2003-12-10 / Editorials


Save Lives

To The Editor:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drunk-driving deaths has decreased by more than a third since 1982. Further, a recent nationwide poll conducted by Data Development Corporation shows that virtually all American adults believe designated drivers have been a factor in these declines.

We at Anheuser-Busch Sales and Service Of New York, Inc., distributor of Anheuser-Busch products want to thank those who have used or been designated drivers. Not only have you helped save lives, you have shown that you care about your community.

One way in which we are saying thank you can be found at www.designateddriver.com. where adults can learn more about designated driver programs, enter for a chance to win valuable prizes, and send an electronic thank-you card to their favorite designated driver.

Nationally and locally we have worked hard to fight alcohol abuse, especially underage drinking and drunk driving, as well as to promote legal and responsible drinking by those who choose to drink.

During the upcoming holiday season, it is important to remember our loved one and do all we can to keep our roads safe.


C.A. Verdon

Consumer Awareness &

Education Coordinator

Anheuser-Busch Sales &

Service Of New York, Inc.

Hails Medicare Bill

To The Editor:

Early this year I urged all members of the Queens Congressional delegation to take AARP’s pledge to support and enact a meaningful prescription drug bill. Unfortunately Congressman Gary Ackerman declined to take that pledge and instead chose to publicly chide me for my continued support for President George W. Bush. I, in turn made an appeal for putting aside partisan differences in favor of adoption of a bipartisan bill that would cover as many senor citizens as possible, working within the context of AARP’s legislative proposal. AARP formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, has an unparelled record of effective advocacy on behalf of American senior citizens and those approaching retirement age (like me!). [I believe they properly dropped the full name in recognition of the fact that America’s seniors are more active than ever and many don’t actually ever retire, at least in the sense that term used to be understood.]

In any case, AARP and others concerned about the hardships faced by our seniors in dealing with spiraling prescription drug prices strongly urged Congress to adopt the best bill possible in this legislative session in order to cover as many senior citizens as possible. It is after all axiomatic that half a loaf is better than no loaf and there is nothing to preclude working to improve the bill and enhance coverage in the next legislative session. An all or nothing approach is just not constructive or politicially mature. Unfortunately, many Democratic Congressmembers seemed more focused on preventing President George W. Bush from securing any legislative victory benefiting seniors and voted no on prescription drugs. A few GOPer’s with a libertarian take on things did likewise. This was truly unfortunate because this bill will provide meaningful relief to up to 43 million Americans.

Despite their best efforts at obstruction the bill is now law! As a Republican State Committeeman I applaud President George W. Bush, the Republican controlled Senate and the Republican controlled Congress for persevering in passing a historic prescription drug bill. I also applaud those Democrats that were able to put partisanship aside and voted to benefit many of their constituents!

AARP has described the passage of this bill as a "a historic day for the health security of the American people...provid[ing] important prescription drug coverage and financial relief for millions of older and disabled Americans and their families. AARP and George W. Bush got it right. This legislation is historic and everyone who voted for it deserves our thanks and support. Those who opted for politics as usual have some explaining to do. Those who say the bill needs improvement and withheld their support need to recognize that Americans are tired of politics as usual and need to work more constructively with their colleagues." Otherwise their constituents may just retire them. Age discrimination may be illegal, but thankfully, elections are not and senior citizens vote!


Phil Ragusa, CPA

Republican State Committeeman

26th Assembly District


Gazette Disappoints

To The Editor:

I wanted to express my immense disappointment and downright anger for a letter you printed in your recent Dec. 3 issue. I know that "The Gazette is not responsible for the opinions expressed in the letters on these pages," but we both know the Gazette IS responsible for what letters it chooses to print.

I am referring to a letter by a White Plains reader that dramatically insulted about half of all Americans. The letter was titled "Terrorism Within" and accused all Democrats of terrorist activity. It claimed there is "no difference between Democrats and terrorism."

I consider myself an Independent and see both strengths and weakness in both major parties. But no mature person could make such a hurtful accusation and upset so many people, based solely on their chosen stance on American issues.

I am sure the Gazette receives many many letters, and of course only a few get printed. I cannot see how any mature newspaper could select such a severely prejudiced letter as one of The Chosen Few that should make a meaningful contribution to one’s news and reading. Letters like this only spread pure hate and are a backward step in solving problems.

Government progress is made in part by each party building on the problems in the other. Democrats have a right and obligation to seek out areas in our country that need further debate and resolution. This is an American process that should not be insulted and criticized by anyone else who truly is an American.

I sincerely wish that the Gazette thinks a bit more carefully and deeply next time before picking letters for print. I am sure I am not the only person that feels this way.

Thank you for your time,

Andrew Stoeckley

Long Island City

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