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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2009 12:00 am

No Gov. Giuliani

Dear Editor:

I was dismayed to see there is a possibility that former Mayor Giuliani might consider running for governor (“Giuliani for governor,” Letters, April 23). In southeast Queens, I live with part of the legacy of his mayoral administration.

Mr. Giuliani promised if elected, he would find a solution for the trash problem. Well he did! We now have the city’s trash in our backyards: moved from Staten Island to Queens.

We also saw theincrease in polarization between our citizens; the loss of civility and the tragic death of Amadou Diallo in a barrage of bullets. We must not forget Mr. Diallo’sdeath, as well asthe terrible treatment ofAbner Louima.

Our elected officials should help us to call upon our best selves as well as demonstrate that they are here to be of service. I don’t think they shouldpander or usethe populace for their own selfish motives or political maneuvers.

No one questions Giuliani'ssupportduring the Sept. 11 WTC attack. A leader during this type ofcrisis has a unique mandate. I don't know if dealing with another Giuliani administration, its mean spiritedness and tone, just because of his past performance in the monthsfollowing Sept. 11, is worth it.

Gladys Brown

St. Albans

Why go to Mexico?

Dear Editor:

It does not make any sense to me that parents in this day and age would allow their teenagers to go on a trip to a foreign country, especially with all of the problems that Mexico is experiencing.

St. Francis Prep did not support this trip, and the parents should be more responsible in allowing their kids to go on trips anywhere, much less to Mexico.

I’m a graduate of Saint Francis prep, and I went on our senior ski trip to Lake Placid with 399 of my classmates. We had 20 teachers who chaperoned that trip — and we did not have any major problems. Nobody even thought about traveling to foreign countries back then. Trips like those cost a lot of money.

It just seems that parents of high school students give their children everything that they want. When is responsibility going to be taught to these kids? Nobody gives you a handout; you have to earn money to buy things. My parents never gave me an allowance, and I did just fine.

When I drive by Prep and see all the expensive and large cars that these high school seniors are driving, I cannot believe that parents give them these cars! I walked or took public transportation. Why can't kids today do the same?

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

The worst budget ever

Dear Editor:

Following rounds of secrecy and closed-door meetings, Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Smith led the way in enacting the worst budget in our state’s history. The details and facts surrounding this reckless and fiscally irresponsible budget are shockingly bad for all New Yorkers.

The “three-men-in-a-room” state budget packs a walloping $8 billion tax and fee increase on New York’s families and small business. It spends an estimated $132 billion, an increase of nine percent from last fiscal year. That is a staggering amount of spending and taxing in any economic condition — good or bad.Even Comptroller DiNapoli, the official charged with the state’s fiscal health, indicated this level of spending is unsustainable.

DiNapoli said: “This budget is not a long-term solution to New York’s propensity to spend more than the state can afford. … This is essentially a buy-time budget, based on the hope that the economy recovers quickly. It’s a very fragile basket to place all the taxpayers’ eggs in.”

Just last week, nearly a month following the enactment of the state budget, Paterson’s own budget officials outlined that the state’s fiscal woes will continue with multi-billion dollar budget deficits for years to come.

In New York City, a family is expected to pay anywhere from $4,700 to $5,000 more each year because of this budget loaded with tax and fee hikes. Simply put, this state budget taxes too much, spends too much and completely fails to live up to the promise of reform and cooperation at a time when our state can least afford it. The Paterson-Silver-Smith budget will hinder New York’s economic growth and competitiveness and place a swift and strong recovery out of reach.

That is why I voted against this disastrous state budget crafted by Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Smith.

In fact, editorial boards across New York have near universally criticized the dysfunctional and secretive budget process and its disastrous outcome.

Please don’t be fooled by the negative mailers packed with distortions that you may have recently received in your mailbox.Those arenothing but an attempt to misdirect attention from the fact that the 2009-2010 state budget championed by Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Smith will have a devastating impact on our future.

At the end of the day, I will continue to stand side-by-side with New York’s middle-class families and small businesses in strong opposition to this risky fiscal scheme called the 2009-2010 state budget.

Frank Padavan

New York State Senator


Our diverse universe

Dear Editor:

Who are we? Everybody. Queens County, a microcosm of a multicultural universe, is alive and well. On April 27 and 28, Queens College hosted both the 2009 Afghanistan Peace and Development Conference and the highly acclaimed film “Afghan Women: A History of Struggle.” College President James Muyskens and various associations supported what I hope will be the beginning of a continuing public discourse.

We are indeed fortunate that within Flushing, a key Afghan community in New York City, resides Professor Jawied Nawabi. He is a good neighbor and concerned citizen of the world. Project coordinator Aniqa Islam and Afghan Peace Association President Dr. Ahmed Dawer Nadi set a tone of respect, warmth and hope for solutions.

Monday evening’s documentary, hosted by Professor Strickland, introduced me to filmmaker Kathleen Foster and activist Fahima Vorgetts. These are people who have “been there, done that” and continue to do so. It is an honor to be in their company. Along with conference presenters Sonali Kolhatkar, Paul O’Brien, Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Sameer Dossani and so many others, they challenge me — in my safe Time/Warner remote-controlled cocoon — to make a difference.

American values are neither Democratic nor Republican but reside in the souls of our people. We are not just national interests and force of arms, but of human interests and force of hands, legs and minds. We can show the world who we are by making a generational, grassroots and person-to-person commitment to build democratic institutions overseas.

A not so wise man once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” Visit Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Astoria, Ridgewood, Greenpoint, Ozone Park, Richmond Hills, South Jamaica, etc., and you’ll see that, yes we can.

Don’t send arms, rather lend a hand.

Richie Lipkowitz

South Flushing Association

Kew Gardens

No free college rides

Dear Editor:

Senator Charles Schumer should look in the mirror regarding his recent callfor parental consent on college students using credit cards.Under his watch,Congresshas run up long-termdebtby trillions, to $11 trillion today.Perhaps it is Congress who needs some parental control.

Schumer was also silent concerningmillions of Americans who have benefited from being able to attend college onstudent loans. Thishas given them access tothe middle class. Sadly, too many students then stuck Uncle Sam with the bill. Despite being successfully employed for years at well-payingjobs, there are several hundredthousand former studentswith ample income who refuse to pay off their student loans. Taxpayers are left with billions of dollarsin uncollected debts.

Given that we arenow burdened with over $11 trillion in long-term debt, equal attention must be paid to this scandal as well.Why not start by denyingfederal and state tax refunds to those deadbeats who look for a free ride at our expense?

Larry Penner

Great Neck

You’re wrong on Obama

Dear Editor:

Your editorial on April 23 (“Where we stand, part II: Obama's first 3 months”) was innacurate nonsense and reads more like a talking points memo from the Obama administration.

Let me address just one issue. You refer to the administration’s release of memos that reveal our use of alleged “torture.” I for one, do not consider waterboarding to be torture. We now know for a fact that a second Sept. 11 attack planned for L.A. was precluded through information gathered after waterboarding. Obama’s release of these memos is a disaster for national security. It tells our enemies exactly where our lines in the sand are. I guess they’ll stop the jihad because they’re so impressed by Obama's wonderful “transparency.”

When the next attack happens, I’d like Obama to explain to the next of kin how their loved ones had to die because we don’t want to pour water on a terrorist's face.

John LaPorte


Welcome to the discussion.