Letters to the Editor — Dec. 11, 2022
Library fine nix
“A fine mess” (David Kaufman, PostScript, Dec. 4) misses the point about our decision to eliminate late fines.
Although the author could part with a “wad of cash” for his children’s late books, others don’t have that luxury. The branches with the most “blocked” cards were all in low-income communities; while there is no evidence that fines incentivize returns, they clearly kept out our neighbors who couldn’t afford to pay.
Additionally, those who don’t return books at all still owe replacement fees and lose borrowing privileges.
As expected, most New Yorkers return their books on time, just as they did before the policy change. We want our patrons to feel accountable to one another — not fearful of fines that only some can afford.
Anthony W. Marx, President of The New York Public Library
Your columnist, Bob McManus, was on target in stating that the solution to farebeating is not a new turnstile, but simple enforcement and prosecution of the law on the books (“Just Enforce,” PostOpinion, Dec. 7).
It is a theft of services to avoid paying the fare. Period. New turnstiles are an expensive attempt to quickly and easily stop the problem. But there is no quick-and-easy answer, other than to have police at the stations arresting the farebeaters and having the district attorney prosecute. A journey through the criminal-justice system will do more to deter a farebeater from doing it again.
The fault falls upon Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has pronounced farebeating as too petty to prosecute. The result is that criminals are stealing $119 million in free rides from the Transit Authority. It’s death by a thousand cuts.
The governor could have used political capital to make the district attorney do his job. She has not. New turnstiles are not the answer; a governor who has guts is.
Women in blue
As someone who has been a woman of conviction, I applaud Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell on her heartwarming and motivating speech (“Sewell shoots from hip on NYPD sexism,” Dec. 4).
I have been a civilian member of the NYPD for a little over 49 years now — somewhat of an oddity to some and an annoyance to others. Yet because of words like the ones sincerely spoken by Sewell, I stand strong. Stronger, because I am a true part of a legacy of women with the NYPD. My great-grandmother was one of the first five females hired in 1891.
How we have been treated by others over the years has, yes, been an annoyance at times. Yet there are those who applaud our strength and tenacity to work alongside our male counterparts. I have been harassed by the worst of them and applauded by the best.
Now, we have a strong female leader in Sewell to help guide all of us and keep us safe. Let the commissioner do her job, which from my experience and knowledge, and familial history, has been an excellent one.
Pick Zeldin, GOP
I’m not a Republican, but I agree with The Post editorial “Lee Zeldin for GOP Chair” (Dec. 2).
Zeldin certainly was close to beating Gov. Hochul. I think if he had cut all ties to former President Donald Trump, including Trump’s endorsement, he could very well be New York’s current governor.
It is time for the Republican Party to get new blood for national leadership, and I think Zeldin is the man for the job.
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