Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our Readers Respond...

Reader Misinterprets Columnist Camacho

Dear Editor:

I am a faithful reader of your publication. I appreciate your un-biased reporting of the news and your journalistic integrity.
However, I found the January 1, 2008 Op-Ed by Eridania Camacho insulting. It is derogatory and prejudicial, if not outright
veiled racism. The writer goes to great lengths to describe stereotypical behavior towards Latinos, yet uses the term “Anglo” to describe
Caucasian peoples.

I expect higher standards from your publication.

A Faithful Reader

Editor’s Note: We are so pleased that you are “A Faithful Reader”, and we are pleased to advise you that you may keep the faith. We hope you will be pleased to note that Ms. Camacho’s use of the word “Anglo” is neither “derogatory” nor “prejudicial”, nor any form of “veiled racism”.

If you would have taken a moment to consult Webster’s New World Dictionary, copyrighted 2002 by Wiley Publishing,
Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, you would have discovered that “Anglo” is defined as “a White inhabitant of the United States who is of
non-Hispanic descent.” No offense intended; no offense committed. We will strive to maintain our high standards. Thank you.

A Plea For Enforcement Of Disabilities Act of 1990

Dear Editor:

We need help! This is a handicapped person’s fight against those who violate and abuse the Americans With Disabilities
Act of the U.S.A.

“We” refers to the thousands of surviving World War II Vets, the millions of veterans from the Korean, Vietnam and Iraqi
Wars, and the multi-millions who are likewise physically or mentally handicapped. WE DESERVE BETTER!

Since April, 2006, I have made urgent appeals on several occasions to various elected officials and candidates for public
office by telephone calls, fax transmissions and by certified mail urging them to commit to putting teeth into existing laws or
creating stronger measures to create a true Open Door Policy for the 21st Century.

All such pleas for a commitment have borne no response whatsoever. The silence is deafening.

When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law in 1990, he declared that our
nation “will not accept, we will not excuse, we will not tolerate discrimination in America.” Eighteen years later, individuals
with disabilities and our supporters, know that “tolerance” is still being defined.

My purpose is to obtain legislation to compel the enforcement of those laws, above captioned, and not just wait for a
tragic accident to happen. It is senseless to have laws that do not provide for penalties, if broken.

Howard Wm. Rasher,
Briarcliff Manor

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Our Opinion...

Congestion Pricing In Manhattan: An Idea Whose Time Hopefully Will Never Come

Michael Bloomberg certainly demonstrates his boardroom mentality in his ongoing attempt to impose Congestion Pricing on
those who drive into Manhattan during peak traffic hours. We are not convinced that the scheme, if enacted into law, would survive a court
challenge under the theory of Equal Access. After all, to establish tolls of $8 for cars and $21 for trucks is to clearly separate individuals based upon socioeconomic situation, and to, in effect, deny a whole class of individuals access to publicly-financed facilities and rights-of-way.

Those who are accustomed to traveling into Manhattan, particularly below 86th Street, by automobile, know very well that the number of cars and trucks on the street, while an obvious contributor to congestion, is but one element in the equation. Double-parked cars, and trucks,
in particular, are leading contributors to backed-up cross-town streets. Utility and municipal construction and street repair also account for
slow-downs and congestion.

While the Bloomberg Administration contemplates revenues of as much as $500 million annually from such tolls, the method of collection
would seem to produce congestion of its own, and obviously require construction at numerous points across Manhattan that, no doubt, would consume space. How would one, who must travel in and out of the toll zone in the routine course of their daily business, cope
with the scheme?

How would those commuting into Manhattan, to points below 86th Street, be regulated; those coming through the Holland, Lincoln, Brooklyn Battery, and Queens Midtown Tunnels, be dealt with? And, what about those coming over the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, or 59th Street Bridges, all below 86th Street, be handled?

Finally, any scheme that would limit the number of vehicles that might enter the Borough of Manhattan, of necessity, will significantly limit
the number of individuals who would do business there, and thus dramatically impact earnings and revenues, not to mention sales and excise
taxes that directly support the very community that Congestion Pricing is supposed to be assisting and preserving.

We believe that New York City, and Manhattan in particular, are unique, complex environments whose business and residential neighborhoods do not lend themselves easily to seemingly simplistic schemes. We believe Congestion Pricing is one such concept, and We fervently hope its time never comes.

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