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Why Vote?

TimesLedger Newspapers

The presidential election was over in Queens before it started. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t campaign here once.

But three candidates competed for southeast Queens’ congressional seat in the general election. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks faced challenges from Republican Allan Jennings and Libertarian Catherine Wark.

The candidates ran in the new 5th District, which was expanded to include the Rockaway Peninsula and communities in Nassau County.

The party that controls the House of Representatives will play a critical role in the future of our country no matter who’s the president.

Meeks has represented this area for seven terms. Jennings is hardly a traditional Republican. He was defeated by Meeks in the September Democratic primary and was unopposed in the Republican primary. He served one term in the City Council as a Democrat from 2001-05 representing Jamaica, South Jamaica, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.

This race alone was reason for voters in southeast Queens to vote.

Teacher Gets Knuckles Rapped

A 45-year-old school teacher at a Jamaica intermediate school was sentenced last week by a Queens judge to six months at Rikers Island for having sex on multiple occasions with a 14-year-old student in 2009.

They had sexual relations at IS 238 and in his car. He reportedly bragged about his conquests on Facebook. That’s how his ex-wife found out. This guy is sleazy but apparently not that smart. Either that or he was thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy.

But what was Judge Richard Buchter thinking when he handed out this sentence? With good behavior, Charles Oross could be out in four months. It’s a split sentence. When he gets out he will be on probation for 10 years. He will have to register as a sex offender and most likely will never be allowed to teach again.

Still, it seems to us that Oross is getting off easy. There’s a reason why the charge is called statutory rape. He used his position of authority to take advantage of a child. A brief stay at Rikers hardly fits this crime and doesn’t send the right message to the next pervert.

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