2010-10-27 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Takes Times To Task
(A copy of the following letter was
received by the Gazette.)
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York 10018-1405
Attn: Publisher, Mr. Arthur Sulzberger

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

As you know, I defended the right of the Brooklyn Museum to display the outrageous so-called representation of Mary, whom Catholics and I believe to be the Blessed Mother of God, in a painting covered in dung. This, despite the then Catholic mayor’s attempt to defund the museum, which as the Speaker I defeated. I said then, as I say now, that anyone under our Constitution has a right to free speech, no matter how I or we vehemently disagree, as I most certainly did in this disgusting exhibit.

I did not take that position because I am a Catholic Daily Communicant and Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, but rather as the head of the City Council, the lawmaking body of the City of New York. Both the mayor and I, as well as nearly all right thinking New Yorkers, condemned the museum for such a despicable display of poor judgment.

Free speech, however, carries with it certain responsibilities, most especially when the revered motto of your newspaper is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. Do you really believe that recommending an exhibit or play that features the most respected Cardinal O’Connor alongside a life-sized condom saying “Know Your Scumbags”, is really news that is fit to print?

Archbishop Dolan is exactly right in calling you to task as it is more and more apparent that your newspaper is sinking back into the nineteenth century when the Times was admittedly and virulently anti- Catholic. Your reports and commentaries seem to rejoice in reporting the negative when it comes to Catholics, and avoiding the positive except when it comes to all others.

You are on a very slippery slope and in danger of changing your motto to “All the News That’s Fit to Print, except when it comes to Catholics”. It is time to stop!
Very truly yours,
Peter F. Vallone [Sr.]
Former City Council Speaker

Amtrak Safety & Security

(A copy of this letter was received by the
Joseph Boardman
Amtrak President and CEO
60 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Dear Mr. Boardman:

I write regarding a serious situation affecting the safety and security of Western Queens residents.

It has come to my attention that recent track work on the Amtrak trestle near 23rd Street between 22nd Drive and 22nd Road caused debris to fall down onto a resident’s car, shattering a window. Luckily, no one was hurt but this is not the first time an incident like this occurred in our neighborhood. Just last year, a 5-foot piece of debris fell into a resident’s backyard (see attached article).

While I understand certain track work must take place to keep the system running efficiently, I am concerned that absolutely no notice is provided to community residents when construction is taking place. If Amtrak personnel and equipment are at work directly above our heads, a “heads up” is the least that should be expected.

Accordingly, I respectfully request an explanation of the cause of this latest incident and a detailed account of exactly what work was taking place at the time the incident occurred. Furthermore, I would appreciate being provided with the details of any public notification plan your agency has for maintenance work and, if there is not one currently in place, request that one be created and immediately implemented in coordination with my office.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the safety of all residents utilizing Amtrak and the areas surrounding Amtrak tracks in Western Queens. Please call me if you have any questions.
Michael Gianaris
Member of Assembly

Why Not Levy-Paladino?

To The Editor:

After watching the debate for governor, you had to wonder if the Republican and Conservative Party leadership have buyers’ remorse. “Debate Brings Some Serious Talk, Lots Of Laughs” (John Toscano, October 20). Imagine if instead of attempting to impose former Long Island Congressmember Rick Lazio (who subsequently dropped out) on party members, they allowed Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy the opportunity to run in each respective party primary? Levy already had name recognition, $4 million in campaign funds and real life executive experience in managing a large suburban county with a multibillion dollar budget. Levy has already implemented many of the reforms on the county level that Democratic attorney general and candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo promised to accomplish in Albany during the debate. Most of Cuomo’s proposed budget, regulatory and good government reforms will be dead on arrival once reaching Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver’s desk. Imagine a ticket of Levy for governor and Paladino for lieutenant governor. Combine their respective Long Island and Western New York political bases and campaign funding. The team of Levy and Paladino could have brought real change to Albany.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Air Your Views–Vote

To The Editor:

On November 2, the citizens of the United States will hold an election. This is an opportunity to air our views. I hope all registered voters realize its importance. Federal, state and city representatives have a dismal record in governing their constituents. The country faces serious issues which legislators refuse or lack the ability to address.

Among these are two interminable wars, high unemployment numbers, immigration chaos, educational disarray, skyrocketing taxes, outsourcing of jobs and government attacks on our assets and retirement plans. They campaign on the slogan, “No new taxes”, but they continue to tax in other ways.

Our Social Security cost of living adjustment has been discontinued for at least two years. Working people have seen increases in Social Security and Medicare withholding taxes. Real estate, water and sewer taxes go up annually. Auto registrations, auto drivers’ and other license fees also rise. Commutation and recreational fees are also part of the increases.

Our retirement assets and homes are also jeopardized by the insatiable appetite of the federal tax system. Anyone who prepared for retirement in a prudent manner is at risk. They are forced to hire estate lawyers and estate planners to protect themselves from the government they elected.

Along with this, we find the moral standards at a low level. An inordinate number of [people] engage in criminal behavior. Ethical standards are low and morality is sparse. Misconduct of that magnitude in such a relatively small group can only exist with the knowledge of the others. If not involved there is indifference to the cancer.

The current incumbents have been entrenched for years. The indifference of the voters has given them a feeling of security. In the primaries and general election we are offered a slate of weak opposition candidates. Unknowns, retreads and inexperienced people are put on the slate. This allows the incumbent another term in office to continue his ways unchallenged. A vote for the challengers is not likely to have any immediate effect. It will however let them realize we are voting for real change. So voters, vote carefully and send the message we do care and want our views considered.
D. Walsh

Let Kids’ Diets Alone

To The Editor:

How can Congress, with so many overweight members, have the nerve to talk about child obesity? Their concern should be for their own waistlines, not our children’s weight. We didn’t elect them to be our fat police. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows Washington to control what we eat.

Are they really so concerned over child obesity, or is there something more here? Control of food by government is a totalitarian agenda for controlling populations with rationing and long lines. Remember the created famine in the Ukraine where nine million starved to death by Socialist Russia? All governments are inherently evil. Recall what the feds did to the Davidians in Waco and to their children.

Usurping control of school lunches from moms is a step toward controlling all of our food. What will be the next step? Huge corporate farms have replaced family owned farms and gmo [sic] foods are being grown on a larger scale every year in spite of the dangers they pose, and this is taking place globally.

Our obese government should be put on a diet and our food supply should be liberated from the cartels before we suffer the fate of the Ukrainians and are controlled by rationing. Big government is antithetical to freedom and life.
Lawrence Burke
Roslyn, New York

Why Meter Transmitters?

To The Editor:

It has just come to my attention that the DEP has hired Constructamax to install small radio transmitters to water meters within the next three years. These lowpower transmitters will send water [meter] readings through a network of rooftop receivers to a computererized billing system up to four times a day.

If this system is hacked into, just knowing your water usage, [any]one can determine your schedule and when you are away on vacation. Is it worth the probability of this happening just so we can monitor our water usage every day?

Furthermore, how many people are going to rush to their Web site each day to see if they have a leak?
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Applauds Volunteers

To The Editor:

Several topics that are presented on the media, both television and radio, are worthy of sharing with fellow Gazette readers through the editor’s page.

I applaud the volunteers in Brooklyn who packed the boxes that will be sent out in November for the Meals on Wheels [for] disabled and elderly frail homebound people.

This is the highest good deed, to serve the Lord through helping others, and to demonstrate to the homebound that someone cares about them, and they are not alone.

As a telephone support and reassurance caller of homebound senior citizens for almost 20 years, I can know their hearts and feel their pain and empathize with their being alone.

These people were the foundation of our society and deserve so much in return.

I applaud the volunteers of NY Cares for their sprucing up the public schools of our city. Due to budget cuts, these schools need sprucing up and financial resources are not available.

Again it is the highest good deed to volunteer, to share and give of oneself to make it a better world for all.

The debate amongst the seven candidates for governor of New York state was really a mockery and a joke. The issues were not presented in a mature, professional manner. How can the voters be informed if there is not a rational debate where the important issues and how to solve the state’s problems are not presented?

Years ago, debates were actually debates and there was a winner. These are now open forums and there is really no winner and no bottom line.

Still, there is lots of uncertainty as to which candidate will be suitable for our state.

Our candidates [had] better wake up and realize that to run a government, they must be equipped with know-how, experience and how to discuss and debate issues in a way so the citizens can make the best choice.
Cynthia Groopman
Long Island City

Thank You Sen. Padavan

(A copy of this letter was received at the
Honorable Frank Padavan
New York State Senate
89-39 Gettysburg Street
Bellerose, NY 11426
Dear Senator Padavan:

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak at our 8th Annual “Journey of Hope” Community Mental Health Awards luncheon on Friday, October 15.

Your talk was sincere and informative. Your experience, dedication and commitment is well recognized in our community by the people who serve the mentally ill population as well as the clients themselves. We are honored to have the opportunity to recognize your accomplishments by naming Federation’s Building 74 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center “The Frank Padavan Residence”.

Once again, thank you for contributing to the day and for all you have done for the mental health community. We look forward to partnering with you in the future.
Best regards,
Ruth Del Col
Director of Development
Jo Nuzzo
Program Manager
Federation of Organizations
Concerned Citizens for Creedmoor

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