2012-03-14 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Collect Student Loans

To The Editor:

There is another solution to President Obama’s proposed budget to help rein in college costs. President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi along with many other members of his Congressional leadership team, including our own Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand continue to be silent on a key issue concerning millions of Americans who have benefited from being able to attend college on student loans. This has given them access to joining the middle class.

Sadly, too many students then stuck Uncle Sam with the bill. Despite being successfully employed for years at well-paying jobs, there are several hundred thousand former students with ample incomes who refuse to pay off their student loans.

Taxpayers are left with billions of dollars in uncollected debts. Collecting some of these outstanding debts could fully fund the Pell grants everyone wants to preserve.

Given that we are now burdened with over $16 trillion in long-term debt, equal attention must be paid to this scandal as well. Why not start by denying federal and state tax refunds to those deadbeats who look for a free ride at our expense? When will the White House and Congress speak up on this issue as well and introduce appropriate legislation to assist in collecting these outstanding debts? Time will tell.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Economy No. 1 Issue

To The Editor

As 2012 moves along, there has been an improvement, be it ever so slight, in the unemployment figures. It currently stands at 8.3 percent, which is a slight drop from last year. However, there are still over three million Americans out of work, and that figure actually is larger, because many unemployed people have simply stopped looking for work. Our country needs to have significant improvement in its economy, along with more jobs for the unemployed, and a reduction in prices on everything from food to fuel to health care and credit card and mortgage rates. The American people will have their voices heard at the voting booth this November. It is time for big changes and they must happen very soon!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Gas Up Again!

To The Editor:

As a consumer and one who depends on driving to get to work, I am appalled how I and others are being ripped off at the pump. Now, I am not an expert about the reasons for the spike at the pumps but I feel the reasons are most troubling.

There are the threats coming from Iran and then there are the Democrats’ policies that do little to stop the rising costs at the pump. Then there are the Wall Street speculators who make profits when the price of oil is forced up—all at the consumers’ expense.

We have the Democrats and Republicans who have different approaches which do little to keep the price at the pump down. The Democrats’ answer is more fuel-efficient cars, which will take years to accomplish. Then you have the Republicans’ answer, which is drill, drill, drill. This might help in the long run but not in the short-term.

Now let’s talk about the oil companies through all this. Well they are alive and well and will make millions.

I don’t know the answer but I think the silent majority needs to rise up and say, “Enough is enough, for we are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore.” One way is to write numerous letters to our elected representatives and ask them to do something and not lie to us or we, the people, will remember them when we vote this coming Election Day. Remember, we have the power and we will be listened to!

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village, NY

Dangerous Crossing

To The Editor:

Since nothing has been done to the cross street of 31st Street and Broadway (under the subway), I thought it was time to drop a line regarding same.

This street is full of crevices all over, where one can fall to the extent of breaking not only one leg but two.

Is the city so blinded by the sight of this street?

It has been way over a year or so.

Ambulances are always there and yet the city is so numb regarding this street.

Can the Gazette be the one to try to get something done, before a tragedy happens?

Thanks for whatever you can do to help.

Josephine T. Tanalski
Astoria, NY

Congratulations, Gazette

To The Editor:

Congratulations on 30 years of being our source of information, bringing us each and every Wednesday exciting news, news that inspires, motivates us, enhances our lives and causes us to think and make a difference in this world. I truly enjoy the Gazette and look forward to each and every issue, and the honor of appearing in its pages with my pictures featuring my awards, and also my letters to the editor.

I really was fascinated about the explanation of leap years and leap days and all the names of sports, music stars and celebrities who were born on February 29.

Your explanation of the historical calendars and scientific facts were concise, simple and truly appreciated.

I applaud Congressmember Joe Crowley for his tireless dedication and advocacy since 2002 and his caring about first responders communication. Now it is wonderful news to learn that there will be one channel of communication for all first responders. That will save lives, as well as promote public safety, which are precious indeed since life is such a priceless gift.

I also am glad that the bicycle safety and crime prevention by 114th Precinct is moving forward not only to protect bicyclists from harm and from harming others but also from theft.

I was not happy to learn that crime, and specifically, theft have risen in the area.

When police presence is diminished due to budget cuts, then crime rises and the public safety is badly compromised.

I also am glad that the 114th Precinct will conduct evaluations or assessments of small businesses and homes concerning safety and security. All houses of worship, senior centers, schools, private homes and apartment buildings must have security cameras.

Again, thanks, Gazette for the many years and for the many stories and articles presented to us in three decades.

Cynthia Groopman
Long Island City, NY

Kick The Habit

To The Editor:

Last Thursday, the New York Times published an article “For Many Asian New Yorkers, Smoking is Still a Way of Life.” Over the past several years, the Chinese-American Planning Council, (CPC), Queens Branch, has been educating the Asian community on the hazards of smoking and the health risks of second-hand smoke. According to the mayor’s office, the smoking rate among Asians has decreased from 15 percent in 2002 to 11 percent in 2010. In New York state, the tobacco industry spends approximately $1.1 million per day to market its products. To improve the health outcomes of the community, CPC works closely with local elected officials and community groups to combat the influence of the tobacco industry and change the cultural norms of smoking.

According to a survey conducted by the American Cancer Society, 34 retailers are licensed to sell tobacco products in Flushing and 97 percent of these stores feature tobacco product displays behind the cash register. Studies have shown that such exposure to cigarette advertising influences non-smoking adolescents to initiate smoking and move to regular smoking. More than 90 percent of smokers start before the age of 18. The closer tobacco retailers are to schools, the more likely children are to smoke. The tobacco industry is investing billions of dollars on tobacco ads everyday to cultivate a future market among the youth. Our children are influenced by tobacco ads on a daily basis as they are walking to school, home or shopping in the neighborhood.

Restoring New York state funding for community based tobacco control efforts such as educational workshops and meetings with community leaders is a worthwhile effort, particularly as New York state receives $2 billion per year in tobaccorelated revenue and spends billions on tobaccorelated diseases. New York state should do more to improve health outcomes and bring more awareness in the Asian community about the benefits of living a smoke-free life.

Chinese American Planning Council Queens

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