• August 26, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Letters to the Editor

Target gun makers

Dear Editor:

Re Linda Sperling’s Aug. 15 letter, “NRA blocks new gun laws”:

The best way to defeat the NRA is to destroy its main source of funds — gun makers. Congress can do this by repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act enacted in 2005. It protects gun manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes are committed with their products.

Firearms is the only industry that enjoys this shield, which prevents mass shooting survivors and victims’ families from collecting damage payments from Smith & Wesson, Remington and other mass murder merchants. If the pharmaceutical industry had this shield, opioid makers like Purdue Pharma would not have had to pay several hundred million dollars in fines for their reckless conduct. It’s time for the firearms industry to pay dearly for its deadly sins.

Full disclosure: I tried to join the NRA but was rejected because of a health issue — I’m allergic to nuts. However, I received a handwritten note of apology from NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. He wrote it in crayon because he’s not allowed to have any sharp objects where he currently resides.

NRA RIP ASAP.

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Drop Wells Fargo, hit NRA

Dear Editor:

Like so many I am frustrated by the influence of the National Rifle Association and its ability to prevent the passage of any kind of gun management legislation.

The bank of the NRA is Wells Fargo — for loans and any of its accounts. I would suggest that one of the things we can do to “drain the swamp” is to close any accounts that we have with Wells Fargo as long as it keeps doing business with the NRA.

If representatives don’t have the courage to do something, this is something that can be done.

Stew Frimer
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Sex Museum ads=free speech

Dear Editor:

I must respectfully disagree with “Ads too sexy for buses” (Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Letters, Aug. 8). First it was alcohol, next cigarettes and now some want the MTA to ban Museum of Sex advertisements. This is sad for those who cherish free speech. Some have forgotten about the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.

Advertising is a multibillion-dollar business, helping fuel our economy. The MTA earns millions in advertising revenues that help pay for both operating expenses and capital improvement projects. If you don’t like the ad, don’t buy the product. Advertisers will get the message. This is life when you live in a free and open society.

Those on the political left, who practice political correctness to the extreme, are no different from their counterparts on the extreme political right — the Moral Majority thought police. Both groups promote censorship and intolerance of those whose divergent viewpoints differ from their own narrow-minded ideological views. This is disappointing to people who cherish freedom of speech and intellectual discourse on issues of the day, no matter how controversial. Both sides need a refresher course on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. Will the American Civil Liberties Union now have to come to the defense of the Museum of Sex?

We are fortunate to be living in one of the few free societies in the world today. Freedom of speech including ideas expressed in advertisements paid for by business, private citizens or organizations is usually cherished here, not trampled on.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

McCray vs. Mother Cabrini

Dear Editor:

Chirlane McCray’s program called “She built the city” asked the public to vote on new statues of exceptional women. The vote was clear, and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini won, but she was rejected by McCray.

Mother Cabrini, as she also was known, was the first American saint, who in the 1800s devoted her life to helping the needy. In addition to that she is the Italian-born patron saint of immigrants.

City Councilman Justin Brannan has sent a letter to McCray’s office and is asking why Cabrini is being ignored. I am grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911 in Douglaston, and I am asking the same question: why?

You see, the votes of the public really don’t count.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

The ethics of editing

Dear Editor:

Last week the Chronicle published my letter to another newspaper critical of that paper for stating that President Trump inspired the El Paso shooter (“Shooters and media bias”).

The other paper printed my letter but edited out the quote from the shooter’s manifesto stating that to blame Trump for his actions would be “fake news.” The paper stated that to print his comments would “use this space to give this alleged hateful murderer a channel to voice his hatred and inspire others to lash out.”

The other paper in its original editorial referenced the “hostile words towards immigrants” of the manifesto. Logic dictates that if the paper did not want to give the shooter a channel then it should not have mentioned his motives in the first place.

It seems that the paper’s real motive to editing my letter was to save itself from embarrassment. I won’t bother to write to a paper that doesn’t have the courage to admit that it was wrong.

That’s why the Chronicle has always been my number one choice in Queens for real journalism.

Lenny Rodin
Forest Hills
Editor’s note: The writer’s Aug. 15 letter included the name of the other paper, which the Chronicle removed during editing. An editor’s note saying that was done was intended, but inadvertently left out. We regret the oversight.

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Trump: Macbeth on Greenland

Dear Editor:

Now that President Trump has canceled his earlier planned trip to Denmark, there is no reason to say, “There is something rotten in Denmark.”

I am sure he is looking for ways to hurt them for refusing to sell Greenland.

Ray Hackinson
Ozone Park

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

It’s Trump’s fault, not Dems’

Dear Editor:

Having read Larry Penner’s Aug. 15 letter to the editor, “Dems are way out there,” with due but limited respect, I believe Mr. Penner needs a refresher course in history.

In claiming Democrats from decades ago, Sens. Moynihan, Jackson, Nunn and Lieberman, would not recognize their own party today, Mr. Penner is confused. They would indeed recognize their party, but would not recognize a Republican Party that no longer exists by reason of a grossly incompetent, pathological liar, currently residing in the White House, someone who has not the least understanding of our Constitution.

Mr. Penner has chosen to close his eyes and ears to the fact that a growing national debt this country faces is clearly because the current president’s ridiculous tax cuts that favor the extreme wealthy and large corporations — the latter using their tax cuts to buy up their stocks and give executives enormous benefits and the workers be damned.

I am a voter of the Jewish faith and I resent Mr. Penner telling me I need be concerned about the future of our nation, without specifically spelling out what my faith has to be concerned about. Religion has no place in our political process, and should not be used, as Mr. Penner seems to be suggesting, to decide whom to support. If he is referring to anti-Semitism, he should look to the occupant of the White House, who is a racist, and his support of the autocrat in Hungary, who is an anti-Semite. If Mr. Penner is referring to an absurd claim that Democrats do not support Israel, he has earned an F-minus.

It should be noted Mr. Penner chooses to ignore a child snatched away from an immigrant mother who is seeking asylum, and the mother deported. He chooses to ignore a rule that if a married couple legally in this country lose their jobs and may seek food stamps, they are to be expelled, and their native-born children, who are citizens, to remain here without them. He also believes global warming does not exist, scientists are of no value and jobs are more important than necessary global warming legislation. The demise of horse and wagons, replaced by motor vehicles, may have caused some job loss, but in the end created far more new jobs.

Finally, it should be noted Mr. Penner has seen fit, notwithstanding that he appears to be a supporter of the current president, to nowhere in his letter state his name. I will note the proper noun for him.

Donald Trump*

*Bah Humbug.

Benjamin M. Haber
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 08/15/2019
Woodhaven Blvd. worse

Dear Editor:

Re “Struggling to tame Woodhaven Blvd.,” Aug. 1, multiple editions:

I’ve lived in Woodhaven for the past 50 years. Since they changed lanes, took away lanes, extended curbs with red dots, put in bus lanes and changed the lights and turning lanes and lights, it seems like there have been more accidents on Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in the past year than there were in 50 years.

This is not a city for bike lanes, and whoever designed some of these streets for the Department of Transportation should be fired. And I hope the MTA loses money.

Woodhaven has become very dirty, too.

A very dissatisfied taxpaying, law-abiding citizen.

Dolores Baldassare
Woodhaven

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (1)

Riders: Wear your helmets

Dear Editor:

Nobody wants to be No. 20 ...

While the overall traffic safety in New York City remains relatively good, the death count among bicyclists is rising. In 2018, only 10 bicyclists died on the streets of New York City. But (as of today) 19 bicyclists have lost their lives.

I do not know what are the major causes of all these deaths but common sense dictates that wearing a helmet can considerably increase your chances to survive in a traffic accident. Nevertheless, only about two-fifths of cyclists wear helmets.

Almost 22 years ago, I was injured in a hit-and-run accident while riding a bicycle on 108th Street in Queens. I got a serious head trauma because I was not wearing a helmet. After that accident, I contacted my elected officials asking them to write a proposal making wearing a helmet mandatory for bicyclists of all ages (currently, only children 14 years old and younger have to wear helmets). Unfortunately, nobody responded to my request.

Source: An article published in a recent edition of The Forest Hills/Rego Park Times newspaper (“Study provides details about cycling culture,” June 27, 2019) states,” Only about two-fifths of cyclists wear helmets.”

Victor Maltsev
Rego Park

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

CUNY risks its academic rep

Dear Editor:

As a CUNY alum (Queens College, BA 1962), I’m disturbed by the decision of CUNY Chancellor (and former QC President) Felix Matos Rodriguez to stop testing new students to determine if they need remedial courses in order to do college-level work (New York Post, Aug. 5, “CUNY’s Giant Step Back”). That’s like saying: “Don’t raise the bridge, lower the water.”

Why do so many community college students need remedial courses? Because CUNY is committed to accepting all New York City high school grads who apply, regardless of their grades, Regents scores, SAT scores or other metrics for academic success. That’s a return to the 1970s open enrollment folly that nearly destroyed CUNY’s academic reputation and made its diplomas not worth the paper they’re printed on. Alums, faculty and concerned students must protest policies that put diversity ahead of academic discipline and sacrifice CUNY’s integrity on the altar of political correctness.

Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Justice for sex abuse

Dear Editor:

Now that the state has lifted the statute of limitation laws regarding the amount of time those who were victims of sexual abuse and molestation will have to file a claim in court the floodgates have finally been opened, and thousands of people who were either sexually abused or molested will finally get their day in court.

Every organization, ranging from the Boy Scouts to the religious dioceses and every other one in between throughout New York State, are going to be inundated with lawsuits, and hopefully every single person who files one will be able to attain justice through the courts. It is high time that this type of statute was passed; there has been so much emotional pain and suffering that thousands of people have had to go through, and many still are experiencing today.

Bring these pedophiles to justice, for justice is exactly what each and every one of them deserves. There is no more room for hiding; nobody is going to protect them for the awful and heinous crimes that they committed against thousands of innocent children, now adults.

Justice is finally going to be served!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Dems are way out there

Dear Editor:

The second round of Democratic Party presidential primary debates between 20 officially announced candidates should give both Jewish and non-Jewish voters concerned about the future of our great nation. Too many candidates on stage over two nights supported the continued expansion of government-run insurance, healthcare for illegal immigrants, open borders, free college tuition, forgiveness of student debt, reparations for slavery, increasing income redistribution and guaranteed monthly income payments. Support for a mandatory Green New Deal over coming years would result in the elimination of millions of jobs. It could easily cost tens of trillions to pay for all of the above, which Washington would have to borrow, thus increasing our national debt.

The candidates refuse to criticize fellow Democrats who equate holding facilities for illegal immigrants with the Holocaust. Six million of my Jewish ancestors did not voluntarily attempt to enter into Nazi concentration camps. They did not offer to dress in rags, be slowly starved to death, perform voluntary slave labor and be gassed to death in crematoriums.

Nothing from the candidates about dealing with our $22 trillion and growing national debt, growing by $1 billion a year for years to come.

Nothing about addressing the future insolvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Nothing about asking our NATO allies for their fair share of spending for mutual defense.

Nothing about China’s indoctrination camps for several million who practice religion.

Nothing about all lives matter beyond just “Black Lives Matter.”

Mainstream moderate Democrats from decades ago such as Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (New York), Scoop Jackson (Washington), Sam Nunn (Georgia) and Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut) would not recognize their own party today.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

NRA $ blocks new gun laws

Dear Editor:

Re “Some incremental gun law reform?” Editorial, Aug. 1:

Trump considered gun reform for about a second and a half (about all the attention span he has) until the National Rifle Association, which contributes very heavily to his campaign, got its knickers in a twist and Trump retreated.

We are not going to get a government by, for or of the people until they take big money out of the election equation. Even a majority of NRA members favor some reasonable gun control measures. Maybe if these mass shootings were to happen to someone close to Republican politicians, they would see the value of keeping assault weapons out of the hands of those who have no business owning or using them.

Linda Sperling
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Shooters and media bias

Dear Editor:

The following is a letter I sent to another Queens paper in response to a recent editorial. I am also sending this to the Chronicle to demonstrate how biased the me dia has become. I only hope that the Courier has the integrity to publish this letter. Then maybe all is not lost.

The political tone in this country has taken a downward spiral. President Trump has to be given much of the blame. One should respect his or her political opponents and not make outrageous statements.

Unfortunately, the other paper has sunk to below the president’s level. This is evident in its Aug. 8 editorial. It wrote in response to the El Paso shooting, “Republicans may try to wash the president’s hands of responsibility here, but the majority of us know better. Sure, Trump didn’t pull the trigger but his past words undoubtedly inspired the gunman to do so. That Trump doesn’t show an ounce of remorse is appalling.”

No matter what one thinks of the president, to accuse him of complicity in murder when it goes against the facts I find disgusting.

The El Paso shooter wrote in his manifesto, “My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I am putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is famous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely confirm that.”

It is sad that the most accurate reporting of the El Paso attack actually comes from the shooter himself.

Lenny Rodin
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 08/08/2019
Ads too sexy for buses

Dear Editor:

Museum of Sex ads are back again, on the front of MTA buses. In the past, women bus drivers have complained that some passengers were making lewd remarks to them because of such ads. Now there are women who were interviewed by the media and said they did not like the ads on the front of the buses and did not want their children viewing such ads.

The MTA has said it has a right to reject and to censor ads it finds to be indecent and lewd but has never found these ads to be such. Well, I think such ads do promote bad behavior from those who might say and do things to women that I find most appalling and troubling. To the MTA let me say, “Take these ads for the Museum of Sex down and put them somewhere else!”

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (1)

Biden-Ryan 2020

Dear Editor:

If Democrats expect to win the presidency in 2020, they need to shift the center of party gravity from both coasts to mid-America: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) has a solid awareness of economic security needs for coal and steel workers.

Trump duped these traditional Democrats into buying his phony fake news … Make America Great Again, and Mexico will pay for the wall! A Joe Biden-Tim Ryan ticket for 2020 would reclaim those (blue wall) electoral votes, which Hillary lost to Trump in 2016. It is my view that this moderate-progressive team will restore the respect to the White House that Donald J. Trump so badly destroyed!

Anthony G. Pilla
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

MAGA means no Trump

Dear Editor:

Just as Trump used hats with Make America Great Again to further his campaign, people wishing to get rid of him should get hats or T-shirts saying “MAGA — Dump Trump!” He has fostered enough hatred and division to last far beyond two terms if we are foolish enough to re-elect him.

Ray Hackinson
Ozone Park

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

My angry opponent

Dear Editor:

The intelligent readers of the Chronicle who have read Mr. Robert LaRosa’s and my letters have made judgments regarding their substance and are aware of the roots of our differences. Mr. LaRosa’s responses seem to indicate he is not.

I really don’t know how to respond to his latest hodgepodge of non sequiturs and talking points (“The battle continues,” Letters, Aug. 1) except to say something nice.

I appreciate his reading my letters, chronicling my words and phrases accurately and including dates, thus helping me reach a wider audience.

I leave it to others to make sense of his anger and obsession.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Racist and shameful

Dear Editor:

Did Phil Orenstein really write, “Trump is not racist or hateful”? (“Let’s focus on unity,” Letters, Aug. 1) Wow.

Then he criticized Democrats of “disgracefully interjecting the politics of division into an otherwise solemn occasion”? Wow! Disgracefully interjecting the politics of division into any occasion is Trump personified.

So when Trump said the torchbearers chanting “Jews will not replace us” were good people, that’s not hateful? And when Trump was asked whether his tweets telling Reps. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to go back to their home countries (three were born here) were racist he replied, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.” Those people would be other racists. Is that an appropriate response from the president of the United States?

Remember when 16 other Republicans on the dais all agreed that candidate Trump was the worst thing that could ever happen to the United States? Now they lick his boot heels. They’re truly putting the Republican Party ahead of the United States of America. Absolutely disgraceful. But not surprising.

Oh, and remember the deficit? Oh, how Republicans screamed about it when Obama was president. Even though the cause was the Bush recession. But now? With the deficit through the roof and destined to go higher still due to the Trump budget proposal, I would say that Republicans are looking away in shame. But they have none.

Robert LaRosa
Whitestone

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Negotiations, not nukes

Dear Editor:

Now that the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia has been terminated, there must be another diplomatic measure done, that being a negotiated trilateral arms control treaty between the U.S., Russia and China. It is very critical to prevent another arms race from occurring, because that would certainly move the world perilously close to a nuclear war, one that would certainly negate all forms of life on this planet.

President Trump has already suggested this proposal to have a trilateral nuclear pact; now China and Russia both need to sign on to this idea as well.

Diplomacy is better than conflict, and the world will be watching to see what all three nations will do with regard to their nuclear arsenals. We cannot and must not return to the days of the Cold War, when frightened schoolchildren were taught to get down under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack. The fear of another nuclear conflict in itself should be enough impetus to have the leaders of these three most powerful nations on Earth sit down and begin to negotiate how their nuclear arsenals of mass destruction can be first gradually reduced and eventually eliminated once and for all, so that our planet will be still inhabitable for future generations.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Support hospice care

Dear Editor:

I am a Middle Village resident who had the valuable opportunity to intern with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, a membership advocacy group for hospice and palliative care providers in Alexandria, Va. As a rising college senior interested in health policy, I learned the benefits of hospice and palliative care and current legislation that can improve access from this internship.

Before my time with NHPCO, I had very little understanding of hospice or palliative care, and even thought it was a depressing topic. However, I have seen the holistic support hospice and palliative care provides for patients and families by utilizing an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, volunteers and chaplains. I also learned that current legislation blocks many patients from receiving this high-quality care.

Federally Qualified Health Centers serve as an important safety net for Queens residents. However, patients at the forty FQHCs in Queens face barriers to accessing hospice because FQHC physicians cannot be paid for hospice attending physician services. This impedes access as FQHC patients must forego their trusted physician and find a new one, violating a core principle of hospice care that guarantees a patient the physician of their choice. During their end-of-life transition, patients and their families don’t need more burdens. Further, while palliative care can greatly increase the quality of life for patients an impending workforce shortage will restrict access for seriously ill patients.

Luckily, there are policy options for both problems. The Rural Access to Hospice Act (S.1190/H.R.2594) would allow FQHC physicians to be paid for hospice services. Meanwhile, the bipartisan Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, or PCHETA, (S.2080/H.R.647) would provide grants to train future hospice and palliative care professionals.

I want to thank Reps. Thomas Suozzi, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for co-sponsoring PCHETA. However, I urge all these representatives as well as Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Sen. Chuck Schumer to support the Rural Access to Hospice Act, which would send a powerful signal of support to Queens hospice and palliative care patients. While Queens is far from rural, the bill will help our fellow New Yorkers who rely on FQHCs.

After learning the benefits hospice and palliative care can provide, I can say for certain that everyone deserves access to these high-quality services regardless of their ZIP code.

Nicholas Telesco
Middle Village

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 08/01/2019
Calling out BDS

Dear Editor:

First, let me state that criticizing Israeli policies is not anti-Semitic. What is anti-Semitic is supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

There is oppression taking place all over the world. Examples of oppression include the Chinese treatment of the Uighurs and Arab countries’ treatment of women and gays, just to name two.

The BDS movement has as its goal to economically strangle Israel and cause its collapse because its supporters believe that Israel is suppressing the Palestinians. That claim is very weak, especially in light of the fact that most Palestinians have fought for the destruction of Israel since its first second of existence. Also, do not forgot that Hamas has been lobbing missiles at Israeli civilians from Gaza for years. Why not boycott them?

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 398-17 in a resolution to oppose the BDS movement. Among the 17 in the minority were Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib, all members of the “Squad.” Rep. Tlaib equated opposing Israel to opposing Nazi Germany.

People were correct in denouncing President Trump’s comment against the “Squad.” It was beyond ridiculous and people who try to defend such words should be condemned. However, just because the “Squad” opposes Trump should not be a reason to ignore their anti-Semitism. Letter writers like Ed Horn (July 25) who state how “terrible spiritually poor” Trump supporters and Republicans are and ignore the words and actions of people in their own party are no different than those who they hate.

I am a registered Independent. I am personally tired of the language of both Republicans and Democrats and their supporters. No one has the high moral ground and once everyone realizes that maybe the nation’s problems can be solved.

Lenny Rodin
Forest Hills

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

Let’s focus on unity

Dear Editor:

We all stand together as a community in condemning the vicious attack on Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri, as New York Attorney General Letitia James and Queens elected officials stood together with the Hindu community in unity for the sake of peace and healing. Whether Democrat or Republican we stand together against hate and violence in our community.

But some lawmakers were only there to cast blame on President Trump, disgracefully interjecting the politics of division into an otherwise solemn occasion for peace and unity. The NYPD has not charged the attacker with a hate crime. These politicians should at least refrain from tripping all over themselves to condemn President Trump until an investigation into the attacker’s motives is concluded. Neither President Trump nor local Queens Republicans are racist or hateful or make such comments, as they charged.

We are proud members of a Republican club as diverse as Queens itself, with members hailing from China to Pakistan, India, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica and more, all united under the American flag, in our great land of freedom and opportunity for all. Hemant Shah, past president of the Jain Society of America, is a vice president of our club, and we march proudly in parades to honor the Indian community and Indian Independence Day. Let’s focus on the American dream and on what unites us, rather than what divides us, no matter what side of the political aisle we are on.

Phil Orenstein
President
Queens Village Republican Club

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

CLCPA, only a first step

Dear Editor:

I write this in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Despite being one of the most ambitious environmental bills passed in this country, there is still a large discrepancy between what was passed and what was planned.

The original bill, the Climate and Community Protection Act, called for 100 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2050 as well as 40 percent of clean energy funds to be invested in a just transition for low income families and frontline communities; those who would otherwise be unable to afford a change over to renewable energy. This would shift the cost of transitioning off fossil fuels back to those who are to blame for carbon emissions; corporations not individuals.

The negotiated version of the bill, the CLCPA, weakens the issues of equity that the CCPA sought to ensure. Low-income and front-line communities face the brunt of climate change. Factories, pipelines and waste facilities built by corporations pollute communities, making them less desirable and less expensive. This often results in low-income communities of color being disproportionately affected by this pollution. Thus, low-income individuals have to endure heavily polluted air and water. Take Long Island City or Flint, Mich. for example. These communities have not had fresh water for decades and are made up of majority low-income/minority individuals.

In order for the climate crisis to be solved, we must take into consideration how environmental policy affects all of us. The CLCPA is a great step towards fixing this monumental problem, but we have to do better.

Arianna Reyes
Climate Field Representative
Maspeth

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

How far can Trump go?

Dear Editor:

I understand that Justice Department memos, dating back to before President Richard Nixon, state that a sitting president cannot be indicted even if he/she has ostensibly committed a crime. I would like to pose the following questions with regards to this confusing stance.

1. What have the Constitution and Supreme Court said on this issue?

2. What does the law say?

3. Under what circumstances can the president be above the law?

4. Is the president above Congress or is it the other way around? Finally, all other presidents have regarded the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government.

5. How come Trump’s administration is allowed to reign supreme over other branches?

Japhet M. Zwana
Jamaica

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)

The battle continues ...

Dear Editor:

Last week Ed Konecnik suggested that I moderate my Trump-hating obsession and learn to read. He then stated that he “never mentioned mob rule or redistribution.” Really? In the Chronicle’s June 20 edition he wrote, “Without the rule of law we are subject to the rule of mob.” Is that not mentioning mob rule? He then wrote (derisively) “Redistribution of wealth sounds like a noble goal.” Is that not mentioning redistribution? Are we witnessing forgetfulness, or is the deception simply Mr. Konecnik applying for a position in the Trump administration? Evidently Mr. Konecnik considers facts, documentation and reality to be “diatribe.” But of course he ignores (as usual) my mention of the documented, factual occurrence of GOP legislators fleeing Oregon rather than vote in an election that would have gone to Democrats.

When Konecnik can’t fight facts (which is all the time) he simply just denies them. I suggest he moderate his Trump-loving obsession and learn to read what he writes. Lastly, he states that the point of his letter was the subject of “lying politicians.” Seriously? He blindly defends Putin’s “puppet,” completely ignoring Trump’s endless stream of documented lies. As of June 7, his 869th day in office, Trump has made 10,796 false or misleading claims.

Finally, Trump’s appointed FBI director Christopher Wray said last week during the Senate’s judiciary committee hearing that “The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections.” Robert Mueller said “they are doing it as we sit here now.” So of course Democrats immediately proposed two bills that would require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempts by foreign entities to interfere in U.S. elections, and another bill to prevent hackers from accessing the personal accounts and devices of senators. And, of course Republicans immediately voted down all three bills. Such patriotism! But my sincere apologies to Mr. Konecnik. I know facts are painful to most Republicans.

Robert LaRosa
Whitestone

Posted in Letters to the editor on Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am. Comments (0)