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In Queens there is no one we have disagreed with more frequently or vigorously than Bayside activist Frank Skala.
Last week more than a hundred Baysiders turned out to celebrate the 75th birthday of a man whom even friends call a “curmudgeon.”
Skala is the current head of the East Bayside Homeowners Association, a former member of Community Board 11 and a retired public school teacher. With his bushy white beard and engaging laughter, Skala resembles Santa Claus. But if he were, we would probably be on his naughty list.
We have opposed Skala on countless issues, but through it all he has remained our friend.
We join with Jerry Iannece, chairman of CB 11, who expressed the hope that “he will celebrate many more because, as they say, only the good die young.”
GOP Drops the Ball
The state Legislature has been dragging its heels on a bill that could help get guns out of the hands of criminals. The Republican-led state Senate has refused to consider the microstamping bill that has already been passed several times by the state Assembly.
Microstamping imprints the make, model and serial number of a gun onto the cartridge when the gun is fired. The technology has been strongly supported by law enforcement professionals, who say it will enable them to trace firearms through cartridge casings found at crime scenes.
If microstamping guns can save lives, why would anyone oppose it? Why should legislation requiring microstamping in the state be controversial?
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos won’t even let it come to the floor for a vote in the Senate.
A spokesman for Skelos told our reporter, “We did not take up the microstamping bill this year. It’s an unproven technology.”
The National Rifle Association contends the firing pins could be easily altered.
Sen. Jose Peralta, a strong advocate of microstamping, said his Republican colleagues have been influenced by large campaign contributions from the NRA and other members of the wealthy gun lobby.
If that’s the case, shame on them.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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