Letters to the Editor

Mosque is a slap in face

I must disagree with Barbara Emanuele’s op-ed column "Build the Mosque."

As the spouse of an individual who was standing less than two blocks away when the towers fell, placing the mosque in the current location of choice is a direct smack in the face to every person who lost someone that day, and to those who are now and have been losing people who volunteered at the recovery site.

Emanuele speaks of stopping the degradation and theft of Islam. No one is trying to take that away from them. Just don’t do it on the doorstep of a mass execution site of 2,000+ innocent people.

James Hopke

Fresh Meadows

Charter Revision reaction

It ill behooves Matthew Goldstein, the chair of the New York City Charter Revision Commission, to describe the people of this city as the "true beneficiaries" of the approval of question one dealing with term limits. (“Four more years? Voters say No” -Queens Courier, November 4.)

Ultimately city elected officials will be limited to two four-year terms and sitting councilmembers will be unable to effectuate changes that would benefit themselves. However, courtesy of the politically slanted Charter Revision Commission, these changes will not take effect for many years, by which time many supporters of true term limits will have passed away, and excluded from its mandate are the current crop of officials, a political sop if there ever was one.

On a scale of one to 10, I would grade the work of the Charter Revision Commission as a "two," hardly entitling Goldstein to his self-anointed accolades.

Benjamin M. Haber



Failure of leadership

Dick Brennan dismisses the possibility of voters making faulty decisions in troubled times and attributes the midterm election results to Barack Obama’s failure to pander to them. A more careful examination may suggest that Obama’s problem wasn’t a failure of policy choices as much as a failure of leadership. A leader is someone who can inspire his followers to do what needs to be done even when it goes against their emotions or immediate needs.

Brennan quotes the half-sarcastic old saying "the customer is always right" without a trace of irony and expands it to "the voters are always right – and they always have the last word."

Although democracy may be the best political system anyone’s come up with, the voters, like the customer, are not infrequently wrong. And it’s not the voters who have the final say, it’s history. The country would be better off if our Emmy-winning political reporters would keep this in mind.

Harvey Wachtel

Kew Gardens


Wanted less mud, more issues

What gets to me about this voting season is all the attacks from one candidate on another. I would have been more interested in more discussions on the issues.

I did vote on Tuesday, November 2 because I still believe in our Democratic process and believe real change can come only when we the people are involved.

Kudos to all who voted.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village

Get ready to duck!

Legislation pending in the Big Apple, based on precedents established in courts in Washington, DC and in Chicago, IL, will lower the costs of gun permits here. Apparently high gun permit costs are discriminatory against the poor because they are too high, so a carry permit will be reduced from almost $350 to a little over $100. All other gun permits will be lowered to a mere $25.

Be sharp of eye and very alert to the sound of gunshots because soon not only will the city be flooded with illegal guns, but a bunch of newly licensed ones as well!

Dave Shlakman

Howard Beach


All eyes on Andrew

Now that Election Day has passed, and New York State has a new governor-elect, let us hope that the State Legislature in Albany will seriously be willing to work constructively with Andrew Cuomo to improve the economy of this state and city.

The people are tired of political rhetoric, which is all that they have heard for years on end. Now, there must be significant changes in the way that our state government is run.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows


Message for Obama

The election results are a “restraining order” and reflect America’s re-assessment, if not rejection, of President Obama’s vision of transformation and “change.” His proposals to redistribute wealth, impose higher taxes and increase government control of our lives and economy are incompatible with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the tenets of the Constitution.

If you doubt our liberties and prosperity are in danger, consider President Obama’s ominous warning when, in a recent TV appearance, he likened his health care legislation to “every piece of progressive legislation” like Social Security as a “structure” for the changes to come.

Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged observed “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”

Ed Konecnik



Kiss the money goodbye!

Well, weren’t the United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers clever! Instead of backing veteran State Senator Frank Padavan, whom they have supported for many years, they backed a lightweight with no proven track record in education, Tony Avella. In Senator Padavan’s 38 years, he garnered a proven record of winning funding year after year and passing maintenance of effort legislation to make sure education dollars were spent on education, and when the teachers’ union needed help when cuts were threatened, they ran to Senator Padavan, who always came through.

Now that it looks like the Republicans are going to retake the majority in the State Senate, a freshman senator from the minority party will have absolutely no clout to help city schools get the funding they need.

Cindy Leahy


No fan of Frank

"Upset" (Front Page Headline – November 4) and "Avella ousts Padavan in upset" (Bob Doda) concerning Democrat Tony Avella’s win over 38 year incumbent Republican State Senator Frank Padavan represented the closing of one of Albany’s longest running shows.

Just like on Broadway, sooner or later the curtain must come down.

Key labor unions such as the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and others abandoned him. Even with a friendly gerrymandered district for over 30 years, there were not enough voters left to buy his shtick.

Padavan can now retire with a very generous pension courtesy of taxpayers and spend more time with his grandchildren.

Larry Penner

Great Neck