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JV Editorial

Letters to the Editor



How Exactly are Our Tax Dollars Being Spent???

Dear Editor:

Drip, drip,drip, watch your tax dollars go down the drain. Have you also seen all the “Don’t Let Tax, Water, Or Repair Charges Come Between You and Your Property” full page ads in many daily and weekly neighborhood newspapers? Even worse, was the 108 page supplement which appeared in the New York Daily News on Wednesday, April 17th. It lists line by line the name of every New Yorker who owes real estate tax water sewer, emergency repair or other property–related charges “the City of New York may sell a lien on your property” advertisement. Is this the best way the NYC Departments of Finance, Environmental Protection along with Housing Preservation and Development can spend taxpayers dollars?

Why can’t all three agencies compare their respective lists of people who owe money with those filing city and state tax returns? Surely the technology exists to place a lien on any tax refunds? You could also extend citizens the courtesy of a telephone call, letter or E-mail informing them of their overdue obligations.

What’s next, will the City send out Marshals going door to door serving subpoenas?

When will NYC Comptroller and 2021 Mayoral-wanna-be Scott Stringer audit and put an end to this waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers dollars?


Larry Penner

More Thoughts on Gambino Loan Shark

Dear Editor,

After reading “Gambino Member Sentenced to 28 Months for Loan Sharking at 54% Interest Rate,” I was happy to see justice but couldn’t help but think about how the interest rates remind me of payday lenders, who get to operate legally.

Of course payday lenders may not come around and break your legs or kill you if you don’t pay, but they will take advantage of the most desperate and trap them in an endless and insurmountable cycle of debt.

Why is it that these payday lenders are allowed to slap customers with APRs that are sometimes around 500 percent! Good luck paying off that interest when you get paid so little at your job that you had to take out the loan in the first place just so you could get some food or take your kid to the doctor.

With that said, of course it’s good that the Gambino loan shark was sentenced, and this is also why legalized gambling is important. It brings us one step closer to trying to eliminate these particularly kinds of dark aspects of the black market, though of course there would still be plenty of incentives to try getting a mafia loan. Little by little, lawmakers and law enforcement can hopefully chip away at organized crime activity in order to weaken these groups and their members.


Carlina Kahn

Excited About Vegan Restaurants in Israel

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the article “13 of the Best Vegan Restaurants in Israel” because I not only find it very interesting but have wanted to try more vegetarian and vegan options. I want to up my intake of nutrients from food sources I don’t normally eat, try some different dishes, and eat in a way that’s more environmentally sustainable. So what better way to start on that path by learning about how it’s done best in Tel Aviv? I also am well overdue for an Israel trip and am already watering at the mouth at the thought of visiting these restaurants.

The paper said that Tel Aviv is the top spot for vegan dining in the world. There are even vegan dining tours available that bring you to all the best spots for milk-free gelato or plant-based Mexican food. And the best news is that the roots of this movement are spreading into other cities and towns throughout Israel.

But while Tel Aviv does boast the most vegan restaurants per capita in the world, the trend is also on the rise throughout other cities and towns in Israel as well.

I’m getting hungry just looking at the menus, and I’m even a picky eater. I’d love some shawarma and shish kebabs, but how about rice, beans, hummus, pita bread, and falafel? Sounds so delicious, and it’s loaded with nutrition and fiber. Animal farming practices, especially factory farms, require a lot out of the environment it uses. A lot of waste is produced, and it takes a lot of energy to grow the plant food that then gets fed to the animals.

Cows in particular release considerable amounts of methane, which isn’t good for the surrounding area and is a hydrocarbon that traps heat even better than carbon does, so it’s a climate change contributor. The good news about methane though is that it can dissipate quicker than carbon does. It also doesn’t hurt to not have to kill some animals or overmilk them or force them to keep producing eggs so that I could enjoy my meal.

New York is certainly a great place to start for some tasty meals and inspiration for my own kitchen. It’s a fun journey that will also help my goal of eating different foods and working in more vegan meals for the sake of the environment especially. Now if I could just get to Tel Aviv one day. Then I’d really be set.


Devin Reiss

Passover Greetings to One & All!!

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to wish everyone a very warm and dear happy Passover from the bottom of my heart. I have enjoyed the newspaper’s coverage of all events from all corners of the globe and want to take this time to slow down, give my thanks, and say that I hope everyone has some downtime to enjoy some Seders with family members and others who are close to heart.

Passover is one of those holidays and traditions that are so deeply engraved into my memory, into my very being and existence. It is a nice annual holiday, and while I would like to be able to eat leavened bread, I like being reminded for about a week that I’m really lucky to have the things that I have. That is one of the takeaways I get from not eating bread. It makes me thankful to not be stranded in the desert, thankful to have food, and thankful to not have gluten sensitivities. I also feel good at the end knowing that I had the discipline to follow through with a plan.

Moreover, it is important to take the parts of Passover like eating matzah instead of leavened bread and remember the history of the Jews being persecuted and how special it is that I can come together with loved ones in the comfort of a home to enjoy a meal and a recounting of our ancestors’ struggles. What fortune to be in such a position.

Don’t take anything for granted this Passover, and make sure to hug those you love extra hard on this special occasion. Chag sameach, everyone, and if you are like me and are the first-born son and will not be at services on the first day, have a safe and easy fast!


Michelle Berkeley

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