No fracking way
(An open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo)
The sneaky ways the big oil companies are using to promote the drilling technique known as hydrofracturing is enough to arouse grave suspicions that the procedure is as dangerous as the environmental scientists say it is. Many questions arise. Why are there such large financial contributions by energy companies to certain congressional campaigns? Why is there such secrecy about the toxic chemical mix that is injected into the shale bedrock, and why is it further cloaked under a heading of “proprietary protection”? Why are there only four public hearings in all of New York, and only one hearing in all of New York City when this is such an important issue? Why are no emails or letters accepted as testimony? Why do interested parties have to sign up well in advance, and only then be allowed to testify in person at the public hearings? Why the unseemly rush to approve such a frightening and apparently irreversible action?
Many of us saw the 60 Minutes segment where tap water on a Pennsylvania farm burst into flames when a match was lit near it. The gas was methane, one of the strong pollutants involved in global warming. From what we know so far, the risks of hydrofracturing far outweigh the potential benefits of this potential environmental disaster.
Please put a total ban on hydrofracturing. Save us from big oil.
John Liu is the best
What’s the matter with Liu?
Not a thing! We have in city Comptroller John Liu an outstanding people’s representative who has not shied away from criticizing the Bloomberg administration when necessary. That’s what’s the matter with John Liu.
I would challenge any auditor, or FBI informant for that matter, to delve into the financial backers of those running for office and find a clean “dot every i” financial report(s).
The wrongheaded decision by his fundraiser Mr. Pan has been denied by Liu. As he expressed earlier, “If it is true then the conduct was clearly wrong and my campaign was not told the truth.” And in The New York Times, Liu said, “We cannot accept these contributions, nor do we need them.”
What is uncommon is the razor point attack on Liu. The reason is obvious to me and should be to anyone else who has followed Liu’s exemplary career and work as a representative of ordinary working families, or his bold attempt to level the playing field for racial equality.
When Mayor Bloomberg made his deal with Speaker Christine Quinn and others on the City Council to overturn term limits so he could run for a third term, he then proceeded to spend $110 million of his own money on the campaign, defeating William Thompson Jr. 51 percent to 46 percent – a difference of less then 51,000 votes while outspending Thompson tenfold plus!
Perhaps we should be looking at the larger picture; election finance reform. Let the candidates rise or fall on the merits of their accomplishments serving the people, not on the depth of their pockets.
I appreciate the work John Liu has done on the City Council and now as comptroller; such as helping to expose outright extortion through city contracts this administration has given to private firms (the infamous City Time scandal). He saved and will continue to save millions of our tax dollars.
As a true progressive, Liu has the backing of many city unions and a cross section of this great city, and would make a superior mayor. Maﬂy I suggest that this is the major reason for the attack on the people’s representative.
Help us help them
The hardest thing to do is explain to a hungry family that Catholic Charities simply does not have enough food to give them during a crisis. That is what happened this Thanksgiving as hundreds of families lined up for emergency food baskets at our network of 21 pantries throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Budget cuts have reduced our resources by more than 40 percent despite the fact that we have a 70 percent increase in need. This reality severely impacts our ability to feed the hungry.
I recently met a 48-year-old aspiring fashion designer who lost her job as an administrative assistant and came to Catholic Charities during her time of need. Trying to make ends meet as she searched for employment, Catholic Charities provided her with much-needed food from our pantry until she was able to find a new job. We are helping more and more working families with food so that they can stretch their limited budgets. This year, Catholic Charities has already provided over four million meals to our hungry neighbors. It is not enough.
I am asking you to join Catholic Charities in helping our neighbors this holiday season by dropping off nonperishable food items to a local food pantry, volunteering at one of our food pantries or simply making a donation through our website: ccbq.org. Together, we can preserve the dignity of our neighbors.
Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and affiliated agencies
Paying for the undercount
Do we need a better example of the long-term implications for failing to complete the U.S. Census of 2010 than today’s overcrowded schools in Corona?
The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Sec. 2) mandates a decennial Census that in turn has a direct connection to the distribution of government funding for public education. All parents who refused to complete the Census now have the painful pleasure of experiencing the outcome of their decision as it’ll play out in the coming decade in their children’s lives. Unfortunately those residents fulfilling the Constitutional requirement also have to suffer the consequences. Will this lesson be remembered for the 2020 Census?
Peter T. Johnson
Long Island City
More cops, fewer scofflaws
I pass by 80th Streetand Cooper Avenue several times a day, and each time, without fail, not one, but two or more cars run through the red lights in either direction. At 5 o’clock it’s a free for all. It’s literally an accident, or death(s) waiting to happen.
Perhaps the police could look intothis issue before it’s too late. I find it difficult to believe thatthis hasn’t been addressed yet. Some police presence would surely make drivers think twice.
Please help us, 104th Precinct.
McCain insults us all
Sen. John McCain recently dissed Long Island by saying, “Last I checked, Long Island was apart — albeit sometimes regrettably — part of the United States of America.” I guess the senator thought this was a joke. I believe not everyone thinks so. Those of us from Brooklyn, Queens,Nassau and Suffolk, which together comprise Long Island, don’t think this was funny but an insult.
There is a long list of accomplishments from Long Island, including our many veterans who fought for us fromthe world warsto our present conflicts and worked here and settled and built homes here. Let’s not forget that engineers here built the lunar module and that scientists in Cold Spring Harbor Labdeciphered the code for DNA.
I would like to applaud our Sen. Charles Schumer, whocame to our defense and said, “All America saw how heroic Long Islanders were on 9/11. Long Island deserves an apology.” Let me also mention all those who came to aid in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and are now sick and dying.
How dare Sen. McCain say thatLong Island is regrettably part of the United States.Well, being that he is a former member of the United States Navy, like myself, I’ll remind him of the slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”
Shame, shame on you, McCain, for dissing those who gave life and limb for God and country.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
NYC better than MTA?
The statements“Russianoff also said accepting automatic hikes does not encourage the MTA to become more efficient ‘because they are guaranteed to have a fare hike built in,’” along with“And the only ones who get to vote on it are the members of the MTA Board of Directors; not elected officials. Officials can rant and rave, but they can’t stop it,’”by Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign,which appeared in “Lhota backs MTA fare hike schedule” (Nov. 24), missed other options.
Virtually everyone hasforgotten thatin 1953, the old New York City Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, includingall its assets, under a master lease and operating agreement to the newly created New York City Transit Authority.Under late Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in the ’60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created.The governor appointed four board members. So did the mayor, and the rest were named by suburban county executives.
No single elected official controlled a majority of the votes.As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary, such as NYC Transit, does a good job.When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed, everyone could put up their hands and say “Don’t blame me, I’m only a minority within the board.”
Decade after decade, New York City mayors, comptrollers, public advocates, City Council presidents, borough presidents and City Council members would all play the same sad song — if only we had majority control of the board, things would be different. All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the city andNYC Transit is an escape clause.The city has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which include the subway and most of the bus system as well.
Actions speak louder than words.If municipal elected officials and othersfeel they could do a better job running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, including avoiding periodic fare hikes, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?
Great Neck, LI