Editorial: Hevesi’s complaint

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After four years in Albany, state Sen. Daniel Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) is throwing in the towel. The senator has had it with the way business is done (and most often not done) in Albany.

Hevesi is frustrated by the stranglehold that the Republicans have on the state senate. “Not only is it exceptionally difficult for minority senators to have a major influence,” he said, “but it has gotten dramatically worse since I arrived on the scene.”

Hevesi noted that Sen. Joe Bruno (R-Saratoga Springs) runs the Senate with an iron fist. The Republican senators are beholden to their boss and no bill gets to the floor without his approval.

What Hevesi does not mention is that same problem exists in the Assembly, only there it’s the Democrats who have complete control. Nothing gets to the assembly floor without the blessing of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

And this is why Albany is a political logjam surrounded by a glacier.

But didn’t Hevesi know this before he got elected?

The state government is in urgent need of reform. The political leeches who feed off the bureaucracy can be counted on to resist meaningful change. But reform is not impossible. It is a shame that an idealistic politician such as Hevesi isn’t willing to at least try to bring about the changes that would make Albany a real democracy,

Editorial: 9/11 tributes

As we near the first anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, New Yorkers are looking for meaningful ways to mark one of the most devastating and tragic days in our nation’s history. The mayor and the governor said businesses and schools should open and people should go about their business as usual. Then they announced a daylong series of ceremonies and tributes, including concerts, candlelight vigils and at least three times when the entire city — and perhaps the entire nation —- will pause for a moment of silence.

This will not and cannot be just another day.

It is too soon to say whether Sept. 11 should be made a national holiday. But there is no question, as we see it, that on this first anniversary the people of the metropolitan area, including the children, will need the time and space to reflect and mourn. We have all been touched by this tragedy. No one knows the depth of fear and sorrow that will rise to the surface on 9/11.

To suggest that New Yorkers should go about their business as usual seems at best shortsighted.

Last week we reported that a number of streets in Queens may be renamed in honor of firefighters who died at the World Trade Center. If that will bring comfort to the families, then do it.

It was also reported last week that the governors of New York and New Jersey have proposed renaming Newark Airport Liberty Airport at Newark. That is just plain stupid. This kind of meaningless, self-serving exploitation only takes away from the meaningful tributes honoring the heroes of Sept. 11.

The wounds of Sept. 11, 2001 are still fresh. The site where the majestic Twin Towers once stood is still just a hole in the ground covered in the ashes of fallen heroes. American troops, including many young men from Queens, are still searching the mountains of Afghanistan for the fanatics responsible for this tragedy. There are still funerals for firefighters.

One year later, the tragedy that began on 9/11 is far from over.

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