To the editor,
I just finished flipping through your newspaper, and Shavana Abruzzo’s Flag Day article made me feel so proud to be an American (“Every day should be Flag Day,” A Britisher’s View, June 14).
Yes, my flag was flying earlier today, as it does very often.Joan Mangano
To the editor,
In last month’s edition of the Marine Park Civic Association newsletter, an editorial appeared stating that the civic association was accused of forcing the resignation of people with different points of view and their response was, “That couldn’t be further from the truth” (“Marine Park civic group mixes it up over constitution,” online May 28).
I beg to differ, and so would my friend Jim Kelly, who was quoted in the article as saying that he was removed from the board for having “fundamental differences.” These people also perpetrated the same injustice on my wife Maria Manzola, citing a string of absences from official board meetings caused by an extreme illness she’s been suffering of late, although I’m happy to say, she’s recovering slowly but surely.
All this, despite another board member, Mr. Cannilla, remaining in his position, despite not having attended a single civic function for more than 19 months. I am in the process of requesting a copy of the board’s minutes and the 1994 bylaw article giving Mr. Cannilla an honorary board position, although it’s my understanding that no such article exists.
Maria Manzola has served the community for 38 years, while Mr. Cannilla was out sick for a year and a half. In what world is that right?
The civic group also recently voted to approve a whole suite of amendments to its constitution, which include new bylaws giving the board of directors additional power, while weakening the influence of its general membership. The general membership’s voting power has been arbitrarily reduced to one vote per household, while the board of directors (the Ivaliotises, the Borrusos, the Panicalis, and the Guarigllas) will enjoy two votes per household. It has been said to the board of directors on a number of occasions that their family relations are affecting its operations, which can clearly be seen in the fact that their votes are never split. Why should my wife, or myself become disenfranchised for our relationship, and why should you and yours? Furthermore, why should the Ivaliotis family and the Borruso clan retain that privilege? Just because my wife can’t be forced to testify against me in court, doesn’t mean she always agrees with me — although on that particular point, I’m sure she’ll tell you, “I agree!”
At the May meeting when these amendments were voted on, a faction within the civic, displaying a healthy scepticism of these new bylaws, attempted to table-voting on the amendments, so that they could be reviewed and the language in them explained.
The bylaws state that in order to arrange a special meeting, a request may be presented to the civic’s president, Jim Ivaliotis, requiring no more than 25 signatures from civic members. This requirement was fulfilled in all its particulars, when Vito Del Ray presented Ivaliotis with 98 signatures, all from members of good standing. I understand that the asociation has a large membership and that attempting to verify those signatures at the meeting would have been a drain on all our valuable time, and would have been irresponsible. However, whether or not the decision to convene a special meeting could have been responsibly made at that time, the vote should have been tabled to allow the signatures to be properly vetted. Instead, the whole request was brushed aside and the vote was rushed to the floor.
The president’s conduct stands in direct violation of the 1994 bylaws. Why do we have these bylaws and what’s the point of our constitution, if we’re going to allow our civic association’s leaders to disregard them without any repercussions?John Manzola
To the editor,
The Department of Justice announced that it’s considering sending federal monitors to New York City to monitor the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy because it might be unconstitutional, and might even be in violation of the right to due process of many in New York’s minority communities.
What? Federal monitors in New York? Federal monitors are supposed to go to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and places like that. They need federal monitors down there because they’re the south!
We don’t need federal monitors. We’re the north. We’re liberals, progressives, and Democrats. We go to Central Park and do the wave. Then we sing about poverty, social justice, and racial harmony. It’s so sad it sometimes makes us cry.
“Who is it?”
“Got some chickens out here for you.”
“What? We didn’t order any chickens.”
“Yeah, well come on out and tell that to the chickens. They say they’re just coming home to roost.” Stephen Finger, MD
To the editor,
Larry Penner’s disdain for Anthony Weiner is appalling (“Weiner’s hot for public office,” Sound off to the editor,” May 31).
Weiner has invaluable experience in serving the public. He served in the City Council, and then served as congressman for more than 10 years. He was hard-working and dedicated to improving the lives of his constituents. He fought for them, and was right on vital issues.
He supported single-payer health care. It was a way of moving away from the private health care system, and moving toward universal coverage run by the government. He also supported the protection and preservation of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and was against the privatization of these programs. He opposed turning Medicare into a privatized voucher program. He also opposed bill HR 4529, which would permit parts of Social Security to be invested in the volatile stock market. He was against the surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund to be used for other government needs. He felt that Social Security funds should be spent on our seniors. He supported to raise the Cost of Living Adjustment to reflect the high cost areas of our nation, and the need to reflect the actual cost of living for seniors. Weiner’s bill HR 1371 would have increased C.O.L.A.’s for New Yorkers.
He also supported school reform, affordable housing, and raising the minimum wage for workers.
As congressman, Weiner knew about balancing a budget. His staff was paid a salary. Money was allocated for mailing letters, newsletters, etc. He had to be aware of how money was spent — he had a budget.
Anthony Weiner is certainly qualified to be our mayor. He should be given a second chance.Frances Gerber
• • •
To the editor,
Governor Cuomo was wrong to slam Anthony Weiner in his bid to run for mayor. Weiner made a mistake and he lost his job.
Weiner is the best Democratic candidate. I am not a Democrat, if I were I would vote for him.
If Gov. Coumo really wants to clean up Albany politics, he should propose legislation that states any politician caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and convicted, would lose their pension. The monies would then be donated to the police and fireighters’ widows and children fund.
He should also slam the namby-pamby judges who release career criminals, who end up killing someone. They make bail or bond, etc. It’s the law? Then change the damn law. Prisons are crowded? Who said criminals should be comfortable?
I hope Gov. Cuomo reads this newspaper, maybe he’ll have the guts to take the hint.Ugo M. Rosiello
To the editor,
Kudos to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY) for exposing sexual abuse and ensuing cover-ups in the military.
A decorated war hero is more inclined to receive protection from his or her superiors — justified or not — because he or she may affect the outcome of the war.
Both George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower warned against the danger of military dictatorships, and that the civilian needs to control the military. Many officers, who are judges in the military, might go very easy on culprits, for fear of losing their own jobs. Bad publicity could also result in a reduction in military funding, which could affect the outcome of our military conflicts, and ultimately affect our nation.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn once said about Gen. George Marshall, “He will tell the truth, even if hurts the Army.” It is clear discipline has broken down, and respect and trust need to be restored.Elliott Abosh
To the editor,
Whether in the city or Albany, it’s clear that our political system is rife with corruption. Until we take on the role of money in politics and the corporate stranglehold of our political parties, our legislators will never represent “we the people.”
A comprehensive system of campaign finance reform is long overdue. A fair elections system of lower contribution limits, strong enforcement of election law, and increased transparency built on public financing of elections, will begin the process of necessary reform to Albany.
As a concerned constituent and member of Common Cause-NY, I want to be sure that our elected officials are accountable and transparent. Our legislators need to start making necessary reforms to rein-in the rampant corruption in Albany. By making reforms that enforce the need for socially conservative campaigns, we will be on the right path to ensuring our representatives serve their constituents, and not the special interest groups who fund their campaigns.
One change will not suddenly end corruption, but we know we can’t have the cultural change we need in Albany unless we reform how we fund elections.
I hope our Independent Democratic Conference, and Republican-led Senate coalition will take bold action and support fair elections. We cannot continue to live by the status quo. I urge our state senators to listen to their constituents and ensure a campaign finance reform bill comes to vote on the Senate floor.Edward Yanishefsky
To the editor,
To think brats will decide a teacher’s fate in the nonsensical, new evaluation system. Teachers will now hesitate to give failing grades, for fear of being rated badly by students.
Whatever happened to the days that children came to school well behaved, so that teachers could teach? Our once great school system began to fall apart rapidly once we adopted ideas of more parental input, cooperative learning, the total child, the abolition of the Board of Examiners, so that unqualified people could get positions, and more importantly, the decline of discipline in our schools.
We need to have State Education Commissioner John King, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, public education figure Michelle Rhee, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and Mayor Bloomberg all begin teaching in our schools, along with the Unity Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers, and Council of School Supervisors and Administrators people, just to get a taste of the conditions they have helped to create.
I rate all concerned ineffective for failing to lower class sizes, remove unruly children, and assign people as principals to schools, despite the fact that the latter have never taught. They have failed the students and teachers in this city.
To the editor,
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been using the power of her office to assist her mayoral ambitions. The lines are
blurred between her current job and the job she seeks. She has engaged in a non-stop series of press conferences, news releases, letters to the editor, and guest columns in newspapers, at taxpayers expense.
Quinn should have avoided the appearance of any conflict of interest by resigning as speaker. She could have ended the charade and been honest enough to run full time for mayor on her own time and dime. Hard-working municipal civil servants work full time. They can’t campaign part time during the day, like Quinn. They would have to either take a leave of absence or quit their day job.
In January, 2010, Speaker Quinn announced her appointments of various council committee chairpersons. Councilmembers loyal to their respective county organizations were rewarded with salary increases or lulus, ranging from $4,000 to
$28,000 to chair these committees, which were renewed every year. The average salary for a New Yorker is $41,000 per year. Councilmembers have a base salary of $112,500, plus bonuses, for a part-time job.
There is a clear appearance of a serious conflict of interest with Quinn running for mayor. Will she be rewarding those loyal councilmembers with lulus in exchange for their support of her campaign, when issuing the remaining 50 percent balance of lulus in July 2013?
This conflict of interest will be even worse when the new municipal budget is adopted in July 1. Will Quinn “steer” the bulk of several hundred million dollars-worth of member-item, pork-barrel projects she controls to the same loyal councilmembers and recipients of earmarks, who by coincidence will be supporting her in the Democratic primary? All of these lulus and member-item, pork-barrel projects are paid by your hard-earned tax dollars.
Just like past Speakers Miller and Vallone, Speaker Quinn believes she is qualified to become mayor. On Primary Day, voters may tell Quinn “no thanks,” just like they did for Miller and Vallone.Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.