To The Editor:
The National Border Patrol Council has a Web site, www.noamnesty.com, where they give many reasons as to why amnesty should not be given to illegal aliens.
They are upset also because they have been shot at, spit at, and some have been killed by these people. They have given their lives to uphold the law, and now President [George W.] Bush wants to give [aliens] amnesty.
Illegal aliens would be allowed to work, obtain retirement benefits and have access to all of our nation’s social services, often at little or no cost to them.
It will place an economic burden upon taxpayers and seriously undermine our efforts to secure our homeland against terrorism.
We must write our congressmen and senators and let them know how we feel.
Very truly yours,
To The Editor:
This is in regard to the half-time program during last Sundays [February 1] Super Bowl XXXVIII which was laced with some questionable entertainment. It started with some dirty dancing, sexually explicit lyrics and Janet Jackson’s anything-to-shock display in what I saw as inappropriate for a national broadcast during prime time family viewing.
[The] Super Bowl half-time show was done in egregious bad taste by CBS and the National Football League [NFL].
Hip-hopper Nelly contributed to the program by singing, "It’s getting hot in here," where during his performance he grabbed his crotch.
Then there was Kid Rock who wore the American flag as a poncho and sang a paean to promiscuous girls. Well, I thought, that was an insult to the American Flag as well as insulting to women.
Yet the worst was yet to come, Janet Jackson’s outrageous stunt pulled off with her accomplice, Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl XXXVIII was an insult to the estimated 100 million TV viewers—who were watching the half-time show. What could Janet [have] been thinking? Did she not know that children were watching the show and what kind of role model is she portraying to our youth?
Now MTV who produced the show must also take responsibility for Janet’s action, for what was the message they were trying to relay based on the kind of show they put on that I thought was a bit racy and risqué? This half-time show is considered family entertainment. It is not supposed to see Janet Jackson expose her right breast!
We as consumers must send a message to the media. We will not tolerate indecent material broadcast on our airwaves for we must protect our children from x-rated material. Now is the time to write our congressmen and tell them we’ve taken all we can and will not take it anymore. Enough is enough. For remember, this evil thrives when good men and women do nothing!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Put Seat Belts On Buses
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Dear Congressman Weiner:
As I indicated to you at a past meeting of the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association, it would be greatly appreciated if you, as a member of the Transportation Committee, worked diligently toward the passage of a law mandating the placement of seat belts in buses that travel long distances, both interstate and intrastate. It is axiomatic that seat belts on such buses would play an important role in preventing death or serious physical injury should an accident occur. The benefit to the public in saving lives, or preventing serious physical injury, outweighs the costs which may have to be incurred to comply with seat belt requirements. Bus companies would also benefit financially by the seat belt requirement, as monetary damages for which they would be liable should a lawsuit ensue, would be lessened due to lives saved and serious injuries prevented.
At a recent meeting of the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association, many members signed a petition requesting that seat belts be made available for the use of passengers on long-distance buses. This petition is enclosed. There is clearly much public support of such seat belt requirement. Such requirement is also supported by logic. It is common knowledge that seat belts save lives and prevent serious injuries. According to the United States Bureau of Transportation statistics in a survey released on January 3, 2001, most Americans support police enforcement of seat belt laws. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent, and reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. In October of 2000, then Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater announced that 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will share $47.3 million in incentive grants for increased seat belt use. Fiscal Year 2001 was the third year that incentive grants were rewarded for increasing seat belt use rates.
At the Middle Village Property Owners meeting, I indicated to you that my wife’s cousin, Donna Michak, sustained severe physical injuries in a bus accident en route from New York City to her home in Pennsylvania as the bus rolled over on Route 80. The accident caused her to be thrown about in the bus, sustaining a spinal cord injury which resulted in the loss of use of her legs. Her mother and aunt were also injured as a result of being thrown about in the bus. Seat belt restraints, either lap belts, or 3-point belts, available for passenger use, could have prevented the catastrophic injury that Donna suffered. The total number of bus accident fatalities or serious physical injuries sustained in the course of a year is irrelevant to the need for safety restraints on long-distance buses. One life saved, or one spinal cord injury prevented, is clearly worth the cost necessitated by compliance with seat belt requirements. One death or serious injury that could have been prevented by a seat belt is one too many. Even if statistically, mortality and injury rates on long-distance buses were relatively low, these statistics would hardly console the families of those who died, or those who suffered irrevocable physical injuries with significant life-altering consequences.
The statistics regarding school bus deaths or injuries may be relatively low, yet seat belts on school buses are mandatory in New York. Taxi cab accidents may be relatively low, yet we now have a requirement of seat belts in taxi cabs. On buses, closely spaced seats with heavily padded high backs to cushion the jolt of an accident, called "compartmentalization," are insufficient to prevent death or injuries on interstate buses. Seat belts would improve crash protection in side-impact crashes and rollovers, the type of accident which relegated Donna Michak to life in a wheelchair.
In an Australian report dated December 5, 2002, calls for mandatory installation of seat belts on all buses were renewed after a collision between a truck and a bus in Melbourne that left almost 20 people injured. A professor warned that bus passengers faced the same type of injuries as unrestrained occupants in a car crash. These were acceleration and deceleration injuries, but also the secondary pinball effect of striking other objects, increasing the damage. According to a school bus safety campaigner, the injuries were predictable and preventable. He indicated that if an accident occurs at any speed, unrestrained passengers would be sent flying.
A report by the British Department of Transport indicated that proposals to require seat belts in buses are intended to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries to bus and coach occupants. The regulations would require seat belts to be fitted to all forward and rearward-facing seats in all new buses and coaches as of October 1, 2001. The report’s findings indicate that monetary benefits to bus companies as a result of a reduction of occupant deaths and serious physical injuries outweigh compliance costs by approximately two to one.
The time has arrived to require seat belts in buses. The public interest in protecting the precious human cargo carried by long-distance buses is of paramount importance. Your prompt action in seeking the implementation of such safety restraint requirements would be greatly appreciated.
Joseph A. Suraci, Esq.