2010-02-24 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

He Wasn’t Coming Back To The Editor:

I worked with Julie Wager at the Gazette and, when I got to know him, enjoyed his intelligence, humor and kindness.

Julie was especially kind to me when my husband was diagnosed with a disease that has no cure and yet, even though his health was worsening, he always asked after him, talked to me about him and his disease, hugged me when I needed hugging, and donated to the organization that is working against time to find a cure.

When Julie stopped coming to the Gazette I would ask after him and was always told that no one knew when he was coming back.

I had his phone number propped against an antique scale in my kitchen and always intended to call weekly. I didn’t.

I finally got his home address and intended to send a card, a note. I didn’t.

My husband and I were supposed to get together with him for some conversation and whatnot. We didn’t.

We didn’t know he wasn’t coming back.

Rest in peace my friend and know that I will always be thinking of you…
Susan Cleary
Kew Gardens Hills

Cut Foreign Aid

To The Editor:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants to continue to give more foreign aid. Literally trillions of tax dollars have been spent on foreign aid and there is now greater poverty and corruption in the Third World countries than when aid was begun. Over about five decades, African nations have received an estimated trillion dollars and poverty levels have actually increased. Foreign aid usually goes to the governments which keeps them in power rather than to the people because there is no accountability.

It has been said that terrorism has been produced by poverty and oppression. Osama bin Laden didn’t turn to terrorism because he was down and out. He came from a wealthy family and so did the Underwear Bomber. Terrorists frequently make use of assistance flowing from overseas, such as the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). This agency has been infiltrated by Hamas supporters and other Palestinian radicals. It receives over a third of a billion dollars in international funding every year and despite recurrent reports of inefficiency and corruption, it has never been audited.

Foreign governments have their hands out in Washington for additional aid by lobbying American legislators. American taxpayers get shaken down to pay foreign governments. It’s time that we cut down on foreign aid, and it should be given by private organizations and not the federal government.
Yours truly,
Janet McCarthy
Flushing

Create, Keep U.S. Jobs

To The Editor:

President Obama is promoting a new $300 billion economic stimulus program. When he took office in January 2009 he said the $787 billion stimulus program will create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010 and unemployment will remain below 8.0 percent. Unemployment is hovering around 10.0 percent, and the jobs promised by Obama might hit 1.5 million by the end of 2010, but during the last 13 months we lost 5 million jobs.

The stimulus saved the jobs of municipal workers and provided additional unemployment benefits, but it has not provided jobs in the private sector. The money went to government agencies, colleges, non-profit organizations and entitlement programs. These programs will gen- erate annual deficits of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion for years to come. Our government has squandered our financial resources on failed economic programs and the American work force continues to suffer.

The domestic priority should be creating millions of new jobs, and other domestic initiatives, including healthcare reform, should wait until the economy improves.

The Administration and Congress have to reduce the size of government; cut business taxes, and give U.S. companies incentives to operate in this country, and disincentives to move operations and jobs overseas.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire

Hails Apolo Ohno

To The Editor:

Apolo Ohno now has won the most medals in a Winter Olympics for an American. His dedication to this sport of speed-skating is nothing less than phenomenal. He has displayed character, skill and a tenacious spirit that now has him in seventh heaven. I believe Apolo is a great role model for all of our youth in Queens and that is because if you work hard and really want something anything is possible. Let me give Apolo a high-five for a job well done. Apolo, all of America is proud of your achievements.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

No MTA Cuts

An Open Letter To Mayor Bloomberg Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

When you campaigned for a third term last year, you pledged to New Yorkers that you would ensure that “we get our money’s worth” from the MTA. Today, we’re getting even less for our money, and the MTA is threatening huge fare hikes, devastating service cuts, and even the elimination of student MetroCards and free rides for the disabled.

New Yorkers demand that you show leadership and keep your word, unlike the many other elected officials we have to contend with. Our city’s transit system is in crisis. The cost of a monthly MetroCard could rise to over $100 next year. Service is being cut on dozens of bus and subway lines, while crucial upgrades are being neglected.

Mr. Mayor, we hope that you and other politicians get the message that transplanting the MTA’s woes onto the backs of taxpayers and working families isn’t an option. Please act before March 24, when the MTA is next expected to take action on service cuts and fare hikes, and let them know that you vehemently disagree.

MTA leaders should exhaust all other options before they raise fares or cut services. Students and disabled folks should be able to ride free, because they need them most.

There are plenty of ways you can fix the MTA’s problems. You can direct the MTA to use money it already has to cover its budget shortfall, instead of making riders pay, while pushing dysfunctional Albany to cough up its share.

New York’s public transit system is one of the largest transportation systems in the world, a veritable pillar of our economy, and we need to maintain and upgrade it as a matter of economic necessity.

Even transit experts and some MTA board members want to use the federal stimulus money they already have to help close the MTA’s budget gap, but Chairman Jay Walder opposes that plan, and says all of the MTA’s stimulus money should go to new projects and improvements. It is wrong to pay for new subway lines by cutting old ones.

The federal stimulus program allows the MTA to use some funds to keep trains running and fares under control. Nearly every transit agency in America is using the stimulus program to plug budget holes, except the MTA.

Mayor, you can make this happen, and we are counting on you!
United Communities Alliance
Albert Baldeo, President

Save Right To Bear Arms

To The Editor:

There are more guns in the hands of the American people than in the hands of the combined armies of the world. Somehow, armed civilians worry our government, [which], in turn, machine-gunned women and children to death in Waco, Texas and then burned the evidence. See jbs.org

In Switzerland, every able bodied male receives military training and, upon completion, is required to keep his assault rifle in his home until he is 65. Break-ins are rare as are shootings, and Switzerland has not been invaded in over 200 years. Is gun ownership a bad policy?

Those politicians who want us disarmed are the same ones who took God out of our schools, outsourced our economy, armed and financed our enemies and leave our borders open to terrorists and criminals. Should we give up our arms to this bunch?
Defend our republic,
Lawrence Burke
Roslyn, New York

Water Rate Hikes Appall

To The Editor:

It was with the greatest of interest that I read the Feb. 17, 2010 issue of the Gazette and found the articles to be insightful and interesting and worthy of comment and sharing with the fellow readers in the editor’s column of your newspaper.

I really am appalled and disappointed at the 12 percent increase of water rates decided by the Water Board prior to the actual issuing of the budget of New York City for the new fiscal year of July 1/June 30. This is unfair to place an extra burden upon the already financially strapped people of the city who are suffering from unemployment and struggling to get along financially.

It seems that one increase after another is occurring, concerning Con Edison, bus and subway, water, tolls and property taxes and there are more to come.

Also, I agree with Helen Marshall and all of the legislative leaders on all levels of government with their concern for the Queens borough with closing of libraries and limiting of services for zoos, museums, social and senior services and advocacy for children and Queens is treated like a stepchild although it is the largest, diverse borough with people of all ages who are in need.

Also the one hospital that is in dire need of expansion, Mount Sinai Queens, needs to build another emergency room which will help so many of the elderly and children who are in need of medical attention.

Community boards, which are the link between the citizens and residents of Queens and official departments and who help so many in work that 311 cannot do, cannot be limited in services.

People should be placed first. In addition, the closing of 20 firehouses in light of that horrible fire in Jackson Heights that devastated 13 stores in the area and nearly killed and injured so many people indicates that fires are dangerous and firehouses and firefighters nearest to the fire area must be kept open.To close firehouses is a violation of the religious commandment that we must save a life and that the preservation of human life is extremely important.

Public officials must not play God and eliminate firehouses that are vital in times of fires, emergencies and terrorism and other crises.

The legislature upstate in Albany and the governor must not shortchange us and must give us our due share of money and NYC pays the state the most taxes but is deliberately denied the necessary money to carry on the affairs of the city.

I also applaud the students who are doing so well in swimming and are channeling their energies to do achievements that are positive.

I also am glad that there is a textbook fund for the LaGuardia Community College and big foundations and corporations must be involved in achieving scholarships and textbooks for this vital part of the educational institution. To leave this fundraising activity to the already financially strapped public is unfair since the public finds it difficult to feed family, pay rent and medical bills. All should work together both in the corporate world, in the foundational world and privately to achieve this important goal.

I applaud Congressmember [Carolyn] Maloney for her bill to create jobs in small businesses by giving them tax breaks or credits. Small businesses are the heart and soul of employment and consumerism.

I thank the Gazette every week for bringing to me vital news of my community.
Cynthia Groopman
Long Island City

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