2000-11-22 / Editorials

Letters

Dems Unfair At Polls

To The Editor:

I am amazed at how the media only focuses on the possibility of voter fraud and "sneakiness" on the Republican’s part, but does not address the fact that Gore-Lieberman literature was handed out right outside the polling place in spite of a rule that you may not distribute [political] literature within 100 feet of the polling place.

Isn’t it about time the American people find out both sides of the story?

Sincerely,

Doreen Lobelle

Astoria

Let’s Keep Our Teachers!

To The Editor:

New York City is facing a crisis. Every day the school district I represent and school districts throughout the city are losing motivated and qualified teachers to the suburbs. City teachers are not being paid a competitive salary worthy of the teaching profession and commensurate with the responsibility of educating our children. A crisis in education is upon us. It is our responsibility as parents and New Yorkers to urge Mayor [Rudolph] Giuliani to help keep and attract the best teachers.

The teachers are currently working without a contract. I would like to add my voice to the growing numbers of New Yorkers who want quality education for their children and want to stop the drain of our educational talent and leadership from our city schools. We need to demonstrate our resolve and pay our teachers properly.

Let us pay our teachers a salary that will entice them to work in New York City, not drive them away. Not too long ago it was a privilege to teach in New York City. Everyone is talking about the importance of education. Proposals like vouchers, which drain money from our education system, are not the panacea for our problem. A better proposal is to raise the salary of our teachers. That would be real educational reform. Obviously, there is no greater threat to the education of our children than the loss of our teachers.

Mayor Giuliani, please pay attention. Before more top-notch teachers are lost, we have to treat our educators with dignity and respect. We all agree that we must raise the bar for teachers the same way the standards have been raised for the student. However, arbitrary obstacles conceived merely to win a public relations war should not be used to judge the success of a teacher. Students’ scores on standardized tests do not adequately reflect the job performance of the teacher. For example, if a student scores poorly on a standardized test but excels in class work, the teacher may be doing a terrific job. Over the years we have lost countless numbers of teachers. Truly, future generations are at risk. The time to act is now.

We all must stand up and speak out before it is too late. New York City was the greatest place to get an education in the world. It can be again, but we must have the finest educators or our children will pay the price. Tell Mayor Giuliani to negotiate in good faith and to establish an incentive to attract and keep our teachers.

Sincerely,

Mark Weprin

Assemblymember

24th Assembly District

Bayside

Thoughts About The Election

To The Editor:

We are now experiencing the problems of an antiquated system of electing the president of our nation. The Electoral College, which has been around since the days of our Founding Fathers, is no longer suitable for our modern-day expanding nation of today. Voting directly for president and depending solely upon the popular vote, to me, is the only way of electing our president. In so doing, the term "one man, one vote" will be applied.

Thus, a constitutional amendment must be passed in order to foster such a change.

In addition, the actual voting process also must be changed. The electronic voting machines, frequently break down, thus causing the long lines at the polls and resulting in frazzled nerves, delays and even police intercession. Also, people with visual impairments encounter difficulty using these voting machines and have to rely upon the poll workers to assist them, which causes more delays. The machines should be brailled, put into audio mode, where when the button for a particular voter-choice is pressed the name of the person will be announced. Also, people could vote by telephone with a special pin number and then dial their choice. There is banking by phone, so why not voting by phone.

Also the primary system of electing our presidents is so drawn out and costly, and that, too, should be changed.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City

Clinton Blackmailed By Turkey

To The Editor:

We are a democratic republic, the voice of every American must be heard and their rights should not be ignored, so say the Democrats. But this is the same administration that on Oct. 19th turned its back to history and violated and abandoned the right of every single Armenian-American in this country. Bill Clinton, the president of the most powerful country in the world, was given an ultimatum by the Turkish government not to pass the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

The mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians began between 1915 and 1923 under the Ottoman Empire. Turkey has continuously denied its atrocities towards its Armenian citizens. I am the daughter of two survivors of the Armenian Genocide. My father at the age of 15 was left behind to protect his 80-year-old grandmother. The last memory of his homeland in Turkey was the blood gushing through his grandmother’s chest which was pierced by a dagger of a Turkish soldier. My mother, seven years old, and her brother and sister each were given a loaf of bread, a jar of water and their names sewn on their sweaters so they wouldn’t forget who they were.

Fleeing to freedom through the charred bodies of priests, young girls, men, children and pregnant women slaughtered like animals thus began a destiny for the Armenians to become orphans around the globe. In our new homeland, America, the land of the free, we allied ourselves with our wandering fellows, the Jews for we knew what destruction of a race meant. We united with the blacks because we felt the same pain when our women and men were taken slaves by the Turks and we waited 85 years to have the same disclosure as our brothers and sisters.

On Oct. 19, Bill Clinton, the president of the United States, the commander and chief of our Armed Forces bowed, to threats from Turkish president Ahmest Necdet Sezer and asked the United States House of Representatives to cancel the vote on a resolution H.Res. 596, declaring genocide as the mass killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire. Turkey had warned France of similar retaliatory and damaging consequences, if its parliament passed a bill accusing Ottoman Turks of massacring Armenians. But on Nov. 8th, regardless of Turkish threats, France’s Senate adopted a bill which publicly recognized as genocide the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Judging by the Democrats’ indifference to this historic human tragedy, their recent outcry for fairness and justice for every single American obviously rings of nothing but hypocrisy and manipulation of innocent American people.

Gayana Gashian

East Elmhurst

Salutes EPIC Expansion

To The Editor:

I am very happy that the EPIC Program has been expanded in terms of covering more people whose salaries are above $18,000.

However, I strongly urge our state legislators and our governor to lower the age for those who will be covered by EPIC to 60 years old. Sixty years old now is the age for people to register as senior citizens at local senior citizen centers and there are many 60-year-olds who need prescription coverage.

In addition, there are people with all types of disabilities who are under age 65 but who are covered under the Medicare Program Part A and Part B because they are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. These people have become disabled in the prime of their working life and due to the severity of their disabilities, they had to retire from their careers and jobs. Thus, I also strongly urge that people who are disabled and who are under age 65 and are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits should be members of the EPIC program.

A great financial burden of paying for prescription medication will thus be lifted if EPIC were to include 60-year-olds and SSDI recipients under 65.

We must use our political muscles in order to achieve this end and all of the legislators who are reading this letter should consider this and bring it up in the next term of the state Assembly and Senate.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City


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