Readers: Religion is no excuse not to vaccinate!

Albany politicians passed a package of bills repealing the religious exemption for vaccines on June 13, amid a measles outbreak that has swept through Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish communities and infected almost 1,000 people statewide.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bills from both legislative chambers into law, which will require children across the state to get vaccinated against a slate of illnesses before they can attend schools at all levels from day care to high school, in order to stem the ongoing epidemic caused by a spread of fear-mongering and false information, according to one of the legislation’s lead sponsors.

“New York is at the center of the worst measles outbreak in over a quarter of a century,” Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said in a statement. “This outbreak has spread because misinformation and irresponsible rhetoric has scared people away from vaccinating their children. We need to end the nonmedical exemptions so preventable diseases will not spread in New York again.”

Readers shared their thoughts online:

Good! No more hiding behind “god” so you can put others at risk. Next, take away their tax exempt status.Local from Here

Democrat Assembly person Helene Weinstein voted along with Republican Simcha Felder in favor of spreading measles in our borough . She almost always votes the way the orthodox Jewish community tells her too, just like Felder. She is far from being an independent legislator.Henry Finkelstein

from Sheepshead Bay

I really don’t get it. With this current measles “outbreak/epidemic” the DOH did not allow religious exemptions for MMR and all children not vaccinated against the measles were excluded from school, regardless of the religious exemption. Why then do they think this bill will “stop the epidemic in its tracks”?

Truth from NY

Religious people who attend services are happier, healthier and live longer.Treyvon

New lease agreement!

Political bigwigs are celebrating a landmark agreement to strengthen the state’s rent laws, which will affect more than 2.5 million city dwellers.

The agreement — which would limit the ability of landlords to jack up rent, eliminate the deregulation of many apartments, and make the new rent laws permanent — is a historic victory for tenants in New York, according to the leaders of both state legislative chambers.

“These reforms give New Yorkers the strongest tenant protections in history. For too long, power has been tilted in favor of landlords and these measures finally restore equity and extend protections to tenants across the state,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a joint statement on June 11.

The agreement — officially called the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act — is expected to pass both chambers and be signed by the governor before June 15, when the current iteration of the rent laws are set to expire.

Readers were divided online:

Congratulations! Your victory consists of living in decrepit buildings, that will not be repaired or improved until sanity returns to Albany and Gracie Mansion.

Local from Here

Of greater import: Aiden’s discovered the thesaurus! And we have a candidate for replacing honcho. Bigwig. Have you considered Overlords? Just a thought.K from ArKady

so now landlords wont spend a penny to upgrade or improve properties since they wont be able to get paid fo it. tenants will suffer because they wont get improved buildings or apartments! as Forrest Gump said, stupid is as stupid does

Hbs from Midwood

Hopefully the various NYS Courts, or if need be the Federal Courts, will throw out the most reckless of these (NEW) rent-stabilization rules and regulations? For example, no apartment vacancy allowance what-so-ever. Retroactively changing legal MCI-allowances and rent increases. Or having NO economically viable incentive to rent the apartments that oddly have a”legal rent”— that is higher than the “market rent.” I highly doubt that even most of the politicians who signed onto this legislation really believe that it-will make our city more (RENT) affordable? Quite frankly, may we publicly stockade all these NYS politicians if there are NOT considerably fewer NYC’ers-paying more than one-third, 50-percent, or even more than this in about three or five-years from today? Hopefully yes.

SCR from Realityville

Many apartments aren’t rented in the market in the first place here. Owners choose not to be under the thumb of the predator city and state. Better to rent to relatives, or to keep the extra space for yourself and your own family. That’s the only way not to lose control of your own property.

Van Lingle Mungo

from Red Hook

Hammered Out!

A former long-time Brooklyn civic leader was found not guilty on June 14 of using bogus documents to give himself a pay-raise from the city of more than $16,000.

Craig Hammerman, the longtime District Manager of Community Board 6 — which stretches from Park Slope to Red Hook — was facing seven years behind bars for using two colleagues’ signatures to grant himself multiple salary bumps over a three-year stretch.

The jury accepted Hammerman’s defense that, because he had been authorized to use the signatures for community board business, he was allowed to use them for raise-requests, which included signing off on four letters to the city, between May 2015 and October 2017, to increase his salary from $105,180 to $121,931.

“I believed I had the authority to act on my own,” Hammerman told the jury on June 11. “I didn’t think I had to ask.”

Some readers weren’t too happy about it, others were thrilled:

Of course he got off. They are all crooks!Tricia from PPW

I completely agree with Local. From my vantage point I get to see many people doing supposed community service activities for basically a heir own pocketbook. Craig did his job excellently for many years, it seems he made some enemies who ultimately ended his career of public service. This particular paper sensationalized his cases, basically deeming him guilty before trial, which didn’t help.George Fialafrom Red Hook

This post must be posted for the sake of democracy. I said it before and I’ll say it again! That man is a local hero! I love this guy!!! He has been vindicated! Not Guilty! Free at last, free at last. We shall overcome! Trump 2020 (in prison)!!!

Local from Here

Having authorization and it being technically passing the “legal” threshold does not make his anything other than a unethical scumbag.

Tyler from PPS

A complete miscarriage of justice here… Shame on those twelve jurorsNaked Hiker

from Downtown Brooklyn

Using others’ signatures on certain documents after consulting with the individuals in question in writing is one thing. Using others’ facsimile signatures to request or support one’s own salary increase is clearly illegal. Besides and to my knowledge, salaries and salary increases are set by the city.ujh

from Westchester County

Automate the vote!

As an activist and student, I care about automatic voter registration being funded because it ensures that more people are registered to vote! AVR will increase the number of voters registered. By having more citizens registered to vote, more people can have the opportunity to participate in the government and make their voices heard. In order to ensure that AVR can be implemented for the upcoming elections, the state budget for this year must included dedicated funding for automatic voter registration. The State must provide dedicated funding to counties to cover start-up costs and ensure seamless implementation. AVR has been working well everywhere it’s been implemented, and it’s time for New York to join the list of states who are modernizing the election infrastructure. Having more people registered to vote will strengthen our democracy and political system, so implementing AVR will facilitate this endeavor by boosting the number of registered voters and amplifying the voices of the American people. I’d like to urge for a continued support and active advocacy to get automatic voter registration passed before the end of session in June. Jolle SimeuCrown Heights

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