Quit now, fool!
If you’re still smoking, you should see the New York State Department of Health’s new series of powerful ads designed to encourage people to break free from nicotine addiciton. The ads are tough to watch, but not as tough as watching what cigarettes do to the people who smoke and those around them.
Here at the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership, we work to be a part of the solution by assisting those who are looking to quit smoking and partnering with those who want to be protected from unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke.
We at the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership believe that everyone has the right to breathe clean air.
We support measures to protect people from unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes through the creation of 100 percent smoke-free residential buildings.
Protect yourself and those you love by helping someone quit smoking today. Why not? It’s free. Call the New York Smokers’ Quitline at 1 (866) NY-QUITS (697-8487) or visit nysmokefree.com.
Dan Carrigan, director
Queens Smoke-Free Partnership
Homeless in Jamaica
Re “Jamaica: haven for homeless,” Aug. 5, multiple editions:
I am appalled by the dehumanizing tone of this article. Homelessness is a serious problem in the city that needs to be addressed, so I applaud any effort to try and report the facts on this issue. However, this article frames the issue as “homeless people smell,” “homeless people are lewd,” and “homeless people are dangerous.”
There is no effort at all to understand the issue in a broader context, or examine the story of why someone becomes homeless. The article seems to treat homeless people about the same as sewer rats in need of extermination or removal. I’m thoroughly disgusted.
I think this is a sad commentary on today’s economy. I remember the 1970s: Jamaica Ave was dangerous … then it was not.
Please clean up this problem for the neighborhood. This sounds serious. I was near the park one night this summer and it was filled with beautiful children.
Please keep our city nice — get these people the help they need to be human beings with respect.
Don’t blame the unions
Today the unions find themselves again under a blistering attack by the media and management.This attack seeks to transfer blame for the current economic crisis to organized workers who refuse to be broken or bowed into pretending that they are to blame for this crisis in our nation.This economic disaster should be laid at the feet of the greedy capitalists working on Wall Street, in our banking sector and their agents in government, who sign ill-conceived trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, among others.
The destruction of our industrial base and our refusal to create a high-wage and benefit service sector to replace our high-wage and benefit industrial sector coupled with capitalist greed has pushed our economy over a cliff without enough parachutes to protect the working class.
Currently, we see numerous questions about overtime within the MTA.The MTA could significantly lower overtime but the impact to the commuter would not be appreciated.Currently, we experience trains arriving at their destination 95 percent or better on schedule.It would be impossible to change rails with trains running, or to weld a frog during rush hours.This work must be done when traffic is reduced and that means at night or on the weekend.Major upgrades that keep our system, the envy of the nation, can only be done on off hours. With less overtime, commuters would see on-time performance fall into the 50 percent or less bracket.
Trade unions were formed to stop the gross exploitation of workers.Unions allowed workers to gain an eight-hour day, vacation and health benefits, pensions and Social Security.Non-union workers should not be against organized labor; instead they should seek to join unions and strengthen protections for all workers.
MTA workers are a part of our community.They pay taxes and they consume products.They are not the economic enemy, nor are they parasites.They have made numerous sacrifices and concessions that they have not been given credit for.
So when you see that snow storm, nor’easter or rain storm come through and your train still got you to your destination on time, remember some union worker removed the snow or kept debris off the right of way that allowed you and your family members to get to your destination safely.
F. Christophe Silvera
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Long Island City
Their trash, my fine
I am writing this letter so I can vent my anger and frustrations. I recently received, in the mail, a summons from the Sanitation Department of this great city, stating that I had a dirty sidewalk one day in July.
I, who have lived here all my life and know and obey all the rules and regulations — and am 73 years old with Parkinson’s disease — am out every morning sweeping. Once the sidewalk is clean a bell does not ring in my home telling me that another day worker has thrown his garbage or lunch remains on my sidewalk. I cannot be outside, with my broom, 24 hours a day.
I won’t even get into the problems of them using my backyard for their bathroom. It’s really gross.
Stated on my summons were all the items they saw on my sidewalk. Menus, not mine, that the local restaurants stick on all the doors and then get blown off to land on the sidewalk. Coffee cups, drink containers and foam dinner plates. Not mine. I know the proper way to dispose of them. Yet, I get the summons for $100 while they walk away only to litter wherever, once again.
I cannot make the trip to Jamaica to fight this summons so I just want to ask you … isn’t something very wrong with this picture?
The ubiquitous hope of throwing out the bums not only has inspired the Tea Party but many Americans. There is a never-ending weariness, boredom and expectation that all elected officials are preening themselves for TV and re-election. The business of the people and of the nation appears abandoned to petty selfishness and individual egos.
The repetitiveness of “No” by the Republicans is nauseating. It is predictable that any news story reporting upon their position on anything automatically has them opposed and pointing accusations at the Democrats, questioning their patriotism and love of country. Democrats seem mostly at odds with themselves, unable or unwilling to unify behind the president.
The Tea Party and Fox offer disjointed anger and rabble-rousing, outrageous claims without substance relying upon a populist appeal. They seek only to upset the status quo without a program and to empower themselves as the conscious of America while lacking a truthful soul.
The anger felt by voters toward our political system and those elected to represent the people has been created purposefully. No good has come of it nor can any be expected. Those who have created the hostility fractured the functioning of government. Unfortunately the emotional trauma which has been building for years will not end without voters rejecting the manipulations.
Weiner’s 9/11 rant
In the August 5 issue, Rep. Anthony Weiner blamed Republicans for the failure of Congress to pass a bill providing funding for ill 9/11 first responders (“Darn right I was angry — you should be too,” multiple editions).
First, it would have been more helpful for passage if the bill was not named for James Zadroga, a 9/11 first responder who the New York City medical examiner stated did not die from 9/11 causes.It makes one wonder about unsubstantiated claims.
I thinkmost honest observers of the New York State Legislature will agree that they cannot control spending.Just look at the recent budget approved with a 4 percent increase in spending. When Congress can approve billions in funds to help the state continue its dysfunctional spending habitsand can approve $2 million for California researchers to study ants in the Indian Ocean, then why would one believe the 9/11 claims process would be efficient?
The Democrats did not want any amendments to the 9/11 bill, so they used a parliamentary technique that required a two-thirds majority.If Congressman Weiner really wanted the bill to pass, then he should fault his own party.They could have easily passed the bill on a majority vote.In all honesty, neither party should be proud of their actions.
Congressman Weiner did help New York, though.His angry outburst on the floor of the House helped remind America of New York’s great theaters.He will definitely get my vote for a Tony for “Best false outrage by a politician in Congress.”