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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:00 am

Our water at risk

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to your article “Gas companies threaten city water supply – NYH20” (Mid Queens edition, June 4).

Last December I submitted comments to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation expressing concerns about the issuance of natural gas drilling permits within or near the city’s watershed.

It is clear that there will be crippling implications for the city’s water and sewer ratepayers if natural gas drilling does not proceed in a responsible and appropriately regulated manner.New York city’s water supply delivers water to more than eight million people in the city and one million more in neighboring counties. The Marcellus Shale underlies the portion of the city’s water supply which provides 90 percent of the region’s drinking water, which does not require filtration due to its high quality.

It is expected that gas companies will use horizontal drilling combined with high volume hydraulic fracturing to extract the gas, a technique that is extremely water-intensive and involves significant quantities of toxic chemicals and waste.Hydraulic fracturing is markedly different from prior methods of extraction. Additionally, because hydraulic fracturing involves large quantities of toxic chemicals and waste water, there is a strong need for sufficient regulatory control and staffing to protect against the risks of these chemicals and associated waste water throughout the drilling and gas extraction life cycle.

Furthermore, at current interest rates, financing a $10 billion plant would add about $730 million per year in debt service expense. This debt service alone would require a 30 percent increase to the city water and sewer system budget and rates, not including the cost of operating the plant.

I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the highest possible protection forNew York’s drinking water.

William C. Thompson, Jr.

New York City comptroller


To get a permit

Dear Editor:

I read the June 11 letter to the editor (“Need disabled parking”) and a related article, the lack of on-street parking privileges for the disabled in New York City.

It is true that a New York State handicapped tag will only allow the holder to park in specifically-designated off-street handicapped spots. To my knowledge, there are no similarly designated on-street parking spots reserved for the disabled. However, there are special on-street parking privileges for the disabled in New York City.

The New York City Department of Transportation issues Special Vehicle Identification Parking Permits for the disabled, which allow the holders of such permits to park in “No Parking Anytime,” “No Parking” with specific hours (such as street cleaning periods), and “No Parking Except Trucks Loading and Unloading” areas. The holder of such a permit may also park at an expired meter. Such a permit will make it much easier for a disabled person to park in closer proximity to his or her destination.

An application for such a permit (download online) must be submitted to: New York City Department of Transportation, Parking Permits for People with Disabilities, 28-11 Queen Plaza North, 8th floor, Long Island City, NY 11101-4008. The applicant must provide a valid copy of his or her NYS driver’s license or no-driver’s identification card.

Additionally, the applicant must be a resident of New York City or a non-resident employed, or attending school, in New York City. Use of a private vehicle for transportation must be required. The applicant must have a severe, permanent disability that impairs mobility as certified by his or her personal physician and a New York City physician designated by the Department of Health at an assessment center. A copy of all vehicle registrations must be submitted.

Hopefully, the acquisition of a Special Vehicle Identification Parking Permit for the disabled will help, in some way, to eliminate, or ameliorate, the transportation problems experienced by the disabled. While disabled parking privileges in our city may be insufficient, they are not absent. Disabled individuals should take advantage of on-street parking privileges that are available to them. I hope that this letter will be of some assistance.

Jospeh Suraci

former administrative law judge

NYC Department of Finance

Kew Gardens

Handicapped parking

Dear Editor:

This is regarding the plight of Elinor Lauro (“Need disabled parking,” Letters, June 11).

I understand you have a New York State handicapped parking blue hang tag, but do you also have a New York City parking permit? If not, you should get one because you qualify.With it, you can park at meters without putting in money as well as at No Parking Anytime or No Standing Except signs.

It would be much easier to get a No Parking sign put up near your house, particularly near the corner. Many streets have this regulation to prevent large vehicles from blocking the view at intersections.

Good luck. As another motorist with a disability, I especially get frustrated at drivers that park in handicap spots in parking lots, then have an attitude about their right to park there for just a few minutes. Other states allow people to take photographs of these offending cars and turn them in to the police department and tickets are mailed to them. NYC won’t allow that either.

Lee Rottenberg

Middle Village

Learn English first

Dear Editor:

It’s a very nice idea to teach American children to learn basic Spanish, but isn’t it better to teach Spanish-speaking students how to speak basic English? I believe there then would be a lot fewer problems in trying to communicate.

Raymond Corden


Fight rising gas prices

Dear Editor:

Once again, as soon as Memorial Day arrives, you can expect to see the price of gas to go up nationwide.

The price is now $2.62 a gallon and rising! The culprits are the speculators who borrow significant amounts of money to speculate in energy.

The rules need to be changed so that less borrowed money can be used to gamble on energy future contracts.

We are at the mercy of these speculators and with people already hurting our government has a duty to address this problem now.

With that in mind, please call the White House at (202) 456-1111, the House at (202) 225-3121 and the Senate at (202) 224-3121. Call today!

Thomas and Constance Dowd


Media double standards

Dear Editor:

The vicious comments made by David Lettermantowards Governor Sarah Palin and her teen daughterhave once again provedthe double standard that exists in the mainstreamnews media (network news, CNN, MSNBC, PBS).

This hypocrisy and double standardis also practiced in theentertainment industry, women’s groupsand the Democratic party. When Don Imus made his “off the cuff” comments regarding a predominately blackwomen’s collegebasketball team as “nappy headedhos” the clock stopped as if the world was coming to an end. Calling somebody a “nappy headedho” is demeaning and disrespectful unless the news media thinks the right person said it. If your not a Democrat you can’t say boo! If youra Democrat you can say whatever you want and your comments will be concealed or taken as a light hearted joke.

Take our clever vice president for instance. During the presidential campaign JoeBidenreferred to Barrack Obama as “the first African American candidate who is articulate and bright and clean and nice looking.”If a Republican politician had spoken those words his political career would have been over, period.

Would David Letterman refer to Michele Obama or her childrenin a derogatory way? Absolutely not! Was David Letterman fired. No. In fact I don’t think he should be. As I write this letter he still has not issued a credible apology. Let’s see what these next few day’s bring.

President Bush hired more minorities in his administration including top cabinet positions then any other president including Barrack Obama. When Secretarys of State Collin Powell andCondoleezza Rice were in office they endured countless abuse from the newsmedia as well as from the Democrats. They were referenced as “slaves” to president Bush and “houseN's.”Did we hear any outragefrom the main stream media? No. Did we hear any outrage from women's groups? No.

In the coming weeks you will all witness Democrats and the news media portray the Republican party as “racists” when they question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her views and judicial record. The racial divide in this country is still out there but no where near what the media and the Democratic party would like all of us to think. In fact “reverse racism” enabled by policy and our biased media has onlycontinued to rise.This country has done more for minorities (are you listeningMr. Aranha?) then any other country in the world. Many programs initiated to help minorities in this countryhave only continued to keep them in a position of needing generations of assistance. This is a bigger tragedy then anyone wants to admit.

We all need to respect each other and ourselves and not let the media and all political parties use us as pawns. Both major parties need to clean up their act but there is no mistaking that it's the Democratic party that likes to put us into categories of “victims” that they will champion. Pay better attention before you come to an uninformedconclusion about these issues. The mainstream media thinks were all suckers and too many of us prove them right!


Howard Beach

Welcome to the discussion.