Manhattan: Times Square is safe. Could it be safer? Yes. The entire city could be safer. Former police commissioner and private security consultant Bill Bratton says a casino, and the private resources it may add, can solve the challenges Times Square faces (“A casino will make Times Square safer,” op-ed, Dec. 29). Mayor Adams has added 75 police officers to the NYPD Times Square Unit, its highest staffing level ever. He has restored proactive policing and has provided substantial funding to services for those in need. Those in Times Square daily have noticed improvements but recognize that more is needed. Resources alone, absent a functioning criminal justice system and effective mental health care, will only shift problems to surrounding neighborhoods.
The criminal justice system had flaws, and disproportionately impacted people of color. Instead of making the polices equitable, our leaders abandoned them. First, the city caved and abandoned quality-of-life enforcement in 2015, then passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act of 2016, decriminalizing a host of quality-of-life offenses. In 2019, the state instituted cashless bail, crippling judges and DAs. In 2021, the state legalized marijuana and decriminalized the use of hypodermic needles. A worthy goal of decarceration has devolved to create an environment where actions have no consequences.
Over the last 12 months, 25% of high-profile crimes in Times Square were committed by people with mental-health issues, and 43% were committed by repeat offenders. We need a solution that balances support for those in need with accountability for repeat offenders. The state must revisit cashless bail and support the mayor’s mental health initiatives. The City Council must recriminalize quality-of-life offenses, and adequately fund the police. Public safety is a team sport, and we all need to be in the arena together. Tom Harris, president, Times Square Alliance
Manhattan: Recent criticisms of Gov. Hochul’s selection of Appellate Division, Second Department Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle are unfounded and troubling. They ignore the requirement that trial and intermediate appellate jurists follow the precedential authority (stare decisis) of the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals and New York Court of Appeals. Judges are not free agents who can apply their personal philosophy in the cases they are assigned to adjudicate. Choosing the presiding justice of the high-volume Appellate Division, Second Department speaks highly of Hochul’s respect for a diverse and independent judiciary, and the need for new leadership for New York’s judicial branch. Criticism by progressive Democrats continues its voiced distrust of the judiciary, starting with its approach to bail reform, and its recognition of judicial supremacy invalidating gerrymandered district lines. Roger B. Adler
Brooklyn: Mayor Adams is a Bill de Blasio clone. If you are happy living in our crime-ridden, rat-infested, filthy city, then I guess Adams is your man and you will be content with business as usual. Christina C. Anderson
Forked River, N.J.: I enjoyed the article showcasing a side of Roberto Clemente (”Clemente still the man,” Dec. 28). Sadly omitted was the information that Clemente was a devout Catholic who spent much of his time during the off-season doing charity work well before the earthquake in Nicaragua. He is remembered for that because it took his life. During the off-season of ‘58-‘59, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during the off-seasons through 1964. I would describe him as a man proud of his heritage, grateful for what America afforded him and a selfless Christian. Linda C. Marino
Morristown, N.J.: Dem election loser Robert Zimmerman calls on winner Rep.-elect George Santos to resign and run again in a special election (he knows a Republican will never win a special election). Zimmerman is feigning disgust over Santos’ lying in his bio. Talk about hypocrisy! Zimmy is of a party that stands on lying as part of their platform. The Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama, etc. Even the thieving dunce taking up space in the White House lies in his sleep. There’s not a more disingenuous, phony hypocrite on the planet than a Democrat. So let’s stop with the holier-than-thou attitude and take a look at who’s calling the kettle black. Frank J. Perry
Staten Island: From 2020 to the present time, there were 14 Republican and 32 Democratic politicians found guilty of various crimes. These politicians are from the federal government down to our local governments. I wonder who I can trust when I cast my vote. Thomas M. Bell
Staten Island: They did it! Who? The GOP. I didn’t think it was possible. With their previous support of an aging and less-effective-by-the-day leader in Trump, the Republican hierarchy set out to find a new and younger facsimile of the Donald. But how to replicate the dishonesty, prevarications, duplicity and enormous ego? Surely it would be difficult, if not impossible. Could such a person actually exist? Not only did the senior Republican membership find such a person, but they also fooled the people and got him elected to Congress! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you George Santos, a new, younger and less tiresome Trump. Long may he continue to embellish! John Hogan
Manhattan: I can’t see what all the fuss is over George Santos. Everybody knows he is a Republican, and like leopards, Republicans can’t change their spots — all Republicans except Liz Cheney. Raymond McEaddy
Commack, L.I.: If you or I lied about our college education, the degrees we received and/or our employment history on a job application, we wouldn’t be hired. Or if those false statements were discovered after we were hired, we’d be fired. Additionally, the fact that Santos lied about family members on his mother’s side being Jewish, and fleeing the Holocaust — possibly to obtain votes from Jewish constituents — is reprehensible. George Anthony Devolder Santos’ pants are on fire. He needs to resign. Yvonne Fitzner
Bronx: In the strange case of George Santos, I suspect we may be watching a political “The Producers.” Santos may have started his campaign knowing he had little chance of winning, but knowing that legally he is allowed to keep campaign contributions. He then “loaned” $700,000 to his campaign, no one knowing where it came from. After his loss, he could keep the carefully laundered money. And then, he won! Mel Brooks must be lol-ing at this! David Fisher
Brooklyn: Enough! Let’s leave George Santos alone, please. Since when did honesty and integrity become a requirement for being a congressman? Damo Baliga
Kew Gardens Hills: Ben Krull (“What is a liberal Zionist to do?” op-ed, Dec. 26) claims to be a Zionist as well as a member of J Street, which is similar to claiming to be a member of the NAACP as well as a member of the KKK. J Street is made up of left-wing progressive Jews and their allies who want to see nothing less than the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state. Krull claims the “occupation” results in “hate and oppression” of the Palestinians by Israel. It is the Palestinians who publish school books that teach their kids to hate not only Israelis but Jews all over the world. It is the Palestinians who lob rockets and bombs into civilian areas of the Jewish state, and who fire those rockets from civilian areas so when the Israelis respond militarily, the world condemns Israel or claims Israel’s response is disproportionate. Barry Koppel
Flushing: To Voicer Joe Fioramonti: The unprovoked, illegal territorial war that Russia is waging on Ukraine is not simply a European problem. It is clearly a global problem and, more importantly, a humanitarian crisis. Remove your nationalistic blinders and start thinking outside of the box or, should I say, outside of your borders. Despite Ukraine’s non-membership in NATO, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of a free, sovereign nation demands the world’s help in any way, shape or form. For us, it requires military stockpiles and training to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s army as well as the debated financial aid. The hope of a negotiated settlement is a pipe dream. Zelenskyy would only agree to a settlement if it included a reversal of Crimea’s annexation, rightfully so. The U.S. must stand with the resilient people of Ukraine and help them in this global fight for democracy! Paul Gross
Voice of the People