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‘Sound off to the Editor’ gives readers their say

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To the editor,

I’m amazed how Borough President Markowitz can find $2 million dollars to put lights on the Parachute Jump (“Here’s the bling: New, brighter lights for Parachute Jump,” online June 25).

Big deal, I say. As long as I have been getting off the subway at W. Eighth Street, I’ve watched seniors and families taking a leisurely stroll on the bridge over Surf Avenue, past the New York Aquarium, not having to contend with cars or emergency vehicles.

Yet, that bridge has been falling apart for many years, but I don’t recall hearing about fixing it up.

I had a chance to speak to Pat Singer, executive director of the Brighton Neighborhood Association, who told me she brought this issue up five years ago, but nothing was done.

The bridge was built because of a concern for the safety of people coming off the subway. Now we hear that it will be torn down, and people coming off the subway will have to cross Surf Avenue. Just imagine seniors during the summer attempting to cross Surf Avenue, while emergency vehicles, such as police, ambulance and fire trucks, are passing by. I’d be pretty scared being trapped with no place to turn to.

Instead of putting people’s lives at risk, rethink this stupid idea and do the right thing.Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Anthony WOO-ner

To the editor,

When I saw the bright red pants Anthony “I’ll do anything for a vote” Weiner wore at the Greenwich Village rally (celebrating the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage), in hopes of getting the gay vote, all I could think of was how he will look in saggy pants, hanging below his butt with his underwear showing, in hopes of getting the minority vote.

Oh wait — Weiner showed his tight whites already.Minnie Mangenugas

Coney Island

Senate gangland

To the editor,

I often hear the term “gang of eight,” so I looked up the term “gang” and found some interesting definitions.

A gang is a group of criminals or hoodlums who band together for mutual protection or profit, a group of delinquents who are part of an alliance of many gangs sometimes called a nation, a pack of wild dogs, and — my personal favorite — the colloquial term for the group of eight U.S. senators writing the immigration reform bill!

You could put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig, and a gang is a gang, even if its members are wearing suits and ties.

Sidney Morganstein

Mill Basin

Compost fan

To the editor,

Composting is not for everyone, but in front of my home I have a small area where I plant annuals.

So when the ground began defrosting I saved my coffee grounds, apple and orange peels, crushed eggshells, brushed-off cat hair, salad scraps, and almost daily dug a small hole, added the little bits to my front garden soil, then covered the area with soil. No grease or meat products!

Wowee! Now that I’ve planted moonflower seeds — a beautiful, aromatic vine with white, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom after the sun goes down — and other ordinary seeds, you’ve gotta see the hundreds of worms that I’ve got in my soil. They’re wonderful ’cause they make tunnels in the soil for rain to pass through, as they aerate and loosen the soil. I love to know worms are in my garden, and they love the food I give ’em.

May seem strange, but when I see worms in the soil, I know it’s healthy soil.Joan Applepie

Mill Basin

Soaring rents

To the editor,

The matter of the rents going up became a one-day issue. Where is the outcry from our politicians about a four-percent increase for one-year leases, and seven-and-three-quarter percent for renewal of two-year leases? Are salaries going up that much?

Let the landlords open their books and show how much money they are making in many of these roach-infested buildings. There is no end to the greed of these landlords. After getting these increases, many then put in for capital improvement increases. Our legislature and politicians do nothing about this because they own property themselves. These groups should be made to disclose what they own.

There has to be a strong city-wide coalition of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants. This is lacking and that’s why it is becoming a landlord’s world. Tenants who signed two-year leases two years ago were already hit with a seven-and-a-quarter-percent increase.

It’s a shame that the mayor does nothing. Years ago, he said that if both sides were dissatisfied, the deal must be a good one. How dare he try to equate the finances of landlords with those of struggling tenants.

We will now further see a rise in homelessness. We’re not sitting pretty in Bloomberg City.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Football felons

To the editor,

This is the new order of football: Pee Wee league, intermediate league, high school level, college level, NFL, and the new NPL — the National Prison League.Nufigity Sanzone

Coney Island

Army order

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.

Presidents 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

Brighton Beach

‘Abort’ pro-life

To the editor,

Congress is discussing restrictions on a woman’s abortion rights, once again. The current bill would refuse abortion after 24 weeks.

The right wing would like to eliminate a woman’s right to choose altogether. People who want to do this don’t realize the harm that would result.

Many unwanted children would be abandoned or raised by uncaring and perhaps abusive parents. Others would be shunted from one social service institution to another, accumulating psychological scars, without the sense of security necessary for normal development. Many would also have mental and physical congenital defects, causing them much misery, and their parents much hardship.

Many who oppose pro-choice also oppose the social and health programs needed to remedy those conditions. Many would seek services from illegal abortionists, as they did before legalization. Many who did, died from infections. Others, who tried to perform their own abortions, died from hemorrhages. The words that come to my mind are alone, desperate, excruciating, pain, final. If those who call themselves “pro-life” have their way, this awful carnage will return. Jerome Frank

Coney Island

Paula ‘crucified’

To the editor,

Where’s the outrage?

Paula Deen gets crucified, and loses endorsements and sponsors for saying the n-word 30 years ago.

Michael Jackson sexually molested 24 kids, and paid out millions to cover it up. As far as I’m concerned, the parents of those kids that were bought off are just as guilty as Michael Jackson.

I will still buy a Paula Dean product, but I will shut off the radio when one of the Gloved One’s songs come on.

Ernesto Cavalier

Marine Park

Split vote

To the editor,

It is reprehensible that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-4 majority.

As Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg said in her dissent, “The sad irony lies in its utter failure to grasp why the V.R.A. has proven effective.”

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Now, states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia will have an option to enact photo identification for voters and potential voters.

I favor photo ID for subscribers of Medicare and Medicaid to help alleviate fraud, but it will cause racial unrest that the act alleviated.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

High-n-mighty Quinn

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.

Updated 10:48 am, July 8, 2013
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