2004-09-03 / Editorials


Drink Responsibly

Editor’s note: This letter appeared in the August 25 edition. However, we believe the message is so important it deserves to be restated, along with our wishes for a safe, sane and happy Labor Day holiday for all our readers.

To The Editor:

Picnics, barbecues and end-of-summer parties are a Labor Day holiday tradition. But it’s everyone’s job to practice personal responsibility and help the celebrations be safe this holiday weekend.

If you’re hosting a party, be sure to serve non-alcohol beverages for your guests who don’t drink and the designated drivers, and serve guests one drink at a time. If you’re attending the party and you choose to drink, please do so responsibly. If you’re the designated driver, you’ll be joining more than 122 million American adults who have either been a designated driver or been driven home by one.

Fortunately, our nation has made significant progress in the fight against drunk driving during the Labor Day holiday. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Labor Day holiday drunk-driving fatalities are down 32 percent since 1982.

If we all do our part by exercising personal responsibility and choosing a designated driver, this Labor Day can be safe for everyone. Responsibility matters.


C.A. Verdon

Consumer Awareness &

Education Coordinator

Anheuser-Busch Sales &

Service of New York, Inc.

Save Stadiums

To the Editor:

Abe Hirschfeld has created a plan that uses the existing Yankee Stadium instead of creating one across the street as the city currently proposes. His renovations will only cost $150 million, unlike the $700 million now proposed, of which $450 million would be publicly funded. Hirschfeld intends to pay for his renovations personally, freeing taxpayers of any financial burden.

A real estate mogul and developer, Hirschfeld has again challenged the city to create a better building than it currently proposes. Having been intimately involved in the addition to Yankee Stadium, Hirschfeld knows the audience and understands the needs of the owners. Steinbrenner’s current plan doesn’t even meet his own initial criteria for the new facility. On top of that, his movement from Yankee Stadium has already created an uproar among die-hard Yankees fans who believe that the “sacred ground” could not possibly be turned into a parking garage and soccer field. Steinbrenner’s plan will also take over Macombs Dam Park in The Bronx, causing the need for additional expenses in the future as he will have to replace the park area taken over.

Hirschfeld has envisioned a plan that will expand the stadium to hold 72,000 people, 14,454 more individual seats than presently available, as well as add 70 luxury boxes, 20 more than the present developers can fit into the new model. His plan would also add a retractable roof, enabling games to be played regardless of weather conditions. The additional functionality of the stadium, paired with the additional luxury boxes available will far surpass the revenue projections of the proposed newer stadium. The corporate sponsorship of the additional 20 corporate suites alone would draw in an additional $7.8 million annually.

Hirschfeld also hopes to improve the general area surrounding Shea Stadium by creating a large covered boulevard connecting the stadium to the three new open-air parking garages as well as connecting the nearby shopping centers. This area houses one of the largest Latino markets in the world, and Hirschfeld wants to improve this area by covering it, adding trees and modernizing it.

In his improvements of Shea Stadium, Hirschfeld addresses all of the necessary changes for both the owners and the clients while doing it at 1/6 of the cost- none of which would increase taxes. Hirschfeld is also working on plans to expand on and improve the Javits Center to increase its functionality and hopefully house the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 New York Olympics. Should he be hired as developer for both sites, Hirschfeld says that he would be able to accomplish these tasks even less expensively, given the economies of scale for the products.

Bob C. Nicolaides

Cherry Hill, N.J.

Kerry A Crier

To The Editor:

Tom Barlow ( Gazette August 25) has the wrong target. President [George W.] Bush has revealed his military records, all of them. John Kerry has not revealed his military records. Kerry refuses to reveal 94 percent of his military records (which will probably show he was not ever in Cambodia, Christmas Day 1968, before Christmas, or after Christmas. He just keeps changing the story). Mr. Barlow should demand that Kerry reveal his records.

Further, Kerry supporters have used 527s to spend over $60,000,000 to attack Bush. The president took it like a man. He did not cry about the attacks. But when veterans attack Kerry, Kerry starts to whine; instead of answering the attacks, he tries to censor, threatens lawsuits. And his whining is caused by less than $2,000,000!

We do not need a whining cry-baby as president.

Al Volpe


World Gone Mad

To The Editor:

The word cancer was known and spoken of in hushed conversation when I was a child. Other diseases such as diabetes were an old person’s affliction. Jerry Lewis’ telethon raised money for children afflicted but hardly seen in public. The advent of the Salk vaccine ended years of terror for parents.

Yet today everyone knows of someone fighting the onslaught of a life threatening disease. It is almost if nature has turned on the human species. It is so common today to speak openly of another person falling victim that we hardly notice the insane numbers who are currently battling for their lives.

The strange reality about the human condition is that we see clearly in hindsight, rarely with foresight. The 9/11 Commission laid out chronologically terrorist attacks that indicated the attacks as predictable. Reviewing the historical record clarifies the probabilities of what the future may offer.

It appears that for all the luster that consumes us daily we have overlooked what may be nature’s means of combating an abusive human species. Global warming, HIV and the evolution of common bacteria to life threatening monstrosities shall result in illness and death suffered by all of humanity. Unfortunately new victims are claimed daily by diseases that seem ever more ravenous.

The threat confronts every human being. Only by recognition of the problem can an understanding of it begin to emerge. If ever there was a time that the peoples of the world should be working together to combat a universal concern, this is it. Perhaps the very fact that our world is so full of strife is the very reason that we are facing such an insidious assault.

Edward Horn


GOP Is Dying In Queens

To The Editor:

Feel free to use "Few Dem Incumbents Challenged In Primaries In Busy Election Year” by John Toscano (August 18th) again in your Thursday, November 4th edition when you can report on the General Election Results from Tuesday, November 2nd with the headline "All Queens Democratic Incumbents Sweep to Victory." I remember the days when John Toscano wrote a regular column for the New York Daily News. In those times, there really was a two party system in Queens and the rest of New York City. Sadly, it has been over two decades since Queens County Republicans offered Democrats any serious competition on the federal, state or city level.

I'm sure John would agree with my presentation on the past history of the Queens GOP [:] After the 1982 reapportionment, Democrats eliminated the districts of Queens GOP Assemblymembers Rosemary Gunning, John LoPresto, John Flack, Al DelliBovi and John Esposito.

Doug Prescott briefly held a seat in Bayside in the early 1990s but eventually lost--leaving NYC with one GOP Assemblymember, Robert Straniere of Staten Island.

Despite overwhelming Democratic Party enrollment in Queens County, creative gerrymandering by the GOP-controlled state Senate in 2002 preserved the seats of both Republican state Senators, Serphin Maltese and Frank Padavan. As their neighborhoods continue to change, once they retire both of these seats will fall to Democrats as there is also no minor league bench of other potential GOP candidates to hold the seats.

The last Republican Congressmember from Queens was Seymour Halperin who after the 1972 reapportionment declined to run against Democrat Lester Wolff of Great Neck when both were merged into one Queens/Nassau district.

Don't count on Governor [George] Pataki, Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg, former Mayor[Rudolph] Giuliani, New York State Republican Committee or the National GOP Congressional Campaign Committee to assist in raising any significant amount of funds for Queens GOP candidates. They are all investing their resources in other contests where GOP candidates have a chance of winning.

In 2001, the Queens GOP districts represented by former Councilmembers Mike Abel of Bayside and Anthony Stabile of South Ozone Park [were eliminated] leaving them with only Dennis Gallagher of Glendale. From a record citywide high of seven Republican City Councilmembers in the 1990s, the GOP delegation is down to three!

You would have to go back to the 1950s or earlier to find the last GOP Queens Borough President or District Attorney.

Crossover Democrats, who voted for former President [Ronald] Reagan in the 1980s, former Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s and Mayor Bloomberg in 2001 continue to move out of town, retire out of state or succumb to old age. There has been no successful GOP outreach to new Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian and other immigrant groups. Attempts to reach middle class African American homeowners in former GOP neighborhoods [have] failed.

For decades, once the GOP loses any incumbent City Council, state Assembly, state Senator or Congressional representative, they are never able to reclaim the district. Analysis of past election results revealed that both Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg had no coattails to elect any new GOP candidates from Democratic districts.

In far too many cases, the GOP is unable to even field a candidate -- let alone qualify them for ballot status. Just watch this coming summer the number of contests that have no Republican running. Too many candidates who make the ballot are really just placeholders going through the motions with no real funds to mount a serious challenge. When was the last time anyone found a local GOP candidate campaigning door to door on your block, greeted you on a street corner, sent out a mailing, ran a television commercial, spotted someone wearing their campaign button, had a bumper sticker on their car or viewed a lawn sign? Sorry, but in Queens winning the Democratic Party primary is a sure bet in November.

Queens Republicans are on the way to political extinction like the dinosaurs of old!


Larry Penner

Great Neck

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