WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES JUNE 29, 2017 13
THE GOOD & BAD
ABOUT LHOTA’S MTA
The appointment of past Metropolitan
Chairman Joe Lhota to assume his old
position is a mixed blessing.
The good news is no doubt that as
MTA chairman and CEO between November
2011 to December 2012, he did
a great job bringing MTA transportation
back from the damages brought
by Superstorm Sandy.
The bad news is that it is disappointing
to learn that he will retain his position
as a senior vice president of NYU
Langone Medical Center. Now more
than ever, his MTA assignment is a
full-time job well beyond the standard
9 to 5 hours most New Yorkers work.
Lhota can’t serve two employers
at the same time. Transit riders, taxpayers,
transit advocates and elected
offi cials can accept no less.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
MTA RESCUE TAX
WILL BE AROUND
Regarding the proposed MTA rescue
tax: While it might be a nice idea, I would
not be in favor, for the following reason.
In the mid 1970s, with the city in a
fi nancial crisis, the state created the
NY City auto use tax. It was supposed
to be temporary, to help the city out of
the crisis. I found out, with the investigative
help of a local elected offi cial,
that the law was created without a
sunset clause. Therefore, some
40+ years later, this temporary
tax is still penalizing owners
of NY City registered vehicles,
including commercial vehicles
which pay many hundreds of
dollars per vehicle.
It’s time to rescind it, and to stop
taxing residents more. It’s time to
make the government less expensive
to operate and to fund things
with the existing revenues.
QNS member Steven Katz
THANKS FOR THE
BIG ‘WIN’ FOR
Editor’s note: The following
letter was addressed to Victoria
Schneps, publisher of The Queens
Courier and Ridgewood Times.
The When In Need (WIN)
Foundation wishes to extend our
profound gratitude for the donation
of $1,300 from the Queens
Power Women Event.
This donation will go a long
way to support the foundation
in improving the lives of individuals
The When In Need Foundation
is based on kindness and humanity,
and includes the vision
of touching lives and creating
impact even if it’s one person at
a time. Please feel free to follow
us on all social media platforms
(Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram,
Twitter) and most importantly
our When In Need Foundation
website at www.winfound.org.
Dr. Chetachi Ecton, CEO/Founder,
When in Need Foundation
This generation’s fi ght for voting rights
BY CONGRESSMAN JOE CROWLEY
Each generation has faced their
own fi ght for the fundamental
right to vote. In the early 20th century,
suff ragettes fought to extend the
franchise to women. In the 1960s, legislation
fi nally went into eff ect to make
equal access to the polls — regardless
of race — a reality. Years later, young
people rallied to extend the franchise
to those between the ages of 18 and 24.
A new generational fi ght was kindled
four years ago when the Supreme
Court overturned essential parts of
the ”Voting Rights Act,” infl icting one
of the most devastating blows to our
democracy in recent American history.
The Shelby County v. Holder ruling
essentially put the burden on Congress
to protect the rights of eligible Americans
to freely vote. But in the four years
since, a Republican-controlled Congress
has failed to act.
Congress must restore these vital voter
protections that secured the integrity
of our democracy for decades. The good
news is we have the legislation to do it.
Democrats have consistently asked
the House and the Senate to take up
the ”Voting Rights Advancement Act,”
which would redeem America’s promise
of a fair vote for every age-eligible
citizen by modernizing key portions
of the ”Voting Rights Act.” I’m a proud
sponsor of this legislation and have
been among the most vocal proponents
of updating the historic ”Voting Rights
Act” since the Shelby decision.
There is nothing that wouldn’t be
improved — from healthcare, to our
criminal justice system, to campaign
fi nance laws, to more aff ordable education
and housing — if every American
eligible to vote didn’t face unnecessary
obstacles to doing so.
While the obstacles to voting are no
longer as overt as the poll taxes and literacy
tests of decades ago, the fi ght is as
equally important today as it was then.
And just like then, this is a major issue
impacting our democracy. Aft er the Supreme
Court ruling, an eruption of unjust
voter ID laws rose, erecting unfair barriers
to voting. Not a single state required
voters to show photo identifi cation to vote
before 2006. Now, 10 states do.
These laws are designed to keep
younger voters, poorer Americans, and
minorities from voting.
One of the biggest threats to voting
rights comes from the White House. In
addition to renouncing longstanding
support to legal challenges to discriminatory
voter laws, the Trump administration
has created the Presidential Advisory
Commission on Election Integrity
– a commission designed to investigate
“improper voting registration” and
“fraudulent voting.” Craft ed by President
Trump, the commission’s true aim is to
verify an unsubstantiated claim that 3
to 5 million people voted illegally in the
latest election. This is all to provide cover
for a new spate of voter restrictions that
will make it harder for millions of more
Americans to cast their ballots.
To fix the Supreme Court’s misguided
ruling, Congress must quickly enact the
”Voting Rights Advancement Act.” But I
fear my Republican colleagues will feel no
need to address this issue until there is significant
external pressure on them to do so.
This is why a new generational fi ght;
a new cadre of leaders must take up this
mantle. It is now time for a new generation
to take the baton and stand up for
Congressman Joe Crowley, who
represents parts of Queens and the
Bronx, is the chairman of the House
LETTERS AND COMMENTS
A LOOK BACK
Five years ago, a group of Queens veterans
brought the “Moving Wall” to Middle
Village’s Juniper Valley Park just before the
Independence Day weekend. The wall, a
replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in
Washington, D.C., has the names of the more
than 50,000 American soldiers who died in
the decade-long confl ict. This picture from the
Ridgewood Times archives shows a bugler
playing “Taps” at the closing ceremony after
the wall’s four-day stay in Juniper Valley Park.
Send us your historic photos of Queens by
email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail printed
pictures to A Look Back, ℅ The Queens Courier,
38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed
pictures will be carefully returned to you.