2003-01-22 / Editorials

Letters

Hits Cable Rates

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

Hon. Michael Bloomberg

Mayor

City Hall

New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

I read with interest a story in the January 4 New York Post regarding comments you made during your weekly radio show about rising cable rates.

As chair of the City Council’s Zoning and Franchises subcommittee, I am particularly interested in the operations of New York City’s cable franchises. I was appalled to read that you reportedly told listeners to read a book instead of complaining about higher cable television rates.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that is not what you meant. While reading is important, to be so cavalier about a serious consumer issue that affects working families surviving on limited budgets is terribly insensitive.

The article also reports that you feel government should not get involved in this industry. I disagree. Cable television networks are granted a public franchise. In return for that right, cable franchises should be required to provide service at reasonable rates.

Millions of customers throughout the city are being charged higher rates. It is our duty to protect their consumer rights. Hundreds of thousands of Cablevision viewers are still denied the right to see Yankee ballgames despite their increased bills.

I hope that you will use the powers of your office to protect our citizens from the unregulated use of a monopoly.

Sincerely,

Tony Avella

Council Member

District 19, Northeast Queens

Decries Vandalism

To The Editor:

In regard to the attack of vandalism found at Grace Korean Presbyterian Church, where racist graffiti was sprayed on the exterior of the church Christmas morning, I found this to be quite disturbing and appalling.

My heart goes out to its members. I feel their pain. My own church St. Anastasia was also hit a few months ago with red dye which was thrown on our statue of our patron, St. Anastasia, In the past year a number of churches were hit by vandals, like St. Gregory’s in Bellerose, St. Clare’s in Rosedale, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside. The list goes on.

Last week an attempt was made to torch a Jewish synagogue in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. If it was not for a Moslem from Pakistan who acted and called 911, for he knew it was wrong, [the fire] would have destroyed the temple.

This tells me something. We all need to be good Samaritans and stand up and be counted and defend our houses of worship, for we are one community with many different faiths and cultures and beliefs. When one faith is attacked, we are all attacked.

To stop hate we must stand together even it it’s not our place of worship. Be it Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Moslem or a Sikh Temple, if you see [vandalism] being done, report the incident to the police. We need to enforce bias crimes and even to enact stricter penalties for these crimes.

To Councilman Tony Avella and Terrence Park, chairman of the Korean American Association, who denounced this violent act against Grace Church, keep up the pressure against those who hate.

Remember this also—evil thrives when good people do nothing.

Sincerely yours,

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Little Neck

Mike Must Go

To The Editor:

Though he came across as both intelligent and pleasant in the one-on-one conversation I had with him when he was campaigning in Bayside in 2001, I did not vote for Mike Bloomberg for mayor, as I do not trust any billionaire politicians! Watching Bloomberg’s performance during 2002, however, without the overt nastiness, the pandering to the World Trade Center victim’s families, or the flaunting of his girlfriend in public, which highlighted the "leadership" of his predecessor, I was impressed by Bloomberg’s style, and he seems to be trying to do a good job in very trying times—until his recent actions on several significant issues, smoking, taxes, and education, which show me he can’t be re-elected.

Whereas, personally, I agree that smoking should be prohibited in all public places, Bloomberg’s recent move to end all smoking in bars and restaurants is simply politically stupid, since, regardless of how much he spends in 2005, he has made fervent enemies of hundreds of thousands of smokers who are voters!

Similarly, with regard to his radical proposed changes in the education system, which appear to be destined to lower the "good schools" to the level of most of the others, as seen by the proposed new "District 3", which would combine the high performance schools in present Districts 25 and 26 with some barely functioning schools in other areas, Mayor Bloomberg is creating an awful lot of very angry parents in Northeast Queens, who will never vote for him again.

Probably most devastating of all to Bloomberg’s chances of being re-elected in 2005 are his property tax increases. It was bad enough when Bloomberg and the City Council said they were increasing taxes on small homeowners by 18.5 percent. That wasn’t the truth, however, as my bill increased by 25.6 percent over last year, and now the press reports that both higher assessments and a higher yet rate are coming for small homeowners, which could lead to a 40 to 50 percent increase in 2003. To pay for such increases, I won’t be reduced to eating cat food, but obviously, there are many homeowners just scraping by now, who will be left in poverty. Such tax increases will ensure that Michael Bloomberg is a one-term mayor!

To prevent such a legacy of defeat, and, indeed, to become a genuine hero in American history books, I suggest the following: Since there is no person alive who needs the $6 or 7 billion in assets Bloomberg reportedly has, that for the next three years, Mike Bloomberg contribute $1 billion a year to balance the budget in New York City. He should similarly challenge all the other "fat cats" who live or work here to make proportional donations, which would eliminate the need for any property tax increases over last year. What a wonderful example of noblesse oblige that would be! Do this, Mayor Bloomberg, and preserve the school district lines of Northeast Queens, and you will get my vote, even if you still have several billions of dollars!

Frank Skala

President,

East Bayside Homeowners Association

Lauds New Laws

To The Editor:

Two very important New Year’s Resolutions that not only have positive effects upon our lives as individuals, but also promote a better quality of life for all New Yorkers, have been enacted as the law of New York City and the law of our state. I am writing this letter to express my happiness and delight upon the enactment of these two pieces of legislation and I applaud our Mayor and Governor for having the vision and guts to do so.

The lowering of the blood alcohol level to determine the legal intoxication of a driver is a wise idea because so many innocent drivers of other cars and people who are walking across the streets become victims of drunk drivers. Life is so precious and none of us can take life for granted anymore. In addition, to have serious injuries or fatalities due to drunk drivers is a violation of our rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Also, it is a good idea that smoking is banned from most places. Second hand smoke does kill or cause crippling lung diseases which afflict innocent people with pain, suffering and violates their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Also, if these laws concerning drinking and smoking are enacted, perhaps people will not smoke and drink because the laws serve as a deterrent. Let us all resolve to enhance the quality of life for all.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City


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