2002-09-25 / Editorials

Letters

Home After 9/11

To The Editor:

My outrage and anger concerning the bombing attack on the World Trade Center has affected me very deeply; so much so, that I, an 83-year-old American born citizen who used to go to my exciting and magnificent Manhattan every single day to see the wonderful programs the corporations granted me free of charge during the summer months.

Now I am staying home like a recluse and rehashing in my mind-why? Oh why? did this occur and simultaneously, thinking of all the people—firemen, policemen, workers—who sacrified their lives to save as many people as possible. Also I was thinking of all the families and children who will never see their fathers, husbands, friends who perished there. If God is near please give them strength to go on and me too.

It is unconceivable to have this occur to my country, United States of America!! I personally cannot turn my other cheek to forgive this enemy. Never! never.

It will take a long time for me to forget this dreadful incident. I am very sorry I feel this way—perhaps some-pain as time goes by.

My hard working father always said to me on numerous occasions while I was growing up "I bless the day I had the opportunity and advantage to come to this land of the free." He met my mother here and they were married. I can truly say without hesitation I am extremely lucky that I was born here with wonderful parents who taught me good ethics and morals.

A disillusioned lady,

Helen Scaroulis

Astoria

Support Labor

An Open Letter To President George W. Bush

Dear Mr. President:

On the anniversary of the horrific attack on our city and country we stand with you in every effort to win the war on terrorism.

On September 11, we remember nearly 3,000 working people and more than 600 of our union members who perished in that attack.

It’s significant that Labor Day coincides with the anniversary of September 11.

It’s an opportunity to recognize that everyday American heroes, such as police, fire fighters, EMS workers, public employees, building tradesmen and women and countless others who, with their fellow union members, put their safety and lives second to others as they led a massive rescue, recovery and cleaning effort ahead of schedule, under budget and without additional serious injury or fatality. However, we have heavy hearts as we remember our loved ones.

We are concerned that your administration refuses to support the allocation of $90 million to support comprehensive screening and evaluation efforts for all the workers and volunteers exposed to virtually every toxin possible at Ground Zero.

The Mt. Sinai Clinic and leading doctors across our city have concluded that great harm has come to these workers—and remedy can be simple if diagnosed early.

Union workers were prominent during the rescue, recovery and clean-up. Your proposal to allow Homeland Security workers to be anything but union employees is an insult and an assault on the Civil Service Act which prevents "to the victor, goes the spoils" hiring practices of the days of Andrew Jackson.

Workers in the new agency are entitled to union representation if they choose and any effort by the Republican leadership of your administration to deny them this right is unconscionable. Unconscionable when we pause this Labor Day to salute working-class heroes. Unconscionable when we mourn our loved ones—many of them union workers. Unconscionable that workers who are employed and performing low-level or highly skilled services in this new Homeland Security agency should not have a union of their choice, the dignity and protection of a pension and the security of health benefits.

Our union leadership stands behind our Commander-in-Chief in the war. We hope you will stand with workers.

Sincerely,

Brian McLaughlin

President

New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Bird Ban In Queens

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

Honorable Eric N. Gioia

New York City Council

47-01 Queens Boulevard

Sunnyside, NY 11104

Dear Councilmember Gioia:

This is in response to your August 1 letter concerning the Avian Bird Relocation System, which MTA New York City Transit has been testing at the Bay 50th Street station on the W line, and its possible use at the 52nd Street and 61st Street–Woodside station on the 7 line.

As you have noted, we have found that the Avian Bird Relocation System has been successful in its usage at Bay 50th Street. NYC Transit has requested Capital Revolving Funds for 2003 to install this system at the 52nd Street station on the 7 line and the 104th Street station on the A line in Queens, the Avenue P station on the F line in Brooklyn, and the Pelham Bay Park station on the 6 line in The Bronx. We will consider the inclusion of 61st Street–Woodside in this program once it expands to additional stations.

We appreciate the assistance that you have provided to NYC Transit on this matter, which has been a tremendous source of frustration for our employees, as well as our customers and the surrounding community. It is our hope that we now have the means to solve a very difficult problem.

Your interest in public transit is greatly appreciated. Thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Lawrence G. Reuter

President

Do Our Votes Count?

To The Editor:

I have read and heard about two very important issues that will profoundly affect our city, namely term limits of city councilmembers and Charter revision concerning city office primaries. Both concern our important right of voting.

For city councilmembers to no longer have term limits imposed upon them is a violation upon the voice of the people. We all voted for term limits for all city governmental officials, which includes mayor, council people and public advocate and comptroller. For exception to be made to our vote will nullify our power of the ballot. Why should exceptions be made to council representatives when it comes to term limits? All elected city officials should be treated the same way.

If we all vote for term limits for our city governmental officials, then the votes should count and that is that. If there weren’t any primaries for city officials, then there would be no execution of our right to select the leaders or standardbearers of our party for each governmental position.

It seems to me that in both cases, the right of the people will no longer count. We are living in a democracy and the ballot box is our power to execute change and to make positive improvements in the lives of all citizens. We have struggled to obtain this right, and we must be allowed to use our precious votes and they must count.

Since September 11, when terror tried to eliminate our democratic process, we should show all anti-democracy opponents that democracy is alive, well, vibrant and active in the city that terrorism wanted to destroy.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City


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