BLADES OF GRASS
He who makes two blades of grass grow in the place of one doesmore for the country than all politicians do, put together.Why can’t a politician provide service for the people similar tothat of our innovative gardener? Governor Cuomo is up to the task.He managed to keep his promise to end the millionaire’s tax andcrafted a tax law to increase revenue for the state which promisesrelief to most middle class taxpayers. Public Advocate BillDeBlasio asks, Why can’t Washington be like this? It is a goodquestion.The plan increases tax on New Yorkers earning more than $1 millionannually. It provides relief to filers earning up to $300,000 ayear. It eliminates the MTA surcharge for private and parochialschools.The proposal is fair, balanced and prudent. It is proof that it ispossible to accomplish good things for the people when the goal isto accomplish something rather than to look good while youaccomplish nothing.**A balanced and prudent transportation plan for South Brooklyn wouldinclude replacement of the Gowanus Expressway. The federalgovernment cancelled plans for a tunnel replacement for thenotoriously slow and ugly expressway. The American Association ofArchitects produced a preliminary plan to replace the constantlycrumbling elevated roadway with a cable bridge roadway orskyway.It makes sense to replace the Gowanus totally since it is underconstant repair and cannot ever be improved to satisfy the trafficdemand. A skyway is an affordable alternative to a tunnel and itcould be the keystone for a complete transmodal transportationplan.The plan should integrate waterfront development, light railtransit and a comprehensive cellular telephone hardware system forthe borough. It would spark a multibillion dollar development boomon Third Avenue.The skyway could incorporate dedicated bus lanes while anuncovered Third Avenue would have space for a light rail system andprotected bicycle lanes. These could connect South Brooklyn to RedHook and Downtown Brooklyn.**Newt Gingrich is a surprise front-runner in opinion polls and mustbe considered a viable GOP candidate based on experience andpopular support. The thrice-married former speaker of the house wassanctioned while in office by the House Ethics Committee andconducted an affair with a staff member while pushing for anofficial investigation of President Clinton.He can utilize some of his considerable income to fund a publicrelations campaign. His consultant businesses has raked in morethan $100 million since 2001. A recently released television adportrays a wholesome family background to distract the public fromhis rocky personal life.**Gerard Rosenberg retired as a justice of the New York State SupremeCourt after more than 25 years of service and was honored by theCatholic Lawyers Guild for his exemplary service. He providedBrooklyn with a legacy of just decisions and served without blemishor remonstrance. He accepted accolades and good wishes withcharacteristic humility. He acknowledged that his accomplishmentswere possible due to the unwavering support of his beloved wife,Harriet.Our representatives need to take a cue from Governor Cuomo andJustice Rosenberg. Much can be accomplished by our leaders whenpersonal desire is put aside for the sake of the common good.Brian Kieran is a community activist who works for the State of NewYork and is a Democrat.