Ben Carson would be good for Republicans
We are writing In reference to the May letter by Roger Malebranche, “Not ready to risk the country to GOP men.”
Unless we are mistaken, Dr. Malebranche is a highly respected physician in the area. As such, it seems surprising that he would include Dr. Ben Carson, a world-renowned neurosurgeon, with the politicians he described, or that he would consider Carson to be “Republican window dressing.”
It appears that Malenbranche either is not fully aware of Carson’s remarkable life and accomplishments (which seems unlikely), or that he doesn’t think Carson could compete against career politicians. We, on the other hand, believe Carson is just the opposite of the “ … white, wealthy, privileged, etc.” men Malenbanche talked about.
We also believe Carson would be the best choice of all potential candidates, and would be a real leader who could heal the problems in our country and return it to the great, highly respected nation it once was.
U.S. currency should honor role of women
This country is about to change the $20 bill with the image of a woman. It’s about time the United States got rid of Andrew Jackson, the bane of the natives of this country.
He countermanded a ruling of the Supreme Court that granted the Cherokee Nation a sovereign nation that had the rights to their land in Georgia and what would become other states. He took it away from them (25 million acres) and sent them to Oklahoma, a trip that cost the Cherokee Nation 5,000 lives and was called the “Trail of Tears.”
Before he was president, his troops slaughtered a number of Creek and Seminole men, women and children, taking 23 million acres of land from them. In both of those cases, their lands were settled by whites. Many American Indians won’t take $20 bills in payment for anything. His picture should not be on any U.S. bills. If anything, he should have been impeached. But many Americans at that time, and even today, shared his thoughts about Native Americans.
I don’t care if they put Gypsy Rose Lee or Olive Oyl on the $20, but Americans have voted, and Harriet Tubman is the favorite, closely followed by Eleanor Roosevelt. Just as long as the country rids the $20 of Jackson, our most disgraceful president whose treatment of Indian tribes in the United States is criminal.
Perhaps there should be more female faces on our money. George Washington was a slave owner. Maybe Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a great promoter of civil rights, should grace the dollar bill instead of him. Thomas Jefferson, who was also a slave owner, is now on the $2 bill. He might be replaced by Joan Baez or Rosa Parks. Unfortunately, $2 bills are somewhat rare. Abraham Lincoln is on the $5 bill and will not be replaced.
On the $10 is Alexander Hamilton, who couldn’t be president because he was not born in the United States, but he was our first secretary of the treasury. He might be replaced by Ruth Madoff, the wife of Bernie Madoff. She is spending millions of dollars on high-priced goods, fueling our economy with Bernie’s ill-gotten money. Finally, I will stop with U.S. Grant, who was rumored to be a bit of a tippler. He might be replaced by Carrie Nation.
My last two examples were rather humorous suggestions, but I really think that our paper money needs a few good women gracing our currency.
Refer utility problems to new NY advocate
I am compelled to respond to your May 10 editorial (“State needs to crack down on scammers faster”) to correct the record regarding the speed with which the Department of Public Service (DPS) is acting to protect consumers.
Last January, the department created a new position of consumer advocate at the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to focus more closely on protecting residential utility consumers, and I am honored to serve in that role.
The DPS complaint process, managed by my office, addresses individual complaints and identifies complaint patterns that suggest broader problems. As your editorial notes, in 2014 we received many complaints against Ambit Energy, but most of the complaints were resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
In the first quarter of 2015, however, my staff observed a spike in complaints. With this new and more troubling trend, as well as the nature of the complaints, we swiftly announced our investigation of Ambit in order to encourage consumers who might have been harmed to contact our office. Gathering the facts takes time, but it is critical to the success of any investigation.
Energy service companies like Ambit must comply with department rules that include key consumer protections. Failure to comply may result in a variety of measures, including revocation of eligibility to serve customers in New York.
As a consumer advocate, I hold companies accountable. Customers with complaints about an energy service company or their utility should call 888-697-7728 or file a complaint at www.dps.ny.gov.
Drug abuse, mental illness need attention
This week is National Prevention Week, a time for communities to come together to increase awareness about substance abuse and mental health issues. Today, May 20, is dedicated to Prevention of Opioid & Prescription Drug Abuse.
We are all aware that the use of heroin and opiates has risen to epidemic levels and is devastating lives and families throughout the entire state and nation.
As co-chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I am committed to doing everything possible to address this crisis head-on. We need to make sure that treatment and recovery options are available to those who need them, and we need to make sure that proper support systems are in place to help reduce the risk of relapse.
Of course, prevention and awareness efforts are also key to eradicating this epidemic once and for all. The theme of National Prevention Week this year is “The Voice of One, the Power of All,” highlighting the need for all of us to come together — both individually and as a community — to offer our support to those dealing with this addiction, and to break the stigma that goes along with it. When people need help, they should not be ashamed to seek it.
One of the most important responsibilities of any elected official is to care for the most vulnerable members of our communities, including those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, but no one person will end this epidemic. We all need to work together, and the first step is to bring more awareness.
There have been too many lives destroyed and loved ones lost to heroin and opiate abuse. Everyone knows someone — a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor — who has been affected by this deadly addiction.
This week, during National Prevention Week, let’s all make an extra effort to increase awareness. We can all be a voice for those who can’t be a voice for themselves.
The writer is the state senator for the 46th Senate District.
Enjoy Richard Monda articles in Gazette
Catching up on Gazette issues missed over my absence of two weeks, I feel I must write of my appreciation of Richard Monda articles.
This man makes his articles on our universe uniquely fascinating. I am a pleased and eager reader whenever I come upon them.
Have just read article of April 26, “Traveling the Asteroid Belt.” My thanks to Mr. Monda for his expertise and gift of presentation, and to The Gazette, too, of course.
Margaret M. Nixon
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