Today’s news:

One in a million

Dear editor,

When I came home yesterday, the word tree was written on my sidewalk. I found out the NYC Parks Department was planning to plant two trees along my walkway, under the mayor’s Million-Tree Program. I repaired my sidewalk a couple of years ago. Now the city is breaking sidewalks to plant trees. They are not helping the homeowner. They are making more work for the homeowner now, because I’ll have to pick up the leaves or get a ticket. I am disabled. I have cerebral palsy and it is hard to pick up leaves.

Milagros Bufano

Disagrees with letter criticizing amendment

Dear editor,

Alwin H. Warfel’s letter to the Bronx Times Reporter on an abortion-restricting amendment in the congressional health-care bill was full of misleading hysteria and an obvious bigotry towards the Christian clergymen whose letter to Congressman Crowley was reprinted in the paper.

He belittles either the clergymen who wrote that letter and/or the Catholic Church as “...an all-male club...” simply because they expressed their anger to Mr. Crowley for voting against the aforementioned amendment, especially since he has had a mostly anti-abortion voting record in Congress.

He believes the clergymen “over-stepped” the so-called “separation of church and state” with this mere act of contacting an elected official over an issue of life and death.

Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to a minister in Connecticut, assuring him that the federal government will not establish an official church in America like existed in several European countries; he wrote nothing about forbidding Christian clergy from trying to influence legislation or participate in political debate. Clergymen have every right to participate in politics just as much as a flaming-liberal academic like Dr. Warfel does.

Ken Reynolds

Letter was offensive

Dear editor,

I wish to comment on the December 10 letter to the editor by Alwin H. Warfel, titled “Support Congressman Crowley’s vote on Stupak-Pitts.”

As a Christian and as a Catholic I find Mr. Warfel’s vitriolic rant offensive.

Mr. Warfel is typical of the Marxists and Statists that are emboldened, now that the radical left in Washington has demanded that the rest of us follow in lock step.

Mr. Warfel tries to wrap abortion around some kind of non-existing Constitutional right, while denying the Catholic hierarchy the freedom of speech.

He also warps the meaning of the First Amendment, claiming separation of church and state. He then dictates to the Catholic Church how to discipline one of their members. He also forgot that religious freedom includes the right to practice our religion without being dictated by the federal government

The radical left has ruled that abortion is just a procedure, subject to choice. Logically, therefore abortion is just like Botox injections, hair transplants, hair cuts, liposuction, breast enhancements, capped teeth, skin peels, face lifts and bikini waxes.

I choose not to have my tax dollars and health insurance premiums pay for procedures that are defined as personal choices. If Joseph Crowley and Patrick Kennedy can not follow the Constitution or their personal religious laws, then throw the bums out.

Thomas X. Casey

Pelham Bay merchant gives from the heart

Dear editor,

I would like to praise the generosity of Vito Elia, owner of Vito’s Deli on Crosby Avenue, for continuing his generosity during the holiday season.

This year, Mr. Elia gave away 100 turkeys and 400 sandwiches on Wednesday, November 25, to those in need. The turkey giveaway was in memory of his family friends, Vincent and Laura.

Mr. Elia tripled the amount of turkeys he usually gives away for his annual event. I feel this is unheralded in financial times when everyone seems to be cutting back.

Mr. Elia said that everyone was getting a turkey and everyone did. Bravo!

Angela Skolowicz

One in a million

Dear editor,

I am a freshman in Cardinal Spellman HS. I lost my wallet while walking home from a friend’s house two weeks ago. My mom told me not to worry, that there are a lot of good people out there and that someone will return it. The only ID was my old grammar school ID. A good Samaritan returned the wallet to my old school with a note but they did not sign their name. I just wanted to say thank you. Now I know there are a lot of good people in the world too!

Jimmy Cassidy

A caring organization

Dear editor,

I want to express my sincere thanks to our Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps. I no sooner hung up my phone, and they were at my front door. They helped me immediately – vital signs, oxygen, etc. They were caring, efficient and courteous.

Rose Foley

Healthcare reform bill is a bad bill

Dear editor,

Have you grown tired of hearing about healthcare reform? This is a bad bill. In a recent pool, 54% of your fellow Americans said, “Let the bill die. We don’t want it.”

The obsessive shepherds, Obama, Pelosi and Reid, are pressing the spineless sheep on the hill to shove this costly legislation down the throats of an unwilling nation.

Let me ask you a question. If your dream is to buy a really expensive car like a Ferrari but your pocketbook cries out Kia, what would you do? Go into debt from which you might never recover, or buy what you can afford? The same thought process applies to the healthcare bill. The nation just cannot afford it at this point in time nor can our capitalistic-based society afford another step towards socialism.

Our healthcare system is the best in the world. Only 18% of Americans are without healthcare…many by choice. To service this minority our government will put us, the majority, our children and grandchildren, into financial hock for generations. That 18% won’t feel a thing. They don’t pay taxes. So, why do it?

• The President wants to redistribute our money – yes – you will pay more for much less. Read the bill on the Internet.

• For ego and peer satisfaction. Our legislators no longer listen to the average Joe. They listen to the Shepherds, Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

• For a place in the history books! After all, this is historic legislation. It is not often that one sixth of a nation’s economy is swallowed up by the government of a Republic with the stroke of a pen.

• For loyalty on the Democratic Party. But not loyalty to you and me, the constituents who voted them into office.

Patricia O’Hanlon

What was right, over what was easy

Dear editor,

I was moved to tears by Senator Jeff Klein’s impassioned speech for equality and fairness. Senator Diaz is a disgrace to not only the borough, but to the idea of democracy and equal rights and his anti-equality speech bordered on the fanatical. Religion is to be kept out of state matters, something the cowardly majority in the senate only see fit to do when it benefits them.

If Mr. Diaz was really all that concerned about the strength of marriage and family in the states, he would be introducing an anti-divorce bill and refusing to have anything to do with the sham “marriage” of girlfriend beater Hiram Monserrate. He would not be working to keep legitimate families throughout the state and country from enjoying the equal protection and enjoyment of rights under the law. There is not a single religious group in this country who can claim anything like a moral authority, nor is there a single religious group who can legally marry a couple. Keep your religion out of my state laws and let’s celebrate the courageous senators, including our own Jeff Klein who voted for what was right, over what was easy.

Jennifer DiIorio

CB 10 district manager is simply amazing

Dear editor,

The December 10 story on the Community Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns and the homeless housing hearing is not fair. As a city worker for 24 years in the social services field and also a past volunteer for 14 homeless men and women with problems of mental health and/or addiction for over six years, I believe I know a thing or two about my district manager’s predicament and the homeless problem.

District managers, in my view, are middle level management city employees who do not make city policy. They don’t even have a union, which is very unfair because their equivalents in the uniformed services, who you can argue do make policy for a precinct, etc., do get union representation.

I have never heard Mr. Kearns say he did not want to testify [about the shelter]. Mr. Kearns simply wanted to follow the protocol the City of New York has established. I was not present for this hearing. I have been present for countless meetings, hearings, etc., where Ken Kearns ahs proven his unyielding love and concern for our community and its residents. I have been present when Ken Kearns ahs gone toe-to-toe with state and city representatives, private businesses and non-profit vendors. I have never seen this man back down when his community was at stake.

Our area has been blessed. We have had district managers who are as different as night and day, yet similar in several respects. Both Jimmy Vacca and Ken Kearns are competent, caring, and simply amazing. The spotlight is on them 24/7.

Mike Pricoli

St. Frances de Chantal blood drive set

St. Frances de Chantal Parish, located at 190 Hollywood Avenue, will be conducting its annual Christmas Blood Drive in honor of Jim Quinn who passed away this past week. Blood will be collected on Sunday, December 20, between 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school auditorium which is located at 2962 Harding Avenue.

The parish volunteers have coordinated a signup procedure for the next three Sundays at Church services, however any person is welcome to simply walk in and give blood on December 20. Generally speaking, donors between the ages of 17 and 75 should be in good health when participating in the drive.

The parish runs a drive each year at Christmas because blood supplies are typically lower at this time of year. The theme of this drive is “Give the Gift of Life for Christmas.” In addition, the December 20 Blood Drive is dedicated to James F. Quinn, a blood drive volunteer for 20 years, who just passed away on November 30.

Although pre-registration is preferred, donors may walk in on the day of the drive unannounced and we will be happy to see you. Should you have any questions or wish to sign up by phone, call Agnes Lynch at (718) 931-3271 or Jack McCarrick at (347) 581-9950. You may also email Jack at jackmcc963@aol.com to indicate that you wish to donate blood. Do something special this Christmas by saving a life.

Don’t stop

Dear editor,

Traffic agents are writing “No Standing, Bus Stop” tickets for $115 as you are getting out of a car to deposit mail or packages at the Throggs Neck Post Office.

This letter is to let you know there’s a problem and please help us. A sign should be put up to let people be aware – don’t stop for one minute.

Ann Toohey

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