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Readers sound off on Randy Mastro, a nude commotion and RFK Jr.’s aptitude

Randy Mastro is a stand-up guy and good for NYC

Ancram, N.Y.: Re “Randy Mastro is a bad pick for NYC’s top lawyer” (op-ed, April 30): Unlike Charles King, I know Randy. We worked closely as deputy mayors, and I consider him among the finest public servants ever to serve New York City and a great choice to be our next corporation counsel.

When Randy and I served together, the city administration did not “cut and restrict essential services for low-income people with HIV and AIDS,” as King suggests. In fact, both of us personally advocated within the administration to maintain funding for such services and to preserve the Division of AIDS Services, and we prevailed.

As to Housing Works’ 1997 dispute with the city, Housing Works was being audited in connection with potential renewal of its multi-million-dollar contract to provide housing support for those living with HIV. It could not account for more than half a million dollars of its city funding it was supposed to have used for supportive housing, and then refused to further cooperate with the audit. As a result, under the oversight of the Human Resources Administration commissioner, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, it was decided not to renew Housing Works’ contracts. It is true that Housing Works then sued, and the case, like so many others unfairly targeting the city as a “deep pocket,” ended up being settled years later by a subsequent administration. But King’s claim that its contract was not renewed because of its political advocacy is false.

As to King’s reference to cases Randy later handled in private practice defending landlords, I understand those were settled responsibly, ethically and honorably. Fran Reiter

Stated right

Manhattan: In your editorial on ethics in Albany (“Albany needs a real ethics cop,” May 10), you declare that the state Constitution “is the binding rulebook, not just a list of suggestions.” Much akin in wording to the federal Constitution’s Second Amendment — which the Supreme Court has determined applies to individual citizens — NYS Civil Rights Law, Article 2, Section 4(a) states: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.” Just saying! Paul Weiss

Cheeky tantrum

Manhattan: I belong to a well-traveled, upscale Upper West Side health club that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. The bustling gym sometimes runs out of towels. Its entitled members sometimes use two or three. The shortage is usually quickly remedied. Recently, a member stepped out of the shower and got himself up to locker room level to find the place was out of dry towels (you might assume he used several in the shower area). The cheeky gent marched out into the crowded entry level to the front desk to noisily complain that there were no towels — as naked as a jaybird. After some ruckus, he was coached back into the locker room and by that time there were plenty of towels. The next day, he made an even bigger commotion when they wouldn’t let him back in. He just could not understand why. We suspect his mother would be sick about it. James Fragale

Modest proposal

Whiting, N.J.: The lady newscaster on Ch. 5’s “The 10 O’Clock News” frequently wears scanty party dresses for the newscast. I have to wonder why her bosses put up with her attire. The lady and her bosses apparently have no shame! If she can’t wear appropriate modest business dresses, she should be fired! John Brandenburg

Study abroad

Manhattan: Send the Columbia “for Palestine” protesting students to learn some history at Dachau (or Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka or Sobibor). R.B. Brandel

Criminal complicity

San Mateo, Calif.: What does real moral leadership look like? A “no” vote on the recent House bill providing weapons to Israel. Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna came through on this, but not Nancy Pelosi, Anna Eshoo or Kevin Mullin. We commend many votes that all five representatives have cast in the past, but Israel’s war against Palestine has gone well beyond self-defense and is patently criminal. Arming Israel makes us complicit in the wanton murder of innocent Palestinians and foreign aid workers alike. It will take time for the International Court of Justice and the UN to address the crimes of Oct. 7 and Israel’s subsequent crimes, but when they do, the U.S. may easily be found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes, even genocide. Our country’s reputation requires an impartial commitment to human rights and the rule of international law, not facilitating mass murder. Mike Caggiano

Who’s in charge?

Goodyear, Ariz.: If Brandon is too old and feeble to be charged with taking Senate and vice presidential docs without legal authority, should his caretaker (Dr. Jill) be held responsible? The immediate response from libs will be no, but his caretaker had to be involved with a ghostwriter for the lovely couple to get an $8 million check for his memoirs (as if he knows what those are!). If Dr. Jill approved the $8 million contract knowing Brandon was not capable of understanding it, isn’t she complicit in a transaction that was illegal given the documents were taken illegally (as a senator and VP) and her spouse is not of sound mind? Dr. Jill should tell the DNC her husband’s real cognitive condition! Peter Provenzale

Just bluster

Bronx: Ex-President Donald Trump is again using his old “on Day One” speech. Let’s see what he accomplished on his previous Day One in 2017. He would build an impenetrable wall that Mexico would pay for (not), deport 11 million “criminal aliens” (not), end gun-free zones (not), give us much better health insurance and get rid of Obamacare (not). If elected again, he will be a dictator on Day One only (yeah, sure); he will roll back protections of LGBTQ citizens (Title IX) and continue to take away a woman’s freedom to choose her medical care (hopefully not). I guess his Day One promises are a failure. Hopefully, he won’t get a chance to say it again on Jan. 20, 2025. Lydia Milnar

That’s rich

Brooklyn: I want to thank Voicer Luana Dunn for the laugh of the day. I was happy to finish Saturday’s letters with yours. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. Trump’s the victim? Just way too funny. What a sense a humor you have. I’m still laughing. Greg Ahl

Outta his element

Linden, N.J.: To Voicer Diane Pagen: Would you let an environmental lawyer perform an operation on you? Would you fly in a plane flown by one? No? Then why do you trust an environmental lawyer to be president of the United States? RFK Jr. has absolutely no political experience. He has never held office. So his only resemblance to his illustrious father would seem to be his name. He had even seriously considered making a football player his vice president! As it is, he has picked a running mate who also has no political experience. Ron Jackowski

Driven out

Brooklyn: As Voicer Lee Rottenberg correctly points out, “The goal of congestion pricing is to cut traffic in Manhattan.” However, if the city reduces the number of cars on the road while reducing these same roads to bike lanes, we will be gouged with “the same congestion as we had before,” coupled with tolls. The government’s goal seems to be to drive cars out of the city. There are lower-income New Yorkers who have to drive for work and disabled residents for whom neither public transportation nor bicycling are feasible. Notwithstanding the out-of-towners, who will be paying more than us to enter the toll zones? Despite concerns from various stakeholders, the MTA is going full speed ahead with congestion pricing as planned. It’ll take a village to stop this. Or, at the very least, Lee Rottenberg of Middle Village. Howard Jay Meyer

Spend wisely

Brooklyn: Why do we need the Second Ave. subway that is already serviceable by MTA buses? Improve safety and security on the existing subways and bus lines. Stop wasting MTA funds! John Corbett


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