Letters to the Editor
To The Editor:
Osama is dead. Long overdue and too many years have passed diminishing the effect of killing the monster. Al-Qaeda has diversified since 9/11 with affiliates throughout the world. The U.S. and other nations have seen the results of home-grown terrorists who came to age during the manhunt for bin-Laden. The terrorist threat unfortunately continues and it should be expected that a revenge attack will occur.
The compound which became bin-Laden’s grave was close to Pakistan’s capital and near a military installation. The numerous claims by Pakistan’s intelligence service and government that bin-Laden’s location was unknown to them must be severely questioned. The fact that the U.S. acted without prior notification to the Pakistanis clearly indicates our government’s lack of belief or trust in them.
The Pakistanis have permitted terrorists to occupy the Northern Territories abutting Afghanistan providing safe haven for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters to kill American and Coalition forces. The Pakistanis have stated that intrusions into their sovereign space would be met with military force even if Coalition forces were in hot pursuit of fighters who attacked our troops.
The U.S. has provided Pakistan with billions of dollars in foreign and military aid. Much of those funds have been squandered and used to bolster their forces confronting India. It seems clear that our money was not used to find bin- Laden or any terrorist intent upon killing Americans. It is time to realize Pakistan for what it is. Pakistan is a terrorist threat to the
U.S. and Western nations.
God Bless America
To the Editor:
The coward who showed no respect for human life by murdering so many innocent people on 9/11 was finally hunted down and slaughtered like the mad dog that he was. A very appropriate end for someone who preached that killing innocent people is a virtue. God Bless America and all of those risking their lives each day to protect us from madmen like this.
Charles M. Barthold
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Census Numbers Wrong
A copy of this letter was received by the
United States Attorney-Eastern Division
Eastern District of New York
271 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dear Ms. Lynch:
I write regarding a serious situation affecting the people of Queens County and New York state.
According to the results of the 2010 census, there are close to 8.2 million residents in the city of New York, a quarter of a million less than the Census Bureau predicted only last year. The same data indicates 2,230,722 residents of Queens County—a laughable increase of only 1,343 people from a decade ago.
This vast miscalculation is extremely troubling given the serious consequences that a misrepresentation of the number of actual residents in the borough of Queens would have on the lives of New Yorkers, including but not limited to, cheating them out of proper representation in government and reducing federal aid for vital social programs, necessary transportation enhancements and crucial anti-terror measures.
Anyone who has actually set foot in Queens in the last 10 years knows without a doubt that its population has dramatically increased over that time. A quick glance at the number of new buildings sprouting up, increasing rents, packed subways and crowded sidewalks make it obvious that the population has spiked upward by more than the 1,300 people claimed by the census. For the Census Bureau to suggest otherwise calls into question the validity of its data not only in Queens County, but throughout the country.
In response to these outrageous census numbers Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated, “It seems evident to us that something incongruous happened in the census count.”
Along with my fellow Queens senators, I wrote to the committees of jurisdiction in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate calling for an investigation into the census figures.
I write to you today based on new information indicating malfeasance that may rise to the level of criminal culpability. A recent article by Elizabeth Daley of the Queens Chronicle, “Making Sense of the 2010 Census”, April 14, 2011, cites very disturbing incidents related to the conduct of census managers. Specifically, Ms. Daley’s sources reveal that census workers in Queens were ordered by managers to “slow down” their efforts and “stretch your cases”. Further, falsified surveys were submitted that had to be corrected and workers were told to “guess” when filling out census information.
Given the serious consequences of these [alleged] misdeeds, I believe that an investigation by your office into the census process is warranted. Accordingly, I respectfully request that you take all appropriate action to uncover what went wrong with the recent census process in order to hold accountable anyone who may have engaged in misconduct.
I would greatly appreciate being informed as appropriate of any relevant information that may be revealed through such an investigation.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
New York State Senate
12th Senate District
To the Editor:
In the 40 years since the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created, the agency has led the way to historic declines in workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Today OSHA continues to make a difference in the lives of all workers by ensuring that businesses in New York City and across the nation provide safe and healthful conditions for their workers.
At the turn of the 20th century, death in American workplaces was all too common, working conditions were dreadful and few laws existed to protect workers. Through efforts by individual workers, unions, employers, government agencies, and others, significant progress has been made in improving workplace conditions.
Since OSHA’s inception in 1970, workplace fatalities have been cut by more than 65 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 67 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now totals more than 107 million workers at 7.6 million worksites.
In 1970, on average, 38 American workers were killed on the job every day. That rate has now fallen to just over 12 workers per day. Still, there is clearly much work to be done to ensure that all workers can be productive and safe, while looking forward to a retirement free from disabling occupational disease and injury.
In Queens, fall hazards continue to be a serious condition that our inspectors find in far too many inspections. Between October 2009 and October 2010, OSHA’s Queens District Office conducted 123 inspections in the borough under its local emphasis program on fall hazards and assessed $290,121 in fines for 419 violations identified during those inspections. Clearly, these numbers are too high.
Falls are the type of preventable hazard for which there has long been in place commonsense OSHA regulations designed to keep workers safe and earning a paycheck, while also allowing businesses to continue to operate without tragic interruption and the high worker retraining, insurance and compensation costs that accompany workplace injuries and deaths. On-the-job hazards can be prevented and eliminated by employers and workers laboring together to keep their workplaces safe.
During the past four decades, OSHA has had a positive impact in the lives of all Americans. However, until every worker can return home safely, free from harm at the end of the day, we must celebrate cautiously and never lose sight of the fact that no job is a good job unless it’s also a safe job.
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Queens District Office
Little Neck, N.Y.
To The Editor:
President [Barack] Obama’s budget speech of April 13 confirms how quickly and successfully America’s values and principles have been compromised. Consider his lies and the false premise that a tax cut is government expenditure. A tax cut is “government spending only if you assume the wealth of citizens belongs to the government”. As self-appointed chief accountant and arbiter of our needs, he imperiously declares “Warren Buffet doesn’t need a tax cut.” To whom does the money belong in the first place?
The president defends raising taxes because we must all pay our fair share so no one group bears all the burden. The inconvenient truth is that 10 percent of the top earners pay 70 percent of the federal taxes. Almost 50 percent of citizens pay no taxes at all and 30 percent of those receive welfare in the form of EITC. What level of math competency is necessary to figure out something is wrong with that picture?
President Obama’s vision of America is one where the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is subordinate to the needs and redistributive goals of the government. Our property rights have been redefined, actions monitored and regulated and our choices limited. I don’t think a government that bans foods and lunches from home, controls our health care, stifles individual initiatives, nurtures dependence on government assistance, and body searches [of] six- and eight-year-olds at the airport is capable of keeping us healthy or safe.
It is incomprehensible and frustrating to see so many willing to cede so many freedoms for a failed and discredited progressive vision of a utopia of security and entitlements.
Happy Mother’s Day
To The Editor:
Mother’s Day will be soon upon us and I find myself reflecting about my mother, as I know a lot of us are doing as well. I have found myself thinking about my youth, growing up in Queens Village in the ’50s and ’60s. We lived in a corner house on 213th Street with my father and two blind elderly boarders my mother would take care of and who she would treat as family. The old neighborhood has changed a lot and many have moved or passed on, the stores have changed and names have changed as well. I remember on a spring day my mother would be tending to her roses and her vegetable garden that she gave as much care and love as she did her family, not quite unlike what most mothers do today. I remember playing with the kids on the block where we played hopscotch, stickball, and Chinese jump rope or maybe just rode our bikes. There were stores where my mother would send me on errands over on 99th Avenue, which was only two blocks away. There was Yugo’s Deli and Scotty’s Variety Store where you could get breakfast and lunch, buy the newspaper and my favorite candy and comic books. I also remember Schaefer’s Malt Shop on 212th Street and Jamaica Avenue that was run by a German family who made the best ice cream in Queens Village. Also, I remember when I was younger my mother would take me by the hand and would go in there if I was good. I remember my mother trying to impress on me the importance of respect for authority and I have never forgotten what she said to me back then. Now that reminds me that back then, towards the end of day, usually around six o’clock, I remember my mother stepping out on the stoop and yelling out my name, “Freddie, dinner time”. It seem[ed] this scene would echo up and down the block as other mothers would be doing the same. Mothers, I think, have tried to keep family on an even keel, just like today. I also remember Sunday, which was a little different back then, where whole families, no matter what your faith, would all get dressed up and go to our respected houses of worship and that scene could be seen all over Queens Village. I guess it was like the old saying, “A family that prays together stays together.” Well I think it did work. As we approach Mother’s Day and many of us will be thinking of our mothers on this special day but maybe we should all be thinking of our mothers 365 days of the year and thank them for all they have done for us. Like my father said when my mother passed away when I was 14, “Never forget your mother”, well I never did. Now mothers everywhere let me say, “Happy Mother’s Day”. And to my mother who gave me much love, thank you for helping me be all that I am today.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village