2018-07-25 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Treacherous Trump

To The Editor:

Americans have been perceived throughout the world as saviors and as villains. Our past includes episodes of greatness and questionable actions. History is the means to look back, permitting evaluation of our decisions and actions.

In large measure America has been the guardian of democracy, freedom and goodness. We have made errors yet our balance sheet is greater good than not. We have fought for the freedoms of others, to combat tyranny and oppression. The American Cemetery in Normandy has over 9,000 of our servicemen and women. Foreign lands have over 130,000 of our combat losses who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving this nation.

If asked, many Americans would believe the US has had armed conflict with Russia. Yet no war has had Americans fighting Russians. Our national leaders have secured peace between our countries even at a time when both have the power of annihilating the other.

Trump stated to Putin that our current bad relationship with Russia is due to “many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now the Rigged Witch Hunt.”

Presidents from Truman and Eisenhower to Obama, Reagan and George H. Bush stood up to and ended the Soviet enslavement of Eastern Europe and said no to the Russian invasion of Crimea, (but) Trump has disdained American greatness. Trump has granted Putin America’s blessings to invade his neighbors and destroy the structures of the Atlantic Alliance that has awarded the world with peace since the end of the Second World War.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Citylights

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of the Queens Gazette.

RE: Citylights Cooperative Building, 4-74 48th Avenue, Queens - PILOT

Hunters Point - Queens West Development Dear Mayor de Blasio:

I write to follow up on my September and December correspondence regarding the above referenced cooperative apartment building which was the very first residential building in the ground-breaking L1C Hunters Point renewal. The situation has not changed; the NYC Tax Commission has determined that the current assessment, which was increased by 87 percent this year, stands. Residents are faced with extreme financial hardship due to the PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) that is scheduled to be imposed in 2018. The cooperative corporation, in order to pay the PILOT, will have to dramatically increase maintenance payments.

I understand that there is a proposal to implement an individual tax abatement program for residents of the Citylights building that would qualify under a new moderate income qualification plan. I have been told that NYC Housing Preservation and Development is ready to implement this plan and it has been reviewed and ‘signed-off’ by the City’s Law Department. However, the Department of Finance has not consented to the plan… any changes to the PILOTs must be approved by the NYC Department of Finance.

Although this plan may not provide sufficient relief for the building, I think that it should move forward and ask that you ensure that it is implemented for the coming NYC property tax year.

The situation has become urgent as there will be a very large increase this coming tax year, and I ask for your review, intervention and support immediately.

Catherine Nolan
NYS Assembly Member

Citylights Response

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of the Queens Gazette.

July 9, 2018
Hon. Catherine Nolan
Assembly Member, District 37
47-40 21 Street, Room 810
Long Island City, NY 11101

Re: Citylights Cooperative, 4-74 48th Avenue, Queens Dear Assembly Member Nolan:

This letter is in response to your June 11, 2018 letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio concerning the Citylights Cooperative. Your letter was forwarded to the Department of Finance (DOF) for response.

Citylights has filed an appeal for the property’s tax year 2018-19 assessment with the New York City Tax Commission, an independent agency with the authority to review DOF’s assessments. The Tax Commission will conduct a hearing to review the property’s tax assessment. It is our understanding that this hearing is tentatively scheduled for mid-August. A previous appeal was filed last year with the New York City Tax Commission and DOF’s assessment was confirmed.

While the appeal is pending with the Tax Commission DOF cannot make any changes or adjustments to the property’s valuation. DOF is bound by law to implement the ruling of the Tax Commission. We are aware of the issues surrounding the Citylights property and will continue to work with the property owners and board, as well as you and other elected officials, within the parameters allowed by law.

Sheelah Feinberg
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Justice For Garner

To The Editor:

I hope that the speed cameras still remain at school crossings since speeding is dangerous to the safety of the children.

In addition I applaud New York State for investigating the Trump Foundation taxes.

In addition I am glad that the state is looking into the steam pipe explosion as is the city DEP.

I am glad that the police officer who allegedly put Eric Garner in a chokehold, will be having his day in court. He should be fired since that is not proper behavior for a police officer. These officers must be beyond reproach and should get sensitivity training.

I am glad that the Hugh Carey Tunnel and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel are safeguarded against flooding if ever a superstorm as severe as Sandy would plague us again.

Speaking about absentee ballots I advocate for ballots in Braille for the blind. Braille is a language, and there are ballots in multiple languages. Why should I as a Braille user have to tell a Board of Elections representative whom I am going to vote for? The ballot is supposed to be confidential.

Subways must have elevators; this is not only for wheelchair users but for elderly people who cannot climb stairs.

I am so proud of Queens for having the best health care and applaud the Gazette for their wonderful healthcare issue. Health care is so important for people of all ages. Hydration is important for all ages during hot weather.

I am glad that Rep. Carolyn Maloney toured Astoria Houses and Hallets Point Park.

In addition I am proud that the relics of the 1964 World’s Fair will be honored. I remember attending that World’s Fair as a teenager and it was wonderful and made me proud of being a resident of Queens.

I applaud Senator Gianaris for helping the Guatemalan woman reunite with her children. It is awful and inhumane to take children out of the arms of their parents and detain them. It is also costing our government so much money.

I am definitely against AirBnB which will raise our rents as rent stabilized renters.

In addition I am in favor of Junior’s Law which will have stores in high crime neighborhoods trained as safe havens to give first aid and shield innocent youngsters from gang violence and crime. That owner of the store did not have to tell the bleeding young man to run to the hospital, and he should have known first aid.

We are not certain as to what our president says now and if he means what he says or says what he means. He is making our nation shameful in the eyes of the world.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Beware Of Sharks

To The Editor:

It is very important that swimmers be very cautious when swimming at area beaches because at this time of the year, with the ocean becoming warmer, sharks are swimming closer to the shore. The two children that were bitten by sharks at Fire Island were very lucky that their injuries were not more serious. We are glad that they will be okay. As a precaution, authorities closed those beaches in that area. Sharks usually are attracted by splashing, and they hone in on prey with their sensory organs. As the ocean waters continue to reach their maximum warmth by mid-to-late August, no doubt there will be more sharks swimming right off our shoreline, so swimmers must really be careful and when lifeguards order them out of the water because of a potential shark threat, everyone must comply at once for their own safety.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Northwell Arming Guards

To The Editor:

I was just reading that Northwell Health system will be stationing armed officers to protect staff, patients, families and all who visit these facilities. It is sad to say with all the shootings around the country Northwell is only doing what has to be done in the wake of all this violence. I have seen this firsthand at Northshore Hospital in Manhasset, when my wife was there recently for knee replacement. My wife and I felt safer, considering what’s happening with so many mass murders. On July 2, this program was implemented at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park. These guards who will carry 9mm hand guns are highly trained professionals—former and current law enforcements officers licensed to carry firearms in New York. In the last six months my wife has been treated at both facilities. Upon entering to visit I had to check in and submit photo identification. I was then given a pass and had to go to a guard who checked the bar code to let me in. I believe this technology should make us safer. So let me praise Northwell Health for instituting this program in all their hospitals.

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

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