Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

There Were Those Who Foresaw The Present ‘Foreclosure Crisis’

Dear Editor:

The following letter was initially written and directed to the New York Times of Thursday, June 16, 2005. It read
as follows: “The feature article on page C-1 of The Times of Thursday, June 16, was an eyeopener. The Trillion Dollar Bet, by Leonhardt and Rich, turned the lights on a subject which ought to have been on everybody’s mind these past several years. The Mortgage Market Myth has grabbed the imagination of too many of the naïve and unwary who rushed to chase the will-’o-the-wisp idea that ownership of property could be obtained for the mere asking: “sign here and here and here and take the keys.” For those lucky ones it surely was a beautiful dream, though not very American. The writers of this timely article were to be commended indeed for their focus and courage.”

However, another spectre loomed on the horizon and has refused to go away, that is, the threat of impending
foreclosures. Oh, no, no, no, not from mortgage debt or from over-reaching, but from the ever-escalating real
property taxes which result from the over-heated market with its BOGUS prices.

No longer able to cope with these ever-escalating taxes, we, the property owners, now face three choices: take
on debt, face foreclosure, or depart this place. Now, isn’t that some American Dream! People whose forebears settled this town, whose footprints span the landscape from border to border, end to end, and who must exit forthwith to make way for those other “dreamers” with their ‘low down/no down’ conditional conveyances.

The present debacle of 2007 owes its existence to the architects of the previous one. Even as I write these lines
they are plotting another.

Marguerite E. Nichols, Pelham

In Our Opinion...

Is Anybody In Albany Listening?

As time goes on, We have the unmistakeable sense that New York State government, at times, in each of its branches, executive, legislative and judicial, is disconnected from those whom they govern. Outcomes in State
Supreme Court, particularly the Matrimonial Part, are often blatantly contrary to the best interests of the children, if any, involved, as well as to the litigants, depending upon “who has the money”.

Our criminal courts are not structured to bring about a meaningful search for the truth, but rather the most rapid disposition possible; Due Process be damned, and with it the concept of actual innocence. Why should we expect any differently? Those we elect to 14-year terms are literally constrained from revealing themselves to us by archaic, but no less self-serving, Judicial Election Rules. The process of nomination, having been faulted by Federal District Judge Gleeson, of the Eastern District of New York, has remained, nevertheless, unchanged and outrageously corrupt, as though in contempt.

The state’s Chief Executive, a governor whose entire work experience has been underwritten by the public treasury, as a prosecutor of one kind or another, is ill-prepared to deliver upon his pre-election promises. And, while he is clearly less focused upon lining his own and his cronies’ pockets than his predecessor was, his quest for power and dominion are character-defining.

Consider the ego-bruising, pitched battle between a governor and the Majority Leader of the State Senate, virtually paralyzing the passage of numerous critical measures.

Against the background of all of the above, imagine the spirited, but discouraging, struggle of a small, profitable hospital whose mere existence shaves some 20-40 minutes ambulance time, otherwise required to transport some 40,000 or more residents of the surrounding villages and towns to an emergency room possibly, for life saving procedures.

Such is the mind-boggling tug-of-war between Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry and the beaurocratic armpit of the State, unpopularly known as The Berger Commission. The battle has unified virtually all factions within
the region, and with good cause.

Though little in size, the facility, unlike many larger installations, is a very profitable operation. A satellite of Saint John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, it throws off such a substantial profit as to enable much of the hospital’s
healthcare programming for those who are without ability to pay in the state’s fourth-largest city’s poorest communities. Additionally, the little hospital houses one of the finest breast care clinics in the downstate area.
The Dobbs Ferry facility is neither under-utilized nor unprofitable. Given that the Berger Commission’s mandate was to, in effect, weed out certain hospitals that are duplicative, under-utilized, or significantly unprofitable, their inclusion of Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry on their closure list would seem totally inappropriate. Still, the orders to shut down remain in effect. Community Hospital’s administration has been forced to sue the state based on Due Process, and the fundamental un-Constitutionality of the Berger Commission’s closure demand. Other hospitals have not, thus far, succeeded with similar actions. We wonder, “Is anybody in Albany listening?”

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