2016-07-06 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Refugees ARE Scrutinized

To The Editor:

To be an American means anyone can say anything, regardless of truth or reality. Trump has won the Republican primaries based upon claims that cannot be supported by the facts.

Shamefully, many of his supporters accept Trump’s proclamations as factual without independently checking his claims. Trump would have Americans believe there is an existential threat of terrorist acts if Muslims are permitted refugee status in the US. He is more emphatic as to Syrian refugees who might be shielding ISIS members intent upon gaining US entry.

There are 5-7 million Muslims in the US. There are over 2 billion Muslims in the world. Since 9/11 the US has resettled 784,000 refugees in the homeland. Of those 2,500 are Syrians fleeing the slaughter that is happening in Syria. In the 14 years since 9/11 only three refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist acts. Of the three, two were planning to attack outside the US.

To be accepted as a refugee, an applicant must undergo extensive scrutiny that normally takes two years before entry is permitted. A terrorist from Europe can simply board a plane and be in the US in hours, as there are no visa requirements. Therein is the risk to national security.

Trump needs hatred and fear in order to have a chance of winning the White House. Demagogues always need scapegoats to claim power. The recent vote in the UK to leave the EU at first may seem a benefit to Trump. The UK vote has consequences and created turmoil, which may shed light upon the cost of a Trump presidency.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, L.I.

No Aircraft For Iran

To The Editor:

Boeing Co. recently cut a deal with Iran Air, to sell them 100 Boeing 737s and 777s worth about $25 billion, which is a nice contract for Boeing and its employees.

Unfortunately, Iran Air has used passenger and cargo planes to transport military equipment to Syria and other Middle East countries, and there is nothing to prevent them from continuing this practice. Some of the military shipments included materials for advanced weapons, and rockets and missiles. Furthermore, it is possible these planes could be used to move troops and could possibly be converted to bombers

The US could revoke the license to sell the aircraft if Iran violates the agreement, but Iran would have control of the previously delivered aircraft at that time.

Congress should not approve this contract. If it is approved, delivery of the aircraft should be stretched out over an extended number of years. Additionally, we should install back door disabling software in each aircraft which we can energize at our discretion.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

No Predators Allowed!

To The Editor:

The DHS is hiding behind its “legal” obligations.

The DHS’ response to concerns regarding the housing of a child sex offender at the Pan Am family shelter is another example of their stealthy and condescending ways. The agency claims that regardless of an individual’s background, they are legally obligated to provide shelter to any New Yorker who would otherwise be turned out onto the streets. This means that they hold this obligation above the permanent scarring of a child’s life, in some cases irrevocable physical and mental damage. What about the obligation to ensure that homeless families are safe, in particular our most vulnerable population, children? Children, who are probably half the size of these predators and can be easily tricked into horrendous situations. Samaritan Village, “ Where Good Lives” should have procedures in place to screen for these sex offenders, and include in their contract the right to reject these predators. However, with a lucrative payment of $3,800 per month, per room, no such moral or caution would ever be considered by this callous organization.

If this sex offender was placed into an all-adult family shelter it would be disgraceful, but to place this child molester in a shelter filled with children, within close proximity to two elementary schools and numerous Pre-Ks is reprehensible. It should be noted that the DHS did not deny that this sex offender ever resided at the Pan Am shelter, only that no one CURRENTLY residing there is on the Registry. The agency could have and should have initially placed this child molester in a men’s adult shelter. What other predators or criminals are being sent to the Pan Am shelter that homeless families and the community are not aware of?

As stated from the very beginning, the Pan Am shelter is too large of a facility to effectively and safely manage.

Comptroller Scott Stringer, we ask that no further contracts are awarded to Samaritan Daytop Village and to advocate for the orderly closure of this facility.

Concerned Elmhurst Resident
The author wishes to remain anonymous

The Ideal ‘Staycation’

To The Editor:

Not going away for a family vacation this summer? No problem, Queens has countless options for the perfect staycation, no matter what kind of activities you enjoy.

If your ideal vacation involves being at the beach, look no further than Rockaway Beach. Conveniently located a few blocks from NYC’s subway and buses, Rockaway Beach offers more than 170 acres of sand for family-friendly activities including surfing, fishing, sunbathing, and swimming, as well as local hot spots like Rippers and Tacoway Beach right on the sand.

If an August staycation is on your schedule, sports fans will be sure to enjoy the world-class tennis at the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. And Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, is just next door.

If you like to spend your vacations catching up on the latest art and cultural exhibitions and events, the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on August 6th-7th at Flushing Meadows Corona Park showcases nearly 180 dragon boat teams from around the world. On shore, the festivities include live entertainment, martial arts demonstrations, lion dance performances, and children’s activities. In addition, the Queens Museum offers exquisite temporary and permanent exhibitions, including a collection of Tiffany glass that is second to none and the acclaimed Panorama of the City of New York – a three-dimensional map of NYC, while other cultural attractions like the Museum of the Moving Image display the largest collection of moving image artifacts in the nation.

I wish you a pleasant staycation in Queens this summer. Check NYC & Company, the City's official destination marketing organization, for summer’s can’t miss Queens activities that make for incredible staycation experiences at any price point. Maggie MacNeil

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