2004-05-05 / Editorials

Letters

Accentuate The Positive

To The Editor:

Edward Horn ("Decries Bush Policies," Gazette, April 28) has expressed concern about our "isolation from the world community." Our government should be concerned about the efficacy of a United Nations body with a history of voting zionism as the equivalent of racism, of having given status to the former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim as the Secretary-General, of having failed to enforce a truce after the U.N. operation of 1991 to remove the Iraqi troops from Kuwait, of having failed after 12 years and 17 U.N. resolutions to get the Iraqi government to adhere to Security Council decisions and of failing to closely monitor the U.N. "Oil For Food Program" which is currently "bathing in a sea of corruption."

The government of the United States of America also has a history of [too] many positive accomplishments world-wide to ever have its representative grovel before that shameless world body to remain in its good graces.

Chester Gusick

Whitestone

Neighborhood

To The Editor:

The tremendous influx of people to Central Queens has brought many positive changes. Certainly, new cultures and ideas have helped make our neighborhoods more colorful and vibrant. As with many changes, however, the effects have also had negative consequences.

Pollution and contamination are factors which we all must deal with daily. When we complain to the authorities, there is often no positive response! Or, the answer may be "it is a by-product of the new society", or, "Let’s bear with it", etc. Yet, we cannot allow ourselves to use these excuses to ignore these very real, potentially dangerous problems which display themselves in many forms. Densely populated, but under-counted neighborhoods, such as ours, generate an excessive amount of garbage. Yet this problem is augmented by indifference.

Take a walk down many sidewalks and you will see garbage thrown carelessly into the street, walls used as public urinals. The filth on the streets and sidewalks presents a health hazard. Another form of dangerous contamination involves the collection of recycled materials—metal, plastic, soda, beer cans—that are picked up from the streets. Imagine how many of these items are used and contaminated. Instead of being taken directly to recycling machines for exchange, they are taken for storage in garages, basements, back yards, wherever the persons collecting recylables reside, till there is a significant amount to exchange for cash. As a result, there is a proliferation of mosquito, rodent, roach, and odor problems. Often these items are rinsed by hose into patios and community driveways, creating pools of contamination.

One reason a neighborhood deteriorates rapidly is because its citizens allow it to happen. It’s true, there are a number of individuals who do not care how they live or what happens to our neighborhoods. Most are "here today, gone tomorrow". Yet we cannot allow the ignorance of a few to affect our right to live as decent human beings. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our children to make every effort to better our neighborhood. The JHAG encourages you to get involved and participate in the JHAG programs. Do that by contacting the undersigned at 718-476-9188. If you have an Environmental Protection or Health Department complaint, call 311.

Ralph Moreno

President,

Jackson Heights Action Group

Salutes Tillman

To the Editor:

If anyone ever needs to reinforce their confidence in the younger people of this country, there is 27-year-old Pat Tillman: strong safety No. 40 of the NFL Arizona Cardinals. A 5’11", 202-pound, hard driving specimen, he walked away from a 3-year, $3.6 million NFL extension offer from the Cardinals and a lucrative professional career to follow, in order, together with his brother Kevin, join the Army Special Forces and fight the 9/11 terrorists in Afghanistan. This over achiever graduated from the Arizona State University in only three and a half years with a 3.84 average and, after playing for the Cardinals, he declined a $9 million offer to join the St. Louis Rams because of the loyalty he felt for the Cardinals who had given him his first chance. Is this a real person or a Hollywood creation? Well, he was very much a very real person.

Tillman, a Specialist with the Elite Army Rangers, was killed on April 22 in a firefight some 25 miles southwest of a U.S. military base at Khost. He died a "Hero" as if the term was invented to describe him. If there is any consolation in the death of a youth of such quality, it is that he died fighting America’s war against the true enemy in Afghanistan, the enemy which attacked our country, and not the Bush diversionary war in Iraq which still continues to drain our resources, kill our soldiers and deprive the Afghanistan struggle of the dollars and soldier-power needed to get the terrorists that invaded our country.

Nicholas Zizelis

Bayside

Save Klein Farm

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

Hon. Helen Marshall

Queens Borough President

120-55 Queens Boulevard

Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Dear Helen,

The members of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association, Inc. are concerned about what will happen to the Klein Farm in Fresh Meadows. This is the last private farmland in Queens. The farmer wanted $4 million for the land and he has obtained it from someone. It is not clear who bought the farm. There is talk of building dozens of homes on this 2.2 acre plot of land.

The community could use a farm here under the Colonial Farm in Little Neck. It doesn’t need houses with cars parked all over and more concrete structures. The whole of the Fresh Meadows development was declared a Special Purpose District about 25 years ago. Green spaces are good. Development is not always good, especially by a speculator who will tear down a fine old manor house, fine old trees and do ecological damage.

How can you help the community? Which agencies can help us?

Yours truly,

Bob Harris

President

West Cunningham Park Civic Association

Note: According to information received, the Klein Farm manor house is currently being converted into a day care center.

Want Speed Bumps

To The Editor:

We at Catherine Sheridan House read with extreme interest your articles in the March 21 and April 28 editions of the Gazette addressing the critical need for the installation of speed bumps at schools sites.

Catherine Sheridan House is an independent living senior apartment building, with 240 apartments and approximately 300 tenants. Many of the tenants are frail [and] elderly. The majority of tenants use the shopping center diagonally across the street, where there is an Associated Food Store.

Immediately across the street is I.S. 126. As you can see, this area is heavily populated by both the very young and the very elderly. Presently, there is only one stop sign painted on the pavement of one intersection which, more frequently than not, is ignored by cars traveling at high speed off 21st Street. Unfortunately, one of our tenants was killed in recent years by a speeding car that jumped the sidewalk. Very likely this occurrence would not have happened if speed bumps were in place at the intersections shared by I.S 126 students and Catherine Sheridan House tenants.

We are therefore urgently recommending that speed bumps be installed at the following areas, to prevent another tragedy, which will occur predictably in the future.

-31st Road and 21st Street,

-31st Road and 23rd Street,

-31st Drive and 21st Street,

-31st Drive and 23rd Street,

-Broadway and 21st Street,

-Broadway and 23rd Street.

Your intervention on behalf of the seniors living at Catherine Sheridan House and the students at I.S. 126 is extremely important.  The tenants requested a red light in the past for 23rd Street. This request was denied and a stop sign was painted on the roadway instead

I am confident that your office will continue its critical work by making these streets safer for everyone.

Thank you for your consideration of this most important matter.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Esposito

Housing Coordinator

Angie Lymn

Tenant Representative

Memorial Day Nears

To The Editor:

As we are approaching Memorial Day in this month of May, many things seem to come to mind. First of all let’s remember all those who gave their lives to protect our nation in all the conflicts since the American Revolution where we fought for our freedom. Let us also salute all of our brave men and women who are serving today to protect those freedoms as they serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secondly, what comes to mind is this war against terrorism, something which has changed our nation since the attack upon our nation on September 11, 2001. It is something that must be rooted out, but also we must find the root causes so that it will not take more human life.

I find myself thinking, what does it mean to me to be an American? The answer seems clear, and that is the pride in being in a country that allows us our personal freedoms and the ability to speak our minds. We may not have the best system but it still is the greatest in the world. This freedom does not come without a price. Like former President John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." This being an election year, this affords us a great opportunity to serve our country and to also exercise that freedom and decide who is best able to lead our nation and help solve some of the problems we are faced with. We must also inspire our youth [as to] how important it is to get out and vote. But not only voting, also volunteering our time to help the political party of our choice, whether it be Democrat or Republican. A decision needs to be made and that is, will it be President George W. Bush or Senator John Kerry that will lead our nation?

We have many issues facing our nation which are: unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, education, rising fuel costs, how to pay down the national debt, the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, homelessness, AIDS, global warming. The list goes on.

We as Americans must stand up and dedicate ourselves to make this a greater nation, so let’s stand up and be counted.

Also go out on Memorial Day and be part of all that’s going on that day including attending parades in our communities and cheer[ing] our servicemen and women on. Let’s also cheer for our local heroes as well, like our firemen and police officers, who protect you and me.

Remember this, evil thrives when good people do nothing.

Sincerely yours,

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Little Neck


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