Letters to the Editor
Why is it that when we hear of budget cuts it’s always from something important to all our well-being...like education... police. How come we never hear of budget cuts to the prison system? It seems like only law [a]biding citizens are affected by budget cuts...and in my mind that’s crazy. There are so many other ways to close the gap without hurting our law [a]biding citizens...like double the fine on traffic tickets for anyone who drives for a living...taxies, trucks etc...they should know the traffic laws better than the average Joe, and it will make our streets safer. Lets stop busing our children, and let them go to school in their neighborhoods. And the monies saved on busing could be put into the classrooms w[h]ere it belongs. I live in Maspeth, and have for the last 41 years. Maspeth is still a great place to live, but sadly on a downhill plunge. [B]ring back the beat cop, give him a large ticket book and it will pay the way for him being there...and relocate the meter maids to very busy streets ...like [Q]ueens [B]lvd. etc. Is it just me who feel[s] our leaders and law makers are brain dead?
Support the UFTTo The Editor:
Again I have received another flier in the mail sponsored by Education Reform Now. As the mother of three children being educated in the NYC Public School System, as well as an educator in the same system, I have to let you know that I am disturbed by the current attacks on the teachers’ union. While I know that there are plenty of tenured teachers that simply should not be in the classroom, the attacks are clearly geared towards the teachers’ union itself. I am certainly not fooled by the hype and support of charter schools! All schools should be unionized, including charter schools, and all children deserve a great education from teachers protected by the Union. The teachers I work with are some of the most educated, hard-working people I know and they deserve all the benefits provided by the Union and more–much more! Privatized education that profits from the working class taxpayers will not provide those benefits or a better education for our children.
U.S. Is VulnerableTo The Editor:
The recent attempted car bombing in New York City by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen who was born and raised in Pakistan, reveals the susceptibility of this country to acts of terrorism.
Although the explosive devices planted in New York City did not work, this event serves to point out that New York City continues to be a target for terrorism. Other cities could be potential targets for Taliban and al Qaida terrorists emanating from Middle East countries or by a minority of U.S. citizens with loyalties to these groups.
We have to carefully screen people try- ing to enter the U.S. from high threat countries. We have to infiltrate agents into terrorist organizations outside and inside this country. We should report individuals who threaten this country or profess loyalty to countries and organizations that espouse the destruction of the U.S.
We need to tighten up and enact laws that will allow us to document individuals who gain naturalized American citizenship by marrying U.S. citizens, and who might be threats to this country. Particular attention should be paid to applicants from countries that house, support, train and promote terrorism.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Wins ScholarshipTo The Editor:
I’m very pleased to announce that Jeannette Ortega, the daughter of Vico and Rita Ortega, owners and proprietors of La Flor Restaurant, Woodside, currently graduating from Archbishop Molloy H.S., has won a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts. Amherst is a liberal arts, top-10 college, which ranks right up there with Williams and Harvard.
Woodsiders should be proud of the upscale La Flor upscale daughter, Jeannette. Congratulations to the Ortega family!
Trees Planted BadlyTo The Editor:
Liz Goff, Million Tree Plantings Raise Maintenance Questions, Gazette, May 26, 2010 [is] a great little article that addresses another of the Bloomberg multi-million taxpayer fiascos. The NYC DPR 1-million tree project was best designed for daffodils in mind rather than long-lived trees. That under this project, these trees in the future shall have costly maintenance requirements that may not be attended to due to already sparse public fiscal resources. The 1-million trees project remains a numbers game rather than an attempt to green our communities.
Should you care to use your article to spring-board into investigating the costly consequences of mismanagement of this project, it may pay to begin to interview independent NYC arborists. These arborists, including myself have strong views as to how our great urban forest and our irreplaceable tree resources should be be better managed and who may help you in your reporting on matters of important public interest.
Carsten W. Glaeser Ph.D, ASCA
Maintain Street TreesTo The Editor:
I would like to thank Ms. [Liz] Goff for her article discussing some of the pitfalls (no pun intended) of the Million Trees initiative (Million Tree Plantings Raise Maintenance Questions, Gazette, May 26, 2010).
As a Consulting Arborist, working on city projects, I find it quite fascinating that the city has money to contract out the purchase and planting of all these hundreds of thousands of trees, but no money to hire staff to maintain its existing plantings, new or otherwise.
Curbside trees require maintenance! We are asking trees that normally grow in a forest setting with ample room to put their roots out wherever they will, to grow sealed into a coffin, surrounded by impermeable pavement without the necessary soil, air or water to thrive. While some trees find a way to break out of their coffin and live to maturity, the norm for a tree’s life expectation on NYC’s streets–7 to 10 years–is an indication of the toll the coffin, combined with a lack of maintenance, takes on the potential life span of most trees.
Adding insult to injury, I have recently learned that the city, in its inimitable wisdom, plants Balled and Burlapped (B&B) trees in full leaf. A client in Brooklyn was the recipient of a somewhat forlorn Honey Locust on Wednesday, May 26, the temperature approaching 90, the tree in full leaf and the planting completed without a single drop of water. A thoroughly unprofessional disgrace.
If one goes to the Parks Department Web site to obtain information about tree planting permits: http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_permits _and_applications/forestry_permits.html, one discovers that there are 2 planting seasons and that May 26 is not part of any of them. There is a good reason for that. When a tree is grown in the field and dug as a balled and burlapped tree, approximately 95 percent of its roots are left behind. If trees are dug when dormant, that gives a tree an opportunity, once it’s been planted, to put on some roots before it is subject to the demands of a fully leafedout canopy.
This Honey Locust and all other B&B trees planted in full leaf, will not have that opportunity. Given all the odds of a curbside tree thriving, these trees have begun their life on the street with an added deficit. Why does the city violate its own published stipulations? Tree experts and taxpayers should find this an inexcusable abuse of the tree resource and taxpayer dollars.
The zeal to fulfill the Million Tree initiative should be tempered with a desire to do the right thing. In my professional opinion, the zeal to accomplish the mission has outweighed the fact that trees are living things - both the new ones that are being crammed into the ground and the existing ones that have been living on our streets. Both are being compromised by the lack of professional attention that the young and the mature components of our urban forest require.
As living things, trees have very specific needs. Those needs must be addressed if the investment the city is making with our taxpayer dollars is to be a viable one
ISA Certified Arborist
Rights are In JeopardyTo The Editor:
The concept of our Constitution is the preservation of our liberties by restraint of government authority. Government’s only job is the protection of our life and property. It is not the Marxist redistribution of our wealth, domestically or as foreign aid.
Now that we have allowed government to exceed its legal authority, we have a reversal of this concept. Our property is confiscated by taxes and foreclosures, and lives are lost by undeclared wars, open borders allowing drugs and criminals to access our nation, and legalized abortion. Is it surprising that twice as many people were killed by their own governments in the last century than who died in all its wars? Big government is deadly.
If we do not enslave our government, the government will continue to make slaves of us. Our lives will be micromanaged by bureaucrats and our wealth vanish, and there is no country of refuge to which we can flee.
What makes America different from other nations? Its founding principle is that our rights come from God as the Declaration states, “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Now the teaching of God is banned from the schools, and the children cannot learn their heritage.
Maybe that’s the idea. The state is always in competition with God to replace him as the authority so it can enact the criminal agenda against which our constitutional framers warned us.
Roslyn, New York
Oil Impact GrowsTo The Editor:
As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, and efforts by BP to stop the leak seem not to be working, the ecological and economic damage to the Gulf region continues to grow each day, which is not good at all. All forms of wildlife and sea life have been and will continue to be severely impacted, as will the various industries that rely on the Gulf for their livelihood and annual incomes. Thousands of workers all along the Gulf coast from hotel owners to fishermen to just regular citizens are having their way of life severely impacted by this ecological disaster.
The President should have personally responded much sooner than he did. Hopefully BP will be held accountable by the federal government, and an investigation will be launched to find out how and why there was that explosion on the oil rig that killed 11 workers and started this mess.
Why were there not immediate steps taken by BP to stop the leak? There should not have been any delays with regard to this. Somebody in that company has a lot of explaining to do to the American people, especially the people of the Gulf region, who are being the most severely impacted by this unprecedented disaster.