A useless office
There is more to the recent newsthatPublic Advocate Bill de Blasio beat out Comptroller John Liu and former Comptroller Bill Thompson in finally paying $300,000 in fines for papering the city with thousands of illegalposters during his 2009 election campaign.He doesn’t want this as an issue to be used against him when running for mayor in2013. Watch Liu and Thompson quickly cut their own checks as well.
De Blasio continues to acceptexcessive campaign contributionsfrom municipal labor unions and follows their agenda lockstep. In the interest of fair and open disclosure, why not just call his positionthe “Office of Union Advocate”?
Any public opinion poll would tell you that the average citizen believestaxpayers would be better off ifthe uselessOffice of Public Advocate was abolished.
New York City has a municipal budget of$65 billion dollars with over 200,000 employees. This is greater than most states and many nations. Mr. de Blasiohas never built a business, created jobs, met a payroll, balanced a multibillion dollar budgetor managed any significant agencies with large numbers of employees. His ego, just like those of predecessors Mark Green and Betsy Gotbaum, is using this office as a stepping stone torun for mayor. He brings no realqualifications forthe second toughest job in America.
Great Neck, LI
Editor’s Note: This letter was written before Wednesday’s New York Times story alleging fundraising violations by the John Liu campaign.
No convention center
Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, has it all wrong in advocating building a convention center at Willets Point (“Let’s build a convention center here in Queens,” Opinion, Oct. 6, multiple editions). Apart from the fact that Mayor Bloomberg’s Willets Point proposal will destroy hundreds of small businesses; throw to the wind the livelihood of thousands of workers and their dependents; make a mockery of what has always been a proper use of eminent domain — all for the benefit of fat cat real estate moguls and their political friends at considerable taxpayer cost — there is no legitimate basis for a convention center in Queens.
Given the fact taxpayers of this city and state are committed to spending $1.4 billion to enlarge The Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, what is the purpose of another 400,000-square-foot convention center in Queens?
Mr. Friedman should read an article that appeared in The Metro Section of The New York Times on Jan. 18, 2005, citing a Brookings Institution report finding there exists a glut of convention space throughout this country. Included in the report was the following:
“In an environment where every major center around the country is sharply discounting rental rates or giving space away and throwing in incentives, the likelihood of any [center] succeeding, is remarkably thin.”
If I were to describe a convention center in Queens at taxpayer cost as being a foolish idea, I could be accused of being too generous. If, of course, Mr. Friedman and his rich business constituents are so sure a convention center in Queens is such a great idea and a sure money maker, nothing prevents them from using their own money to acquire vacant land and have their own convention center constructed.
One need not speculate whether the Chamber of Commerce would support a convention center if its members were to foot the bill.
Benjamin M. Haber
The U.S. and Europe
It amazes me that some European countries have embraced Warren Buffett’s message on taxes but that there is mainly criticism and skepticism here at home!
How does one explain this split?
Illegal job takers
While you are crying there are no jobs, hundreds of thousands of people in New York are going to work every day and earning a salary.
Unfortunately, these people have no business being in this country, let alone working here. They work in every business, taking jobs away from people who have a right to work here.
While you are riding around all day with nothing to do because you have no job, these people are working and are able to save and send back to their countries hundreds of millions of dollars, and use our generous nature to the fullest extent.
There are plenty of jobs in this country. Let’s get rid of the people who shouldn’t be working and fill them with people who should be working.
Write your congressmen and senators. Tell them you and your child, who has working papers, want your jobs back. Do something.
Speak up right away
Every time an animal or child is abused, people come out of the woodwork to tell you their story of the times they heard screaming, crying, blatant abuse. Never once do they say they called 911 or the ASPCA, like they don’t know that calls can remain anonymous anyway. Then they get their names in the newspaper once it’s too late. Does the publicity let them sleep at night?
What’s the point? It won’t bring the kid’s or animal’s life back. Maybe if they called sometime before a killing, the victim would still be alive. To me these people are just as disgusting as the abuser. How can people live with themselves listening to such cruelty?
If you can’t stand up and open your mouth for the rights of others, then shut up. No one wants to hear from you. You’re an accomplice, plain and simple. Shame on you.
For a diverse FDNY
I want to thank Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and the FDNY for allowing my office to participate in the recent two-month recruitment drive, which led to over 75 Southeast Queens’ residents filing for the upcoming firefighter exam. Representatives of the FDNY’s recruitment unit were placed in my St. Albans district office every Monday and Tuesday over those two months to assist residents who wanted to become firefighters enlist online.
Additionally, I want to thank the members of the FDNY’s Vulcan Society, who have been instrumental in helping my office to raise awareness about the need to diversify the Fire Department. It is my hope that future recruitment drives will build on the steps the FDNY took this time, which included a million-dollar ad campaign in ethnic newspapers and radio. As a result of the FDNY having recruiters stationed in my office during this drive, many young Southeast Queens’ men and women had an opportunity to file for the upcoming exam.
Oftentimes, the recruiters were able to engage our youth about the benefits of public service in the FDNY just by being visible at a recruitment table stationed on the sidewalk in front of my Farmers Boulevard office. With the use of social networking and advertisements, word spread in the community and we saw parents bringing in groups of young men to sign up. In fact, many young men were still coming to my office to sign up for the test well after the recruiters left. Without a doubt, we now know that true diversity can be achieved in the FDNY with the right marketing and community outreach, along with a fair exam.
I have been an ardent supporter for diversifying the ranks of the FDNY, also working with the Vulcan Society to introduce legislation that would address the lack of diversity in the department via a credit for applicants educated in the city.
City Councilman for the 27th District
Deputy Majority Leader
Our new playground
I just read with a great deal of sadness about the destruction of the playground in Alley Pond Park inOakland Gardensby a possible arsonist (“Police seek arsonist in playground fire,” Oct. 6, Northeast Queens edition). I just can’t understand why someone could do such a thing. There are children who have looked forward to going there and parents were happy that the playground was a safe place where their children could go.
But when one playground is destroyed another rises. For as one falls to hate, another risesout oflove for the children. In Douglaston a new playground has just been built and is now called, “Peaceful Playground.” It is a place where children can run, play, slide and swing. This project was the result of a collaboration of efforts by Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy and St. Anastasia parish. I am a parishioner at St. Anastasia and also grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911 and have seen this playground firsthand.
The playground is housed in a park-like setting, includes new equipment and incorporates a child-friendly area, grotto area, benches and a handmade statue of the Blessed Mother and Jesus as a little boy. Made possible through donations from community merchants, parishioners and Divine Wisdom alumni, the playground was dedicated in mid-September.
Let me further add, that the site is meant to enhance physical and motor skill development of the school’s students as well as promote an anti-bully message. This truly is a beautiful place to behold. Please check it out. It is located on 245th Street and Northern Boulevard in Douglaston.
Federick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village