I must applaud the fantastic advocacy of our local and federal legislators for having the city in their best interests and providing us with grants for transportation and continued free bus passes for high school students on express buses. This shows the dedication of our lawmakers and we praise them. During this holiday season, Clinton, Schumer, Weprin and Maloney have given our city gifts that will positively affect all segments of our population.
I am particularly pleased about the bus passes for the express buses for students. These students come from families who try so hard to make ends meet financially and added bus fare would be a hardship. Safe transportation is important for a good education.
Thanks to all and kudos to our caring lawmakers. Thanks to the Gazette for providing us with preholiday cheer and adding positiveness [sic] to our lives through the publication of these uplifting and optimistic articles.
Long Island City
Flu Clinic Shows The Way
To The Editor:
On Tuesday, November 29, 2005, Community Board 11, in an attempt to address the flu shot shortage situation and provide the residents of Northeast Queens with desperately needed preventative medical assistance, held a free flu clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital in Bayside. In an unprecedented collaborative display of community cooperation between CB 11, St. Mary’s Hospital For Children, the NYC Department of Health and Congressman Gary Ackerman’s office, well over 100 people received free, potentially life-saving, flu shots. Many of these people were in high-risk categories and would not have been able to receive this immunization but for this event.
I would like all the readers to know what a great job the Community Board staff (Susan, Linda, Jane and Joan) did to arrange and coordinate this event. I would also like to highlight and stress that this would not have been possible but for the wonderful, gracious and professional services rendered by St. Mary’s Hospital, in particular: Dr. Burton Grebin, Eileen Chisari, Tina Hess, Mark Hoffacker and all the nurses and staff that administered the shots to all the residents. St. Mary’s has again demonstrated that they are willing to work with the community on worthwhile community projects that benefit a great many people. I also want to highlight the great assistance and efforts by Congressman Ackerman’s office and staff and the NYC DOH to ensure this project came to fruition and went off without a hitch. We need to thank all these individuals and groups for their dedication to their profession and for their commitment to the betterment of our community. I am proud of the work they are doing, and it is an honor for me to be associated with them.
It is my hope, as Chairman of Community Board 11, to use this project as a model and continue to try to bring together private and governmental resources so that we can provide the best possible delivery of governmental services to the residents of Northeast Queens. We will further try to share this information with all other Community Boards so that they too can try to bring this relief and assistance to ALL parts of Queens. It is our obligation and civic duty, as community activists and public servants to make every effort to ensure that our communities are the best they can possibly be.
Chair, CB 11
No Commuter Tax
To The Editor:
In the words of former President Ronald Reagan, “Here you go again!”
This cry for the resurrection of the commuter tax is misguided and not in the best interest of NYC. It was thrown out by the legislature in Albany some years ago and it should remain dead!
Many of the commuters who work in the city contribute in many ways to the economy of the city; i.e.: ride the subways, paying the tolls, patronize our restaurants, department stores, theatres, etc...
For the NYC resident working in suburbia or out of state (New Jersey, Connecticut), they would be subject to a reciprocal commuter tax.
Let's adhere to the concept of a "free trade zone" and we will all benefit and prosper.
Alfred A. Puglisi
Holidays Are For All
To The Editor:
Reverend Nick Zientarski a priest at St. Mary’s invoked the name of Jesus during his traditional blessing of the official Christmas tree lighting in Manhasset last week. As he spoke he could hear North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman angrily objecting behind him, saying, “This is inappropriate.” Then Kaiman got up and told the crowd, “I would like to make it clear this is not a religious ceremony.”
It seems to me things have gotten out of hand this holiday season, and much effort seems to be spent in trying to be politically correct, not to mention too much effort to separate church and state. I’m a Catholic and I see no harm in saying a prayer at the lighting of a Christmas tree, yes a Christmas tree not a holiday tree. I believe Christmas is all about peace and love and to share good will with our fellow man and not to bicker over political correctness or to worry that religion will take over government. I believe all Father Nick tried to do was to ask that our Christmas be blessed to those of us that celebrate Christmas in front of what? Oh yes, a Christmas tree.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
To The Editor:
In response to Mr. Gusick’s letter, it is obvious that if the term “general welfare” meant Congress could do anything it deemed to be “good”, there would be no restraint on government and we would be buried in pork and ruled by tyranny.
Our founders intended to limit the power of the federal government, allowing it only the powers specifically granted by the states and enumerated in the constitution. The tenth amendment reserves all other powers to the states and the people. Thomas Jefferson phrased it this way, “In questions of power, let us hear no more of trust in men, but rather bind them down from mischief with the chains of the constitution.” The objective of the constitution is restraint of government.
Aid to New Orleans as well as to schools, foreign governments, health care, businesses and the rest of the boondoggles is illegal, as is welfare itself. “Home relief” was renamed “welfare” to make it sound constitutional.
Sadly, most congressmen cross their fingers when they take their oath before God to uphold our Constitution, which is a restraint on their greed. And, sadly, too is the fact that Americans are too lazy to read and learn their Constitution, the document that made America possible. Anyone desiring to learn more about our Constitution is urged to contact www.thenewamerican.com.
A Concerned American,
Possible GOP Scenario
To The Editor:
“GOP Faces Gloomy Scenario In Next Year's Races” (John Toscano -- December 7th) was most informative. The article made me wonder if the upcoming September 2006 Republican Primary for Governor will end up as a circular firing squad. Between William Wells, Tom Golisano, Randy Daniels, John Faso and Patrick Manning, the only winner left standing will be Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer in November 2006.
State Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno is correct in asking former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro to drop out of the race for Senator and run for NYS Attorney General. Over the past four months, Pirro has raised only $400,000 while incumbent Senator and potential 2008 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raised $14 million. Clearly lame duck Governor [George] Pataki will be too busy trying to raise cash for his dream of a 2008 Presidential run. He will leave Senate candidate-to-be Pirro holding an empty bag, just like he did with his 2004 sacrificial lamb State Assemblymember Howard Mills, who ran against Senator Schumer. The only difference here is that Pataki was able to award Mills with a cushy political patronage job for his campaign efforts. Pirro will see nothing from Pataki for her efforts. By running for the open office of state attorney general rather than running against an incumbent, she has a chance. After last Friday's meeting with Governor Pataki, he didn't come out of his office to join Pirro at her subsequent sidewalk press conference. His absence speaks volumes.
Rochester businessman and past Independence Party candidate for governor Tom Golisano's candidacy for the Republican Party nomination in 2006 makes the most sense. He can draw far more votes on the Independence Party line, the fast disappearing Conservative Pataki Political Patronage Party. As a non-career politician who is both independent and a highly successful entrepreneur, Tom Golisano can clean up the financial mess created by Pataki, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and Democratic State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Golisano knows how to create jobs, build a business, balance a budget and meet a payroll on time.
Independent observers of state government know there is a political quid pro quo expected by those who represent various special interest groups doing business with Albany in exchange for campaign donations. No candidate running for governor can represent the interest of taxpayers while accepting campaign contributions from those working for or doing business with New York state. The appearance of a conflict of interest is obvious. Tom Golisano can run a self-financed campaign. This makes him independent of the Albany Pay for Play crowd. He will be beholden only to the voters who elect him--free to do right by the general public and not special interest groups.
Bill Wells can finance his own campaign for United States Senator. Like any other candidate, he will probably end up losing to Senator Clinton, but obtain a respectable number of votes, (possibly 40 percent or more vs Mills’ record low 25 percent against Schumer in 2004). This will cut into Senator Clinton's coattails, thus helping other GOP candidates farther down the ballot. Too bad Governor Pataki doesn't take the same advice he is giving Pirro behind the scenes. He has virtually no chance of winning the GOP Presidential Primary. He could raise sufficient funds to run a credible race against Senator Clinton.
Randy Daniels, with his background as the former Secretary of State, would make a good candidate for Lieutenant Governor. His knowledge of how Albany works would be an asset to an outsider like Golisano, as Golisano will have to work with the entrenched establishment of both parties to get any reforms passed.
Former state Assembly Minority Leader and 2002 candidate for state Comptroller John Faso should try again. He is correct in citing his past ability to raise millions of dollars and came within a few percentage points of beating winner Alan Hevesi. Faso can make the case that Comptroller Hevesi failed to carry out many of his 2002 campaign promises. Faso, like Golisano can rebuild the GOP vote upstate. This is necessary if any statewide Republican candidate is to have a chance of victory.
You read it here first. The best statewide Republican ticket in 2006 is William Weld for United States Senator, Tom Golisano for governor, Randy Daniels for lieutenant governor, John Faso for state comptroller and Jeanine Pirro for state attorney general.
Eventually, they will all need to leave their respective egos at home. Otherwise, 2006 will result in a Clinton/Spitzer political tidal wave resulting in the loss of several more so called safe GOP Congressmembers, state Assembly [members] and state Senators Padavan and Maltese as well as the loss of a Republican majority in the state senate.
Don't count on seeing Pataki or [former Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani around during 2006. They are both campaigning around the nation in preparation for their respective 2008 Presidential runs. Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg will also be missing in action. He has to contend with a Democratic city comptroller, Public Advocate, NYC Council Speaker and overwhelming Congressional, state senate and Assembly Big Apple delegations.
Great Neck, New York