2015-10-21 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

A Safe Halloween

To The Editor:

On behalf of the members of the 114th Precinct, I would like to thank our local business owners for their continuous support. As last year, a safety plan will be implemented during Halloween. Officers will give special attention to protecting our commercial districts. We ask that our businesses participate in our safety plan by refraining from selling eggs, shaving cream, markers or paint to children during Halloween. A safe holiday is not possible without help from the community. We appreciate all that you do, please have a healthy and safe holiday!

Captain Peter Fortune
Commanding Officer of the 114th Precinct

Ferry At Gantry Park

A copy of this letter was received at the Queens
Gazette.
October 8, 2015
Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner
New York City Economic Development
Corporation
110 William Street

New York, NY 10038
RE: Ferry Service – new dock at Center
Boulevard, Long Island City
Dear Commissioner Torres-Springer:

I write regarding the proposal to add a new ferry stop at the end of Center Boulevard in Long Island City in the Gantry Plaza State Park. I have a number of concerns. Locating a ferry terminal in a park is not the best use of scant park land. The increased traffic through the park may detract from the enjoyment of park goers and cause undue wear and tear on the park facilities. How will lines of people be handled at this location? The park should not be a queuing location for the ferry. The City of New York or the ferry operator should make some accommodations in order to minimize the impacts:

• Installation of restrooms at the north end of the park.

• Funds to compensate NYS Parks for the additional wear and tear and additional staff necessary to ensure the safety of the public and that the park be kept clean.

• Monitoring of the pier supports for the park to determine if there is unusual wear, and if there is, compensation should be made to NYS Parks.

• The ferry operator should assign staff to ensure that loading and unloading is orderly and makes a minimal impact on the park.

Thank you and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
Catherine Nolan
37th Assembly District
CC: Leslie Wright, Regional Dir. NYS Office of
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Pat O’Brien, Chairman, Queens Community
Board 2
Rob Basch, President, Hunters Point Parks
Conservancy
Brent O’Leary, President, Hunters Point Civic
Assn.

Social Security Fix

To The Editor:

We seniors are screwed…again! Word has it that there won’t be a Social Security Cost of Living Allowance (COLA-W) this year due to the low inflation rate making it only the third time time since 1975 that there has been no increase. Last year’s increase was a meager 1.7 percent.

The current COLA-W is grossly unfair to the 54 million people getting Social Security benefits and should be changed to reflect how seniors spend. The COLA-W is calculated by using the third quarter inflation rates of this year compared with the third quarter of last year. Lower gasoline prices are driving the inflation rate down, but many seniors drive less frequently, or have given up driving altogether.

Seniors spend much more money on healthcare and drugs, and those prices have skyrocketed. My MetLife long-term healthcare premium just went up a whopping 48 percent for next year! In addition, my property taxes went up about eight percent this year. With the current drought in California, we will undoubtedly see an increase in food prices at the grocery store.

Today seniors are having a tough time making ends meet, and are constantly feeling the squeeze. While they worked, many seniors parked money in CDs and savings accounts for later years, but the paltry one percent interest rate paid on those accounts have made them bad investments for today. In addition to taking the meager interest payments, seniors are now tapping the principal in those accounts just to get by.

Social Security is the most effective antipoverty program we have. It’s estimated that 8.3 percent, or about 25 million Americans would fall below the poverty threshold without it. Many Americans don’t have pensions, or enough savings put aside to live on because they counted on Social Security to be there for them in a big way in later years. The sad reality is it’s not enough to pay the bills. Yet there are many forces in Congress, like the majority of Republicans, who want to further decrease Social Security benefits or get rid of it altogether. They see us as “takers” and undeserving of the money accrued.

Is Social Security really broken and needing to be fixed? No. With just a few easy changes such as raise the contribution wage cap, and a raise the contribution level to 7 percent from 6.2, it’s good for another 100 years. Let Medicare bargain for drug prices like the VA does. To help seniors, change the COLA-W to the senior COLA-E, which more accurately measures the consumer choices of seniors. This legislation has been sitting in subcommittee since April 2013! It would be more helpful to just give seniors an automatic five percent raise every year, and make Social Security tax-free.

We seniors represent a huge growing segment of the population and we need to stand up and demand that these changes be made. We are by far the biggest special interest group in the nation and we should start acting that way.

Tyler Cassell
Flushing

Putin It To Obama

To The Editor:

President Putin just put it to President Obama concerning the situation in Syria.

They had a discussion about military involvement in Syria, and Putin convinced Obama the Russian air units in Syria would help with attacks on ISIL. However, Putin never considered attacking ISIL because his military forces are in Syria to bolster the Assad regime, and therefore they are bombing the USbacked anti-Assad rebels; and Russian ground forces are attacking the anti-Assad forces.

The US supplies the moderate anti-Assad rebels with arms and then the Russians bomb them and their equipment. The arms suppliers in the US and Russia have to be laughing all the way to the banks.

Once again, President Obama has placed the national security of the US in jeopardy in order to placate another country. This subservience syndrome will embolden our potential adversaries in the world to test our military posture.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

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