2009-02-18 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor



Kudos For Paterson

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Governor David Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Paterson:

Just to let you know that I think you did a smart thing in appointing Kirsten Gillibrand to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Senator [Hillary] Clinton.

I have been a supporter of handgun control since before President [Ronald] Reagan and James Brady were victims of the crazed killer (John Hinckley) who shot them both that day back in the early 1980s. It appears to me that Senator Gillibrand is sincerely reconsidering her positions on gun control and immigration reform. I am very pleased that she has already met with Queens elected officials, particularly those who represent large immigrant communities around our borough.

The fact that as a Democrat she's been elected twice to Congress from an upstate Republican district is a strong indication that she's a politician who listens to her constituents. She will have to do a mighty job of listening before she faces voters next year and then again in 2012 to remain in the U.S. Senate.

As a resident of New York City I recognize that upstate New Yorkers need to feel that they're fairly represented in state and federal government. What better way than to have a Senator from that region?

And so I wish you well as you exert strong leadership in this matter and as well as in making the hard choices Albany and New York City must make to get us all through the economic debacle Wall Street and the banks created.
Yours truly,
John Moran
Jackson Heights

P.S. I heartily agree with the New York Times editorial yesterday [February 3] castigating the low blows against you in the TV ads by unions in the health care sector.

Bail Out Mass Transit
To The Editor:

I was very upset to learn of the cuts in transit service and the possible fare increase that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is planning in the city of New York. How did things deteriorate to this point?

I realize that we are facing an economic crisis; however, there must be some other, less painful ways to cope with these hard times. I feel that the state and federal governments must do more to help and I hope that Governor [David] Paterson and President [Barack] Obama will come to the aid of the people who use mass transit. We all know that New York City does not get its fair share of tax revenues back from Albany or Washington, D. C.

We should be encouraging people to use mass transit. Curtailing service and raising fares are actions that will force many people back into cars to get to and from work and to get from one place to another. This will increase air pollution and traffic congestion. We need financial help for mass transit, including Amtrak, just like the help the banks, financial institutions and auto companies are getting from the government. I hope that the president's stimulus package will help address mass transit concerns.

It is my understanding that the MTA is proposing to cut Long Island Rail Road service on the Port Washington branch to a train every hour rather than every half hour on weekends and during non-peak daytime hours on weekdays. This is a really bad idea. These trains are heavily used now when they run every half hour. Can you imagine how crowded they will be if they ony ran every hour?

Also, I see that the MTA is planning to do away with, or at least curtail, bus service on several bus lines here in Queens. In Northeast Queens, the Q26 will be discontinued and the Q76 will not have service on weekends under their proposal. Working class people use these and other lines all of the time and rely on their continued operation.

With today's economy, many residents of New York City simply cannot afford to keep a car. They rely on bus and subway service totally. Not only will the MTA hurt these people by limiting or ending service, but they will hurt small businesses throughout the city. People just won't be shopping or going out as often if the service is cut and the fares go up significantly.

I hope that the MTA will rethink some of these draconian proposals. They will only create more hardship for city residents if they are adopted.We are already suffering enough from this recession.
Sincerely,
Henry Euler
Bayside

School Emergency Act
To The Editor:

Last year Assemblymembers [Rory] Lancman, [Mark] Weprin and [Catherine] Nolan and [state] Senators [Frank] Padavan, [Martin] Golden and [Serphin] Maltese sponsored the Public Schools Emergency Alert Act (A.9682A and S.6775-A). This bill would [ha]ve required New York City to establish an emergency alert notification system using a combination of text messages, emails and phone calls in order to provide staff, parents and the community notification and instruction in emergency situations occurring within public school buildings. This alert system would [ha]ve been relatively easy to implement insofar as the New York State Emergency Management Office already has this capacity and would allow New York City to plug into its existing NY - Alert System.

Unfortunately the last legislative session pas[sed] without this bill being enacted into law. This year, to his credit, Assemblymember Lancman is once again attempting to pass this important school and public safety legislation and he should be applauded for his efforts.

This is good legislation. It is essential for the safety of our schools and our children that parents, staff and the community receive timely notice and instructions in the event of an emergency in our public schools. Almost every SUNY and CUNY campus has or is implementing an emergency alert notification system. New York State's NY-Alert program has over one million enrollees and New York City is already conducting a pilot community alert system.

As a parent and as a member of Community District Education Council 26, I am proud to join with many of my colleagues on our district's council to encourage the prompt passage of this legislation. Please ask your local Assemblymember or state senator to support this important legislation. This is commonsense legislation every parent should get behind.
Sincerely,
Vincent J. Tabone, Esq.
Member. Community District Education
Council 26
Bayside
Hails Gazette






To The Editor:

It is with much elation that I congratulate the Gazette on 27 years of being our eyes and ears and windows on our community, our borough and our city.

Your articles discuss a variety of important subjects that affect our quality of life, enable us to make up our own minds, form opinions, and motivate us to think and take social and political action to improve conditions. Your Gazette has inspired all of us by your heartwarming articles on the achievements of community residents. As family members of the community, we rejoice in the achievements of others and we mourn those who passed on. I felt fortunate during the past nine years to have my letters published and to be featured in the Gazette on March 21, 2007 when I was honored with over 17,000 hours of volunteer service to my community. In memory of its founders, may the Gazette continue to flourish, bring us good news and continue to present opinions, advertisements and, again, thanks for being part of my life.

I am dismayed that the postal rate is rising again and with the other increases and the problems of the economic downturn, it is difficult to understand how people are going to afford mailing costs. It seems that every year the postage rate is increased and service is not the best.

It is wonderful that the Child Health bill was passed and signed by our president, but what about those who are not senior citizens and who are out of work and who have no health insurance? What about a health plus for "in-betweeners"?

I also applaud the president for signing the bill to delay conversion to digital until June 12. That will clear up the anxiety that so many people are having in switching over.

I am also glad that the House and Senate finally agreed upon the passage of the Economic Stimulus package. This is so important to save our nation from a Great Depression.
Cynthia Groopman
Long Island City

Collect Back Taxes
To The Editor:

There are other revenue sources than "Sales Tax Hike Will Hurt, Not Help" (Editorial--February 4). Consider that New Yorkers owe over $13 billion dollars in uncollected city and state taxes.

There are alternatives to raising the sales tax, various other taxes and user fees as a means to fund respective multi-billion-dollar city and state budget shortfalls. Why not go after those who owe over $13 billion dollars collectively? Collection of these debts could go a long way toward bridging both this year's and next year's projected city and state budget deficits.

Both the New York City and state Departments of Taxation, along with the city and state comptrollers' offices, have lists for those who owe funds, while at the same time seeking rebates and tax returns. The technology exists today to run a cross check before issuing rebates or tax returns. [The city and state] could easily place a lean on those who owe cash. Why should honest working taxpayers and business owners continue to shoulder the burden for others who don't pay their fair share? At least have the decency to deduct some monies out of anyone's rebate or tax return as a down payment against debts owed.
Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Thanks Padavan
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette. State Senator Frank Padavan:

First of all, we (my wife and I) have to say hundreds and thousands of thanks to you.

Without your help, it [was] impossible to change my broken gas boiler. Now, it was changed. We feel warm, otherwise we both will die because we are very old, my wife 77 and I am 87.

A week ago they changed my 20-year-old refrigerator, too.

Dear sir, once again, we both must have to say, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Yours truly,
Yue Xia Yang
Tai Hao Chen
Flushing

Wanted: One CEO
To The Editor:

The current Administration and Congress are striving to implement elements of fiscal and monetary policies that will turn around our economy. Talented people are hard at work trying to address these problems.

President [Barack] Obama has made some wise choices to fill key positions in his Administration, including members of the economic advisory team. These people have distinguished themselves in their fields of expertise and hopefully they will perform admirably well during the next four years. The appointments include a plethora of former or current politicians, campaign aides, career bureaucrats, economists/finance people, academics and former generals. And they all have one thing in common. None of them is a current or former CEO or high level executive of a major corporation.

Given the state of our economy and the problems in the private sector, I believe it would be wise to have a proven, high level, business executive on the Obama Team. Maybe the new Secretary of Commerce should have a business background.

We have to employ all available resources, including business executives, to break the downward spiral of our economy. We should spend the entire $825 billion economic recovery money on creating jobs in the private sector, not government or quasigovernment jobs; and not waste any of it on tax cuts, which have proven to be ineffective in the current economy.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire

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