Letters to the Editor
A copy of this letter was received by the
District Attorneys Association of the State of
Derek P. Champagne, President
Franklin County District Attorney
355 West Main Street
Malone, NY 12953
Janet DiFiore, President-Elect
Westchester County District Attorney
Richard J. Daronco Courthouse
111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. White
Plains, NY 10601
I hope this note finds you and your offices enjoying our beautiful New York summer, and allowing staff at least one day a month to enjoy time out of Court and their respective bureaus. Of course I thank you personally, and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) generally, for the difficult work you regularly undertake on behalf of all New Yorkers. The day-to-day operations and management of an office doesn’t leave much free time; that you volunteer yours to guide criminal justice discussions is a testament to your dedication to these vital matters.
This letter is sent in response to a very specific policy concern implicated by the recent and highly publicized Casey Anthony verdict. As you know, Ms. Anthony was found not guilty on the charge of first-degree murder in the death of her two-year old daughter, Caylee.
As the mother of two young children around the same age as Caylee was, I am deeply saddened by the circumstances around this tragic case. If for any reason either of my boys disappeared, the authorities would have been notified within minutes. As an attorney, I have respect for the system that found Ms. Anthony to be not guilty of first-degree murder, but especially troubling, as it was an underlying problem with the investigation and subsequent prosecution, is the fact that Ms. Anthony did not notify authorities of her daughter’s disappearance until more than a month later. While common sense suggests why the authorities were not notified, we must operate in the world of facts that can be substantiated.
Legislating is about problem solving, and I believe it is a significant problem that New York state has no mandatory reporting law for parents, legal guardians, caretakers or other responsible adults to not notify law enforcement of the death of their child, accidental or otherwise, within a timely manner of the death being discovered. I am drafting legislation requiring this reporting and making failure to do so a felony. In addition, I am drafting additional legislation to make it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, caretaker or other responsible adult to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of their child within a timely manner of the disappearance being discovered. I hope your offices can be a resource in discussing and shaping the details of this legislation, and in advocating for its adoption into law.
I hope that New York state can do its part to ensure that there will be no more cases like Casey Anthony’s. I would like to work with DAASNY on this legislation and hope to hear from you soon.
Member of Assembly
cc: Hon. Sheldon Silver
Hon. Joseph Lentol
State Assembly Codes Committee
Hon. Dean Skelos
Hon. Stephen Saland
NYS Senate Codes Committee
To The Editor:
All the noise coming out of Washington is disparaging and disrespectful of the American people. Our elective representatives have never threatened the full faith and credit of the nation. Yet the U.S. stands today with dead beat nations facing default.
The contest between the various groups participating in this theatre of dismay seem intent upon winning points with their base rather than attending to the business and welfare of the nation. Their collective abandonment of their oath of office justifies recall petitions.
If the consequences were not as draconian as they are the DC show would be laughable. Yet every American will be paying for this assassination of our nation’s creditworthiness for generations to come. The coming onslaught to the stock market, unemployment, house devaluation and outrageous interest rates on everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards will make the Great Recession seem a pleasant memory. The Great Depression may eventually be seen as mild compared to the lasting effects a default will have.
Congress passed the budgets that required the expenditures by the government to pay the bills knowing that borrowing would be required. Now that the money needed to honor the obligations congress freely imposed upon the nation has come due it is amazing they would refuse to ante up. If the debt ceiling is not raised those opposed will have far more to be concerned with then the deficit and debt.
This country is in very serious financial trouble and if it cannot meet its debts. Millions of Americans, including myself, who depend on Social Security, retirement or disability, will not be able to receive their checks. How are we going to be able to pay our bills and meet our financial responsibilities if we do not receive our checks? How did this nation ever become so messed up? What are our elected representatives in Washington doing about this impending crisis? The President and Congress must arrive at some type of consensus to head off this impending financial disaster. No American should have to worry about how they are going to pay their bills. The founding fathers of our nation must be turning over in their graves.
Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
Angel To The Rescue
To The Editor:
On May 19, my wife Muriel and I came home from shopping at about 12:30 p.m. when she smelled something burning. We dismissed it and went upstairs to our apartment. My wife put away our groceries while I went inside to watch the television. Not satisfied, she went back into the hall and noticed that there still was a burning odor and went downstairs to investigate. She noticed that the odor was coming from our neighbor Dominic Vetro’s apartment. She knocked but there was no answer. The smell got stronger and my wife began knocking on all the neighbor’s doors but most where out. She then called 911 and asked for the fire department and then called our super Eddie who came in just a few minutes. Both Eddie and my wife went to Dominic’s apartment and knocked again but there was still no answer. Five minutes later three fire trucks arrived and Eddie showed the firefighters where the windows to Dominic’s apartment were facing. The firefighters got a ladder and went into the apartment to find something burning on the stove and discovered Dominic passed out on the floor. An ambulance came and took Dominic to Mount Sinai Queens. All thanks to my little hero Muriel (Mitchie).
The Loss Of Patriotism
To The Editor:
“We sang beautiful patriotic hymns that only the adults knew because the songs are no longer taught at school.” This was part of an email describing the wonderful patriotic services held in a rural church in Central Kentucky. The songs they were speaking of were basics to American patriotism: “My Country Tis Of Thee”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America”. I spoke with young people in my home area of Northwest Louisiana and they confirmed also that patriotic songs are not taught in their schools. We, the American taxpayers, are paying for public education where patriotism is considered politically incorrect. This is doubly true when patriotism involves mentioning God as in the songs listed above. Several years ago, I saw a chart of the history of the national averages on the ACT and SAT scores. These scores peaked and began their downward spiral very close to the occurrence of one major American educational event. That event was the establishment of the national Department of Education. As the control of education has been taken away from local and state governments and given to the federal government our educational systems have declined. History books have totally eliminated unedited copies of original documents like the Declaration of Independence since it speaks of unalienable rights endowed by a creator God. The text of the Mayflower Compact is excluded because it is way too religious. Local PTAs are usually involved with fundraising and other school benefit projects, but have little or no input into what is taught in the classroom. There are many movements today to take America back from those who are destroying her. But until we take back the educational system, we will not be able to take back the nation.
Author of In God We Trust-The Faith of the
Men on Our Money
Fix Swipe Fees
To The Editor:
As a small business owner who can personally attest to the hard-hitting nature of swipe fees, I was pleased when Congress took action last year to put reasonable limits on the fees that big banks and credit card companies have used to exploit small businesses and consumers for years. After all, swipe fees have been holding back small businesses for years, and swipe fee rates that are more reflective of the actual cost of transaction processing would free up some much-needed capital that would enable me to expand my business, offer more competitive prices or even give back to the community by sponsoring a local little league team. However, I was disappointed when the Federal Reserve issued final rules that will cap debit card swipe fees at 21 cents after proposing a much lower limit of 12 or even seven cents. This was after finding that the actual cost per transaction for the banks and credit card companies is just four cents, which means under the new rules they are still guaranteed at least a 400 percent profit on each transaction. I am grateful that folks in Washington, D.C. are trying to fix the interchange system that is clearly broken and welcome the lower fees that will take effect in October. But I am disappointed by this less-thanideal fix that clearly favors Wall Street.
Owner, Choice Security, Jamaica
To The Editor,
As we have just celebrated the fourth of July, it makes one think of where we have come from and where we are going, as a nation.
When America came into existence, it held forth to other lands, in the words of John Quincy Adams, “hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. America has spoken of the language of equal liberty, equal justice and equal rights. She has respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own”.
Since the post World War II era, we have been surrendering our independence piece by piece to the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and to a myriad of other international organizations we have created to perpetuate our dependence on foreign rulers, foreign alliances and foreign capital to keep our nation going.
We have all but made America a debtor’s nation, enslaving future generations with a level of debt that will force them to choose between lives of crushing poverty or national bankruptcy.
The United States is not the liberator of the world. America’s glory is not dominion, but liberty.
Fracking Not Safe
To The Editor:
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is fraught with dangers for the environment, not the least of which is tailing ponds. A single well in the fracking process can produce over a million gallons of wastewater containing carcinogens, radioactive elements and corrosive salts. After a well is fracked, this polluted wastewater is a long term environmental problem. One solution has been to place it in huge man-made ponds. As the fracking surge accelerates, these toxic lakes will multiply across the country posing a threat to the environment and the population.
In addition to the pollution issue is the need for extraordinary amounts of water to carry out the process. A Canadian company by the name of Ridgeline Energy Services has commercialized an economic means of producing fuel recovered from wastewater. The process also produces a treated water product to customer specifications that can be re-used.
A prolonged economic downturn is pitting long-term public safety against what could be merely short-term job creation. Projected gas production of the wells has recently come under fire by some industry insiders raising doubts in some circles about the viability of fracking over the longer term.
Our politicians have a tough choice to make in regard to fracking. For those in economically strapped regions of the country employment is a top priority, but at what cost to public health?
In the interest of full disclosure, Ridgeline Energy Services is one of my clients.