ll recall, for instance that last year I called for the use of the federal surplus to ensure the future solvency of our Social Security system. While it may seem remote in time to the youth of today, we all have mothers and grandmothers, and sooner or later it shall fall to us to safeguard the future for everyone and to honor the commitments made by those who came before us. To fail to do so is to walk away not just from our moral obligations but also our best hopes for the future. In a very real sense who we are today and what we will be tomorrow is at stake.
With this said I believe it is an imperative that we repeal the current administration’s tax on Social Securities benefits. In this regard I fully concur with Congressman [Rick] Lazio, who recently voted to roll back the Social Security tax increase on middle-income retirees. Nonetheless, even today, up to 50 percent of Social Security benefits can be or are still taxed. This is wrong! Seniors have paid into Social Security their whole lives. They have earned their benefits, and these benefits should not be taxed away by the government. This is both morally wrong and fiscally irresponsible.I urge President [Bill] Clinton, the United States Congress and the U.S. Senate to adopt this aspect of Congressman Lazio’s tax relief proposal. I would also submit that his proposal to eliminate the Marriage Penalty, which would save married couples like my wife and myself an average of $1,400 in extra taxes incurred just for being married really is long overdue. This is money I could be spending on my daughters’ educations or other family expenses. We all recognize the value of marriage in our society yet our tax code continues to penalize so many of us for living in the married state. Does it make sense to you that the tax code should encourage shacking up instead of marriage?
Another feature of the Congressman’s plan that warrants serious consideration is allowing the deductibility of payroll taxes. We pay in every year. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to take a deduction? Finally, I agree that its about time that we eliminate the Death Tax.,There is no fair reason to continue to punish middle-income families who have worked and saved to build a small business just to pay off the federal government, and at the worst moment in that family’s life to boot.
Vince Tabone Esq.
Traffic Change Delayed
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Honorable George Onorato
28-11 Astoria Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11102
Dear State Senator Onorato:
This is to inform you that we are delaying the new traffic patterns for the Queensboro Bridge until Tuesday, September 12, 2000.
We recently sent you a letter dated August 15 informing you of our plans to implement the final traffic pattern on August 29. However, due to the upcoming activities at the United Nations, law enforcement officials have asked us to delay our new traffic patterns.
As previously outlined in our August letter and in other correspondences, here are the highlights of our final traffic configuration:
1. We have chosen the north outer roadway to be designated for pedestrian and bicyclists only.
2. The south outer roadway will be open to passenger cars at all times in the eastbound (Queens) direction. (Please note that this roadway will not provide direct access to Northern Boulevard in Queens.)
3. The north inner and south inner roadways will be open to all traffic, with two lanes in each direction.
4. The north upper roadway will be open to westbound (Manhattan bound) passenger car traffic 24 hours a day. (Please note that there will no longer be a P.M. reversal.)
5. The south upper roadway will be open to passenger car traffic eastbound except from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday when the roadway is reversed westbound and used as an HOV lane.
Again, we thank you for your cooperation and support. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will continue to work with you on this important project.
Thomas R. Cocola
Bay Terrace AllianceTo The Editor:
This is in response to your August 16, 2000 Op-Ed letter by Joyce Shepard. Because the words were the personal comments of an individual and not of the Queens Gazette, there was no obligation on your publication to verify the factual content of Ms. Shepard’s diatribe.
I would like to share with your readers the facts about the Bay Terrace Community Alliance (BTCA) and me personally.
First, the BTCA is a fledgling civic association formed in August 1999 and dedicated to improve and enhance the quality of life of Bay Terrace.
During the first few months of our existence, we investigated, researched and consulted experienced individuals in civic association matters. In recent months the BTCA became incorporated, elected officers, passed its bylaws and has met and scheduled meetings with community leaders to introduce ourselves and present our concerns in the neighborhood.
In addition, our infant civic association has communicated to its charter members community health updates on the West Nile-like Virus and the safety concerns of Little Bay. We are an increasingly active organization that needs the support of its Bay Terrace residents, not the false accusations and hearsay comments of an individual who is calling for the disbanding of a group of concerned community leaders still in its infancy.
Second, regarding my chairing the July BTCA Board meeting, although Ms. Shepard implied that I attempted to "talk the members into supporting the Cord Meyer multi-tier parking lot initiative," I did nothing of the sort. What I expressed to both Cord Meyer and the other Community Board 7 committee members at the July 19th meeting, and to our BTCA members was my concern of the resulting decrease in the number of parking spots on the eastern side of the shopping center according to the initial expansion plan. The parking garage, I felt, would not be practical for shoppers who would patronize the new and existing stores on the eastern side of the mall.
Finally, I resent Ms. Shepard’s attempt to paint our organization as a phony ploy and me as a politico. My community involvement with the BTCA and in other voluntary and civic capacities, spanning over a quarter of a century, all share a common thread—the sole desire to make my community a better place to live. I have no political ties or current political ambitions. On the other hand, Ms. Shepard clearly has a political agenda. Why she feels the need to be the assassin of a group of dedicated and concerned Bay Terrace residents is beyond me?
Very truly yours,
Bay Terrace Community Alliance