Friday, September 21, 2007

Speech Is Free

Editorial from this week's Queens Tribune:

Political speech is the most protected form of speech we have and one of the main reasons why the First Amendment exists in the first place. We have not just the right but the duty to criticize our government, to call for the political leaders to be ousted when we feel they no longer act in the interest of the people, to condemn the political careers of those we consider to be bad public servants.

This is a government for the people, and those elected and appointed to serve must recognize that their decisions will be challenged, that what some consider their misdeeds will be criticized and that they serve us at our pleasure – we have the power to install them, and we have the power to remove them.

This is our government, and the only way the people can continue to hold the reins is by speaking our minds in whatever form it may come – from standing on a soapbox on the corner to political blogs, and all ways in between – including political cartoons.

Cartoons have made some of the most venerated political criticism in history. The cartoon drawn for the St. Saviour’s rally in July may not reach that height, but it was political speech and must be protected. The reaction by the city to say they would refuse to work with the rally’s organizers until they got an apology was inappropriate and childish. People are going to take their lumps in public service; it is not all about benefits and a pension plan. You have work to do – our work.

Now stop complaining and get back to work.

__________________________________________________________

The Mayor's Community Resistance Unit

Editorial from the Forum West:

For more than a year and a half, the Juniper Park Civic Association has been trying to work with the Mayor’s Community Assistance (now Affairs) Unit to save St. Saviour’s church and grounds in Maspeth. The group says they were told several times by Matt Gorton, former Queens CAU Director, that the mayor was not interested in helping them. Why he believed that he was capable of speaking on behalf of the mayor is something perplexing. But so is a commissioner sending a poorly worded and insulting letter in his defense to the largest civic association in the city with the mayor’s name at the top of the letterhead.

To our knowledge, Ms. Parvizi has never introduced herself to this particular civic organization or to any others in this readership zone. Someone who is fairly new to her job should take the time to understand the sentiments of her constituents and learn their needs before making accusations and demands the way that she did in her letter.

Matthew Gorton is no longer with the CAU, and this group welcomed the opportunity to work with the new Queens CAU Director, Jennifer Manley. Unfortunately, with her letter, the commissioner managed to taint this new relationship before it had even gotten started.

The former Queens CAU director so vigorously defended in her letter was demoted to a backroom position because he couldn’t handle working with the public. If she continues down the path he took, Ms. Parvizi may soon find herself with a similar one-way ticket to nowhere land.

Her predecessor, former CAU Commissioner Patrick Brennan, now works for the Parkside Group, the very lobbying firm that was hired to represent the St. Saviour’s developer. Could he have been working on their agenda before resigning his post with the mayor’s office, which is why this group is being given such a hard time with regards to St. Saviour’s?

Notice that in her letter, Ms. Parvizi didn’t say one word about St. Saviour’s, the trees that were cut down, the polluted environment or a new park for Maspeth. These were all the things that were topics at the rally. The sign getting all the attention two months after the fact was not.

Since his re-election the mayor has become a scarce visitor to the neighborhoods of western Queens that voted heavily in his favor. He has issued his typical aloof responses to the blackouts and flooding we experienced here. This latest infringement on public freedoms goes along with his agenda of silencing people, i.e. the proposed ban on photography on city streets and in the subway, the arrest of innocent bystanders during the Republican National Convention in 2004 and the ban on protests on the Great Lawn of Central Park.

It is clear that Ms. Parvizi is an inexperienced commissioner who no doubt was elevated to her position as a reward for her loyalty to the administration. She naturally is a cheerleader, because those in power only like to hire people who do what they are told without questioning their bosses’ motives or tactics. Therefore, ignoring pleas for help and attempting to squelch free speech must be official mayoral policy.

Perhaps instead of renaming the agency “the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit”, the former Community Assistance Unit would have been more appropriately renamed the “Mayor’s Community Resistance Unit.”


Both hit the nail on the head.

45 comments:

Jennifer said...

Excellent!

eamallc said...

Interesting. I dont know how Maspeth voted in the last election, but I suspect they came out for Bloomberg, not Ferrer. I know they came out for Gallagher. People need to be WAY smarter in the way they vote. Vote for people who represent YOUR interests, not the interests of big business and developers. I voted for Mark Green and Fernando Ferer. I saw through Bloomberg from day one. Too late now. It will take a miracle to save this church. Is there any room for compromise on either side at this point in the game?

You know who said...

Unfortunately, Crapper doesn't practice what he's here preaching.

Queens Crapper said...

"I dont know how Maspeth voted in the last election, but I suspect they came out for Bloomberg, not Ferrer. I know they came out for Gallagher."

Maspeth was not represented by Gallagher until 2003 when the district lines were redrawn. In 2005, Gallagher ran unopposed.

Maspeth Phil said...

Yes, we had the pleasure of living under Melinda Katz for the first few years. Not sure which is worse.

Anonymous said...

"It will take a miracle to save this church"

This part I disagree with. Many such uphill battles like this have been won. There are very workable solutions. All it would really take is for someone in city hall to have the balls to care about a working class neighborhood.

Queens Crapper said...

"Unfortunately, Crapper doesn't practice what he's here preaching."

The Crapper is not a government entity and has no obligation to post every comment, especially not those of people looking to flame.

eamallc said...

Yes, anonymous, "All it would really take is for someone in city hall to have the balls to care about a working class neighborhood". The problem is, you dont have anyone in City Hall that cares. They care about the interests of developers. Not you. Not your neigbors. Not the civic association. This is what the people of Maspeth and most NYC neighborhoods elected to City Hall.
A pro business, pro development Republican. You could have had Ferer. You could have had Mark Green. Did you vote for either of them or for Bloomberg? Again, I recognized that he was a snake from the minute I saw him. As for Gallagher, why was he unopposed in 2005? Does Maspeth not have a Democatic organization that could have found a candidate? I love how the people of Maspeth are crying about the church, after making all the wrong choices. Total stupidity.

Julie said...

The people of Maspeth are not the only ones who comprise Council District 30. And as for your assertion that the Democrats would have cared more, that's fucking hilarious!

Anonymous said...

The church is in the predicament it's in because of the DEM machine.

Anonymous said...

There is only one party in Queens - the unopposed party.

Anonymous said...

Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer? Which one of them made overdevelopment part of their platform?

Anonymous said...

Real estate money fuels BOTH parties. Stop blaming the people who are the victims of this corruption. They don't make the laws, and when they do vote someone in who has a pair, like Tony Avella, he gets drowned out by the pigs who have sold their souls to the real estate industry.

Queens Crapper said...

Mark Green - 2001

Fernando Ferrer - 2005

eamallc said...

Look,stop being victims. If anything your a victim of your own lousy electoral choices. Start voting better. After 4 years of Bloomberg, you knew EXACTLY what he was and yet Maspeth voted for him anyway! again! This is beyond stupid.

Im not suggesting that Ferer and Green are the great saviours for our beloved St. Saviours, but the reality is that we would have had a much better shot of saving St. Saviours with one or both of them as opposed to Bloomberg. You have no shot with Bloomberg. ZERO.

If you voted for a pro business, pro development Republican like Bloomberg, you should have known what to expect. Stop being foolish.

In addition, Gallagher was the worst possible choice for representation. Lets not even go there. As for Mr. Avella, I have nothing but respect for him. He is a decent, honest man who genuinely cares about the community.

Queens Crapper said...

"If you voted for a pro business, pro development Republican like Bloomberg, you should have known what to expect. Stop being foolish."

As opposed to pro-business, pro-development Ferrer and Green? Tell me, which Democrat should I vote for in the next election that will care about Maspeth? Pro-business, pro-development Christine Quinn, pro-business, pro-development Anthony Weiner, or pro-business, pro-development Adolfo Carrion?

Johnnie Lee said...

Actually, during the first 4 years of Bloomberg, he gave Maspeth a park at the gas tanks site, stopped the Cross Harbor talk and made downzoning a priority. After re-election, he reneged on some of that and it was only within the last year that St. Saviour's became an issue.

eamallc said...

Crapper, you are assuming that because someone gets a donation from a developer that they will always favor the developers. Not true. For example, Governor Corzine in New Jersey has taken lots of money from lots of developers, yet he almost always places public good before private development. Bloomberg's campaigns were almost entirely self financed,
yet he is a hawk for the developers. REPUBLICANS like Bloomberg and Gallagher usually are. Fernando Ferer always had a pretty good record when it comes to protecting the interests of minority populations and community interests. Yet, he lost 80%-20% in the general election. I can almost guarantee that the people of Maspeth didnt give him a chance.
Bloomberg was great, until St. Saviours came along, then he became the son of satan.Maspeth has acted very foolishly when it comes to the people they elect. This is a fact. The Gallagher situation proves it.The community should be EMBARASSED and HUMILIATED for electing this moron.
I think the very best we can hope for is some sort of compromise for the property.The trees are gone, lets hope the church can be saved.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Johnny, and apparently the JPCA liked Mayor Mike too--since they honored him with awards.

Anonymous said...

Mark Green
Campaign Contributors Include:
GUCCIONE, BOB
Publisher, Spin Magazine
and Penthouse

Anonymous said...

great editorial. We should carry shenkler on our shoulders.

Anonymous said...

I once served on Assembly Mort Hillman's
Community Affairs Committee in Flushing....
(about 1986-7) which was a volunteer organization heavily influenced by the Staviskys
and the Dem party machine.... out of pure naivety !

They didn't do much except serve as
political advertising for the Stavisky Dynasty.

I find it a little coincidental that CAU's name
(has now been changed from "Assistance"
to "Affairs".

Evan Stavisky of "Parkside"(or Senator Toby)
must have made the suggestion....
recalling that old Hillman
Community "AFFAIRS" Committee name.

Anyway.....
since the CAU doesn't really do much "assisting".....
I guess somebody thought that renaming it "affairs"
was more appropriate.....
take the curse off of it a little bit.....so to speak.

Gallagher certainly had his share
of "community affairs"....didn't he? !!!

Anonymous said...

"Fernando Ferer always had a pretty good record when it comes to protecting the interests of minority populations and community interests. Yet, he lost 80%-20% in the general election."

I guess a lot of minorities must have voted for Bloomberg too then.

Fran said...

"Maspeth has acted very foolishly when it comes to the people they elect. This is a fact. The Gallagher situation proves it.The community should be EMBARASSED and HUMILIATED for electing this moron."

Maspeth elected Melinda Katz and Eric Gioia. They had no choice when redistricting happened and they got Gallagher. This was explained already. The Democratic party you love so much did not run anyone against him because the Republicans and Democrats made a deal. Yes, the same Democratic party you say would have saved Maspeth.

Anonymous said...

"Governor Corzine in New Jersey has taken lots of money from lots of developers, yet he almost always places public good before private development."

Governor Corzine is a millionaire. Bad example.

Vic said...

I don't recall Fernando Ferrer campaigning in Maspeth or addressing our concerns during the election. In fact, he wrote us off completely. So why should we have voted for him?

Anonymous said...

"Crapper, you are assuming that because someone gets a donation from a developer that they will always favor the developers. Not true."

Yes developers finance politicians just for the joy of civic involvement.

BTW, a former canditate for office once said to me ' if you make a donation, its $50, if a developer makes a donation, its $1000. Who do you think I listen to?'

Anonymous said...

I like these guys that say, run for office.

• against phone banks run by unions

• against a hostile press (politicians are a good source for ad revenues and press releases)

• against community board appointed by the politicians

• against the most Byzantine vetting process in the country (half of all election legislation is from NY)

• and once you get elected, and try to represent the people, you get treated like Tony Avella, a pariah.

(Before you start cheering for Ackerman's Tribune, remember the profiles he did about the politicians a few months back: the more a machine hack, the more the glowing praise and as usual, Avella the butt of jokes.

Anything I hate is someone who is talking out of both corners of their mouth - all they prove is that they cannot be trusted in anything they say)

eamallc said...

This is hilarious.
People, including Crapper, the argument your making here is that
there is no good representation available, so it excuses our ignorance and bad behavior in voting for Bloomberg. No. Wrong. Incorrect. Our system is not perfect, but you make the best choices you possibly can at the time. Please dont tell me that Bloomberg was the best possible choice over Ferer.
You are now feeling the pain of that choice with the St. Saviors
situation. Get smarter people, make better choices in the future.

This why the people of Mapseth and their concerns will never be taken seriously as a community. They made a mistake in overwhelming voting for Bloomberg, but they wont admit it.

Now, Fran, You stated that the Democratic party did not run a candidate against Gallagher because they made a "deal" with the Republicans. I would like further information about this "deal". Can you please provide some more info. This may have been a case where the Democratic party was too lazy to run a candidate. Crapper can you fill us in on what happened here?
Why did Gallagher run unchallenged
in 2005?

Queens Crapper said...

Fran is correct. Even though District 30 is known as Republican-ville, the fact is that Democrats far outnumber Republicans. The GOP made a deal with the Dems not to challenge their judicial nominees in exchange for the Dems not running a candidate in District 30 or the NYS Senate. Explain why an unknown guy ran on the Dem ticket for State Senate without Dem backing last year if that is not the case.

Queens Crapper said...

"the argument your making here is that there is no good representation available, so it excuses our ignorance and bad behavior in voting for Bloomberg."

If there is no good representation available, then what difference does it make who we vote for? Wouldn't it only make a difference if there was good representation available and the wrong one was chosen anyway?

Anonymous said...

You scare me if you think this city would have been better off with Ferrer. Bloomberg is one of the most respected politicians in the country and has done an outstanding job. Did you like this how this city was run when Dinkins was the mayor?

eamallc said...

Crapper,as Ive stated,you have to go with the best possible option available to you at the time. Your never going to get everything you want in a candidate.Never going to happen. Bloomberg was not the best possible option and I hope the people of Maspeth understand that now. In fact, he was the WORST. Fernando Ferer was no saint, but I think he would have had a little more insight and compassion. Bloomberg has none.

Anonymous said...

freddie had a petty personality. He was too wrapped up in himself to have been able to make the sorts of decisions that would've benifited the city as a whole.

eamallc said...

Well, Im sorry that your scared. Bloomberg is NOT respected by the people here including myself. If you believe he is doing an "outstanding" job, perhaps you shouldnt be here. Maybe you should
speak with the people trying to save St. Saviours or those who are forced to live next to piles of crap all over Queens.

Anonymous said...

Schenkler
(although from the old Manes days
along with Nussbaum)
had no choice but to post this editorial
for several reasons:

#1 The cartoon was such a hot button
that no newspaper with a pulse
could ignore it in the first place.....
so the Trib published it as a FRONT PAGE photo !
Without their exhibition of the now famous "hangman's noose" cartoon
there would be no revisiting of the St. Saviour's issue....so bravo to them !


#2 NYC boob at CAU trampled all over
the Trib's first amendment rights as well as those
of the JCPA and the cartoonist.

#3 In general a newspaper cannot run efficiently
and have to worry about their guarantee of
freedom of speech.
They were defending one of the most basic rights
of any American.

#4 He simply did the right thing.
Give him some credit on this.
NYC's "Natzli" tactics
drew the line in the sand in the arena
of the abuse of power !
The Trib stepped over it and rightfully bashed them!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ackerman, we are paying taxes for Hillary's payroll. Where in the hell is she?

You want to do something useful, how about an editorial on how we are wasting our tax dollars on someone who doesn't do her job?

Kinda reminds me of paying taxes not for schools or sanitation but to support the salary of city planning cog who works for a developer on my time.

Baysidee said...

Schenkler should be commended as well as Pat Adams of the Forum. Those two papers understand the seriousness of this issue.

Where are the other papers? The Chronicle editorials are pathetic and the Bayside Times is even worse. In fact Blank's editorials have always been over the top and out of touch. That's why I never buy his papers.

The Queens Courier has turned into a paper that caters to businesses...no honest reporting or editorials coming from Victoria Schnepps. If you know her you can understand why.

Anonymous said...

Ah.....Vicki Schnepps is too busy
with her nose up her butt.....
thinking it smells like Chanel #5!

Anonymous said...

BRAVA..... Pat Adams.....
(this is the proper feminine form of bravo) !!!!

Kick that little 5' 7" mayor in his ass !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

the Times Ledger was recently bought by the Post. Has anybody noticed any changes in the paper's editorial quality of late? I rarely read the paper, myself, but was just wondering.

The Ozone Layer said...

If you get on the bad side of Pat Adams she'll most certainly kick your ass and anybody associated with you.

Ask Stabile, Maltese, Gallagher and now Bloomberg and his groupie, CAU commissioner, Nazli Dumbizi.

remember the blackout said...

"Matthew Gorton is no longer with the CAU..."

I should go out and celebrate that Mr. Gorton was shipped out of CAU. That guy was the most obnoxious pretentious creep I ever saw during the Astoria blackout.

He acted like he knew what he was talking about. The truth is he didn't know a thing but he tried to look important.

What an ass!!!

Anonymous said...

Just ask the Gorton's fisherman......he stinks!

Anonymous said...

There's that well known painting
of the coronation of emperor Napoleon
wearing an imperial crown trimmed with Ermine
with the empress Josephine at his side,

Could someone photo-shop this image
and replace the likenesses of
the emperor and empress of France
with Bloomberg & Doctoroff ?

Freedom of criticism has no place
in Le Grande Bloomberg's realm!