Letters to the Editor
DEP, Spare That Tree To The Editor:
At the southeast corner of 31st Road, just off Farrington Street in Flushing, and lying in a morass of muck and decay from a sunken sewer, a brave sapling dares to achieve tree-hood. Alas, it is not to be. Soon the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] will be on site to repair the damaged sewer, and as a consequence this young tree will be doomed. I am hoping some caring botanist who reads this will somehow make an attempt to rescue this leafy waif from its imminent destruction. Joyce Kilmer surely will be most pleased. Amen!
Release Childcare FundsA copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
September 22, 2009
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
United States Department of Health and
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Secretary Sebelius:
I write to express my urgent concern regarding New York State's inability to release the $96.7 million in federal child care stimulus funds that it has received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"). New York State's Office of Children and Family Services received these funds in early May of this year, but has been unable to distribute them to its social service districts because it has been unable to obtain federal guidance on the reporting requirements for these funds pursuant to Section 1512 of the ARRA.
It has come to my attention that districts throughout New York State have not been able to spend the child-care funds to which they are entitled, and which they desperately need in order to pay for childcare. Thousands of New York families rely on county day care, and consequently, are in danger of losing their jobs.
I was a strong supporter of the economic recovery plan, and I continue to support the tremendous work you and President Obama are doing to provide emergency assistance to middle income and low income Americans in need during this economic crisis. I know you agree that we must make sure that families receive assistance as soon as possible.
I urge you to act quickly to provide guidance to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and similar agencies throughout the nation, so that working families no-longer risk losing access to quality childcare.
Very truly yours,
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Primary ResultsTo The Editor:
I went for a week or more, wondering who-won-what in the recent primary, and was very pleased to pick up the September 23 issue of the Gazette and find it all there, cogently presented. Thanks for the fine work!
Long Island City
Quit Smoking NowTo The Editor:
What I don't understand [is] with all we know about the dangers of smoking, why are not more people quitting smoking? Now I knew a woman from Bayside who was diagnosed with lung cancer and was getting treatment and yet continued to smoke. She died last March. [I] also knew a man who had a drinking problem when I lived in Little Neck, he finally joined AA and stayed sober for ten years but died of a heart attack which was directly related to smoking. Between TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet, there is help out there if one is only willing to quit. I think maybe the cost of cigarettes isn't high enough and maybe ought to be raised to $20 a pack and maybe more people might quit because the cost would be too high. Now I myself smoked for 30 years and th[e]n one day I woke up because I wanted to live. It has now been 10 years and [I'm] glad I did.
I have another idea. I think there ought to be a large poster in every store that sells cigarettes and displays a diseased lung from smoking and the caption would say, "This is your lung if you don't quit now." I also think this should also be displayed on every pack. I think more needs to be done to get young and old to quit. That being said, don't let your life go up in smoke.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village
|Obama At Hudson Valley|
To The Editor:
While the media appears to be more interested in President Obama's treatment of Governor Paterson and the political implications, we cannot overlook the fact that President Obama came to Hudson Valley Community College SUNY in Troy, on September 21st for a major address on education, research and the economy.
I was proud to be invited to this special occasion. This was significant recognition for the State University of New York (SUNY) and its pre-eminence in higher education. HVCC is training students in many disciplines, including green technologies. For example the college has a training program in solar panel installation. The entire area is becoming known as Tech Valley, New York's answer to Silicon Valley. The partnership between colleges and industry, according to President Obama, must be encouraged and nurtured. He spoke about the relationship between innovation and the global economy and how investing in education and research will result in sustainable growth, benefitting everyone.
As I sat listening to the President in a large windowless building which the day before had been a classroom for training automobile technology students, the President concluded by saying, "I understand, as all of you do, the power of these institutions to prepare students for twentyfirst century jobs, and to prepare America for a twenty-first century global economy. And that's what's happening right here at Hudson Valley Community College." I left proud of the wonderful colleges and universities we have in our state.
Toby Ann Stavisky
Chairwoman, Committee on Higher
Good Faith EffortsTo The Editor:
For more than twenty years, Queens civic leaders have been engaged in a good faith effort to bring reform to the NYC Department of Buildings. Over the past decades, we have seen the agency's inspectors indicted for bribery, the agency's managers "tweak" the zoning Resolution and Building Code until neither has any meaning and agency oversight failures result in injuries and death.
Earlier this year the Department introduced a new complaint making process that it claimed would bring efficiency and improve enforcement. The new rule, which effectively limits complaints to a 45 day window, has done nothing but shut out the average New Yorker's ability to make a complaint.
Now the Department of Buildings wants us to believe that equipping its inspectors' cellphones with GPS devices will bring about efficiency, honesty and compliance with the city's building and zoning regulations.
We are unconvinced.
Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association
Health Care ReformTo The Editor:
It's too long, over 1,000 pages of legalese which Congress hasn't read. And if they did read it don't understand it.
The people who wrote it aren't Congress but special interest groups who contribute millions to the election campaigns of politicians.
Suggestions which would save billions of taxpayer money:
Tort Reform-Doctors presently practice defensive medicine, ordering excessive diagnostic tests to cover themselves from being sued.
Some pay over $200,000 annually on malpractice insurance. Awards should be capped. This would save billions.
Remove restrictions so that people could purchase medical insurance from any State. This would make for competition between insurance companies and bring down premiums. (Congress doesn't have this restriction in their health plan).
Health insurance accounts also health insurance with high deductible and low premiums, especially for young people who don't get sick that often. Also, catastrophic insurance with high deductibles and low premiums.
President Obama made a few mis-statements.
You can keep your doctor. In the case of seniors, doctors are opting out of Medicare due to low reimbursement by the Government and this plan will cut it even further.
He also stated UPS and FedEx are competing and doing fine, it's the Post Office that's not.
He makes the case that the Government can't run anything.
Beside the post office being in the red you have Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Amtrak and VA Hospitals to name just a few.
People do not want Government running their lives. Government's track record speaks for itself. Socialized medicine didn't work in Great Britain, Canada, Hawaii or any other place it was tried. Please write to your Congress and Senate. If this plan passes, the cost to taxpayers will be outrageous for years to come.
Health Care ChangesTo The Editor:
President Obama continues to pitch his reckless and unrealistic healthcare initiative to the public. "Big Brother" Obama wants Congress to pass a bill quickly before Congress and the public understand the plan.
A proposed government imposed healthcare program will cost U.S. taxpayers about $1 trillion over 10 years, and the Medicare system will suffer cuts of $500 billion.
Thirteen million illegal aliens will access Obama's healthcare system because many of them have driver's licenses and forged Social Security cards, and Obama's healthcare package does not include verification of citizenship.
Obama says he will have to live with his program, but it is the American people who will have to endure the harmful impact on our healthcare system. About 80% of the American people are satisfied with the best healthcare system in the world.
Any changes will be implemented in 2013, well after the 2012 election. Is this timetable designed to give Obama the opportunity to be re-elected before a failed healthcare program is implemented?
Some European countries and Canada embarked on Socialized health care and they have endured long waiting times for services and reductions in the quality of care due to inadequate numbers of doctors, nurses and hospitals. We could suffer the same fate.
Donald A. Moskowitz