2005-07-20 / Editorials


Bloomberg AWOL On All To the Editor:

Mike Bloomberg is AWOL on President [George W.] Bush, AWOL on the War on Terror, and AWOL on the Republican Party. Again!!!

“Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war.

“Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.

“Conservatives see the United States as a great nation involved in a noble cause of self defense.

“Liberals are concerned with what our enemies will think of us and whether every government approves of our action,” thundered presidential advisor, Karl Rove

Clear, concise and accurate!

“Mayor Bloomberg—in a statement—seemed to chastise the political adviser...” —New York Sun

“We owe it to those we lost to keep partisan politics out of the discussion,” whined, wimped, and squeaked our “Republican” mayor. Mike Bloomberg, as he, once again, failed to support President [George W.] Bush and failed to support the Republican Party.

Duh! What have the Democrats been doing since 9/11? Playing partisan politics with the war on terror and the lives of U.S. military personnel! And the reaction from RINO [Republican In Name Only] Mike Bloomberg? The silence is deafening!

No Mr. Bloomberg, as Karl Rove implied, "we owe it to those we lost" to identify our enemies and destroy them.

“We owe it to those we lost”, and to the citizens of NYC to elect a mayor that understands this!

On September 13 elect the real Republican—Tom Ognibene for NYC Mayor—our values, our experiences, our ambitions. One of us!

Ognibene for New York! www.ognibeneforny.com.

P.M. Hurley

Via e-mail

GAHS Thanks Vallone

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

Hon. Peter F. Vallone, Jr.

Council Member, 22nd District

22-45 31st Street

Astoria, NY 11105

Dear Councilmember Vallone,

On behalf of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, thank you for the funding you secured for us in fiscal year 2005.

Over this past year, your financial support has been an integral part of our Long Island City Forum Program Series. These programs included lectures, slide presentations, videos and walking tours. Our topics included everything from the Long Island City Courthouse, the Lent Riker Homestead to the Civil War.

The highlight of the year was a special program and exhibit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. In this program, World War II veterans shared their experiences during the war. We were able to locate veterans representing all branches of the Armed Forces as well as veterans who worked on the home front. One local veteran from Ravenswood is a survivor from D Day and the Battle of the Bulge. He is also a French Medal Of Honor recipient. The home front category included Henry Steinway and Stanley Pollack (who worked at the Army Signal Corps (prior to the Kaufman Astoria Studios). The following week, we invited the 7th and 8th grade class from Most Precious Blood School to meet the veterans. At the end of the program it was an incredible experience to see these children thank these veterans for what they did during the war.

It is only through your support that the Greater Astoria Historical Society can remain open to the public to share our history and heritage to those in our community. Thank you for your benevolence and belief in our worthiness to the community.


Bob Singleton


Greater Astoria Historical Society

Park Bubble Protest Goes On…

Copies of the following letters were received by the Gazette

Mr. Kenneth S. Lewison, P.E.

19-30 Astoria Park South

Astoria, NY 11105

Dear Mr. Lewison:

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your opposition to the proposed construction of bubbles for the tennis courts in Astoria Park. Your opinion is valuable to me.

The idea for the tennis bubbles originated with the Parks Department. Like you, I oppose the use of our park for this purpose. However, we need to continue to work together to ensure that the project does not move forward, as the Parks Department can build the bubbles despite the opposition of the community and its elected officials.

Again, thank you for writing and I look forward to working with you to keep Astoria Park beautiful.

Very truly yours,

Peter F. Vallone Jr.

City Councilmember


…And On

Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr.

22-45 31st St.

Astoria, NY 11105

Dear Mr. Vallone:

Receipt of your letter dated June 27, 2005 is acknowledged.

Your opposition to the subject Request For Proposals is most gratifying. In addition, your admirable suggestion of working together provides encouragement and determination to intercept and prevent an obdurate Parks & Recreation [Department] (P&R) from invading and despoiling our park.

The revealing comment in your letter that P&R can build the bubbles, despite the opposition of both the community and its elected officials, raises a grave and ominous state of affairs. Where are the checks and balances we need to afford a just and necessary protection from the apparently omnipotent power granted to P&R when it sees fit to abandon its mandated role of bestowing largess and the caretaking of our parks? Please do not think I have anything but ultimate respect for the work and dedication of both our elected and appointed officials for their public service to the city.

If all relationships between city agencies and local communities suffer the same vulnerable dynamic, where a city agency “listens” but is able to pronounce judgment unilaterally against clear official and community opposition, then where is our hope to act on your own behalf when we believe action by P&R will hurt our community? We have no vote; our voices are muted by the unchecked power of P&R. Yes, they may, in other circumstances and non-controversial issues fulfill their service and obligation, for which we are most appreciative.

This problem is representative that for future issues which arise between agencies and a local community a change in the regulatory process is of ultimate importance. This gross imbalance brings us back to the question:” Where are the checks and balances to restrain the absolute power able to be imposed by P&R and/or any city agency as you so rightly expressed in your letter of June 27?

I would like to strongly bring to your attention that the June 22, 2005 letter from Community Board 1 did not include issues of security and safety that were brought up during its meeting by a community resident who had the foresight to contact the MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] regarding security of the Triborough Bridge. This issue, quite clearly from his comment, deserves further review and attention. Also, a cursory site review reveals a path extending from 21st Street along the north side of the tennis courts to the running track. With the proposed P&R bubbles in place, a hidden corridor with the bubbles on one side and the Triborough Bridge anchorage on the other will be created. The anchorage serves to restrain the cables that support the bridge roadway. Note also, the interior of the bubbles will provide a shielded, closed space not visible from the exterior. Prior to 9/11, this would not have been a critical concern. An additional safety concern with bubble construction is the need for emergency equipment utilizing flammable fuel. This is necessary to maintain the required internal air pressure to prevent the collapse of the bubbles in the event of a power failure by Consolidated Edison and deserves further attention and exploration.

Councilmember Vallone, as chairman of the Public Safety Committee serving the City Council, is it not incumbent upon you, in a most vociferous, strident voice, to conduct adequate and transparent hearings and to crush the railroading to install tennis bubbles over 11 of the 14 courts in our park? Attached is a news item [copy was not included] from The Wall Street Journal Thursday, June 30, “A Monumental Task of Security and Aesthetics” by Catesby Leigh which provides credence to demand the permanent withdrawal of this project, on security issues alone.

If you and our community do not prevail in this battle we will truly be under the Sword of Damacles.


Kenneth S. Lewison, P.E.

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