2017-11-01 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Ruling Stayed

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette. Members of the Christ the King Community:

As you know, together with the leaders of Middle Village Prep and Christ the King Continuing Education, we have been seeking a stay from Supreme Court Justice Grays’ order of March 23, 2017 that would have forced MVP to close and cease operations on the CTK campus. We were granted a temporary restraining order last month staying enforcement of that March 23, 2017 decision. We are permitted to pursue the appeal to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Department.

Today, I am pleased to inform you that the Appellate Division has granted our motion to stay enforcement of Justice Grays’ order pending the hearing and determination of our original appeal.

The stay of the March 23, 2017 order extends to the length of time that the Appellate Division needs to render its decision on our appeal.

We still must file additional paperwork with the court, and the Diocese of Brooklyn will be able to respond, but the main fact is that thanks to this decision we can continue to provide exemplary educational opportunities to all the students on the CTK campus without fear of interruption during the school year.

Furthermore, because of this favorable decision, Christ the King High School will be able to continue offering the Four Year Tuition Guarantee, as well as continuing to grant the $500 per year Catholic School Award.

In addition to the CTK motion, the Appellate Division also granted the stays requested by both MVP and CTKCE.

We promised you that we would fight to continue providing the education that has been our hallmark as an independent Catholic high school for over 40 years. While this decision is greatly appreciated, it is not the end of our quest. It is, however, a tribute to you, the parents, teachers, administrators, staff and students who have fought to continue to protect the institution and integrity of Christ the King High School, as well as the broader campus community, including our Continuing Education programs and Middle Village Prep.

We still are hopeful that the Diocese will sit down with us and focus on all the good things we are accomplishing and on how much more we can do together. We are still ready to join in that spirit of reconciliation that will allow everyone to succeed. With sincere appreciation,

Serphin R. Maltese
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Christ the King High School

Cuomo, Get Real

To The Editor:

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently stated that the state currently faces a $4 billion shortfall in fully funding the upcoming April 1, 2018 – March 30, 2019 fiscal year budget. The situation could grow worse if there is any shortfall in anticipated tax revenues over the next six months. If Cuomo is already missing $4 billion, how will he find the billions more in promised funding to fulfill some of his major transit commitments? First, he will need to find $4 billion to maintain the current level of spending $153 billion in his next state budget. Since this is an election year budget, taxpayers know that both the governor and State Legislature will add billions more in spending. Everyone has their own pet projects and programs for which they will want increase financing. Incumbent elected officials believe that “bringing home the bacon,” will grease the wheels of reelection for another term in 2018. On top of all that, Cuomo will still need to come up with $5.8 billion of the $8.3 balance he still owes to fund the $32 billion 2015 – 2019 MTA Five-Year Capital Plan, $1 billion more in new funding to deal with this past summer’s subway and LIRR Penn Station crises, $4.3 billion toward $6 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2, $7.25 billion for New York State’s 25 percent share of the $29 billion Amtrak Gateway Tunnel, along with paying back the $1.6 billion dollar federal loan and $1 billion State Thruway Authority Bond which helped finance the new $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge, just to name a few previous commitments.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

No Constitutional Convention

To The Editor:

On November 7, voters will have three ballot proposals to consider, as well as selecting candidates for various offices. Proposal 1 deals with whether the state should convene a Constitutional Convention to propose and consider various changes to the New York State Constitution.

Proponents of this measure cite the need for various reforms, including, for example, changes in campaign finance laws, a proposal for term limits for state legislators and for changes in voting procedures that encourage voter participation as just some of the issues that a Constitutional Convention could address. Many of the proposals could be beneficial to the residents of our state.

However, opponents say that procedures are already in place for the legislature to consider these and other changes to the State Constitution without the need for a Constitutional Convention. They also point out that there are a multitude of measures in the Constitution that protect the citizens of the state that could be changed at a Constitutional Convention by those with special interests and regressive agendas.

If Proposal 1 passes, there would be an election in 2018 for delegates to the Convention, with the Convention convening in 2019 to consider all of the possible changes. Those proposals would then be brought forth to the voters for their approval or disapproval. There is a fear that there may be delegates elected who would be backed by those special interests, many of whom have huge financial resources. Those delegates would then have sway over what is ultimately decided to bring forth to the voters and those issues may reflect the wishes of the special interests who backed those particular delegates.

It has been suggested that there could be changes brought forward that would undermine measures that are already in place in the State Constitution that protect workers, tenants and others. Changes to our educational system may also be under consideration by proponents of those who do not support public education. It even has been suggested that those state employees who have retired with pensions could face changes in benefits as a result of a Constitutional Convention.

Some environmental groups fear that the “Forever Wild” clause in our State Constitution that protects our state forests and natural areas could be up for change or repeal by special interests who wish to use public protected lands for their own benefit. This proposal for a Constitutional Convention is a Pandora’s Box!

The cost of a Constitutional Convention also is problematic. I have heard estimates from $47 million up to $300 million to pull off this project. Wouldn’t that taxpayer money be better spent on programs that benefit our young people, our seniors and those less fortunate? Or how about a tax break for everyone?

When you consider all of the pros and cons of holding a Constitutional Convention, it would seem that a “No” vote for Proposal 1 wins the contest. Remember to turn over your ballot to find the three proposals on Election Day!

Henry Euler
Bayside

Honor All Veterans

To The Editor:

On this upcoming Veterans Day our families wish to remember all of our veterans, including our family members who served in all of the major wars – from the Gulf War to Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI, the Spanish American War and the Civil War.

We are disappointed with the removal of statues of Confederate generals, and thereby contributing to rewriting U.S. history. We believe these statues were placed to commemorate the service of some brilliant military minds and they were not meant to be racist. About 150 Confederate generals graduated from West Point and served during the Civil War.

The Civil War was fought to preserve the Union and many Americans from the North and South fought huge battles which raged from 1861 to 1865, and they are part of our history.

Our family relates to the experiences of two members who fought in many battles during the Civil War.

Sergeant First Class (SFC) John B. Jones, my wife’s [Elizabeth Ann (Jones) Moskowitz] grandfather, and William E. Jones, my wife’s great uncle, were from the Arcade/Sandusky, NY area and were in an upstate New York cavalry regiment.

The following are excerpts from a few of SFC John B. Jones’s letters to his sister Ann Jones: “Madison Court House, VA, August 8, 1862: Last week there were three regiments of us sent out from Culpepper to Orange Court House. The rebels fell back to the village. G and H companies had an awful fight with them for a little while; Centerville, VA, Oct. 29, 1862: Well, Ann, we had a very severe skirmish with the rebels since we left camp. There were two regiments of our cavalry on picket duty in a place called Thoroughfare Gap. The rebels came out one morning and drove them out; March 7, 1865: Was taken prisoner on Mount Jackson in Shenandoah Valley.”

John was force-marched to Staunton, VA then Charlottesville, and then ended up in a prison in Richmond. He was released on April 4, 1865 in the area of Annapolis, MD.

We should not be obliterating U.S. history. Leave the statues standing, and honor all veterans.

Elizabeth Ann (Jones) Moskowitz
Donald Moskowitz
Former AG2 & LT., U.S. Navy
Londonderry, NH

In Appreciation

To The Editor:

November 11 is Veterans Day, a day to honor all who served this great country of ours. Americans really should take pause on that day to honor our brave men and women. They have fought to defend those freedoms we all hold most dear. I myself served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and am proud to have done so. We need to remember all those who gave their lives and many who lost limbs, hearing and sight. These veterans who served our country did so with pride and devotion to duty so that we might have those freedoms we enjoy today. We salute our brave men and women who are now serving in Afghanistan as well as other parts of the world. Those who have served have done so at great personal sacrifice, leaving family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good. I hope and pray this Veterans Day that many will be flying the flag of our great nation in their honor. Let me also ask all who read this letter to call a veteran you might know and say thank you for a job well done. May God bless these brave Americans and may God bless America on this day we call Veterans Day.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Schools’ Meatless Mondays

To The Editor:

The Department of Education, bursting at the seams with its compulsively conceived innovations, has established a pilot program of “Meatless Mondays” in school cafeterias.

That’s a tall order.

As they expand their field team of Body Sustenance Facilitators, we can look forward to Taco-less Tuesdays, Waffle-free Wednesdays, Fishless Fridays and, I almost forgot, Thyme-less Thursdays.

The DOE is anxious to ensure that every penny of its several tens of billion dollar budget is lovingly spent before the close of the fiscal (year) or else it may lose funding in the future. In government circles this phenomenon is known as “use or lose.”

Actually, “Meatless Mondays” is not a bad idea. It ranks up there with the DOE’s finest triumphs. But what will they serve in lieu of meat?

Words like “organic” and “natural” are synonymous in many consumers’ minds with wholesomeness, but scientifically, many poisons fit into those categories. A vegan menu might be a safe bet, as long as it’s not tofu roadkill.

No matter how slick the advertising of new menu products, how upscale their ingredients, or seductive the sound of the title of the new dishes, the kids won’t be fooled or swayed. These kids haven’t yet developed the adult skill of willful blindness to folly.

Regardless of the quaint exotic ring of “pilaf” and “au jus,” kids will do again what they did not many years ago when the DOE recruited a high-priced sous chef bearing novel enlightened recipes and held a full-court press to introduce him. The kids either spat it out, dropped it to the floor, threw it at mates or adults assigned to the cafeteria, or just ate any available default item.

If forced, they’d opt to starve for a few hours rather than submit to culinary coercion,

The surest way to spark a student riot it to take away their pizza and replace it with carrot hot dogs.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

Hurricane Sandy

As we approach the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s sweep across the Northeast, there still are many people in our region who have not been able to return to their homes that were destroyed by the storm. These people should not still have to deal with bureaucratic red tape from the government, and the process for them being able to return to their homes must be expedited. This hurricane was the worst storm ever to strike New York City, virtually paralyzing it for days. The massive flooding of arterial (roads) and subway tunnels was devastating, as well as the epic destruction along our coastal areas and the economic hardship suffered by tens of thousands of people went beyond reason. As we look back to this destructive and frightening storm’s effects, there have been significant improvements to the infrastructure that will certainly help to significantly reduce the potential destruction from future storms. However, much work still needs to be done in that area, and needs to be done as quickly as possible. One of the most striking effects of Hurricane Sandy was the huge loss of trees all across the area. There were nearly 20,000 trees destroyed in the five boroughs by the hurricane’s 90 mph winds, with thousands more damaged. Long Island lost close to 30,000 trees. In many parks in our area, the scars of Sandy’s rage are still evident. October 29, 2012, is the day that will always live in meteorological infamy, and in the memories of millions of New Yorkers – the day when a very nasty visitor by the name of Sandy displayed its unstoppable fury.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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