A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Honorable Meenakshi Srinivasan
NYC Board of Standards and Appeals
40 Rector Street
New York, New York 10006-1705
Dear Madame Chair:
The RKO Keith’s Theater anchors Downtown Flushing and we are very excited a new and beautiful, world-class residential building will be the cornerstone and landmark of our community for generations to come. We also eagerly await to see the lobby of theirtheater restored to its former splendor and grandeur.
We sincerely thank you and everyone at the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals for your tireless work, valuable insight and endless cooperation over the past three years to make this day possible. The wisdom of your fellow commissioners along with the clear understanding of this project by your Executive Director Pat Pacifico, complemented your strong leadership.
The people and the future of Flushing are the ultimate winners today. You and your staff made every possible effort to make sure this project became the best it could be for our community, and we recognize and appreciate this. This project is a shining example of the enormous benefit a community receives when all parties work together for the common good.
It’s about time someone gives the BSA a compliment!
Chuck Apelian, P.E.
First Vice-Chairperson, Community Board 7
Chairman, RKO Keith’s Land Use Committee
Strike Hurt Everyone
To The Editor:
As I sit here and ponder the week that was [December 18 - 24], I still am quite perturbed over the transit strike. Nothing was accomplished after three days of this strike, TWU Local 100, lost $3 million in fines. In addition, the transit workers lost money for each day they were on strike and Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city lost $1 billion. I see nothing was gained as talks began again with the union and the MTA. Added to the fact this was an illegal strike. This strike also put the public at risk. To begin with the response time for ambulances and EMS workers did increase as they were trying to reach those that were seriously ill and needed to reach area hospitals, not to mention the scores of accidents with that many vehicles on the road. There was even a report that a fireman was seriously injured on his bike while riding to his firehouse, which was a direct result of the strike. Here is something else to think about. Consider this: how many poor parents that maybe couldn’t get to work might not be able to adequately provide for their children this Christmas and maybe a bare tree here and there and a poor child asking why?
All I can say is, I hope TWU President Roger Toussaint and his cohorts ought to be ashamed of themselves for their actions that caused a Blue Christmas for so many hard working New Yorkers. Like Mayor Bloomberg said, “for their own selfish reasons, the TWU has decided that their demands are more important than the law, the city and the people they serve. This is not only an affront to the concept of public service, it is a cowardly attempt by Roger Toussaint and the TWU to bring the city to its knees to create leverage for their own bargaining position.” Well Mr. Mayor, I wholeheartedly agree.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
To The Editor:
How delighted I am to write to your newspaper and express my words in an elated frame of mind. I am so pleased that the 3-day mass transit strike that crippled our hustling and bustling city and caused hardship to 7 million riders, is finally over. Although mediation behind closed doors has to take place, in order to hammer down a fair contract for the over 33,000 transit workers, the very fact that enmity and harsh angry feelings are over and instead of marching on the picket lines, these workers are running the most important trains and buses to me is the most precious Christmas and Chanukah gift for the season.
To me, unionists can achieve respect through arbitration, and mediation, not through anger and harsh rhetoric. We are glad you are back bus drivers and subway workers. The humming of the bus and the squeaking of the trains are now music to the ears of the weary transit riders.
Long Island City
Bleak Past, Grim Future
To The Editor:
Considering this year, it is hard to find reason for cheer. Many good and notable people died during the year, making headlines and bringing memories and tears. More subtle but far more devastating were the losses suffered as a result of wars, terrorist acts and failed policies. Not only here in the U.S. but worldwide victims are mourned as untimely deaths continue to mount.
The President recently estimated 30,000 Iraqis have perished as a result of the invasion. Over 2,100 American service personnel have been killed. Thousands have been maimed and will suffer permanent loss of body and function. A generation of wounded will impact their societies. The injuries suffered are not restricted to an individual but become a burden for families.
Suicide bombers heed a call few of us comprehend. Perhaps they will enter paradise but trailing them will be the deaths of many who simply ask why? The benefits achieved by harvesting innocent blood should be a curse that projects these delusional fanatics to the fires of hell. Hopefully their reward will be an eternity of torment.
The health of the nation is not good, nor [are] the prospects for the coming year. America is polarized, made more contentious due to deepening divisions over social issues and foreign policies. The Administration concerns civil libertarians who view the Bill of Rights under attack, usurpation by the executive of unrestrained power, and disdain for the checks and balances that have ensured the rule of law.
It is foolish to believe that the history of man does not include similar episodes of strife. Incumbent powers have always needed to protect themselves from internal and external threats. It is the measure of the true strength of a nation how it responds to times like these. Those who altered their identities, changed principles and denied their own history are no longer. Their only vestige is what can be swept from the sands. Though these are tough times for the U.S., the decisions made today will determine whether history will remember us as a nation that once was supreme or find us only as a memory.
Baldwin, New York