I read the letter titled "Teen Terrorists In Astoria" (Dec. 5). I was very shocked by what happened.
My reactions are:
1) I am sorry that the three boys who came into the store to rob and assault the unfortunate boy did not cause any damage to the store itself.
2) Customers who frequent that store should never go into that store again and should tell their friends and neighbors to do the same.
This boy could have been saved.
Name Withheld By Request
Long Island City
Applauds WTC CaveatTo The Editor:
Plaudits to your editorial staff and newspaper for the column on WTC donations (editorial, December 19 issue). As a donor I think it was the most concise and common sense approach to the problem. I read other newspapers and yours is the greatest.
Hails OdermattTo The Editor:
Your close-up of Officer Odermatt reflects the real heroes of this great country that we live in. His unassuming manner and humble way make him a true American hero. He is the type of individual our children should embrace instead of some of our athletic superstars who play with a ball for a living. I knew John a long time ago through both parochial and high school. I respect the fact that he has always considered Astoria his home and still resides there. Although we fell out of touch I share those childhood memories along with John and often think back to those days of my youth. It’s nice to hear about someone from your old neighborhood who did good without needing a ball to play with.
Council No DemocracyTo The Editor:
Recent articles about many newly elected members of the so-called New York City Council Fresh Democracy Council who want to bar Republicans from picking the new City Council Speaker illustrates their ignorance.
The position of City Council Speaker is one who will preside over all 51 members of that legislative body regardless of party affiliation. Sadly, one negative outcome of the recent municipal elections is that there are 47 Democrats and only four Republicans. Shouldn’t constituents of Republican Councilmembers Dennis Gallagher (30th District-Middle Village), Marty Golden (43rd District-Bay Ridge), Andrew Lanza (51st District-South Shore, Staten Island) and James Oddo (50th District-Staten Island/Brooklyn) also have a say in who the new City Council Speaker will be?
How ironic that the Fresh Democracy Council (FDC) which is supposed to advocate an open and more democratic City Council wants to close the door on diversity and censor any alternative (Republican) viewpoints.
Power corrupts and the perfect example was a recent quote by Councilmember-elect David Weprin (Queens) who said "Republicans shouldn’t be the deciding factor because the stakes are always high in the Speaker election because the post is so powerful." He should know, since his late father Saul Weprin was a former Speaker of the New York State Assembly. We all know how dictatorial that body is run. (Remember, how many bills introduced by Republicans or the handful of real independent Democrats are always bottled up in committees and never allowed to reach the light of day for a vote before the full State Assembly?). Seems like the apple never falls far from the tree.
Perhaps many members of the new City Council who belong to the Fresh Democracy Council need to go back to school and take remedial courses on Civics 101 and Democracy in Government. Sounds like today’s so-called government reformers have already become democratic party club house regulars who want a return to the back room one-party rule in City Hall which gave us so many past municipal scandals.
If the 47 Democrats in the City Council want a closed-door caucus to elect a majority party leader, that’s their choice. However, the Democratic majority leader of the New York City Council is not the same as New York City Council Speaker, whose position goes beyond party affiliation.
Too many newly elected New York City Councilmembers sound like they will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in naming streets after dead people while working part time holding down other jobs. The faces may change, but the New York City Council will continue to be irrelevant in the day-to-day lives of most New Yorkers.
Don’t Want P.S. 499To The Editor:
Leaders of Neighbors for Responsible Development at Queens College (NRD), a local community coalition, have learned that the School Construction Authority (SCA) has opened bidding for construction of P.S. 499, the Queens College lab school. A contract for the new school could be signed by the end of the year, with construction to begin in the spring.
Advocates for kids need to understand that building P.S. 499 means $40 million will be spent on a school in the only district in the city that has more seats than it can fill, rather than in an overcrowded district where parents stand on line to enroll there kids in school. Our community has made a good faith effort to adjust to an unneeded school in our midst that will exacerbate already dreadful traffic and environmental conditions. Community advocates should pay close attention to whether the Board of Education and the School Construction Authority include in the project an access road and staff parking lot supported by the community board, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, state Senator Dan Hevesi, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn and the City Council.
The school, to be located on the campus near Reeves Avenue, was bitterly opposed by the local community, which contends it is already overburdened by the traffic and environmental impacts of educational institutions that serve more than 25,000 students daily.
Community Board 8 agreed with the community that the school should be built only if the SCA included an access road from Main Street and a staff parking lot as part of the project. Later, elected officials Shulman, Hevesi, Mayersohn and Councilman Morton Povman concurred with Community Board 8’s recommendations.
Now let’s see what the SCA does.
Kew Gardens Hills
Care Workers Need RaiseTo The Editor:
Direct Care Workers are those who lift physically disabled adults and change their diapers, teach life skills, handle medical and behavioral crises. The list goes on, but unfortunately, the direct care workers cannot and the families of disabled individuals cannot.
These individuals are essential to the well-being--the existence--of so many adults and children with disabilities. Yet, for those workers, entry-level pay is about $3,000 to $13,000 per year below what people can earn as data entry clerks, security officers, secretaries and mail carriers. People who have the heart and capability to give the best care must quit for higher-paying jobs. Replacing them is more than difficult and when they are replaced, they are replaced with less qualified individuals.
Who gets hurt? The over 100,000 individuals in New York alone who need a constant, guiding light, another physical being to help them with every skill involved in their everyday lives; families of people with disabilities who must invest confidence and trust in the people taking care of their loved ones--a testing job that they themselves are unable to handle these invaluable workers, people who provide those in need with access to not only daily activity but daily life, and agencies whose sole interest is the welfare of people with disabilities, are in constant need to replace employees with the only people who will accept such low paying jobs, those less qualified.
Direct care workers are a rare species. They give not only their help, but also themselves. Something must be done. The cries must be heard.
Association For The Help of Retarded Children, New York City ChapterHails Times Gone ByTo The Editor:
For all my friends, and fellow senior citizens that read so many of my letters to the editor in the Queens Gazette, I’m writing again.
Do you remember the picture, "The Time Machine?" Well if we did have a time machine, my story will sound like this:
What has happened in the past 20 years here in Jackson Heights? As you all know, that’s all I ever write about is Jackson Heights.
Twenty years ago, my realty agent said to me, Jackson Heights will become a co-op, all houses will become co-op, as that’s the trend today. Everything around you will blossom, as that’s what will happen to this community.
I bought into this, as their were four movies (theaters): one on 73rd Street and one on 83rd Street and two on 82nd Street. We had a senior citizen center and bingo hall in the Brumson Building on 74th Street. We had a C-Town Supermarket on 73rd Street and Northern Boulevard, a bus on 73rd Street and Northern Boulevard, a hospital on 34th Avenue and 73rd Street and a Kosher butcher store on 37th Avenue. We did have so many things going for us 20 years ago.
Even Ivan Lafayette, our Congressman was in our district and helped everyone; he’s been out of our district for many years.
As the saying goes, things are supposed to get better as time goes by, but not all the time. You wake up one morning and find out that many things have changed, all around you.
Where have all the stores around you gone to? No movies, no senior center, no hospital, no bingo hall, no supermarket. If you do want any of these things, you have to hoof it to get to stores. The older you get, the harder it is to get to all the places that moved out of your neighborhood.
So you see, "The Time Machine" does work. What was here yesterday, is gone today.