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Queens Chronicle

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 12:00 pm

Make English official

Dear Editor:

(An open letter to Rep. JosephCrowley)

I resent that your latest newsletter mailed to me was printedhalf in Spanish. Queens prides itself on being the most ethnically diverse areas of the world, so what about all the other languages that are spoken? Are their speakers going to demand equal rights?

Our government unites us as a people and so does our common language. How do I, as an English-speaking person, know what you are telling the Spanish-speaking people?

Congressman, unite us, don’t divide us. Please don’t become like Mayor Bloomberg, with whom after hearing his speech you have to hear it again in broken Spanish. Make English the official language of the United States for all government business and we’ll save lots of money just from printing everything in different languages and other services.

Living and growing up in Queens I know there were many languages spoken around the neighborhood, but in school and with each other English was spoken unless you were learning a foreign language. There were always waves of immigration to New York, but why now are our schools not performing and students not graduating? You are not really helping people by catering to them. Immerse them in English; it will help them be successful in the businessworld, where it is spoken all over the world and learned in school in foreign countries.

Congressman, we need leaders and uniters in Washington. I hope you can do the job.

Richard Polgar

Maspeth

Convention center fantasies

Dear Editor:

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall believed it was a grand idea to destroy hundreds of trees in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and construct a Grand Prix Auto race track around Meadow Lake. She believed it was a good idea to allow the United States Tennis Association to double its area in the park, thereby giving up irreplaceable public parkland. It was fine with her that hundreds of cars could be parked on FLMCP grassland when the Mets and the USTA were in play, something that would not be permitted in any other major city park. It was also a great idea to construct a huge Jets football stadium smack in the middle of FLMCP.

Ms. Marshall couldn’t care that the owners and occupiers of Willets Point, her taxpaying constituents, were being taxed for sewers, notwithstanding that there were no sewers. It did not matter to her that the Bloomberg Willets Point proposal, supported by her, would destroy hundreds of small businesses, financially ruin thousands of workers and their families and make a mockery of the time-honored concept that eminent domain existed to acquire property for a needed public purpose and not for the benefit of fat cat real estate moguls. The paltry few dollars she doles out annually from a discretionary fund, miniscule in terms of the city’sbillions of dollars economy and budget, hardly qualifies her asa friend of the poor, the middle class and small businesses.

Were any one of the above let alone, their totality is sufficient to question Ms. Marshall’s qualifications to hold public office, here now is an absurdity beyond parallel. Notwithstanding the existence of the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, and its taxpayer-committed $1.4 billion renovation, included in the Willets Point proposal was another convention center. Comes now added to this Alice in Wonderland convention center madness Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a mega convention center at Aqueduct. When that one is built, the Javits Center, despite the expenditure of $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars, will be demolished. Ignoring for the moment there exists a glut in convention space in thiscountry and madness notwithstanding, on the horizon comes Her Royal Highness Helen Marshall insisting, whether one be at Aqueduct or Javits or both, there will be a taxpayer-funded convention center in Willets Point.

Her rational is that it will “complement Aqueduct.” This kind of nonsense makes Alice in Wonderland a book of science and the Queens Borough President’s Office a fairyland.

Benjamin M. Haber

Flushing

Bury power lines

Dear Editor:

Over the last few years, we have experienced tornados, snow and ice storms, hurricanes and other major rain storms. During these events, power is often lost and lines are down making roads impassable and walking treacherous. Sometimes injuries and fatalities result. The problems are acute during the time that we experience them, however, we should be considering long term solutions to these issues during non-emergency times.

I believe that the time has come to seriously consider putting all power lines underground. Many elected officials haverecommended this to be done. It would significantly cut down on loss of electric, telephone and cable service, reduce safety hazards, eliminate the need to severely prune trees to prevent the branches from touching wires and raise property values due to more aesthetically pleasing looking neighborhoods.

This is an extensive and expensive project, especially during these difficult economic times. A project of this magnitude would take years to complete and would have to be done in stages; however, the eventual benefits derived would be substantial.

What has been suggested is that during street reconstruction projects, when new water mains and gas lines are laid, why not put pipes down to enable power lines to be placed underground? This would cut down on overall expenses and alleviate some of the inconvenience to residents if this work were done when the ground had to be opened anyway for other infrastructure work.

We need to look forward into the new century at more progressive solutions to current problems, solutions that are in the public interest and that are economically and environmentally responsible.

Henry Euler

Bayside

The truth on taxes

Dear Editor:

During his recent State of the Union, President Obama once again stated that the “rich” do not pay their fair share of taxes.Let’s look at the 2009 statistics as released by the IRS.The top 1 percent of taxpayers (those earning over $343,927) had 16.9 percent of the total reported Adjusted Gross Income and paid 36.7 percent of the total income taxes paid.Their average tax rate was 24.01 percent.

The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers had 13.5 percent of reportedAGI and paid 2.3 percent of the total income taxes paid.Their average tax rate was 1.85 percent.Most of them paid no taxes.

If one wanted to be in the top tenth of 1 percent of taxpayers in 2007 you had to earn $2,155,365.In 2009 the number was $1,432,890.I am not arguing that we should all feel sorry for the rich, but the numbers imply that things are not as rosy for them as Democrats make it seem.

Since letter writers like Anthony Pilla and John Molnar seem to think that they are more moral than the rest of us, I would like to ask them if the above numbers are not “fair” what is?Vice President Biden once stated that it was “patriotic to pay taxes.” Should the almost 50 percent of taxpayers who pay no taxes pay something?I am not including the most impoverished in the question, so please do not call me heartless.

Democrats never quote statistics in backing up their claim because they know the numbers do not support them.I urge Chronicle readers, rather than relying on political rhetoric,to go on the web to taxfoundation.org, where they will see several tables with the actual statistics. It will take some time to fully digest all the information, but it is better than talking out of ignorance.

Lenny Rodin

Forest Hills

Age 18: still a good bet

Dear Editor:

I would respectfully disagree with “Of ageto wage” (Editorial, Jan. 26), concerning your support of state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr.’s legislation to raise the legal age for gambling to 21.

At 18, you are old enough to vote,pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military,die for your country or be sentenced to life in prison with no parolefor the murder of others.Sonot being able to legally gamblemakes no sense.At 18, there are no legal restrictions for other forms of gambling, includingpurchasing New York State and out of town lottery tickets. Anyone can go to the racetrack or legal or illegal betting parlor and place a bet.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide products or services to meet the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval including access to gambling for those between 18 and 21.

Our tax dollars would be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those under 21who attempt to gamble.

Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins, along with ever-increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and debt by government than allowing individuals 18 to 20 gambling. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.

There is more to fear from poor and middle class people over 21becoming addicted to government-sanctioned gambling andspending their life savings going broke than allowing 18- to 21-year olds access.

Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace.Eighteenyear olds areadults and should be treated as such.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, LI

Obama the divider

Dear Editor:

The economy of our nation still has not significantly improved since President Obama took office. All of his promises of turning everything aroundand improving our economic state and reducing unemployment and reducing taxes have not come to pass. The president seems to be in his own world — the world of wanting everyone to believe that he has actually done something significant to help turn our nation around. What a bunch of overbloated baloney!The only thing that he has done is to further divide the nation.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Welcome to the discussion.