Recently my 13-year-old son was invited to a classmate’s house along with four or five other 13-year-old boys. The young fellow who hosted this gathering was the recipient of a BB gun gifted to him by his parents. Happily shooting away at a target placed on the patio of this young man’s LeHavre apartment, the group’s fun and excitement quickly turned to horror and shock when a stray bullet found its way down from the patio to one of LeHavre’s swimming pools and pierced deeply into the skin of a visitor to the pool.
A hefty medical bill followed the emergency care afforded the victim in this situation and the parents who purchased the BB gun called the parents of the boys who had visited her son that day, asking them to share in the payment of the wounded boy’s medical bill.
It seems to me that retailers, parents and BB gun manufacturers don’t pay attention to the safety factors when they sell, buy or make BB guns that are handed to minors for their entertainment. If a parent purchases a BB gun for a child and then gives him and his friends access to this dangerous weapon and the child or children accidentally or intentionally shoot and injure another living being, should the minor child or the adult parent be punished!?! I think most people would concur that it should be the parent.
The statistics, reports and warnings are all there regarding injuries from BB gun wounds! We as parents are here to educate and protect our children from harm. I am convinced that the parents who bought this BB gun did not do this! I believe that they would have provided their child with a far more rewarding way to spend his time had they gone to the nearest library or Barnes & Noble to procure a few classic books for their child to reach each day!!!
Rose Marie Milcetic
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Honorable George Onorato
28-11 Astoria Boulevard
LIC, NY 11102
Dear State Senator Onorato:
In April, we informed you about a new construction phase on the Queensboro Bridge which had impact on the 60th Street ramp in Manhattan. We are pleased to announce that this work was completed as scheduled. Therefore, on Tuesday morning, August 29, 2000, we will implement a final traffic pattern for the Queensboro Bridge roadways.
As previously outlined in our letters in April, here are the highlights of our final traffic configuration:
1. We have chosen the north outer roadway to be designated for pedestrian and bicyclists only.
2. The south outer roadway will be open to passenger cars at all times in the eastbound (Queens bound) direction. (Please note that this roadway will not provide direct access to Northern Boulevard in Queens.)
3. The north inner and south inner roadways will be open to all traffic with two lanes in each direction.
4. The north upper roadway will be open to westbound (Manhattan bound) passenger car traffic 24 hours a day. (Please note that there will no longer be a P.M. reversal).
5. The south upper roadway will be open to passenger car traffic eastbound except from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday when the roadway is reversed westbound and used as an HOV lane.
We believe that this traffic pattern will be the most beneficial to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The Police Department will continue to direct traffic on each side of the approaches to the Bridge. Signage, including Variable Message Signs (VMS), will be strategically placed throughout the area to remind motorists of these changes.
We would like to thank you for your ongoing cooperation during the duration of this major reconstruction project. If you need further information, do not hesitate to call me at (212) 442-7042.
Thomas R. Cocola
Vote No On E-Mail Tax
An open letter to Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney (14th CD) and Joseph Crowley (7thCD):
One need not be an aficionado of the Internet to realize the positive impact this important medium has played over the past decade or so in America and even on the international stage. Like any other tool or medium there are and have been pitfalls. For one thing, parental oversight has become an absolute must because of some of the Internet’s less seemly content. I’ve cautioned for addressing this need in the past. Despite this the Internet has been recognized as a tremendous tool for communication and for accessing far-flung information. Some say it may even have played a meaningful role in helping to start the democratization of totalitarian Red China and other despotic regimes. Certainly we know it has been a boon to our economy and we now more clearly appreciate its widespread educational applications.
In many ways it has become the new American frontier. A frontier without borders that enables American entrepreneurs to continually find better ways to provide services, products and applications, creating jobs and opportunities for Americans. Indeed, the pursuit of happiness has become intertwined with the pursuit of knowledge.
For all the above reasons I urge you to vote against Federal Bill 602P which would impose a five-cent-per-e-mail charge. This bill is alarming and should not be allowed to become law because of its prospective stifling effect. Moreover, the number of persons employed in so-called e-commerce is astounding and the amount of individuals who use e-mail regularly grows every day. To put it in a local perspective, the number of voters who have personal e-mail in the 7th and 14th Congressional District now number in the several thousands category and the number grows every day.
Because of the importance the Internet has come to play in terms of free speech, in terms of job creation and education, I strongly urge you to vote no on this new job killing tax on free speech. Certainly everyone agrees that a reasonable portion of the much heralded prosperity our nation has enjoyed over the past decade, (that everyone is taking credit for of late) is attributable to the creativity of e-commerce entrepreneurs and those who use it. The balance is likely attributable to the unparalleled productivity and work ethic of the American worker in every other sector of our economy.
Why stifle either? We don’t need a new tax, let alone a tax on free speech.
Vince Tabone, Esq.
36th Assembly District
Astoria, Long Island City
and Jackson Heights
Resents OmissionTo The Editor:
You wrote a sensitive editorial a few weeks ago commenting on John Rocker and his visit to Shea Stadium. It turned us from the ugliness of his language to the beauty of the best in humanity as people of so many varieties meet each other on the award-winning No. 7 train.
One glaring omission. You mentioned every category of humanity mentioned by Rocker except gay people. Rocker’s summing up of gay people by AIDS merited a positive counter, possibly a reference to the achievements of Leonard DaVinci, Oscar Wilde, Roger Casement, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, Charles Laughton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rock Hudson, Willa Cather who are just the beginnings of a long list.
The editorial omission fed into our greatest enemy, invisibility, even greater than outright bigotry, because bigots generally are looked down upon and their message is rejected by most people. When you left out gay people, you missed an opportunity to counter anti-gay stereotyping and prejudice, and you said something, perhaps unintentionally, about gay people to those of us who remember that we were included in John Rocker’s list of undesirables.
Editors Note: Our editorial of July 26th does not mention gays specifically because our corporate and editorial policy eschews categorizing or judging individuals by sexual orientation.
Shame On LiebermanTo The Editor:
Senator Joe Lieberman is being manipulated by hypocrite Hillary Clinton who asked Lieberman to take her to the (Jewish) Orthodox Union so she could sway people to vote for her.
In another case, Lieberman defended Hillary saying she never uttered the alleged Jewish slur.
Shame on Sen. Lieberman—he wasn’t with Hillary at her campaign headquarters in 1975 when the remark was allegedly made. So how would Lieberman know? Why is he defending her and losing his credibility?
Lieberman shouldn’t turn hypocrite for Hillary who will use anyone just to get the Senate job she doesn’t deserve.