2015-12-16 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Right Wing Warpath

To The Editor:

On NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, a guest stated Grover Norquist was lying. Rehm responded angrily insisting it was improper to call anyone a liar...When John McCain was a candidate for President a woman stated that Obama was a Muslim. McCain could have earned support from the Far Right by agreeing with the false statement, but was moral to deny the claim...Donald Trump has the record for lies, yet no one in his Party has the courage to take him on...PolitiFacts is accused of partisanship while it rates all politicians on truthfulness.

Clearly the Republican Right is on the warpath. No mainstream Republican candidate has traction. Trump and Carson have been neck and neck until Carson has revealed his lack of foreign policy knowledge. Cruz seems to be the logical recipient of voters who feel that Carson and Trump cannot win the election. Yet Cruz, renowned as the “most hated man in the Senate” has lied on many subjects, including claims that the Feds are forcing school districts to have boys and girls shower together, and that the majority of criminals are Democrats. His denigrations and hateful commentaries benefit from his mastery of language.

Perhaps politics has never been home base for truthfulness and morals but there always seemed boundaries. This Republican contest has exterminated all understanding of statesmanship. It is the culmination of nearly three decades of unrestrained frustration by Republicans. Its inception can be traced to the election of Bill Clinton and the immediate investigations begun against him, Hillary and the Administration. Obama winning only sharpened their knives, Obama’s race adding rage to the fire, and surprisingly the destructiveness of George Bush’s presidency inflaming the Right.

There were always political leaders who appeared moral and patriotic; elder statesmen of both parties. Perhaps as McCain is seeking reelection to the Senate, his voice has been silenced to survive. Mitt Romney who came so close and was spoken of as trying once again should have the moral convictions demonstrated by his father to speak out. There is silence. That silence condemns the nation to continue with hateful divisions that soil our national identity.

Edward Horn
Baldwin, LI

Peace And Good Will

To The Editor:

Christmas is almost here, and there is much for most of us to do – gifts to wrap, more cards to send, even a few more decorations to hang. It’s also a time to reflect on the troubles in the world, like for instance the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California where 14 died and 17 were injured. Our nation is at war and there have been many who have lost their lives this year in America and around the world. The message this season is “Peace on Earth and good will toward men,” but where is it? This is when a lot of us might be reflecting on the gentler times in our past. I find myself thinking about a Christmas when I was young and America was not so troubled. It was 1957, during the Cold War, but I didn’t much understand or care about such things. I was 8 years old, living in a corner house on 213th Street in Queens Village with my mother and father and two blind boarders my mother would care for. We didn’t have much money, but we always had a good Christmas – full of love and sharing, and plenty of music, which my mother said was, “tonic for the soul.”

One year, a few evenings before Christmas, we set out to buy our Christmas tree, but my father’s car would not start. It was a crisp, cold night and snow was on the ground and still falling. My father had an idea so my mother would not be disappointed: we took my sled to the place where they sold trees, about a half a mile away. When we got there, my father picked out a beautiful six-footer, tied it on the top of my sled and guided it home. We sang Christmas carols all the way home. Back at the house my mother had a special place in front of the fireplace for the tree. Our job was done once it was settled in the stand, then my mother took over, decorating it with love and devotion to every detail.

Kindness and love seemed to bounce from house to house in those days, and neighbors greeted one another with a “Merry Christmas” as carolers sang from house to house. Churches were teeming with worshipers and the neighborhood was lit up every night with bright lights. I remember being in Christmas plays where I was one of the shepherds and another year I was one of the Wise Men alongside of my good friend Harry Weymer, who I reconnected with recently, 50 years later. I also remember as a member of the choir singing Christmas carols at Grace Lutheran Church in Queens Village.

I wonder if that kind of Christmas could ever return? The picture-perfect Christmases of our memories may have been laced with imperfections, but I think they are better than the frenzied days we have now and may have lost the true meaning of Christmas which is to love one another by caring and sharing. I can’t help but hope and pray that America returns to family values, to live out the true meaning of Christmas: peace and good will.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Silent Killer: Hepatitis

To The Editor:

More than three million Americans have hepatitis C and don’t know it. Testing, especially for Baby Boomers is extremely important.

In the early 1990s, I thought I was doing a good deed by donating my blood. Little did I know that attempting to do so would result in me finding out some devastating news – I had chronic hepatitis C (HVC), a potentially life-threatening disease. I was shocked. I hadn’t been experiencing any symptoms and didn’t understand how I could have gotten this disease.

After learning more about HCV and wracking my brain to figure out how I may have been infected, I believe I contracted the disease in the 1960s from a blood transfusion I received during hip surgery. That meant I had been living with HCV for nearly 30 years without knowing it. If I had not gone to donate blood, I probably wouldn’t have been diagnosed until there was serious liver damage.

I was baffled by this diagnosis, but unfortunately it is not unusual for people to not know they have the disease, as it is often referred to as the “silent killer.” In fact, approximately 75 percent of the three to four million Americans who have HCV are unaware they are living with the virus. And as a member of the Baby Boomer generation, we are at a much higher risk of having contracted the disease as donated blood wasn’t screened for HCV until 1992.

I knew I needed to take action, so I immediately sought treatment. Over the next few years, I went through three rounds of treatment, which caused horrible side effects for me, including depression and fatigue. Eventually my liver enzyme count went down, but soon went back up again and unfortunately I relapsed.

Luckily in 2015, my doctor told me about a newly FDA approved treatment that was available.

I began taking it right away, and am thrilled to say that I am now cured of HCV. I feel like a miracle happened to me and I am so blessed.

Testing for HCV is not routine, and it’s a slow-moving illness. Only since 2012 has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all Baby Boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965) be tested for HCV. I encourage anyone who thinks they may be at risk for HCV, especially Baby Boomers, to get tested. If you know that you have HCV, do not give up on getting treatment, be an advocate for your own health. Thanks to testing and new treatment options, people with HCV can fight this disease and win!

Larry Sypowicz

Stop The Violence

To The Editor:

With all of the mass shootings, death, injury and carnage that have occurred over the last several years, it is time for our nation’s President and Congress to take immediate action and close the borders to all foreigners who want to come to America, until the situation with ISIS is resolved permanently! There are 8 million unemployed Americans, and the influx of foreigners coming to our country to want to live is only straining our resources even more, because they are competing with our own unemployed for jobs. How many more innocent American lives will be taken before any substantive action will be taken? How many more mass shootings will have to take place in our elementary, high school, or college campuses? Didn’t this country learn anything from the horrors of Columbine, Newtown, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Planned Parenthood Center, the massacre in a Charleston, South Carolina church and the recent massacre in San Bernadino, California in which 28 people were shot, and 14 of them killed? We have a president who has no backbone at all and a Congress paralyzed with wide divisions as to how to enact much tougher gun laws. The NRA also needs to be willing to work with the President and Congress on this very volatile and violent issue. While giving the American people promises to do so, none of them have done anything to substantially reduce the gun violence that continues to rack this nation. All that they have done is flap their gums, with nothing coming out of them that is making this horrible situation any better. The American people need and demand immediate action on this continuously worsening issue – NOW! The American people have the right to be able to walk down the streets, go to a movie or shopping mall, without having the fear of being shot. Also our children and adults who attend elementary, high school and college should not have to fear being unsafe in their classrooms. What in the name of God is happening to this country? Stop all violence – NOW!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Flushing Meadows

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
Mayor Bill deBlasio
City Hall, New York, NY 10007
December 12, 2015

Dear Mayor deBlasio:

The Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc. is a civic organization covering the Auburndale section of Flushing and western Bayside. We have over 500 members. You came to address our members at one of our monthly meetings when you were the public advocate.

We are writing to you today because we are concerned to hear that there are plans to rent out Flushing Meadows Corona Park to for-profit enterprises like concert promoters and the like. These rentals may affect the ability of local people to utilize the park for several days at a time. This we find totally objectionable.

So many people rely on Flushing Meadows Corona Park as a place for recreation and relaxation. It is a heavily used park, especially on weekends. It must always be open to the public.

If this park is rented out to a for-profit organization, there must be a policy put into place so that the park can still be used by the public. Along the same lines, no permit should be granted to any group whose request would essentially close the entire park to the public. Also, there are many other impacts that any type of entertainment event would have on the park and the surrounding communities that must be taken into account. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz outlined those concerns in her letter to you regarding this matter.

We hope that all of these concerns will be addressed by you and other stakeholders, so that the park is always available for public use. Flushing Meadows Corona Park truly is the “backyard” of the working class people of Queens and that reality must be protected and respected at all costs.

Terri Pouymari, President
Henry Euler, First Vice President
Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc.,
cc: Elected officials and appropriate city

Lock Them Out

To The Editor:

I again am outraged at terrorism and yes, there must be a federal registry of all those who are Muslims and illegal who live in this country. Also IDNYC cards should not be given to undocumented people, only those who have green cards – legal immigrants and citizens of this country. We have to be very very careful. But the Long Island School district must not give their students the sense of fear by canceling all trips until the beginning of the new year to NYC.

In addition, I disagee with Crowley for voting against the bill not allowing the Iraqui and Syrian refugees into this nation. We were threatened and we do not know what these people will do to us. It is sad that the good has to suffer for what the bad terrorists do, but for safety and the protection of human life this ban on refugees from these nations should be upheld. By the way we have so many homeless, so many poor, so many people who are in need in this country as well as senior citizens, disabled people and veterans. Also those people who wait a long time to come here legally work hard and become good law-abiding citizens through naturalization are forgotten and not appreciated. We must stop being mother handout to those we do not trust. France suffered and so did Mali and we did with the USS Cole in 2000 and 9/11 destruction as well. We must learn from the past and prevent terrrorism by not allowing people from terror nations in this country even if they claim that they are refugees. Bleeding heart liberals must remember that the life of a nation, our nation is in jeopardy and in danger.

I am appalled that hit and run drivers who cause deaths and run away from the fatality get a four-year or even six-month jail sentence. This is deliberate taking of an innocent life and adds insult to injury. The drivers just run away and leave the person like rubbish on the street or in the gutter. That is dehumanising to take human life and not care. This is shameful in God’s eyes, as well as in the eyes of civil law. These people who hit and run should get life in prision or better yet, the death penalty. The death penalty must be reinstituted due to the fact that human life is treated like rubbish and there is no respect anymore. The death penalty is definitely a deterrent to crime and murder.

I hope that the great American Smokeout did have an impact upon those who smoke. Smoking is a habit that not only affects the health of the smoker, but second-hand smoke is dangerous to those who do not smoke, but are in the immedicate vicinity of a smoker or even the clothes of a smoker can cause damage. Smoking causes asthma and heart disease and high medical bills as well. Calling 311 can put those who smoke in touch with programs that help them quit.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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