2003-03-05 / Editorials

Letters

Hermes Expo Coming

To The Editor:

This is an open letter to all Greek Americans. Besides expressing our political preference by our vote, and to enumerate ourselves by participating in the census and to show the dynamic economic Greek Power, it’s imperative that we as Greek Americans support the Hermes Expo. It’s through the creative genius of Paul Kotrotsios that this year’s expo will be held at the Trump Marina Hotel and Convention Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Churches and societies seeking information can contact Paul Kotrotsios at 610-202-4465.

As you know this expo promotes trade relations and explores investments and business opportunities and advances networking of business people.

Athan John Christodoulou

Elmhurst

Snow Clearance

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

Hon. John Doherty

Commissioner

Department of Sanitation

125 Worth Street

New York, NY 10013

Dear Commissioner Doherty:

Your snow removal efforts have been remarkable and I commend you and the men and women of the department for the quick response during a record snowfall.

However, I must bring to your immediate attention a serious condition that you are creating today. Sanitation plows are pushing huge piles of snow to the curb in residential areas completely blocking crosswalks and driveways.

Homeowners have already cleared their driveways only to find them blocked by Sanitation trucks coming through the streets today. Mounds as high as six feet now block driveways. My office is receiving telephone calls from senior citizens that cannot get out to go shopping or to their doctors appointments.

I urge you to take immediate steps to prevent the trucks from blocking private driveways and creating homebound situations for seniors.

A six-foot mound last evening blocked my own driveway. If it were not for the help of neighbors, I would not have been able to clear the snow. The sanitation plow also pushed this huge snow pile onto my sidewalk, preventing pedestrian traffic.

Please let me know how this situation can be improved and how you can help the seniors that are now helpless to dig themselves out.

Sincerely,

Tony Avella

City Councilmember, District 19

—Northeast Queens

Keep St. Pat’s Day Safe

To The Editor:

As many people in New York join together on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish heritage, Anheuser-Busch would like to salute the millions who make designated drivers part of their party plans. According to a recent Data Development Corporation poll, more than 90 percent of the public endorse the designated driver concept as an excellent or good way to curb drunk driving. In fact 122 million American adults have been a designated driver or have been driven home by someone.

This St. Patrick’s Day, we and some of our retailer partners are working together to fight drunk driving and encourage customers to drink responsibly. Through efforts like these, we have made great progress in reducing drunk driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of drunk-driving fatalities has declined 37 percent in the past two decades.

We’re winning the fight against drunk driving, but more work remains to be done. So let’s remember before we make a toast and tribute to St. Patrick, to look out for one another and drink responsibly.

Sincerely,

C.A. Verdon

CA&E Coordinator

Anheuser-Busch Sales & Service

of New York, Inc.

Sign Causes Crashes

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

Queens Commissioner Joseph Cannisi

Department of Transportation:

I wrote to you on February 13 stating that the all-way stop sign at 47th Street and Skillman Avenue was creating dangerous traffic conditions on Skillman Avenue, a major through street which has utilized only traffic lights and no stop signs. Drivers, myself included, have been flying through that stop sign because it was totally unexpected.

My fears were confirmed. My letter mentioned reports of accidents. The 108th [Police] Precinct has confirmed numerous accidents at that intersection, 47th Street and Skillman, a place where accidents never occurred previously.

In response, the precinct has increased enforcement, giving out more tickets. Great! The perfect bureaucratic response. And when there are no police 24 hours a day, seven days a week—more accidents!

However, if you remove that all-way stop sign, the corner will revert to its past history: no accidents, no violations, no tickets, no injuries, no lawsuits.

Enforcement is not the answer. It is not necessary. Take the signs down, and use the police beneficially elsewhere.

I appeal to your sense of common sense. The real problem is accidents: damage, injuries, death? Remove the signs and you stop the accidents.

Please do this immediately. Please having nothing to do with my worst fears, as expressed in my previous letters. Remove the stop signs before someone gets killed. For which you will be responsible.

Very truly yours,

Al Volpe

Woodside

Advertising Gets Tickets

To The Editor:

We all recognize the need to maintain a civil society, including adherence to rules regarding public discourse and interaction. In pursuit of this we have adopted specific laws and regulations pertaining to the ways in which we may behave when in public. The most obvious are those rules regarding "aggressive" panhandling, soliciting drug sales or prostitution and yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater or restaurant.

In an effort to curb certain undesirable behavior laws have been passed that often do little to thwart said behavior but look good on the books and give the public the idea that something is being done by their elected representatives. Sadly these laws often backfire and harm those they are intended to help. A case in point involves my office.

Those people reading this newspaper in the Astoria area may well be aware that I have staff handing out flyers. Those flyers ask the question, "Are You in Pain?" and ask if the person receiving the flyer would like a complimentary consultation in our office. In addition we also hand out flyers asking senior citizens if they would like to receive a complimentary bone density screening. These flyers are handed out politely, cheerfully and with respect for the public involved.

Yesterday my staff received a total of five tickets from a police task force representative (not a member of the local 114th Precinct). These summonses charged my staff with "Impeding pedestrian flow" and "solicitation." To be blunt both are foolish charges as I have little desire to impede the ability of my prospective patients to walk on the street and thereby get them upset. I also do not engage in solicitation as the original intent of this law was to discourage the practice of prostitution and drug sales. Obviously I engage in neither.

When our city is faced with the possibility of further terrorist attacks as well as the very real threat of theft, rape, murder and other real crime not to mention the quality of life issues like drug dealers, squeegee men, prostitutes and drunken homeless people I am inclined to believe that having an armed police officer take the time out of his day to issue summonses to my employees is something of a waste of resources. It also represents the epitome of the aforementioned backfiring of intended results from the passing of certain laws.

My office has been in existence since 1961 and has a long history of providing community service as well as presently employing upward of 20 people in various capacities. In addition is the very real value to our community in the providing of valuable health care procedures for working people as well as senior citizens and children.

The laws intended to supposedly help those like myself who contribute to the community are now being used to infringe upon my ability to provide a livelihood not only for myself but also my staff as well as punishing me financially and preventing others from finding out if we can help them with their health problems.

I would ask the mayor as well as the other elected officials to more closely examine what is important and what is not. It would seem that keeping our streets safe, maintaining our civil defense and keeping the public transportation running on schedule might do more for the quality of life in this city than harassing a doctor’s office whose only crime is trying to educate the public about what might be done to help a variety of health problems.

Yours truly,

Charles A. Krieger, DC

Astoria


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