‘Dollar vans should be barred from Flatbush Avenue’

To the editor,

Those dollar vans that travel on Flatbush Ave to and from Kings Plaza (“Dollar van fare battle,” the Kings Courier, Aug. 16) are putting people’s lives in danger. The operators of those vans drive like maniacs with no regard for any traffic rules. They are the most rude, dangerous drivers on the planet with no regard for life. They constantly have their hand on their horn, they cut everyone off, speed, pass on the right, and tailgate. Anyone using one of these vans is taking their life in their hands. Where are the police? Where is the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission? When they are parked in the area they usually have their motors running, music blasting, and use our streets as a restroom. They are a hazard on the road. They shouldn’t be allowed to operate the way they do. They are breaking traffic laws and endangering pedestrians as well as their passengers and anyone in close proximity of them. Get them off the road before it’s too late.

Ernesto Cavalier


Grimm thoughts

To the editor,

Michael Grimm, who has been accused of extorting campaign contributors, was cleared of charges by the Congressional Ethics Committee only because the alleged crime occurred before he became a member of Congress, and not because they found him innocent. The Congressional Ethics Committee only investigates when a sitting member of Congress is involved in any allegations brought before them.

The investigation of Biton and Pinto (“Grimm backer busted,” Bay Ridge Courier, Aug. 24) is still being done by the FBI and they will decide if they have sufficient evidence to indict Congressman Grimm. Additionally, Mr. Grimm was one of those Republican Congressmen who were involved in that fiasco in Israel when they acted like a bunch of frat boys gone wild.

He has also petitioned for the release from jail of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted in court of spying for Israel. Could it be one hand washing the other?

As for Hank Sheinkopf’s comment that Grimm shouldn’t return the $500,000 that was raised for him by Biton, he can’t do that simply because he purchased a really expensive Cartier watch for Guy Molinari, his Staten Island Godfather. Sheinkopf should remember that Vito Fossella returned money (and/or donated it to charity) he got from a couple of sitting Republican Congressman after they were convicted and sentenced to jail.

As for Grimm’s comment on “dirty politics” coming from the Murphy campaign, he should look to his own party that’s suppressing the vote in states where they have complete control of both Houses and the Governorships.

Rosalie Caliendo


Keep colleges gun free!

To the editor;

Just a few days ago I heard that some college campuses would allow students to carry guns and keep them handy just in case of trouble. I often wonder who comes up with these marvelous thoughts? Are we that out of control that we think more guns is the solution?

Lets give this some thought: there is a student having a difficult time, seems angry, frustrated, and has no one to trust. Maybe he lost his mate to another, or maybe he’s having a hard time at home.

A loner who feels rejected and needs to take out his anger at others. What does he do? I wonder, can I get even with others by taking their life? Either he is rational or irrational in his thinking and plotting. Remember there are plenty of guns around the campus since it is possible to access another students room without him or her knowing it.

I guess life has no more meaning as we allow more and more guns to take over. While I’m at my senior center there’s a “News Flash” — another shooting near the Empire State Building. Surprise, surprise. So how many more lives do we need to lose once again?

Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Botched billions

To the editor,

The real question everyone misses concerning the municipal scandal that involves $1 billion in federal aid currently unspent by the New York City Housing Authority is how New York City has managed the more than $20 billion in post 9-11 aid, as well as the billions of other dollars from Washington every year.

The same also applies to billions in yearly assistance from Albany, along with billions in locally generated tax revenues.

Does New York City submit grant applications on time? Are current federal and state funded programs being completed on time and within budget? What is the justification for carrying over unspent funds year after year? Is there waste, fraud, or abuse? Are all change orders for construction projects fair, reasonable and documented?

Have Comptroller John Liu and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli conducted audits of each respective municipal agency to see if the city is doing a good job managing current federal and state aid programs? What oversight has Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, the Council Finance Committee, the city’s Office of Management and Budget and the Independent Budget Office provided?

It is difficult to convince Washington for more money when the country is currently running annual budget deficits over $1.2 trillion accompanied by long term debt approaching $17 trillion dollars. Ditto for Albany with a long term debt approaching $70 billion.

In past years, city public officials boasted a budget surplus worth billions, which disappeared in the dead of night when the stock market dropped.

City municipal debt was $43 billion 2001. In 2012, it has reached $68 billion with each residents’ portion of this debt going from $5,300 in 2001 to over $8,000 today.

This per resident capital debt makes the Big Apple number one nationally. This is nothing to be proud about. Each year a greater percentage of the city budget goes toward debt payments rather than funding badly needed essentials such as police, fire, sanitation, education, and other social services. No elected official has stepped forward to develop any plans to reduce this long term debt.

Debt service payments now represent 16 percent of the municipal budget.

The city needs to put its own fiscal house in order before asking both Albany and Washington for more assistance.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

Food fight

To the editor:

I’d like to see the council tackle the real problems in New York City’s school system — large class sizes, disruptive pupils, and principals from the Leadership Academy evaluating teachers when they themselves never taught a day and displaced teachers relegated to substitute status while the city is hiring new teachers this year.

Teachers have enough distractions and disruptions to deal with. Now they will be asked to deal with the food in the classroom.

Wait until the food throwing begins in the room. What’s next — supper programs?

It is the responsibility of the parent to get the child to the school cafeteria on time so that the youngster can be fed.

I wish the council would visit schools after dismissal. There are enough potato chip bags and candy inside the desks to feed an army. Is it any wonder that so many of our schools are infested with rodents?

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Dim Hizzoner

To the editor,

We know very well that the late Mayors Wagner, Lindsay, and Beame would have had both Con Edison and the locked-out union at Gracie Mansion for round-the-clock talks.

Each of these mayors would have sat there, despite the fact that Con Edison isn’t a city agency. But, other than using profanity at a hot-dog eating contest and his constant bashing of the United Federation of Teachers, where was Mayor Bloomberg during this crisis?

He should have actively been involved. We knew he wouldn’t, since we know where his sympathies are regarding this situation. Several summers ago, while parts of Queens were darkened for days, our mayor heaped praise on C.E.O. Kevin Burke!

Bloomberg’s third term has been a disaster beyond belief. This life-long Democrat might consider voting for Mitt Romney if the latter promised to put Bloomberg in a cabinet position. It would be worth it just to get him out of town a year before his term expires.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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