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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “[UPDATED] Legality of McFadden's appointment to RHA questioned

Dear mforken,

Many of us have been searching far and wide for people who are concerned about "the disadvantaged in this community." We have NEVER seen your name associated with such concern. Now that we have discovered you, when can we meet and discuss the types of COLLECTIVE things we believe those who share such concerns should be doing?

2 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 10/20/2014 at 3:02 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Legality of McFadden's appointment to RHA questioned

"We wanted to go in a different direction" - George Moses…

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jon Greenbaum on 10/20/2014 at 2:18 PM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

Andrew, 99% of the people who passed this insipid law know little to nothing about guns. They were like Amish farmers making a law about cars.

Tom wrote,

"Safe Act has been around long enough for the haters to have developed their own better plan....but where is it? "

I love how gun haters ask gun owners, "What's your plan?" after they didn't ask us before passing asinine gun laws. Cuomo and his supporters didn't even ask law enforcement before shoving this garbage through. Neither did the governors of Colorado, Connecticut and other states that passed similar reactionary laws. It would have been good if they asked gun owners who actually understand gun for input before passing laws that do absolutely nothing to prevent what they're supposed to prevent. Even if someone hates guns and supports something like the SAFE Act the law that passed is full of stuff that makes no sense at all. A military style semi-automatic tubular magazine shotgun with a pistol grip is not defined as a so-called "assault weapon" but a semi-automatic shotgun with a thumbhole stock designed for turkey hunting is. That's just one ludicrous example of how the people who passed this law are ignorant of how guns work. If any of them have ever shot a gun it was probably a bolt action .22 at summer camp or at a relative's house in the Catskills as a kid. That's the level of experience I've heard from every gun control advocate I've ever talked to who ever shot a gun. The vast majority of legislators who voted for the SAFE Act have never touched a gun. They know absolutely nothing about them and feel no responsibility to learn anything before making laws that restrict our constitutional right. All they know is that guns are bad. Maybe there should be a law that lawmakers need to know at least something about what they're voting for before they dump it on us.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Harte on 10/20/2014 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

Very suspicious. I suspect Ortiz has called for this investigation after being directed to do so by Joe Morelle. Ortiz is known to be an ally of his. Interesting. They were outhustled fair and square in the election and still can't deal with it.

4 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by steve on 10/20/2014 at 11:36 AM

Re: “[UPDATED] Legality of McFadden's appointment to RHA questioned

Wow, just wow.

Mayor Warren, is it too much to ask to appoint someone that can legally hold the job and actually has experience with federal housing regulations and multi-million dollar budgets?

The disadvantaged in this community are more important than playing politics. Put an end to this nonsense now and re-appoint Castro or at least someone that is actually qualified.

You're doing a disservice to this community and embarrassing the office and the city, please stop.

48 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mforken on 10/20/2014 at 11:24 AM

Re: “[UPDATED] Legality of McFadden's appointment to RHA questioned

George Moses' silence is unacceptable. He's not the chair of some rinky-dink charity, he's serving on a $62 m public authority board. Hiding from public scrutiny is not an option. It's not just McFadden's credentials, the mayor clearly overlooked Mr. Moses' qualifications to be chair, on display for all to see. One would think that before Castro was ousted and McFadden was tapped, all the t's and i's would be crossed and dotted. Sloppy leadership.The rest of the board should seriously think about whether they want to follow a leader who at best is impulsive and lacks diligence. How about a little fiduciary responsibility, here folks? Schumer, Gilibrand and Slaughter better step up ASAP to protect those federal funds and the interest of the residents.

31 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by GeorgeOconnor on 10/20/2014 at 11:22 AM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

"There are still way too many guns in NYS." SAYS WHO?

I have to laugh at idiot politicians who pass laws about things they know NOTHING about. Several firearms manufacturers are making and selling semi-automatic rifles that are fully compliant with the ridiculous NY SAFE act. They operate exactly as the banned weapons. So the features that politicians deem as dangerous really don't mean anything do they? The politicians simply make everything more difficult and expensive for lawful and law-biding gun owners, and create more paperwork and bureaucracy for the sake of their anti-gun agenda. What a waste of time.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Andrew on 10/20/2014 at 6:22 AM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

Mike Bruton, semi-automatic so-called "assault weapons" as defined by the SAFE Act (there is no definition of "assault rifles") were banned for sale or transfer in New York State the second Cuomo signed his detestable law on January 15, 2013. From that moment on such firearms, which if you knew anything about firearms have no fundamental difference from other semi-automatic firearms except military-looking cosmetics, were permitted only for existing owners who registered them with the state. Any owners who did would never be allowed to leave them to family members or any New York State resident. Upon their death the guns, which can cost $1000 up, would need to be turned into the police for destruction or sold by the estate to a gun dealer for half its value for sale in the majority of states where they are legal. Almost no owners of so-called "assault weapons" have registered them. They have converted them to magically non-assault weapons by changing the stocks to ones manufactured in response to the law. By eliminating cosmetic features that define them as "assault weapons" under the SAFE Act yet leave them mechanically and functionally the same owners can own and shoot them legally and leave them to their families or sell them for their full value if they can find a gun dealer who will do the now required background check for private sales for the $10 the state says is the maximum they can charge. Some have sent their unaltered guns to friends and families in other states in hopes that they will be legal again in New York. Others have chosen to take the risk and keep their unaltered guns here.

You are typical of anti-gun people in your belief that "There are still way too many guns in NYS". Like others who think like you the problem is not just what kind of guns there are or who has them but that the number of them in general is too many. People like you who hate guns want the United States to adopt the gun laws of Europe and the rest of the world that has banned or severely restricted the private ownership and carry of firearms, the "to keep and bear arms" part of the Second Amendment you wish didn't exist.

History lesson. Americans fought a violent revolutionary war against England that began when British troops tried to confiscate Americans' guns at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. They fought that war not to be like England but to declare our independence from it, to be something new and different, a country that, still stained by slavery, would become the freest in the world, its citizens exercising liberties never seen before. One of those liberties was the right of citizens to own and carry (keep and bear) firearms.

Most Americans still believe in that right. Americans like you clearly don't. The Second Amendment stands in the way of your goal of European-style gun laws. Please be honest and admit it and please, no "well regulated militia" argument that the Second Amendment applies only to organized military units. The Supreme Court has ruled on that and determined that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right not dependent on belonging to any military organization.

I welcome people like you trying to repeal the Second Amendment because it will expose how you really think and feel. I welcome it because I don't think you will ever convince 2/3 of the states to repeal one of the original amendments of the Bill of Rights.

Of course I could be wrong. America passed the 18th Amendment prohibiting alcohol for 13 years before ending it with the 21st Amendment, the only amendment repealing another. If America could do something that stupid it could possibly repeal the Second Amendment. I doubt it but for you and other anti-gun Americans there's always the chance. Go for it.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Harte on 10/19/2014 at 11:58 PM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

It's troubling how easily we dismiss blatant cronyism, simply because "the other guy" has done it in the past. It wasn't right then, it's not now. The residents deserve the best candidate for the job and the Councilwoman was right to speak up on behalf of her constituents. They also deserve a board chair who has integrity.

What I want to know is: how much is the abrupt change going to cost the taxpayers? Castro's contract was recently renewed, how much do we have to pay him out? And I'd like to hear more from Moses: his explanation about needing a new director to change course rings hollow. You don't hire an interim to lead a course change, you hire an interim to caretake while you do a diligent search for a permanent director. Will there be a proper search for the permanent gig?

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeorgeOconnor on 10/19/2014 at 8:15 PM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

Mr. DeCoursey,

Thank you for responding, and " Seneca Manor [is ONE of how many RHA] developments? "

0 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 10/19/2014 at 6:36 PM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

There are still way too many guns in NYS. And, semi-automatic assault rifles have yet to be banned. So, in my opinion, the NY SAFE Act is flawed in that it is too permissive. After Sandy Hook, it would have been irresponsible for Governor Cuomo to have done nothing. O'Brien did the right thing when he voted in favor of the NY SAFE Act.

Putting a tv celebrity on the ballot is a ploy. Rich Funke will act in Republican lockstep. It's an illusion to think we know him.

4 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 10/19/2014 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Arguments for and against redistricting prop

The City News article mistakenly states that "[e]lected officials would be unable to serve on the panel...;" while in reality only state level elected officials and some others may not serve. The amendment allows local elected officials, including county executives and legislators who may be considering a run at the state legislature, to participate in drawing the lines for themselves and their potential fellow legislators, with whom they will be soon negotiating for power. Other states with such commissions include an ethics provision that prevents commission members from running for such offices for a period of time. NY Prop 1 does not.

This is one of the many overlooked serious flaws with the proposed amendment. While it may be a baby step forward, it is a small step into cement, entrenching a still too flawed system into the constitution where it will be even more difficult to improve. New Yorkers should reject this illusion and insist on real reform before the next redistricting.

As a NY judge stated in his ruling that the word "independent" did not fairly describe this proposed commission, “Legislative semantics do not change the reality that the commission’s plan is little more than a recommendation to the Legislature, which can reject it for unstated reasons and draw its own lines.”

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sarah Y on 10/19/2014 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

Hi Howard - Reasonable question especially as it wasn't covered in this article. One of the well-known local reporters, Rachel Barnhart, reported separately from Seneca Manor (a large public housing development on the northeast side) and found residents there rallying behind the former director shortly after his dismissal. She has glowing quotes in the article ("whenever Alex is asked to come to one of our sites, Alex comes" and "He was always there for us. All the residents in here liked Alex,"), including a quote from the president of the residents council.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Lincoln DeCoursey on 10/18/2014 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Police chief responds to problems with city's red-light camera program

red light cameras is is just a way to open the door for invasion of privacy next they will be used to monitor city residents and there will be one on every street every corner this program changes nothing except the city now can get more money from its already poor residents its funny it only affects non city officials just like many other programs

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by i swear on 10/18/2014 at 2:21 PM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

Tom, people leave cars and kitchen knives around where children can get them. Michelle Wright, a 13 year-old black girl, brought a kitchen knife in her backpack to Jefferson Middle School in 1995 and fatally stabbed 12 year-old Stephanie Givens, another black girl, in the neck over a boy. I had just moved from a street four blocks away that had five murders in the 18 months I lived there. How's this for a plan, license kitchen knives, enact mandatory storage and training laws and prohibit access to minors. While we're at it we can enact the same restrictions on hammers, screwdrivers, bleach, wasp spray, antifreeze, gasoline, baseball bats and anything else that could possibly be used as a weapon. We could enact legislation holding the owners of cars personally responsible for any crimes, deaths or injuries committed with their cars by unauthorized users like car thieves. According to that law my neighbor would be in prison for allowing pot to be smoked in her car by the thieves who stole it from their driveway and left it reeking on Avenue D.

Or we could work to change the mindset of people who commit murder including 13 year-old girls who commit premeditated murder over the attention of a boy.

Or we could lock up murderers for life to protect the public so they can never kill again, at least out of prison.

Or we could keep gun laws we already have that might possibly do some good and get rid of ones like the SAFE Act that do nothing than make anti-gun people feel good that they're "doing something".

I grew up in New Jersey, the worst state in America for gun owners, where the equivalent of a New York State Pistol Permit is required for a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun, the same as Ralphie longed for in the film "A Christmas Story", because NJ classifies air guns as firearms. NJ is the last state in the nation that doesn't allow citizens to carry concealed handguns for self defense. Permits are automatically denied to average citizens and only issued to retired cops and probably the judges and politicians who enact the policy. In NJ hunters and target shooters must travel directly to and from the range or the hunting area with no "deviations of travel" like their hunting partner's house, a restaurant or anywhere.

I lived 14 years in Manhattan where bb guns are illegal, it is tremendously expensive and difficult for average citizens to own rifles or shotguns and concealed carry pistol permits are only issued to wealthy people like Donald Trump and Robert De Niro. In NYC all guns including rifles and shotguns are registered with the New York Police Department. Because of that when NYC passed a new law banning rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 5 rounds the NYPD was able to notify the owners, who legally bought and registered the guns for a fee of around $160 each, that their previously legal gun was now illegal and needed to be turned into the police for destruction, removed from NYC permanently or mutilated by a gunsmith to hold no more than 5 rounds. These were not cosmetic military style so-called "assault weapons", which were already illegal in NYC, but common hunting guns. That's why gun owners say confiscation follows registration.

People say why don't we register guns like cars. No one is trying to ban cars or certain kinds of cars. When the government mandated safety belts it didn't mandate installing them in Model T Fords or any car manufactured before the law. It didn't make car owners turn in cars that didn't meet the new law's requirements. Government, as evidenced by NYC, does do that with guns.

I have lived my entire life in states with the most draconian restrictive gun laws in the country. NY and NJ do not need more gun laws yet they keep piling them on. If not for the Second Amendment states like NY and NJ and municipalities like Chicago, NYC and Washington DC would (and have but are being slowly repealed by courts) Australian style confiscation and severe registration laws designed to keep normal citizens from owning and using guns.

Nancy Lanza probably used bad judgment teaching her son to shoot. Despite that, my reading of the case is that she had her guns locked up in a safe which he defeated while she was out of town on a three day trip. That could happen to anyone the same as having their car broken into and stolen by their teenager or a thief. Some things can't be absolutely prevented. If given enough time a determined person can steal anything you own.

To absolutely eliminate future mass shootings would require eliminating all the guns in America. That can't happen without repealing the Second Amendment. If that happened we'd probably have mass resistance to confiscation that would inevitably turn violent.

Will you volunteer to be the first one through the door on the confiscation squad?

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Harte on 10/18/2014 at 1:45 PM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

Mr. DeCoursey,

How do you know " he seemed to have the confidence of the population that it serves?" Are you making things up?

3 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 10/18/2014 at 1:17 PM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

Sandy Hook was committed with a legally purchased gun left lying around by the mother of a mentally ill child.

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 10/18/2014 at 11:37 AM

Re: “O'Brien has earned a second term

Paralyzed for fear of the NRA is not a good reason to do nothing.

Law abiding citizens have been known to leave their guns out where children have access to them.

Safe Act has been around long enough for the haters to have developed their own better plan....but where is it?

1 like, 12 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 10/18/2014 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

It does seem odd for the board to oust Castro after only a few years on the job - especially as he seemed to have the confidence of his agency's employees and the population that it serves. The previous board had done an extensive national search to select that director, and now a local party fixture is swapped in without the benefit of anything of the same background in housing that Castro had.

But it's the mayor's job to appoint (most of) the board members and its the board's prerogative to dictate that agency's leader solely according to its pleasure - so I don't see what could possibly come of an ethics probe.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lincoln DeCoursey on 10/18/2014 at 2:00 AM

Re: “Council member calls for investigation of RHA dismissal

Mr. Schnurr, I don't suppose Robert Duffy's Administration waged an "effort to systematically exclude [BOTH] capable Latinos [AND CAPABLE AFRICAN AMERICANS] from positions of influence" --- did it? Of course not, or you would have" spoken truth to their power" --- right? Or, are you fearful of "speaking truth to [CERTAIN TYPES] of power?" Don't be hypocritical.

3 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 10/17/2014 at 8:39 PM

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