2018-01-31 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Address Mail Problems

A copy of this letter was received at the
offices of the Queens Gazette.
January 23, 2018
The Honorable Megan J. Brennan
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza Southwest
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Brennan:

We write to you regarding the ongoing and serious problems with mail delivery in our congressional districts in Queens, New York.

It has come to our attention from our constituents that mail delivery standards throughout Queens are not meeting even the most basic expectations. Many of our constituents report severely delayed mail, sometimes taking weeks to arrive, significant problems with package delivery, and frequently receiving incorrect mail addressed to individuals who live many blocks away. In addition, many of our constituents have complained about poor customer service provided by their local post offices. These inadequate delivery standards existed even before Winter Storm Grayson, and they are frankly unacceptable.

As you know, New Yorkers rely on the United States Postal Service (USPS) as an effective and dependable means of communication. Essential matters, such as Social Security benefits, bills, vital medical prescriptions and equipment, government-issued identification, and financial documents are processed and delivered by USPS every day. It is critical that USPS maintains reliable mail delivery service. The current mail delivery problems plaguing the residents of Queens must be addressed immediately.

We thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, and we look forward to your response detailing a course of action to mitigate mail delivery issues in Queens. Sincerely,

Grace Meng joined by Joseph Crowley and
Gregory Meeks,
Members, US Congress
Cc: Elvin Mercado, District Manager of the
USPS Triboro District

Van Bramer On Budget Team

Dear friends,

I wanted to share some great news with you. The City Council voted on committee assignments and leadership positions for the new term.

I’m thrilled to report that I continue to serve as the Chair of the Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, the only committee I asked to chair when I was first elected eight years ago. I love this committee and am so proud to be the champion of culture, the arts and libraries in this city. And it means so much to me that I will serve out all 12 years in the Council chairing this important committee.

I am also pleased to report that Speaker Corey Johnson has appointed me to a position on his leadership team, as well as the all-important Budget Negotiating Team (BNT). I’ll also continue to serve on several important committees including Finance, Public Housing and Parks among others. I thank Speaker Johnson for his trust and support and I look forward to working with him and my colleagues to fight for all New Yorkers.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed in me. Most importantly, I want to thank the people of the 26th Council District, who made all of this possible by electing me in the first place!

I’ll continue to work for you, all of you, harder than I ever have.

Jimmy Van Bramer
NYC Council Majority Leader

Mario No Saint

To The Editor:

There is more to the third anniversary of the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo. He was not a reformer, but rather a proud product of the Queens County Democratic Party clubhouse machine. After losing the Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor in 1974, Governor Hugh Carey appointed him Secretary of State in 1975.

During his race against then-Congress Member Ed Koch for NYC mayor in 1977, there were (anonymous) “Vote for Cuomo not the Homo” posters all over town.

Mario was never above using class warfare as an issue to divide and conquer. Remember his reference to Republican Governor candidate Lew Lehrman’s expensive watch during a debate in 1982? Lehrman was a self-made millionaire who was the founder of Rite Aid drug store chain.

One of Mario’s claims to fame was being a great orator and debater. In 1986 Mario followed the infamous Rose Garden strategy in his race for a second term. His opponent was unknown and under-financed. The late Republican Westchester County Executive Andrew O’Rourke had to carry a cardboard cutout of Cuomo to debate. In the end, Mario agreed to one token debate at the 11th hour.

In 1992, Mario had no problem signing off on the reapportionment plan for new State Assembly and State Senate district lines based upon the 1990 census. This bill preserved and expanded the Democrats’ control of the State Assembly, along with preserving the Republican majority in the State Senate by gerrymandering of district boundaries. So much for good government reform of state government legislative districts.

When it came to supporting public transportation, rather than increase the level of state support by billions under MTA Five Year Capital Plans, it was Mario who started the trend of having state authorities like the MTA borrow rather than providing hard cash contributions. The same was true by increasing the level of state spending and long-term debt by hiding it offline, under many other state authorities rather than the general budget.

We all mourn for the loss of anyone’s father, but Mario is not worthy of sainthood. He was a mere mortal, like the rest of us.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

A Laughingstock

To The Editor:

The immature behavior and unwillingness to compromise and act like real, seasoned leaders and lawmakers made this week’s government shutdown the laughingstock of the nation and the world. Why is this continuing to go on? It is absolutely absurd and appalling that for 17 more days this will continue and then the governmental issue will start bothering us again. We must tell our politicians to wake up and act like adults who know how to run this country.

Also, it is appalling to learn that retirees and public employees are being cheated out of pension funds, since the funds are empty and either taxing or the city giving more money to the pension funds will remedy this situation. Hard workers deserve pensions.

The LIRR problems must be solved and (I) am glad that there will be meetings about what is going to happen to the l train passengers when that train is being shut down. Our city, state, and federal legislature and leaders are a joke and must act professionally.

I am glad that NYC will sue the biggest opioid company, since so many people are addicted and deaths are occurring.

Also, I am glad that the state will work on legislation concerning improving voter turnout (such as) having federal and state primaries and elections on the same day, and early voting. New York State has the lowest voter turnout. That is shameful for a state that is so large in population.

I am also glad that NYS will do something positive to avoid repealing internet neutrality.

The FBI said that crime in the nation is down, but murders are up. Murders are a vicious crime. Also there are too many school shootings by young students who are teenagers. Something must be done; it is appalling indeed to hear about these awful crimes.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Let AMVET Advertise

To The Editor:

As a Navy veteran of the Vietnam era, I am appalled that the NFL has rejected an ad by a veterans’ group for Super Bowl LII. Their reason is that the group AMVET is too political. The veterans’ group wanted to place a $30,000 full-page printed ad in the program for Super Bowl LII that will be handed out to fans at Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 4. The ad would have shown soldiers holding up Old Glory beside a message, “#PleaseStand.” Now I don’t see this as political, although some wish to kneel in a protest against racism. In my opinion, I see this as an act of patriotism. This message is in support of all those in the military and all those veterans who have served with honor and dedication protecting all those liberties we all hold most dear today. The NFL is just wrong and unpatriotic! If you want to support this veterans’ organization, you can by texting VETERANS to 444999. You can also go to their website, AMVETS.org/Americanism. AMVETS is the most inclusive Congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization in the nation helping veterans since 1944.

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Arms Race To Bottom

To The Editor:

The latest strategy for increasing our defenses seems to be quite a bit much. Why do we need to introduce more weaponry into our defense system, when we already have enough weapons, both non-nuclear and nuclear, to blow up the world 100 times over? There should be gradual reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, which would certainly be a positive sign to other countries around the world, including Russia and China, that our nation is not seeking military superiority over them. All nations of the world that possess nuclear weapons, including Iran, North Korea, and Israel, need to substantially reduce those numbers also. In a nuclear war there are no winners, only losers – which is all of humankind, and which would be wiped from existence if the planet was ravaged by nuclear conflict. While we should always have some weapons for the defense of our country we certainly do not need all of those additional weapons in our arsenal. The world has never been such a dangerous place since August, 1939, just before the most devastating war on this planet occurred – World War II. That must never ever happen again, for if it does I fear that all of humanity will be gone with the wind forever.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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