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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:00 am

Bridge Renaming

Dear Editor:

Notwithstanding a dubious start, Robert Kennedy became a decent person and one of stature. Having said that however, it is clear his connection to New York City was if anything, meager.

He was no long-term resident and while he did serve as a United States senator from New York for a short period of time, that role was not assumed by him to serve the interests of the residents of this city and state. It was simply a platform to seek the presidency of the United States.

One would be hard pressed to attribute to him any major piece of legislation that significantly changed the lives of the residents of this state and city for the better. This city is replete with streets named after mostly forgettable politicians and which serve no public interest, let alone the expenditure of taxpayer dollars to replace numerous signs.

The Triborough Bridge connecting three boroughs is aptly named and Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to change it to the “Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge” is political nonsense and should be rejected. A plaque in City Hall Park commemorating RFK would be more than appropriate.

Benjamin Haber,


Thank You

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. staff and Board of Directors, I send our deepest appreciation for the generosity the Queens Chronicle Toy Drive shared with our clients this holiday season. We are thrilled to announce that with your support, VIP was able to provide holiday gifts to 100 percent of the women and children we serve.

Thank you again for your commitment and support of families that are breaking free of domestic violence.

We wish you a joyous New Year of health, happiness and peace.

Carmen Rivera,

interim executive director,

Violence Intervention Program,


Unfair Taxes

Dear Editor:

I couldn’t help but read your article that our Speaker of the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, is going to ask taxpayers to pay to keep people who own $400,000 houses in their homes because they cannot afford to pay their mortgage.

I live in a 4 1/2 room apartment and feel that it is unfair that my tax money should go to people who cannot afford to pay their mortgage. They still live in the $400,000 house, and I still live in an apartment house. Next year, I’ll have to live in a yellow submarine.

It is also ridiculous to continually blame “predatory lenders” for the problems of people who buy too much house without any money. The fault is with the person who bought the house and agreed to the mortgage in the first place. Stop blaming everyone else for the greed of those people who want to live good but really can’t afford it.

As usual, Sheldon Silver is much more interested in headlines than he is in taking care of the people who work their backs off and provide the tax revenue so that Albany can work.

Kenneth Brown,


Time For Change You Say?

Dear Editor:

This letter isin response tothe ever so predictable comments in the letter to the editor written byNicholas Zizelisregarding changeand what it may bring to our great country. Every time a candidate runs for office they talk about change. Republican and Democrat alike.Each of us have our own idea on what kind of change we would like to see.It sounds nice and clean when you hear them speak of change but when you break down the candidates it becomes very clear towhat they really mean.

As you said Mr. Zizelis, “Change is a nebulous and even a dangerous request.” Let's start off with Barack Obamaand Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama is a junior senator with no relevant experience whovoted against using whatever measures necessary to defend “our country.” That’s the short version. Hillary Clinton is “running on her experience.” What experience? As a younglawyer she took part in defending (and was apacifist for) theBlack Panther Party and any other radicalleft wingcause she could wrap herself around. This woman is left of left bordering on being a socialist.

She also claims thatbeing first lady for eight years and living in the White House gives her great experience. Are we that naive Mr. Zizelis? If your wife is a neurosurgeonI guess that gives you the experience to practice medicine?I guess Roger Clemens wife can throw a mean slider too.Understand my point? Although I don’t agree with everything thatthe currentRepublican candidates stand for, I’m gonna go with them on this one. In this day and age we don’t need an inexperiencedBarack Obama who votes against many issues that involve defendingour countryand then says he’ll preemptively bomb Pakistan if need be. It’s laughable.We also don’t need a Hillary Clinton who will say just about anything assuming we are all too stupid to know she is full of it.

Can you imagine her being told that theWorld Trade Center wasjust attacked? This woman all butcriedcomplaining abouthow the campaign was just so overwhelming and how she just couldn’t figure out why the American people weren’t getting her message. She did find her voice though. I feel bad for Obama in the coming months. it’s gonna get ugly. Need Isay more?

Anyway back to reality. Mr. Zizelis, let’s not forget that it was a Republicanbacked Congress/Senate that provided the backbone that led to the prosperity this country faced coupled with the enormous tech boom that fueled our economy. I should think the timing was right and the President went along for the ride in more ways than one. But now that I’m thinkingthere was that one highlight of Clinton’s “glorious”years. He didhelp redefine what is and is not considered sex. Bravo! I know where your vote is going Mr. Zizelis. Too bad.

Paul Parrinello,

Howard Beach

Kudos To Weprin

Dear Editor:

I am writing to say kudos to Assemblyman Mark Weprin for continuing to stand up for our children and for what he believes in (Pol Takes Klein To Task on Testing, Jan. 10).

Assemblyman Weprin, instead of praising the Department of Education’s Progress Reports at a recent press conference, took the opportunity to use the press conference as a forum to bring up his concerns regarding DOE’s continued reliance of standardized tests and their effects on learning. Nobody can contest that there needs to be measurements and assessments of a student’s progress, but when testing is the only form of that measure we should all be greatly concerned.

Recently, teachers and administrators have become even more accountable for how well students perform on these tests. Students’ progress, and now the funding and jobs at these schools, rely almost exclusively on these tests. This has sadly led to teaching to take tests as compared to teaching to ensure that our children receive a challenging well-rounded education through hands-on experiences, field trips, group discussions, music and the arts. All of these skills are an invaluable part of becoming a well educated and productive part of society.

Finally, teachers input is diminishing in how a student is taught and in their assessments. Our teachers are the ones on the front lines of the classroom and are the ones best suited to judge a student’s progress. They should be given more of a voice in the assessment process. A lot of times the grades that students receive do not correlate to what they actually are learning once again leads me to ask how accurate are these tests in assessing a student’s progress.

Yes, students need to be assessed. However, they need to be properly assessed but not at the sake of learning. We need more public officials like Assemblyman Weprin to stand up for our children, who are our future.

Bryan Rivera,


Foreclosure Woes

Dear Editor:

It is disheartening to hear stories such as Edie Berry’s (the Queens Chronicle, Jan. 10 issue). For many New Yorkers, the dream of home ownership has turned into the nightmare of foreclosure.

Behind the staggering statistics — predictions that New York City experienced roughly 15,000 foreclosures over the last year — are families displaced from their homes and, in some cases, taken advantage of by the brokers and lenders they trusted.

For our communities as a whole, foreclosures have harsh economic consequences. Just one or two boarded up homes can hurt neighboring property values and stunt an area’s economic growth.

Notably, the rate of foreclosures has hit minority neighborhoods the hardest.According to NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy the 10 neighborhoods in New York City with the highest rates of mortgages from subprime lenders were primarily African American and Hispanic.

Although there is no simple or single solution to this problem, it is important that at-risk borrowers know about all the options available to help them avoid the loss of their homes. There are places they can turn for both help and hope.

The New York City Comptroller’s Office and New York City Central Labor Council recently created a citywide initiative called “Save Our Homes.” My office has been working in partnership with labor and clergy throughout the city to raise awareness and offer assistance to New York homeowners.

This effort is part of a many-pronged initiative that includes my office’s Foreclosure Prevention Helpline. To date, more than 2,350 people have called for help regarding their personal situations.

With guidance and support, many homeowners can regain their footing and protect their property. It is encouraging, as the Chronicle noted, that so many elected officials across this city, state and nation are devising ways to help homeowners keep their dreams alive.

William Thompson Jr.,

New York City comptroller,


Rebuttal, I Think Not

Dear Editor:

In his letter to the editor (the Queens Chronicle, Jan 10 issue) notice how Edward Leahy avoids the term illegal aliens. He, like other open border advocates, chooses to use the term immigrants to give the impression that illegal aliens and legal immigrants are one and the same, implying that those who are against illegals are against all immigration.

Please sir, be a little more creative.

Mr. Leahy reveals himself to us when he quotes from the Declaration of Independence, “we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.” Does that include breaking the law? Living where one chooses to live sounds pretty inalienable to me.

So Mr. Leahy, sovereignty means nothing, respect for the nation’s laws mean nothing, our borders mean nothing, the citizens who live here who pay taxes, whose sons and daughters have been maimed and killed fighting for their country, mean nothing. Only the people who want to come here, legally or illegally, only what they want matters.

Remember, we are a nation of immigrants. Wanted — legal immigrants. Borders, language, culture — fight for them or lose them. Let the people decide. I rest my case.

Larry Trapani,

Kew Gardens


The photo in a Jan. 10 article, titled “Spitzer Proposes Naming Triboro Bridge After RFK” showed the Throgs Neck Bridge, not the Triborough Bridge

Welcome to the discussion.