Help immigrants find a better life

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To the editor,

I am writing this letter both as the American-born child of Jewish immigrants who came to this country in the early 1920s to escape religious persecution and probably death in Russia, and as a politically disenfranchised resident of Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Had my parents been refused entrance to the United States, I would never have been born. They met and married here in New York and worked hard all their lives to help their family and their adopted country. I don’t think any people who are being persecuted, especially children, should be turned away from the safety of our shores. Nobody should be sent back to countries where they will be persecuted or starve in refugee camps. We must not deport hard-working immigrants nor students who are already in our country trying to make good lives for themselves and their families. People who have been living here peacefully and productively should not be separated from their families and placed into detention. I keep thinking of the woman with the brain tumor who was stuck for months without treatment until she was finally released last week and returned to her family so that she can receive treatment before she dies.

We may risk admitting some terrorists along with the other immigrants, but I think the risk of American citizens living legally in this country being converted to terrorism by easily accessible websites is even greater. We need to find a way to control the influences of terrorist websites on our own citizens, especially young people, even more than we need to control the number of immigrants who are trying to find refuge in our country.

As for the disenfranchisement of myself and the other residents of Gravesend and Bay Ridge, gerrymandering has forced us to be represented by Dan Donovan, a resident of Staten Island. We need and want a representative who lives in our borough. Mr. Donovan can stay in Staten Island. We tried to elect Dominick Recchia, who lives in my neighborhood, but the Republican organization in Staten Island was too strong and, therefore, he lost. I believe that those of us who live in parts of Brooklyn erroneously lumped together with Staten Island should get together and try to do something about the gerrymandering that has forced us to become a part of another borough. It’s time we had our own representative!

Elaine Kirsch


A grave situation

To the editor,

With the wave of desecrations at local cemeteries, it has now become necessary for cameras to be installed there.

The cemetery industry needs to be regulated. Many of our cemeteries are in deplorable condition. When I visit the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens each year before Rosh Hashanah, I find the gate leading to where family members are buried to be broken. I have reported this numerous times and nothing is done. You can no longer read many of the street signs as they are so old, their names have been etched out.

The problem is with the perpetual care system that has been set up by the cemeteries. When the fee is paid for permanent maintenance, this sends a signal to the officials that either the entire family is gone or moved out of state. For three successive years I found a grave in deplorable condition. Weeds were actually covering the name of the deceased. I really don’t want to hear that the society that arranged for burials has gone out of existence. Permanent maintenance was paid for and the grave should be kept properly out of respect for the deceased.

I urge family members to visit the cemetery to make sure that graves are properly being attended to. We owe that respect to our parents and other family members. Don’t pull out the weeds yourself, many weeds are nothing more than poison ivy.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Landmark & cheese

To the editor,

In the latest edition, March 3, (“It’s our shot!” by Julianne Cuba) preservationists are attempting to “save the landmarked Academy Building at Erasmus Hall.” The building built 1787 is the state’s oldest secondary school. This is not the only structure that preservationists wanted landmarked. There was also the Coney Island Boardwalk, built in 1928. When rumors spread that portions of the Boardwalk would be concrete, our local city councilman pleaded (with officials) to landmark the Boardwalk. Many local residents and others came out in favor of a wood Boardwalk.

Then, in the most unusual thing, the Landmarks Commission landmarked a Coca-Cola sign in Queens. So my answer to this Coca-Cola landmark: “What the hey! I don’t care.” Who is going to drive to Queens to see a sign, compared to the amount of people that utilize the Boardwalk? Check it out Jan. 1, and see hordes of people from all over the country and the world (who come) to see the “Polar Bear Swim.”

I wonder if a ham-and-cheese (sandwich) was nominated, would they landmark that, and put your mustard on that?Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Power failure

To the editor,

Re: Tom Allon’s column, “I’ve got the power: Ranking the city’s most influential.”

Mr. Allon’s column is fundamentally flawed. In the City Charter the mayor and all city elected officials are limited to serve two consecutive four-year terms and are lame ducks in the second term. Mike Bloomberg would have been a lame duck mayor in 2009 if not for the grace of the New York State Senate.

Mr. Bloomberg narrowly squeaked into a third term by 50,000 votes. Had he been reelected by 250,000 he might just be finishing his fourth term and trying for a fifth.

When a special interest group cannot prevail in getting a measure enacted at the local level they will go to the State Legislature.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Pole fault

To the editor,

Every once in a while I read a story on this blog that results in me laughing out loud at the premise (“City hikes fines for leaving abandoned utility poles.” By Julianne Cuba, online March 6) Everyone knows that Con Edison is the sole supplier of electricity in this city and subject to very strict monopolization laws. Meaning they are restricted from gouging the public because they are the only supplier of electricity. By law they are regulated as to how much profit they are allowed to have and their rates are consistently monitored to reflect the overhead that this company has to achieved a profit the city/state determines they should have.

So, theoretically every time you fine this company it reduces this company’s profit, therefore they are allowed to raise their rates to compensate for the increased overhead. That also goes for taxing this company which is also automatically passed onto the consumer.

What a joke.

Bob from Gerritsen Beach

Shelter welter

To the editor,

The city technically came in and saved overzealous hotel developers who would not have been able to retain a profitable occupancy in their hotels at the time. (“City may swap Sunset Park ‘homeless hotels’ with permanent shelters,” Caroline Spivack, March 8). This was a number of years ago and fortunes in the neighborhood have changed and I would imagine a condo developer keen on doing hotel to condo conversions could sweep any numbers of those properties up.

The addition of permanent homeless shelters to replace the temporary housing in Sunset Park should be a non-starter, but as is typical NYC fashion, when your councilman is busy enjoying the trappings of his new position, decisions are made without your input.

As a suggestion to the mayor, I hear 725 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan has some vacancies. As they already allow for all manner of slime to inhabit it, housing the homeless within the building may actually bring morality and a glimpse of the real problems occurring in this country rather than the stream of consciousness rambling we receive from the building’s most famous occupant.Nick from Sunset Park

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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