2015-03-11 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Addabbo: Transparency

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
February 26, 2015
Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
Executive Chamber
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I hope that this letter finds you well. I am writing to you today to express my deep concern about a provision in the 2015-2016 New York State Executive Budget that seeks to eliminate the practice of having notices about pending Constitutional Amendments published in newspapers across the state. This provision is included in the Public Protection and General Government Article VII Bill, Part F (A.3005/S.2005).

Under this plan, as I understand it, descriptions of proposed state Constitutional Amendments, which are subject to statewide voter approval on election ballots, would be published on the State Board of Elections website for three days prior to the election and on the State Department of State website for a month before the vote. Given that areas of our state do not have adequate and modern internet service, that many people simply do not rely on government websites for news, and that some New York residents cannot afford home computers, I am concerned that this plan would provide our state’s voters with less information about important public policy issues than they enjoy right now.

Enabling newspapers to continue publishing official notices of proposed Constitutional Amendments helps to ensure government transparency and voter access and also provides historic records of state actions that might not be archived on websites. In addition, my understanding is that this proposal would ultimately save only about three cents per voter, based on statistics that there are approximately 10 million registered voters in New York State and that total paid newspaper circulation is about 8.6 million. This seems like meager savings in light of the potential negative effects of the plan in terms of reduced voter education, limited access to information, and other destructive impacts.

I strongly urge you to reconsider this proposal. The estimated $342,000 the plan is projected to save is simply not worth the price it will extract in making our government less transparent and more inaccessible to the people we are all elected to represent. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope you will agree that we must keep our long-standing practice of publishing the language of Constitutional Amendments in newspapers throughout New York State fully intact.

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
State Senator, 15th District

Celebrate Responsibly

To The Editor:

Millions of adults will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year with parties and parades. But it takes more than the luck of the Irish to make sure everyone who observes the holiday gets home safely.

That’s why Anheuser-Busch, is working with area bars and restaurants to encourage revelers 21 and older to celebrate responsibly and designate a driver or make plans for a safe ride home.

Thanks to efforts like these and increased law enforcement, drunk-driving fatalities have declined 51 percent since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

We hope New York City residents will join us in celebrating responsibly on St. Patrick’s Day, and the weekend prior to it. After all, these are our roads and it’s our shared responsibility to keep them safe. Sincerely,

C.A. Verdon
Consumer Social Responsibility Coordinator,
Anheuser-Busch Sales & Service
Of New York

Parking Lot More Vital?

To The Editor:

Last month selling the Most Precious Blood parking lot called into question. The Brooklyn Diocese stated the parking lot could not be sold because it was part of the Parish footprint.

I’m assuming this is why the $10 million offer from Venetian Management has been ignored.

If this is true and property on the footprint of a parish is not allowed to be sold, why is this the case in St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn?

Why is a parking lot more important that the 300 Catholic students at Most Precious Blood School? Lissette Paz

Sunnyside Yards Station

To The Editor:

There is even more to the Op-Ed, “Sunnyside Yards Development Needs Local Input” (New York State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, March 4). Few remember that in 1998, as part of the proposed MTA Long Island Rail Road Eastside Access project, construction of a passenger station was considered for Sunnyside Yards. It would provide access to the growing Long Island City business and residential district. Fast forward 17 years to today, there has been incredible residential and commercial growth in neighborhoods adjacent to the Sunnyside Yards. Imagine the benefits to both residents and commuters if this station is built. Consider the possible travel options if a Metro North connection from the New Haven line via the Hell Gate Bridge to Grand Central Station reached beneficial use along with LIRR Eastside Access in 2023 and both provided service to a Sunnyside Yards station.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

New Hope On Horizon

To The Editor:

The visit to Cyprus by the newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was an overwhelming success, one that offered hope that things are about to change for the better! He has given hope but not only to the Hellenes across the world but also for all Europeans; a hope that has been trampled upon by bad EU policies. The EU will never be the same ever again.

He showed leadership and determination; spoke with clarity and people listened; the mass media listened; the world listened; EU citizens listened; our enemies listened and our own politicians turned speechless with respect for what he had to say, for they saw that here is the young fresh face of a statesman in the making; one who dares to take the bull by the horn and make revolutionary changes in support of the people, economic growth and to not be subjugated by a banking system. He refused Troika’s oppressive austerity philosophy that brought social and economic chaos across Europe.

This is what a Revolution of the Mind does!

Here was a leader who told Troika and Eurogroup – who act as the new undemocratic and unaccountable masters of nations – not to come back to Greece; he is the leader who put a stop to selling the Piraeus Harbour, at a cheap price, to foreign interests. Something that none of our own politicians dared to consider, but especially our shallow finance minister and the current government, who plan to sell the nations’ silver because they consider EU-Troika as a godsend gift to Cyprus.

Tsipras has also said that his government will rebuild Greece within the EU family of nations but also turned his back on Troika’s/Germanic bankers’ economic colonization that has brought misery for millions of Greeks and European citizens.

His charismatic presence and brains have gained the respect of most foreign governments. And he has also gained the respect of the people of Cyprus, who now hope that his leadership will also influence the leadership of Cyprus to change its bad policies; policies of stagnation without economic growth that brought misery to thousands of Cypriots, where one out of three persons lives in poverty. When a government refuses to decisively combat such a social stranglehold and hardship on its people, then they are not the government of the people for the people, but a government driven by a bad political system.

We wish Alexis Tsipras and his government the best of luck and a great success, because the people of Cyprus deserve strong support to regain their dignity as a free nation and face the enemies of the day – and there are many!

Andreas C. Chrysafis
Author - Writer - Artist

GOP Must Outlast Dems

To The Editor:

The liberal Democrats in Congress, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, have triumphed. Their policy that the protection of illegal aliens is more important than the protection of American citizens has been enacted by Congress, even though a majority of both houses originally voted against it.

The liberal Democrats have demonstrated that they are the most unyielding and rigidly ideological force in Congress. They were willing to let the Department of Homeland Security go without funding indefinitely until they could win permission for Obama’s illegal amnesty program. Their stand was very simple – absolutely no compromise, ever.

Astonishingly, it is only conservative Republicans who are being accused of holding firmly to their positions and refusing to compromise.

The lesson from this battle should be clear to all. If the Republican majority in Congress is to govern, it must refuse to yield to the obstructionist liberal minority. If the election victory of 2014 is to have any meaning, the Republican leadership must prove that it can outwait and outlast the Democratic leadership.

Peter J. Thomas
Americans for Constitutional Liberty

Another Joy: La Baraka

To The Editor:

There was a pleasant nostalgic read in the March 4 Gazette letters. It was Mr. Penner’s, “The Joy of Aunt Bella’s.” In the news climate with which we are presently inundated, political vitriolic attacks seem to have become the sole means of communication while the sentimental personal reflections, rarer and rarer.

Coincidentally, my wife and I have been meaning to, and will, dine at Aunt Bella’s shortly. Although we spend time in the “city,” discovering local gems here has been a never ending and satisfying venture.

Having been born and grown up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, (Saint Mark’s Place, now knighted, “East Village”) it was difficult coming home after the Korean Conflict to consider moving out of the city and living elsewhere. But we did and settled in Bayside, and our children, I feel, reaped the benefits.

Getting back to restaurants, however, one of the most outstanding we’ve found and still frequent is La Baraka, also in Little Neck on Northern Blvd. Others have come and gone, but Jean-Luc, his incredibly gracious wife, Lisette, and their lovely daughter, are all charming and real, and still actively involved in its daily function. We have been going there for some 30-odd years and it never ceases to please, which is more than I can say for most of our city places.

In fact their frogs’ legs will have me hopping back next week.

Nicholas Zizelis

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