Readers sound off on state pensions, parents’ sentencing and fear of flying Boeing

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Public workers deserve real financial security

Manhattan: The Tier 6 pension system has become an impediment to the recruitment and retention of public sector workers throughout our state. Public sector staffing shortages have reached crisis status, with employers at every level of government sounding the alarm that they can not recruit enough staff or encourage qualified individuals to stay in service.

The state has lost nearly 17,000 employees due to attrition since 2021. And taxpayers are feeling the pain. As a result, according to New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, state government alone paid more than $1 billion in overtime costs in 2022.

Lest anyone think public employee pensions are breaking the bank, the average pension of state and local government employees outside of New York City is just over $27,000. Unless we make these jobs more attractive, we will continue to struggle to recruit and retain workers in our communities, and vital public services will become less reliable.

Not having enough workers in the public sector negatively impacts education, health care, transportation, sanitation, law enforcement, firefighters and workers at government agencies. These are vital public services that all New Yorkers from every corner of our state, regardless of income status, rely upon every day.

Legislators must fix Tier 6 to protect our public services and maintain a standard of living and quality of life that 20 million New Yorkers have rightfully come to expect and deserve. Mario Cilento, president, New York State AFL-CIO

2 for 1

San Francisco: In 1979, when I was a child, my parents took me to Niagara Falls. I thought it was the most beautiful place on Earth. That the path of totality of this year’s solar eclipse passed through this spectacular natural wonder offered my wife, children and I the chance to share two awe-inspiring experiences in one amazing trip. Stephen A. Silver

Promising the sun

Queens Village: I was wowed by the total solar eclipse in the NYC area. As a senior, it was probably the last one I will ever see in my lifetime. But I hear the Great Messiah Donald Trump is promising personal total solar eclipses in your own backyard — for a donation of just $2,000! And I thought nothing could top a Trump autographed Bible. Lawrence Krasner

Cartoon villainy

Oceanside, L.I.: It would be insane to think the public here would be willing to elect Hitler. Yet, that premise needs study based in history. How willing the Republicans are to take over, and to then take over the world. Where the cartoon “Pinky and the Brain” is a farce, many Republicans are absurd — and the public goes with it. Noah J. Polak

Fascist fantasy

Manhattan: So, Voicer Tom Scott wants lower grocery, gas and mortgage prices. Less crime, no war. All that’s good. But what he really wants is a bunch of crazies running around with Nazi tattoos on their butts and Confederate flags on their arms. Oh, and Donald Chump as their leader. Raymond McEaddy

Sub-prime time

Saddle Brook, N.J.: I just read about the women’s NCAA basketball getting better ratings than the men. Congratulations to them, it was an excellent tournament with great teams. But one thing not mentioned is that ladies played at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, and the men at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night. Can’t the men start at an earlier time? Bill Homisak

Poor performer

Lakewood, N.J.: The headline on Bob Raissman’s column on Sunday, says: “Alonso one of few Mets who belongs on big stage” — obviously a reference to his hopping around on stage at a country music show after his Mets lost their first two games. I’m sure the meaning is “big top” instead of big stage. The Ringling Brothers Circus is always looking for another clown. Mike Mooney

It starts at home

Melbourne, Australia: The convictions of James and Jennifer Crumbley for the crimes of their son Ethan, and their sentences of 10-15 years in prison, are a start for parents in taking responsibility for how they raise their children, what they enable and the consequences that occur. As a teacher, I often saw parents who did not take responsibility for their children’s misdemeanors, rudeness and lack of effort or respect, and who frequently doubted what had happened. In reality, these were minor offenses of immature youths, but the sorts of behavior that will see them lose jobs or friendships. It should also be pointed out that most parents do a great job raising their children. We can hope that we hear more of the positive stories. Remember: You are their parent, not their friend, and you create the person they are. Be proud when you get it right. Dennis Fitzgerald

Frontier justice

Staten Island: If a police officer is killed while on duty, punishment for the perp should be public hanging in Times Square. That’s what should be done to the killer of Jonathan Diller, a great cop, dad and husband. Fran Bocignone

Pro-gun party

Fairfield, Conn.: To Voicer Patrick DeMarco: You place a large portion of the responsibility for Detective Jonathan Diller’s death on bail reform laws. You then put the blame on three Democrats who you name. Are you aware, Mr. DeMarco, that Japan has stringent gun laws and they average 10 deaths by guns per year? To date, we have had 5,000 this year, and 95% of Republicans refuse to do anything about gun control. While bail reform may be part of the problem, I think you may be missing the bigger picture. Stephen Johnson

Sanctity of life

Sunnyside: Voicer Kathy Barry asked, “Why should society have to bear the cost of feeding a murderer and keeping him safe and sound until his death?” I want to point out that there are good reasons for being opposed to both capital punishment and abortion. They are both far too drastic solutions to problems that have much better alternatives, and they both result in the loss of a human life. In the case of someone who is convicted of murder, you can put him or her away for the rest of their life. Of course, parole boards should stop letting convicted murderers out of jail (especially if that person has assassinated a police officer). Also, a nationwide gun control bill would help cut down on the number of murders each year. John Francis Fox

Taking flight

Corona: This is the first time I’ve ever experienced slight aerophobia, and I’ve already bought non-refundable plane tickets for my vacation out of the country. My round-trip flight will unfortunately include two Boeing planes. Isn’t the CEO stepping down in the midst of this scandal to avoid more responsibility? Isn’t he doing it so that new leadership will guide the company into a distant future where the public will forget about Boeing planes’ doors blowing out mid-flight? Jenny Chen

Reimagined space

Manhattan: It is time to say goodbye to the New York Public Library. This bloated, top-heavy, Neanderthal system is completely and totally outdated for today’s needs in our city. With the many branches and subsidiaries closed under the guise of rebuilding or refurbishing, the space could be much more useful than the current day care facility it has become. Passed-out junkies at the few working computers and a pompous, arrogant staff unwilling to address the situation when notified only adds to the frustration. This space could be better utilized as a migrant shelter, where these lost souls can get the help they need. Thomas Bower

Deny care

Manhattan: Gynecologists in Florida and Arizona should decline services to their Supreme Court justices and state legislators. Let those patients travel to neighboring or foreign like-minded states for care. Brian Graifman

Right to rest in peace

Manhattan: Timothy Cardinal Dolan speaks about living forever through Jesus Christ (“Physician assisted suicide is not a good answer,” op-ed, April 7). But when it comes to those who are approaching their end, Dolan and the Catholic Church are the major group to oppose physician aid in dying. No matter how much suffering, or for how long, the priests say no. Statistics show that more people oppose abortion than oppose the right to die. For more information contact Compassion& or Chris MacLeod