2015-11-25 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Decisive Action Needed

To The Editor:

The attacks on Paris was a declaration of war, not only against the West, but against any nations that are deemed not a supplicant to ISIS. Many have speculated how the nations of the world would react to an alien invasion. ISIS is the alien among us that has struck.

NATO, with the aid of others, Russia and China, could easily retake Raqqa, Mosul and Fallujah. Citizens comprehending the imminent threat would support destroying the strongholds of ISIS. Seeking out and killing the leaders of ISIS is now mandated, and any member of the group as well. Individuals who pledged allegiance to ISIS must be removed like a cancer.

All nations should declare any of its citizens who went to fight with ISIS immediately have their passports voided, and be stripped of their citizenship and deemed an armed danger and treated accordingly. It is also inevitable that the attacks have ended migration to the West by refugees and asylum seekers. Rather than running from the ISIS threat it is time for these people to fight their enemy.

The problem with putting boots on the ground to achieve destruction of the ISIS strongholds is the stumbling block. As learned from Afghanistan and Iraq, winning a battle is easy for the West, but unless it is willing to hold the ground for an indefinite time the war could never be won. Whether there is the courage by leaders to confront this fact and to state it clearly to voters is truly where the future of this fight remains in question.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Wastes Needed Millions

To The Editor:

The November election this year in the City of New York resulted in an extremely low turnout of registered voters. One figure that I heard for turnout was five percent. Granted, there were few races of note this year.

Here in Queens, we were electing a district attorney and various judges, plus a smattering of special contests, depending on what area of the borough you reside. The district attorney had no opposition. In fact, incumbent Richard Brown had three party endorsement. Several of the judges also had multi-party backing, so the contests did not excite public interest and the results were not surprising. Also, there were no propositions or other initiatives on the ballot this year.

This election cost the residents of the city somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million to conduct. A similar situation happened in 2011. Every four years we have this general election year that is not the presidential election year, nor the gubernatorial election year, nor the mayoral election year. It is the general election year that sparks little notice.

Wouldn’t it make sense to readjust the length of the terms of the offices up in such a year so that the terms would expire to coincide with one of the other three general election years? Ballot proposals could be limited for public consideration in those other three general election years as well. Then we could just not have any general election in that fourth election cycle.

Think of what could be done with the money saved by canceling such an offyear election. There would be more money for children’s after-school programs, more money to help our senior citizens and our veterans, more money for our non-profits who serve the public. The list goes on and on.

When I went to vote this year, the poll workers were just sitting waiting for voters to show up. Interpreters and other election personnel were idle. What a waste of resources!

Our election process is antiquated and costly as it is. Those election devices that we now use in our city cost millions of dollars to purchase. And we are still basically using paper ballots. The lever machines that we used to employ are stored somewhere collecting dust and that costs money too. The total cost of poll workers, interpreters and other election personnel is very high. Voter turnout in the last few years has been low. What can be done?

It is time that we join the 21st century and use techniques that encourage voter participation and reduce costs. Mail-in voting, online voting and universal registration in place of the current process would increase participation and save money. People who do not want to participate could opt-out. And the window of opportunity to select our elected leaders would be broadened so that people would no longer have an excuse for not voting. Some states are using these techniques successfully and do not seem to have a problem with voter fraud. Isn’t it time for New York and other states to employ new strategies to encourage voting and lower costs?

Henry Euler
Bayside

Small Biz This Saturday

To The Editor:

You can support small retailers by joining me and your neighbors on the fifth annual national Small Business Saturday, this coming November 28.

Skip the national chain stores’ annual Black Friday Madness, which now starts early Thursday night. Some stores are open all day. Thanksgiving Day should be a time to be with loved ones and family. More and more stores remind me of the “Grinch,” staying open, resulting in too many employees having to choose between family and work.

Small Business Saturday began on November 27, 2010. It was in response to both Black Friday (large stores) and Cyber Monday (e-commerce stores). Small Business Saturday is designed for those starting holiday shopping to patronize small, local community-based business.

Give PC Richard credit for being the first major store to close on Thanksgiving Day. This year, the honor role also includes Barnes & Noble, BJ’s, Costco, DSW, Home Depot, IKEA, Jo-Ann, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Petco, Pier 1 Imports, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sam’s Club, and Staples. They are putting aside financial greed in favor of allowing their employees to stay home with family and are closed. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with friends and family. Get a good night’s sleep and instead come out and support Small Business by shopping local.

In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your neighborhood businesses. There are so many great options to choose from all over Queens. Remember these people are our neighbors. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local community stores and restaurants to shop and eat, they don’t eat either.

Please join me and your neighbors in continuing to support the Queens Gazette. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This helps keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Donate Food For Needy

To The Editor:

Thanksgiving is approaching and it is time to be thankful for all we have and all that we have been given by God. It’s time we gather with friends and family for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. But it is also a time to think of our fellow New Yorkers who have lost much in their lives and who are less fortunate. Many are now homeless and hungry and quite needy this time of the year. This holiday season, I ask all of us to think of our poor neighbors. Many New Yorkers are having a hard time affording food. Added to that a number of children are in households that can’t afford enough food. I therefore urge all who can to donate food to your local food pantry, soup kitchen, to your local houses of worship and community groups that distribute to the needy. For Thanksgiving is about caring, giving and sharing. Remember that the kindness of strangers means a lot to those who have so very little.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Giving Thanks

To The Editor:

As Thanksgiving approaches, we should remember that it is a time of showing kindness and understanding towards each other as well as giving thanks for the many good things in each of our lives. When we gather for our Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, we should be grateful for all of things that we do have – people who care about us, good health, and being able to live life to its fullest. We should also remember the thousands of less fortunate people – the homeless, ill, needy, and those who are incarcerated, who probably won’t be enjoying the holiday as we might. Despite all of the difficulties that our nation is experiencing, and the precarious international situation, our country still is the greatest one in the world in which to live, because we have many freedoms, which truly is a Thanksgiving blessing. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and God Bless the United States of America!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Fund Protection, Safety

To The Editor:

I think the Sunnyside Community Center needs improvement in the sense that its case managers have lots of cases and cannot give individual attention to the homebound elderly. Also, the Friendly Visitors and Counseling programs need improvement, since homebound and disabled elderly need socialization and counseling with someone coming to their home free of charge.

Also, I am glad that elder abuse and other issues of senior citizens were discussed, but talk is cheap. What happened to action?

I am appalled that Sunnyside Senior Services no longer provide transportation to disabled elderly so that they can come and enjoy the center’s activities. Senior centers are not only for so-called well seniors.

I also believe that Congress and the President should not allow Syrian refugees in this country unless properly screened. So many of them can be hidden ISIS terrorists. I also believe that technology should allow the system that ISIS uses to speak on with their apps should be made available for Intelligence purposes to guard our nation and others against terrorism.

The incident in France shows that more police are needed and more money should be allocated for security.

I throughly agree that alarms must be placed on all exits and doors of all public school buildings and also more security guards placed in positions and the disappearance and subsequent death of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo was an abomination.

I applaud the firefighter who rescued the little baby form the raging fire. He is a hero. I also am appalled that a child fell out of a window in the Bronx. What happened to the window guards. They are required by law to prevent children being killed through accidental falling out of a window.

The Astoria Center of Israel had its annual blood drive on November 22. The gift of life through donating blood is truly the most wonderful deed that a person can do. I applaud St. Anastasia Parish in Douglaston for doing such a good deed. Also their Eucharistic ministers hold Mass services at Brandywine Senior Living every Sunday morning for Catholic residents and their teachers of music and volunteer children come and sing and perform.

Glad that Diwali was celebrated at Borough Hall and also that there will be the Woodhaven festival.

I also agree that the Long Island City post office doesn’t do its job because when I lived in Long Island City before moving to Little Neck that post office would not deliver mail, take its sweet time in delivering mail and they must be improved.

Yes there is a lot of noise going to the Queensborough Bridge in the Dutch Kills area.

I agree that smoking should not be allowed in public housing.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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