Thursday, December 25, 2008

Westchester Guardian/Phil Amicone/In Our Opinion/Our Reader Respond.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

In Our Opinion...

Phil Amicone’s Last Concern: Yonkers Families

Phil Amicone has made it abundantly clear that he could care less about the lives and well-being of working-class Yonkers families, the backbone of the City. He has revealed himself in many ways, perhaps most strikingly in the area of public safety. He simply refuses to acknowledge, and deal with, Yonkers Police brutality, an issue underscored 20 years ago in the Murphy-Mayo Investigation and Report, and a continuing issue serious enough to bring about an on-going, two-year FBI investigation.

This newspaper, in September 2006, within six weeks of its inception, published a shocking, front-page story entitled, Mother, 72, Daughter, 49, Charge Yonkers Police Brutality. Within days of that issue, Police Commissioner Taggart suddenly resigned, and the Yonkers chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. held a Speak-Out at the Riverfront Library to which more than 125 citizens came out. Twenty-five of the attendees gave accounts of appalling encounters involving men, women and children with violent, brutalizing Yonkers police officers. The incidents continue unabated despite ongoing coverage.

Within weeks of Taggart’s resignation, before Christmas, Mayor Amicone hired former NYPD 46th Precinct Commander Edmund Hartnett as the city’s new Police Commissioner. It quickly became apparent that Hartnett was as determined as the Mayor to deny the Department’s brutality problem, and maintain the status quo. In simple language, Amicone and his appointee continue to pursue a Public-Be-Damned strategy. And, what has made matters worse, is the fact that they continue to be aided in their clearly criminal conduct by District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who not only refuses to investigate and prosecute rogue Yonkers cops, but, instead, goes after the innocent victims of their brutality, as in the Marquez and Florim cases.

Given Amicone’s failure to respond on behalf of working families and their mistreatment at the hands of violent police, his most recent betrayal of his sworn duty comes as no real surprise; the decision to lay off 76 City employees, including 46 Department of Public Works employees, 11 police officers, and 6 fire-fighters while, at the same time, giving generous raises to some 180 of his closest assistants and cronies, some as much as $30,000, others $15- to $20,000, many more $9500, to the tune of $1.1 million.

Of those receiving the raises, many do little, if any, work at all. It must not be forgotten that Amicone publicly adopted nearly all of Nick Spano’s 30 employees when Spano lost his State Senate seat to Andrea Stewart-Cousins for the second time, in 2006, in exchange for Nicky’s endorsement. That mass adoption has been costing the City $1.2 million a year.

The impact of the present layoffs on the quality of life within the City is incalculable, and unhealthy, the lion’s share coming in sanitation and public health venues, garbage, bulk waste, and compostable material pickups to be severely cut back and/or totally eliminated.

For a Mayor to be putting the breadwinners of some 76 families out of work, especially at Christmas, is cruel enough but, to be putting all those individuals out in the cold while, at the same time, lavishing his cronies with huge pay raises, is totally unforgiveable.

Our Readers Respond....

Guardian Reader From Manhattan Airs Pet Peeves

Dear Editor:

Why should we, the citizens of New York City and New York State pay for the mistakes of our accidental incompetent Governor and the arrogant Mayor Bloomberg and the Leadership of the MTA as well as the lousy political hacks in the New York City Council and State Senate and New York State Assembly?

Governor Corzine, you who, like Mayor Bloomberg, bought your position for your ego and to enrich your friends and family and businesses, listen and listen well. Lower your taxes and eliminate others since I am telling all New York citizens to start doing business outside of New York and if you have to do business in New York refuse to pay the higher tolls/fares and additional new taxes so these folks who caused this mess can give more to their friends etc..

It amazes me that folks like Paterson will not cut back his staff and/or his salary and perks and will actually increase spending, but he is most outraged over a very funny Saturday Night Live piece on him! Paterson is more concerned about filling quotas than competence!

How is this for an idea: All the big shots in local and state government in New York State, including Andy Spano, the crooked County Executive of Westchester, and the Heads of the MTA, cut back on their benefits/ perks and take a lower salary before we are forced to endure higher taxes and new taxes and fees which are never spent wisely in any case!

To the federal government: No bailout of high-taxed, wasteful spending; New York and to the MTA: There is no way that the federal/state and local governments, and the taxpayers, should pay for your total and complete mismanagement of the transit system. In fact, all of the folks at the MTA, from the chairmen on down, should be forced out and we, the taxpayers, should refuse to pay any increases whatsoever, and do our shopping in New Jersey. If we can do that we can teach these crooks that they will not get any more money from us!

One last thing, where is Bloomberg’s, and Paterson’s, or even Obama’s outrage at Rep. Meeks and/or Rep. Rangel’s misuses and abuse of office? If they were white conservatives you would hear from them, I bet!

Leonard P. Daniels,
New York City

Faithful Reader Grapples With The New Rules of “Marriage”

Dear Editor:

How about people who, like me, oppose same-sex marriage coming up with a new name for, and distinctive ways of entering, the male-female union that marriage used to be? Ideally, the male-female union should be called “marriage”, and contracts that can include same-sex couples should be called other words. But I and those who share my view have lost. We can still refuse not to distinguish what “marriage”, “wedding”, “bride”, “groom”, “spouse”, “husband”, and “wife” used to mean from what they inevitably will mean. How? By devising new words for the old meanings.

The male-female union must be considered inferior to “marriage” in the eyes of both the law and “liberal” and “moderate” religions. Otherwise, same-sex couples will be allowed into it too. But it would be considered superior to “marriage” by me and those who share my views.

Possible ways of forming male-female unions include, with or without “wedding” clothes, “wedding” rituals, rings, and parties:

1. A man and a woman signing contracts and, if desired, last-name change applications in front of a witness;

2. A religious ceremony for “marriage” omitting the parts that give the union legal standing;

3. Both 1 and 2, simultaneously, or close in time.

Qualifications for 1’s witness and 2’s clergy-person should include refusal to of-ficiate same-sex “marriages”. Once same-sex “marriage” hits their state, they may refuse to officiate at any legal “marriage”.

Entering a male-female union should require a different certification than a legal “marriage” license. At least initially, each officiating individual
might have his/her own certification requirements.

But these requirements must not include “proof of heterosexuality”. In fact, the male-female union should allow couples who may soon be barred
from entering or, perhaps, even staying in legal inter-gender “marriage”. These include people whose appearance, movements, and/or biological features have been declared “gay”.

A different-gender couple may choose to be in both a male-female union and a “marriage” simultaneously. However, entering or leaving one
would not automatically mean entering or leaving the other. Entering each, at least after same-sex marriage hits their state, should require a separate process/ ceremony.

Will couples in only male-female unions not qualify for the tax, insurance, etc. benefits that come with “marriage”? If so, how about me and
like-minded people forming a fund to compensate such couples? Different-sex couples who already married before same-sex “marriage”
hit their state should be able to upgrade their marriage to a male-female union with a 1-3 minute free process. Whether they want to stay legally “married” would be up to them.

The one officiating a male-female union may state a personal intention to consider the couple “as good as married” and any resulting children “as
good as legitimate”.

What about this transition phase, where in some states marriage still is a male-female union? In those states, of-ficials who share my views could perform all three of the following: inter-gender marriages, male-female unions, and both simultaneously for the same couple. What about couples who want to marry legally in a state where marriage is still only for opposite genders? They should arrange for the ceremony in at least three states, lest same-sex “marriage” hit their first choices without well-publicized warning before the ceremony. With the legal portion’s location
uncertain, the reception/party may be held in a different location and scheduled for a day or so later. Most-guests would probably come to only either one or the other.

To people who, like me, believe marriage should be for only a man and a woman: We don’t love the traditional words’ new definition; let’s leave them. We can’t stand the new heat; let’s get out of the kitchen.

Jeanette Wolfberg
Mt. Kisco

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