Sound Off to the Editor

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To the editor,

As Joanne DelBuono notes, the fluctuating cost of natural gas temporarily spiked winter power bills (“What a shock! Electric rates go up despite Gov’s promise,” Not for Nuthin’, online June 25). Unmentioned is that a major reason electric bills are so high is the steady accumulation of state taxes and fees.

According to a New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance study, New Yorkers paid 83 percent more for power than the national average and 62 percent more than our neighbors in Pennsylvania. Since 2008, the cost of making electricity in New York has dropped by 30 percent. However, the benefit of cheap domestic energy has been consumed by state taxes and surcharges that have risen sharply and now account for at least 25 percent of a typical bill.

Joanna DelBuono’s article underscores two long-term needs for lowering energy costs. The first is for the state to stop whacking ratepayers with high energy taxes and immediately reduce them. The second is to offset natural gas price volatility by expanding capacity through projects like Port Ambrose, a deepwater terminal off the coast of Long Island to import natural gas into the region, and preserving access to existing stable-cost power generators such as the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant that supplies 25 percent of the city’s electricity and 11 percent statewide with virtually zero emissions. Only then will we reduce the number of “you gotta be kidding me” monthly power bills experienced by Joanna DelBuono.Richard Thomas

The author is executive director of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance.

Shav’s divine

To the editor,

My friends and I agree with Shavana Abruzzo that America is “the world’s garbage dump” (A Britisher’s View, June 20).

Henry Finkelstein writes that Shavana is “an ignorant racist” (Sound off to the Editor, June 27), but he should open his eyes and look around. Our country takes in people who don’t have an education or an occupation. They become welfare recipients and too many of them hate America.

Too many of them also come here for the social programs. There seem to be more welfare recipients here than there are workers. Some are coming here with three wives and 12 children. Who will feed them all? Soon our country will be a Latino-Afro republic with a low level of life. Muslims want to build their caliphate — they should change the name of Bay Ridge to Beirut. Where does that leave American taxpayers?

Henry Finkelstein advises Shavana Abruzzo to go back to England or to any country that will have her. Better that he think about what kind of America his grandchildren will be living in.

Reading “A Britisher’s View” gives me much pleasure. I agree with Shavana Abruzzo 120 percent. I’m sure most readers agree with her, too, because political correctness is killing us. If only there were more writers like her.

Ilan Lerman


‘Shav’ whine

To the editor,

Personal criticism and the insults that go along with them don’t bother me (“Shavana Abruzzo is not an ignorant racist,” Sound off to the Editor, July 4). But I do take exception to anyone that refers to my country as a “garbage dump” (“America is the world’s garbage dump,” A Britisher’s View, June 20). Abruzzo wrote that and then tries to wallpaper it over with some pseudo-patriotic blather.

If Abruzzo really thinks that our country is a garbage dump, the remedy is clear! Move back to the place she came from. In the meantime she could apologize to all the patriotic Americans who love the America we live in. It’s a good thing for Abruzzo she never ran into Merle Haggard.Henry Finkelstein

Sheepshead Bay

Crime & education

To the editor,

Your article “Jailhouse librarian pens book about dispensing prose in the pokey” (online May 9) was an interesting read, but it could transport the minds of some readers into cloud land. To construe that if every child was taught how to be a better person and to read books then perhaps they won’t turn out to be criminals is usually not the case.

Offenders can be college graduates, but still prefer a life of crime because the sick desire to be hurtful to others.

Every profession has its share of criminals who use their abilities in twisted ways that hinder the safety and lives of good people. But there are also lots of youngsters and adults who have aspirations to do great deeds, if only they were taught how to implement their goals. Books and stellar educators can make all the difference. Moreover people with cognitive disabilities must be given the opportunity to make their mark.Amy Kaye

Sheepshead Bay

Gotham first

To the editor,

Mayor DeBlasio is to be commended for suggesting that the 2016 Democratic National Convention be brought here (“DeBlasio: Bring DNC to Brooklyn, or some other part of New York,” online April 24).

I hope it will be carried out because it would be the first time in American history that such a convention was held in Brooklyn. It would be a tonic to our economy and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

The state has welshed in giving the city its fair share of revenue for sorely needed programs, and it is up to the mayor and the City Council to make sure the money brought to Brooklyn is spent wisely.

When the city faced a fiscal crisis in the past, other states would not have minded if we had become insolvent, inspite of the fact that we give aid to them after tornados and floods. What needs to be remembered is that if New York City fails, we all fail.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Joke street

To the editor,

The sidewalks in Brooklyn are in bad shape. The city fixes the ones that don’t need to be fixed and leaves the bad ones untouched. It’s a joke. They also don’t pave the streets well — another joke.Dennis Olsen

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

In the television show “Political Rundown” political correctness has run amok, and NY1 now has an official policy that you can’t utter the phrase “illegal alien.” Instead you must say “undocumented immigrant” in your argument or commentary about immigration.

I foresee other television stations and newspapers adopting that restrictive phrase demanded by the word police. Justine Swartz

Brooklyn Heights

Uncle Spam

To the editor,

New Yorkers awoke to find bright yellow signs hanging on the fronts of all their public school buildings, stating in bold, red lettering the words, “free lunch.” What? But before they could finish blurting out the iconic, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” they noticed on the bottom of the same signs the additional confusing phrase, “free breakfast, too.”

Oh, joyous and wonderful day! Our bold new mayor, following in the footsteps of our bold-but-not-quite-so-new-anymore president has courageously begun to lead us down the path from the humdrum dreariness of the past’s “live free or die” into the glorious future of “live for free or die.”

Hopefully, it won’t be the path that leads to, “buddy, can you spare a dime?” The two paths can sometimes look surprisingly alike.Stephen Finger, M.D.

Mill Basin

Damn Bam

To the editor,

Sadly, our United States is unraveling; it’s being destroyed. President Obama so loves the poor, he is creating millions more.June Petrocelli

Mill Basin

Capitol ‘Hill’

To the editor,

So Hillary Clinton is flying across the nation pushing the sale of her new book. During a recent TV interview she admitted that when the Clintons left the White House, the family’s finances were mismanaged and in a shambles. They were in debt, owing in excess of $12 million.

Now she is running for the highest office in the land and wants to handle “your” taxes and the American government finances. And you are voting for her to be president?Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Public transit

To the editor,

This year marks the 50th anniversary of federal support for public transportation. The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of the late President Lyndon Johnson’s greatest accomplishments which continues benefitting many Americans today.

On July 10, 1964 he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law. Subsequently this has resulted in the investment over time of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation. Millions of Americans, including many residing in Brooklyn today, utilize various public transportation alternatives on a daily basis. They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway, and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars, thanks to President Johnson.

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail or subway.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

‘They won’

To the editor,

Much of the political scuttlebutt of the day is about winning or maligning “others” — rarely, if ever, is it about presenting intelligent ideas and solutions that actually pertain to the wants and needs of the citizenry, whom politicians office are sworn to serve.

I watched the ceremony for the 9-11 memorial museum’s opening with tears in my heart and eyes, and I thought to myself that “they” won. The unabashed and undeniable loss of freedoms and privacy in the U.S. since 9-11 speaks to the fears that the terrorists hoped to instill in the spirit of the country, and so, they indeed won.

One example is the mere existence and intense growth of the likes of the National Security Agency tells me that “they” won. The winners also include many one-percenters of the controlling class, along with their larger-than-life corporate partners. There are many positive and wonderful examples of their work in giving back to society, but the evil-doers are gaining traction and over-the-top influence within our federal and state governments, and it is downright scary.

Another example is the debate between the Federal Communications Commission and the government known as net neutrality — another significant attempt to control by corralling and snooping upon everyone via the internet.

Technological advances in the form of computer and mobile devices that rely on a handful of global communication entities does not honor, let alone protect, our privacy. Instead, they herd all that we are, and do, and share via these devices and service providers into neatly stored meta-data streams in perfectly cooled data centers around the country and globe.

The differences between the “outsider” terrorists as defined by the perpetrators of the 9-11 horrors, and the now-largely expanded homegrown terrorists have faded. Please, everyone, vote. Vote in every election, and vote with your head and heart for I do believe that if we follow our heart and spirit that we will vote for humanity and fairness for all.

Yes, I was tearfully moved watching the museum dedication, but the tears were for the immense loss of life, the destruction, and for the sad changes to our way of life. “They” won.Barry Brothers


Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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