Home News Readers sound off on government housing, Baltimore bridge collapse and Trump’s opportunism

Readers sound off on government housing, Baltimore bridge collapse and Trump’s opportunism



NYC’s housing needs beg Soviet-style solutions

Briarwood: I believe that private ownership of residential properties, including co-ops and condos, which are undemocratic structures in the American capitalist system (despite their claims of the historical democratic Rochdale principles), should be abolished and replaced with government-owned apartments leased out by the state.

In 1957, Nikita Khrushchev, USSR premier 1958-’64, formalized an all-union housing policy (single-family apartments for all families) for eliminating the housing shortage within 12 years. These “propiska” were permanent residences and rent ranged from 8-10% of family income, with no direct payment but instead with rent plus “communal” (utility) charges deducted from salaries by means of underpayment. In Moscow, 64,000 units were built from 1961-’68. The 1977 Constitution of the USSR guaranteed the right to state-owned public housing. No private landlord or co-op/condo aggrandizement with constant rent or maintenance increases, no hundreds of annual evictions, as in New York City Civil (Housing) Courts, which substantially contribute to homelessness.

Co-ops and condos also deplete the stock of private rental housing with totalitarian boards disenfranchising residents of rent regulation laws and constitutional redress. State and city regulations as countercultural initiatives to reform housing within the capitalist system are Band-Aids. Present NYC right-to-shelter laws still restrict temporary public-financed housing to 30 and 60 days based on a criterion of age.

The present socioeconomic situation of tenants paying huge percentages of their salaries on rent plus the migrant influx clearly point to the inadequacy of any housing reforms short of total government-owned apartments. In a word: Khrushchevka. Joseph N. Manago

Jacked up taxes

Kearny, N.J.: How much money do these parasite politicians think we have? Our idiotic Gov. Phil Murphy just approved annual increases in the gas tax for the next five years. That’s on top of higher tolls on the parkway and turnpike. On deck are hikes in bus and train fares. Now, the MTA has given the green light to congestion pricing in Manhattan. Pretty soon, only the rich will be able to leave their homes — which is maybe really the point of all this. John Woodmaska

Welcome workers

Manhattan: We see from the Baltimore bridge disaster that immigrant labor is vital to our business community. Given the opportunity, most immigrants will add much more to the prosperity of our country than the few who don’t. Let’s upgrade our immigration policy so that our country has the workers we need and the immigrants have the better life they come here for. Leonard Smoke

Structurally compromised

Henderson, Nev.: Re: “Key Bridge collapse probe expected to examine colliding ship’s reported loss of power” (March 26): In this high-tech day and age, how a ship hit a supporting column resulting in complete collapse of the bridge is beyond me — especially as this had never happened since the bridge’s completion in 1977. Any bridge in America should not be susceptible to total collapse from a 9 mph collision from any ship. This tragedy demonstrates that our national infrastructure is woefully neglected. It also demonstrates the need to better design bridges that don’t collapse like a deck of cards with an impact by decoupling segments and using shock-absorbing buttresses to protect the support columns. We also need a system to rapidly warn drivers immediately to prevent them from entering a bridge that has been hit (e.g. flashing warnings). Michael Pravica

Second-rate remake

Camden, N.J.: Leonard Greene’s column on Netflix releasing a trailer of its animated “Good Times” (“Staining ‘Good Times,’ ” March 31) brought up such memories of my adolescence. I grew up in a public housing project. “Good Times” was a standard television show of the 1970s. The characters in that show looked like me. Back then, I don’t know if I could’ve ever identified myself as being a poor kid. Weekly, that show had dramatized incidents of my personal way of life. Greene is right in his synopsis. The Netflix trailer doesn’t quite reflect that original televised sitcom. Wayne E. Williams

Tear-jerker

Manhattan: Thank you to the Daily News and Sunday opinion guest writer Bob Brody for his splendid, heartfelt piece about grandfathers, grandsons and baseball (“A new baseball season at an old ballpark,” op-ed, March 31). His story focused on 1964 Yankee Stadium, but it took me back to 1969’s Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, attending an A’s game with my own father. Dad’s been gone for a while now, but Brody’s story brought him back, if only for a moment. Tears were shed. It meant the world to me. Yes, I’m keeping it. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, Daily News. Thank you, Dad. Bob Glasscock

Capital plea

Malvern, Pa.: Violence has become uncontrollable in this country. Easy access to guns combined with a very lenient court system is encouraging people who put no value on human life to kill each other without much fear of retribution. The only way to end this would be to bring back the death penalty in cases where there is no probability of an innocent person getting convicted of a crime he/she did not commit. Why should society have to bear the cost of feeding a murderer and keeping him safe and sound until his death? Kathy Barry

Irredeemable

Carmel, N.Y.: In view of the tragic murder of NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller, much blame has been put on no bail, early release proceedings and recidivism of violent felons. All are valid accusations! One egregious legal action is the possibility of parole for cop killers! In New York State during the past six years, 33 of these murderers have been paroled. For many years, several attempts have been made to pass legislation that would prohibit the release of these convicted killers. Now is the time, enough is enough! Our law enforcement line of duty families have suffered enough. Gov. Hochul, you attended Diller’s wake. Now do the right thing and keep these murderers in prison for life. Susan McCormack

Sower of violence

Riverhead, L.I.: So, the Republican candidate makes an appearance at a wake for a police officer killed in the line of duty and calls for a return to “law and order.” This from the instigator of the Jan. 6 riot, with total disregard for the Capitol Police and who calls their assailants “hostages.” This also from a man who has promoted guns in the hands of anyone who wants one, sans adequate screening. Guess what the officer was shot with? Kathleen Dare

Relentlessly rotten

Lakewood, N.J.: The deranged orange hypocrite is at it again. He shows up to the wake of fallen Detective Jonathan Diller for all the wrong reasons. He tried to turn the event into another political rally. Luckily, virtually everyone saw through his bogus appearance. When U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died senselessly because of him, where was he? I’m surprised that he didn’t cancel his appearance in Long Island as it was raining. He refused to attend a World War I memorial ceremony because of the rain, but he wasn’t campaigning at the time. For many of you who support him, I ask one question: Why? He’s a loser on many counts, calls military heroes suckers and losers, steals, cheats, lies and doesn’t pay taxes. Forget how you feel about President Biden, there is nothing redeeming about Drumpf. He can’t manage his own companies, and you want him to run our country? Frank Mongiello

Missing context

Manhattan: The Daily News coverage does not mention that seldom does a U.S. president attend wakes unless for diplomatic reasons. Your coverage makes no mention of this fact, and in effect aids and abets ex-President Trump’s narrative that he cares for “law and order” or anything and anyone but himself. Trump has politicized the officer’s wake and used it to gain a personal advantage in coverage and mud-slinging towards President Biden. Disgraceful and disrespectful. Shame on the media as well. M. Dean

Dumber still

Denmark, Australia: Remember when George Dubya was president of Ughmerica and we thought things couldn’t get any worse? Now, after an exhaustive elimination process, the birthplace of democracy has fielded its finest two candidates from a population of 330 million to compete for the position of leader of the Free World — a mumbling geriatric who can barely remember his own name and a convicted, multiple-lawbreaking, populist megalomaniac with the worst combover since Australian TV’s Norman Gunston. Craig Chappelle

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