2015-01-14 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Justice Begins To Shine

To The Editor:

Today I feel good – as a matter of fact, I feel very good!

Justice has prevailed and what a wonderful feeling that is, knowing that a “Revolution of the Mind” has finally begun. The results are obvious. The Larnaca Criminal Court ruling offers hope that rule of law in Cyprus is about to take root and see that justice is done to eradicate corruption and nepotism. A message has been sent out that there is no longer a hiding place for those high-ranking corrupt despots in their little kingdoms. People have now started to speak out and have become the new shining sentinels of the state and are no longer muzzled or living in the house of the blind; they will speak out against illegal activities and crookedness.

The message is crystal clear: anyone attempting to line their pockets at the expense of citizens and the nation will face the wrath of the law. Let this be a lesson to all those greedy and corrupt petty officials or politicians sitting snugly in privileged positions in municipalities and other government institutions – that if they ponder on criminality or demand kick-backs in brown envelopes they will be next. Catharsis has begun and about time too!

The judge showed no mercy for those five corrupt “pillars of society”. He sentenced them to prison on charges of corruption, nepotism, fraud, forgery, and more. They are now thrown into prison to spend and serve time among their equals, with sentences ranging from three to nine years behind bars. Do away with political immunity and confiscation of properties, fat cash accounts from proceeds through illegal proceeds should and must also become the norm [sic] from now on – and what a great deterrent that will be!

The Cyprus courts, the auditor general and general prosecutor, with the help of the people, are finally serving the law of the land. The rule of justice and not the rule of man has started to shine; a good day for Cyprus and the people!

Andreas C. Chrysafis
Author - Artist

China Buying U.S. Up

To The Editor:

According to Forbes Magazine (Nov. 24, 2014), which I paraphrase below, since the year 2000 Chinese companies have made almost 900 purchases of U.S. assets worth $43 billion. China’s billionaires are gobbling up U.S. companies at a record pace.

Most disturbing are the implications of these purchases by Chinese Communist companies on our national security. Ralls/Sany purchased four wind farms in Oregon near a Navy weapons system base. Wanda group purchased 342 movie theaters previously owned by AMC Entertainment. WH Group bought Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor. Lenovo purchased Motorola and part of IBM’s server business.

“In five years China’s direct investment in the United States has grown from $2 billion a year to $14 billion.”

We should limit the purchase of U.S. companies by the Chinese Communist regime, and probably restrict the ownership of U.S. companies to less than 30 percent of outstanding shares of stock.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

Pass Three Strikes Law

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
January 3, 2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo
State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224
Dear Governor,

After the ambush killing of two New York City police officers by a violent criminal with a very long record of arrests, isn’t it time New York state consider passing a three strikes law to keep violent criminals behind bars? States with such laws have seen a drastic drop in violent crime. If New York state had such a law, the killer of these police officers would not have been free to roam our streets and commit such crimes.

Please consider supporting a three strikes law for New York. Respectfully,

George Delis

Cuomo Pro And Con

To The Editor:

I applaud Andrew Cuomo for disallowing fracking in New York state and I lament along with him the demise of his father, the great People’s Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo. But along with the applause comes a most regrettable action the younger has just taken.

Governor Christie of NJ and Cuomo of NY are painfully showing that there can be common ground between the Republican and Democratic Party. Ironically, contrary to the overwhelming wishes of the legislators and constituency of both their states, these two governors agreed to veto the bill calling for long needed reform to the Port Authority. “Reform” is only objectionable if exposure is threatening.

Harmony between our two major parties is something most Americans have longed for; the bond however should not be sealed with the matrix of dishonesty and self-interest. This was not a Mario moment.

Why must it be that the price of unity for the longed for bi-partisanship between our two major parties was brought about at such a shameful cost? (Rhetoric)

Nicholas Zizelis

UFT, DOE In Tandem

To The Editor:

Although a hospital’s Emergency Room is not a school Dean’s Office, students have been sent there for behavioral aberrations. If there is reason to believe that the conduct was due to a physical or mental health emergency, drug intoxication or unknown clinical trigger that are beyond the capability of the school to manage, then naturally the ER is the place to go. “Better safe than sorry.”

It’s a judgment call. But regrettably all people charged with making that judgment are not always reliable or properly motivated.

A student should neither be sent to the ER nor kept away from it for the wrong reasons.

Some principals send kids to the ER because there aren’t the in-house resources or skills to deal with students who are flagrantly “acting out”. Although it would never be their stated objective, they might just want to scare the kid and inconvenience the parent.

Obviously this is a waste on many counts. Medical personnel could be ministering to stroke victims rather than attending to kids hysterical over being accused of having copied their classmate’s board notes.

The flip side of the coin is when principals sometimes refuse to call 911, especially if a child or staff member has been assaulted or hurt in a safety mishap. They may fear that once these incidents are logged into a data base, the statistics may be factored into the principal’s performance rating, the school’s quality review or otherwise be used against them.

If schools were evaluated upon sensible criteria and the inquiry into unconventional results was untainted, with rational conclusions being drawn, then school leaders could make critical choices without having to look over their shoulder. But too often it doesn’t work that way. There’s anecdotal evidence a mile high to prove that it doesn’t work that way.

But there’s been a positive development.

The UFT and the Department of Education have joined forces to create the Institute for Understanding Behavior, which will train staff of participating schools in research-based intervention strategies that will be used as curriculum throughout the public school system. As of August, every public school will be required to produce a plan for resolving crisis situations before they get out of hand.

This is the kind of partnership between the teachers union and the DOE that is long on promise, but shamefully short on media interest and attention.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

New Bruson Tenants

Dear Friends,

You’ll recall that the Bruson Building in Jackson Heights suffered extensive damage from a multiple-alarm fire in April.

Located on 37th Avenue, between 74th and 75th Streets, the Bruson was home to community anchors such as Plaza College and Frank’s Pharmacy.

As repairs and renovations proceeded over the past several months, many of you approached me about the kinds of businesses and other enterprises you’d like to see occupying the spaces left vacant by the relocations of the college and Frank’s, among others.

After speaking to some prospective tenants and the building’s owner, it occurred to me that a town hall meeting would be a good way to exchange ideas and information. Congressmember Joseph Crowley, Assemblymember Michael DenDekker and Councilmember Daniel Dromm, each of whom has worked tirelessly to help businesses displaced by the fire and to identify appropriate new tenants, agreed.

They are co-sponsoring the meeting, which will be held Thursday, January 22, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center.

It is to everyone’s benefit that we achieve a good match between the community’s interests and needs and the goods and services available from the building’s occupants, especially given the Bruson’s location in the heart of Jackson Heights. I look forward to hearing what you think.

For additional information about the meeting, or if there’s anything else we can help you with, please don’t hesitate to stop by my office, or to call us, at 718-205- 3881.

Jose Peralta
State Senator

Go Veg In New Year

To The Editor:

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, particularly those about our health. Although gun violence remains the leading cause of death among young people, our most dangerous weapon is still our fork. Forty-five times as many die of chronic diseases linked to a diet containing animal products, sugar, and salt.

Hardly a month goes by without another study linking consumption of animal products with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. No reputable study has ever shown an opposite result.

But times are changing. Hundreds of schools, colleges, hospitals, and corporate cafeterias, have embraced Meatless Monday. According to a Gallup poll, 22 percent of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Harris Interactive claims that 47 percent of American consumers are reducing consumption of animal products.

Accordingly, plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products are growing explosively, propelled by investments from Microsoft, PayPal, and Twitter founders. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Subway, and Taco Bell are rolling out vegan options.

Let this New Year’s resolution be about To The Editor:

Andrew Rothman passed away on Dec. 24, 2014 at a much too early age. We served together as members of Community Board 11 for a number of years.

I was always impressed by the amount of time and effort that Andy contributed toward his duties as a board member. When any land use case came up, he always visited the site, researched the property in question on the internet, and composed many well thought out and pertinent questions for the applicant when the case was heard at committee level and when it came before the full board. Andy always had maps, zoning regulations and other material at the ready when a case was heard.

His point of view always reflected the interests of the neighborhoods that are part of the community board and he always expressed himself in a positive and nonconfronting way.

Andy also was co-chair of the Aviation Committee of the board along with Joan Garippa. They worked with groups like Queens Quiet Skies and leaders Janet McEneaney and Bob Whitehair to lobby for the reduction of air traffic noise and pollution over our communities. This fight continues, but it is now missing one of its most prominent voices of advocacy.

Andy also served on several other board committees. He also attended many community events, rallies and press conferences that focused on important community based issues.

More than anything else, Andy was a good friend. He always had a smile, he always expressed concern for others and he always cared deeply for his community. He was a fighter for Bayside and beyond. I will miss him greatly. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted in their sorrow.

Henry Euler

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