2015-04-22 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Enforce Leash Laws

To The Editor:

I was bitten on the leg by an unleashed dog while walking on the bridle path in Forest Park on April 10. The good news is the dog’s rabies vaccination was up to date. The bad news is I had to see a doctor, get a tetanus shot, take antibiotics to prevent infection, and endure pain from the wound – all preventable if the dog had been leashed, which the dog should have been per Parks Department regulations.

Sadly, the Parks Department does not enforce leashing regulations in Forest Park, so dogs regularly run free on the bridle path and the surrounding woods. This is dangerous because unleashed dogs can spook horses and they can attack humans. I implore the Parks Department to make sure dog owners keep their pets on a leash when they are on the bridle path. The next person that gets bitten by an unleashed dog might not be as lucky as I was to escape serious injury.

Martin H. Levinson
Forest Hills

State Budget Bloated

A copy of this letter was received at the Queens Gazette.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie:

The recently passed New York State Budget is still bloated due to out of control spending. While many localities may welcome the scraps handed them in the Aid to Localities Bill, we believe that they would have been better served if spending across the board had been cut via mandate relief, notably missing in this year’s budget.

Counties throughout the state are burdened with the increasing Medicaid costs, despite the cap in Medicaid spending, and mandate relief in what must be provided would go a long way to reduce the property taxes New York’s citizens must pay. The New York Association of Counties outlines in its proposal, Road Map to Mandate Relief (February 2013, NYSAC.org), many suggestions that can still, and must be adopted during this legislative session to provide tax relief across the board, instead of picking and choosing who benefits from selective tax breaks.

We also urge you to lift the cap on charter schools. The road to success is a good education and it is imperative that we provide our students the necessary tools to achieve a good education; charter schools provide an opportunity to parents and students who are dedicated to acquiring the education foundation needed to succeed. New York, according to this Washington Post article: (www.washingtonpost.com/news/postnation/ wp/2014/05/23/heres-how-mucheach state-spends-on-public-school-students/), pays $19,552 per student, the highest in the nation. New York taxpayers and parents are forced to pay the highest rate, yet they have little or no choice when sending their child to public school. Parents should be able to choose a charter school but are unable because of the shortage of charters.

We urge you to lift the cap on charter schools before the legislative session ends this year.

We also urge you to pass the Education Investment Tax Credit, a tax credit for a donation to a scholarship fund that helps in public schools as well. The idea is to provide incentives in the form of tax credits for donations to public education entities, local education funds, and educational scholarship organizations, as well as tax credits for certain expenses incurred by school personnel and parents who educate their children at home, qualified educators who purchase materials and supplies for classroom use.

As we noted, a solid education is the key to success, students and parents must have every assurance that when they walk into a classroom they will walk out knowing more.

Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos and Assemblyman Heastie, it is up to you to provide New York citizens the reasons to stay in New York. Lower taxes for everyone and knowledge that every student has the opportunity to have a good education are the keys to providing New Yorkers the reason to stay in our Empire State. It is not too late to accomplish these goals in this legislative session.

Chairman Michael R. Long
The Conservative Party
State Headquarters:
486 78th Street
Ft. Hamilton Station, NY 11209

Disgusted – No Hope

To The Editor:

No one is above the law of the land; not the president or judges, police or politicians. The rule of law remains supreme and will always act as the true guardian of people’s rights against bad governments.

But when the highest authority of the land, as the President of Cyprus, tries to influence the course of justice in public by attempting to instruct or influence the Attorney General how to deal with the findings of an official inquiry in a case that involves corruption against the Assistant General, and where in response, the same Assistant General lashes back and officially launches his own criminal charges for corruption against his own boss (AG) for investigation by the police, then one recognizes how deep the roots of corruption have reached and lodged themselves in society and deep into the chambers of authority.

In fact, when such bad conduct by the three highest constitutional authorities in the land defending political party cronyism – especially by the President’s action – it confirms the opinion there is no hope for the Republic of Cyprus under the current political mentality and constitution; both need to be scrapped and start again!

Hope is driven by justice, creativity and free minds, which in turn encourages bright minds to create miracles but in the absence of rule of law anything is possible. The country is heading deeper into a mess and God knows what the government plans to do next. To remain vigilant would be a wise move because the rule of law is now threatened by bad politics.

Andreas C. Chrysafis

Good News At LAGCC

Dear Friends,

This long-awaited spring at LaGuardia Community College, we are bursting with good news on every front, both as an institution and through the excellence of students and faculty. And the media continue to notice our hard work.

I was honored to lend my voice in support of closing the education gap for disadvantaged students before Congressional leaders, and am delighted to join the Commission on Financing Higher Education in the 21st century, newly convened by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

Of all our advocacy work as educators, none is perhaps more important than helping to ensure that everyone can afford a high-quality college education and then has the tools and support to earn a degree. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Bret Eynon lent his voice to this vital chorus in sharing our plans to implement our recent federally-funded First in The World grant to help students through strengthening advising supports and academic resources.

The College community continued its media buzz this month with, among other fantastic articles, a PBS feature on the amazing success of the President’s Society program’s transformative approach to building student leaders.

I hope you’re enjoying the change in seasons. I’d love to hear from you even for just a brief chat.

Dr. Gail O. Mellow
President, LaGuardia Community College

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