2009-12-09 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Party Safely This Year To The Editor:

Holiday celebrations require party hosts and party goers to think ahead to plan what food to serve, what music to play or what gift to bring. And most adults also are including the most important element of the perfect party plan-the designated driver. According to a 2008 survey conducted by TNS Custom Research, more than 137 million American adults have been a designated driver or been driven home by one.

For adults hosting parties, remember these tips to help have a safe celebration:

•When serving alcohol beverages, offer a variety of good food;

•Offer non-alcohol beverages for the designated drivers;

•Serve guests one drink at a time;

•Stop serving alcohol one hour before the party ends.

Anheuser-Busch Sales & Service Of New York, Inc. encourage adults who choose to drink to do so responsibly and to use designated drivers and alternate transportation if they may have had too much to drink.

Thanks to these efforts and increased law enforcement, our nation is making progress in the fight against drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk-driving fatalities have declined 38 percent since 1982.

For more party tips and to thank your favorite designated drivers with a fun thank-you e-card, visit www.designateddriver.com. Remember, Responsibility Matters.
C.A. Verdon
Consumer Social
Responsibility Coordinator
Anheuser-Busch Sales &
Service Of New York, Inc.

Hails Lattice Gates

To The Editor:

An unheralded but hard fought piece of legislation was just passed by the City Council this past week. The “Gates Bill” is one of those gems of crime prevention whose beneficial impact will be felt for years to come. Our own Peter Vallone Jr. was the primary sponsor and it passed by a 45 - 0 - 1 overwhelming margin. Maybe this vote was a statement as to the practicality and beneficiality of this particular law. Maybe common sense finally prevailed. Whatever, it is a boon for New York, a bill whose importance will be felt and appreciated for years to come.

Allow us to explain;

Councilman, now Congressman, [Anthony] Weiner tried to pass this legislation in 1995, where I, as head of the New York Anti-Crime agency, spoke as an expert witness on crime prevention at the hearings; sadly it never passed. Fast forward to 2009. Peter Vallone is the head of the Public Safety Committee and he has backed this law since 2004 and it finally passes. Now this success; for store owners, first responders, the fight on graffiti, and so many more issues, can be savored for the milestone that it is.

The first, and most important, facet is how it helps first responders, whether they are firemen or police officers, perform their duties in a more efficient manner; and efficiency in this case translates into saved lives and reduced crime. Imagine you’re given an emergency call and you roll up to a scene and find the solid rolldown gates. As a first responder your only option is to wait for the owner to open up or to break down the gates to see what is happening behind them. In that time a fire could be spreading unchecked. Imagine you’re a burglar, who having broken into a store from the rear door or roof, is now stealing at will because of those solid gates; conversely, see thru or lattice gates put the perpetrator on display to any passerby or law enforcement officer.

Secondly, is the fact that over 80 percent of the graffiti that we’ve cleaned over the past 24 years has been on solid gates. They gave and still give the impression that the owner doesn’t care about the neighborhood and locks their place up, in total disregard as to how it makes the neighborhood look for the rest of the time.

Probably the most important benefit to all storeowners is the fact that lattice gates allow you to advertise and publicize your store 24 hours a day. A friend of ours opened a well lit store right on 31st Street right in front the subway exits at the Ditmars Boulevard stop. He did this to take advantage of the unbelievable amount of foot traffic that goes past his store at all hours of the day or night. But his landlord just installed solid gates, effectively cutting his store off from view for 12 hours of the day, and although he’s open from 8 to 6, he’s losing an awful lot of free publicity because of one misinformed decision. He’s gone so far as to ask the landlord to change them to the see-through ones at his (the tenant’s) expense.

So as you watch new stores going up, appreciate the fact that you will be able to window shop at night, just like back in the day. As you walk on our numerous shopping streets, imagine how one little piece of legislation will afford us the opportunity to live a safer, cleaner and much more pleasant urban experience. Thank the storeowners that have done this without the push of legislation but have used their common sense all these years, such as the Gap and TD Bank. Lastly, know that some laws really do concretely and clearly help us live a better life; this is one shining example of that.
Antonio Meloni
Director, New York Anti Crime Agency

Salutes Atomic Veterans

To The Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to inform the citizens and voters of New York state and all voters for that matter, that there are many American veterans not recognized for their service. Cold War policies dictated “Top Secret” operations with “need to know” priorities to develop and test weapons like those that ended W.W. II. These tests were basically simulated “atomic” or “nuclear” bomb attacks, used to measure magnitude, yield and effect on military equipment and personnel. Would the personnel be able to repel the enemy after exposure to the ionizing radiation that comes with these detonations? We do not claim any heroism; we only followed orders and provided our country with the needed demonstration of military power which quieted the unrest of the Korean Conflict. Our heroism comes from enduring the silence of our service to our country and the slow decay of our bodies. Our membership decreases monthly.

Several decades after the Cold War ended, the classification was lifted and the National Association of Atomic Veterans was formed. NAAV is dedicated to keeping members informed on pertinent information and development of Congressional bills proposing recognition and VA benefits for our ailments. Over a decade of proposed bills, which have died on the shelf, leaves me with the feeling that no one cares what we did for our country

But someone does care. Eighteen months ago, I had a conversation with Assemblyman Greg Ball, pertaining to the dying bills in Congress. Assemblyman Ball responded, during last summer’s session of the New York state legislature, with New York state bill 8716 proposing recognition for New York state atomic veterans, along with a New York state resolution to open a recently shelved bill on the federal level. Because of numbers, these were not opened for approval.

We need every person that has any appreciation for their freedom and this great country’s veterans, to please urge your [state] senators and Assembly[members] to “sign on” these two important pieces of legislation for the atomic veterans in the upcoming 2010 session of the New York state legislature. New York state NAAV members have dwindled by half from this time last year. Please help us feel proud and remembered, rather than unknown. God bless America.
Edward A. Gettler
NYS Area Commander NAAV
Mahopac Falls, New York

Stop The Spending

To The Editor:

The spending spree must stop now. This should be read and understood by all Americans—Democrats, Republicans, everyone! Please consider the following list of un-accomplishments.

•The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775—you have had 234 years to get it right—and it is broke.

•Social Security was established in 1935—you have had 74 years to get it right—and it is broke.

•Fannie Mae was established in 1938— you have had 71 years to get it right—and it is broke.

•War on Poverty started in 1964—you have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor”—and they only want more

•Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965—you have had 44 years to get it right—and they are broke

•Freddie Mac was established in 1970— you have had 39 years to get it right—and it is broke.

•The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before—you had 32 years to get it right—and it is an abysmal failure.

The above list makes it indisputably clear that government cannot be expected to fix problems: [it] in fact, cause[s] them. Currently, it is the enormously unnecessary federal regulations that are virtually strangling our healthcare industry, and many others. We don’t need more government, we need less of this so-called “help”. Get the federal government out of helping us, and this newly conjured crisis will disappear. However, if Congress really believes they “must help us”, why not just give us the same coverage our taxes provide for them. Why not! What’s good for the fleecers should be good for the fleeced. We are certain such a plan won’t require 2000 pages of convoluted verbiage that always produces those nasty unforeseen consequences. Lastly, Congress should provide us with a detailed list of their benefits so that we can see what we should be getting.

A Fed-Up Tax Payer,
Frank S. Ferrari

Boot Out Hiram

To The Editor:

State Senator Hiram Monserrate gets off with a slap on the wrist for domestic abuse. I cannot understand how the judge could do this, considering the assault on this poor woman [Karla Giraldo]. This is a setback for every woman who is looking for justice against domestic abuse. In my book any man who assaults a woman is not a man at all. Furthermore, I think the state senate ought to give him the boot. I think the senate should show him the door and say, “Don't let the door hit you on the way out.”
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village
To The Editor:

Our country is broke. Too many huge government programs. Not enough tax money coming in now to pay for them. That only means one thing—the hard working middle class will be hit with a massive tax increase.

If the proposed government health program is passed it may eventually mean the end of our free enterprise system and a definite decline of capitalism in our country. Our basic freedoms may be in jeopardy. We must call our elected representatives in Washington. This radical spending spree has to stop. There is a cheaper way to develop this program.
Edwin Holstead
Blytheville, Arkansas

Fight ‘Em Where They Are

To The Editor:

Partisanship and personal animosity permits people in a democracy to say foolish things free of recourse. As a result, emotions rule when facts and realities should govern discourse among the citizenry. Strident voices are attempting to alter the Administration’s Afghanistan policy, which if clearly considered should receive support.

Obama is catching heat from the right and left over his recently announced Afghanistan policy. Surging [the] troops is equally opposed by those who believe it is only a half measure and those who clamor to abandon the place. The plan to begin a drawdown in July 2011 continues to gall both sides of the debate.

Bin Laden with the connivance of Taliban leader Mullah Omar turned Afghanistan into a platform for attacking the U.S. and our allies. America has not sustained another 9/11 due to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Daily lethal drones are flying hunting al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, forcing them to hunker down for self preservation.

If Obama withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban would be unstoppable. Karzai and his current forces could not resist their seizure of the nation. Free to safely organize terrorist strikes, bin Laden would kill Americans and any who do not conform to this ideology. The sought after Caliphate would have as its capital Kabul.

If a terrorist strike from Afghanistan on the homeland occurs again, both sides would rage at Obama. The hypocrisy of those who are loudly demanding retreat from Afghanistan would immediately change to condemnation for leaving America naked to al Qaeda. It is not a pleasant fact that we must fight them where they are or suffer the inevitable consequences.
Edward Horn
Baldwin, New York

License Cyclists

To The Editor:

Transportation alternatives is intent upon creating a bicycling friendly New York City.

It is not so friendly when many cyclists in New York City and especially here in Woodside display, bad, dangerous, bicycling, making for chaotic streets.

Dangerous bike riders are running wild in Woodside, Sunnyside and throughout our city. Many cyclists do not obey traffic regulations, do not stop for red lights, cycle against the flow of traffic and commit several other traffic infractions that make it very hazardous for pedestrians and also for motorists.

Woodside has a large senior population, who are especially vulnerable to out of control cyclists.

Untold people, especially the elderly have been mowed down by cyclists and seriously injured. For the most part lawless cyclists go off on their merry way with impunity. Seldom do cyclists face any criminal charges when they ride their bicycles in an unlawful, dangerous manner and injure others.

Bikers need to be licensed. We need to identify and control lawless cyclists. Licensing would help to protect pedestrians and also help the cyclists who do obey traffic regulations.

Barbara J. Coleman

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