As we kick off the start of summer this Memorial Day with picnics, barbecues and out-of-town trips, it's important that we remember to make responsible choices when celebrating, such as drinking responsibly and designating a driver or skipper. You'll be joining the more than 146 million American adults who have either been or used a designated driver.
When we choose safety first, we not only help keep our roads and waterways safe, we do our part to prevent drunk driving. In fact, because of efforts like these, along with effective law enforcement and community-based alcohol awareness and education programs, Memorial Day drunk-driving fatalities are down 33 percent since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Let's do our part to drive drunk-driving fatalities lower by making responsible choices this Memorial Day weekend. We can all make a difference in the fight against drunk driving. Remember, Responsibility Matters! Sincerely, C.A. Verdon Consumer Awareness & Education Coordinator Anheuser-Busch Sales & Service Of New York, Inc.
'Free Ride' Isn't Free To The Editor:
In last week's letter to the editor, Mr. [Robert] Chandler complains about immigrants in his letter titled "Immigrants Get Free Ride" (Queens Gazette, May 10, 2006).
In a way, he is at least partially right because according to the military, over 37,000 non-citizens are in the military. Many of them got a free ride to Iraq. In Iraq, many of them got to ride free in humvees. And some got a free ride home to heartbroken families. Immigrants are just like everybody else, hard working, family people trying to do the right thing, even if it means putting their life on the line.
Instead of picking on poor immigrants trying to get by on public assistance he should complain at how wealthy U.S. corporations get a free ride with billions of taxpayers' dollars in subsidies and tax breaks courtesy of politicians who are all 100% U.S. citizens. Bill Hagel Woodside Not A Spectator Sport To The Editor:
As you may know, our elected Assemblyman in our 22nd Assembly District is not running for re-election. It has come to our attention in the press and elsewhere that he is designating his daughter as his candidate to succeed. I understand Councilman John Liu may have other ideas and he is designating his chef of staff for the position. Another of our district leaders may designate himself to run and has raised more than $100,000, much of it from outof-district sources.
As president of the Democratic Club of Flushing, I have this to say: Politics is not a spectator sport. We are not here to buy tickets to watch the game these people are playing. Politics is meant to be a participatory procedure. Representation should be the heart and soul of a democracy even in this specially created 22nd District. The Democratic Club of Flushing is the oldest club in the downtown area, having represented all the people of Flushing for more than 35 years. We are proud to be associated with Ethel Chen, our district leader, Eddie Abrams, the state committeeman, and Loretta Z. Weiss, the state committeewoman, all of whom we are supporting for re-election in the primary on September 12.
This club meets regularly each month and has approximately 50 people coming to each meeting, many of whom are active citizens who lead civic and tenant associations. We mail our bulletin to 200 people almost all of whom live in this district. I hear John Liu met last week with business people from downtown to introduce his candidate and try to gain support. Most of them do not live in this district.
We have no intention of supporting any candidate who will not seek the support of the entire Flushing community. The active and engaged citizens of this district, in its clubs and in its civic associations, should be outraged that their opinions are not sought. This district needs leadership that will try to bring the community together and put forth an agenda that will serve the needs of all its citizens. I do not see that happening now. Sally E. Kahn President Democratic Club of Flushing
Hails P.S. 94 To The Editor:
It was once rightly said, "Stop and smell the roses," which I did the other day. As we travel on our busy schedules we sometimes miss what's really important. In that vein we don't often commend others for a job well done. Now, I, for one, would like to do exactly that. For in my travels on Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck I must have passed P.S. 94 also known as The David Porter School maybe hundreds of times, and it just amazes me how the grounds are maintained. The other day my wife Eva and myself were out walking in Little Neck, so I really looked at the school and saw how beautifully the school grounds were kept, not to mention how green the grass is today. And another thing I noticed was how well the playground was kept and how safe it looked. It was as though much care is taken to provide for the safety of the children. I have to applaud the custodial staff for a job well done.
But the quality of the school just doesn't stop at the grounds but what goes on within and that is the quality of education. I understand from those I have spoken to who say this school is excellent. Matter of fact, around this time of year I always see posted on the windows and walls of the Scobee Grill on Little Neck Parkway essays and art work which is promoted by the Memorial Day Parade committee to the local schools and dedicated to those who gave their lives and who are remembered on Memorial Day. And one of these schools is P.S. 94, whose students have made it for quite a number of years, and who have won awards for their work. As I went to the Internet tonight to learn more about the school, I saw Mrs. JoAnn Barbeosch, the principal, and her mission statement which reads as follows:
"Our school logo reads, 'We take pride in learning, and this is our mission at P.S. 94. We try to enrich the learning experience of each child through high expectations, relevant content and stimulating instruction. And judging from our performance on standardized tests, we succeed.'"
To the principal, teachers and the custodial staff, I say kudos for caring for the children. Sincerely yours Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Bellerose
Accentuate The Positive To The Editor:
I applaud two very positive articles that appeared in the May 10, 2006 issue of the Gazette. Both show how working together in a spirit of cooperation will create good will, positiveness, and a better borough and city for all people.
I was impressed about how volunteers cleaned up Astoria Park. Parks are for fun and for delighting in nature's glory on a spring and summer day. Volunteerism is wonderful and to clean up a park and to help make the park a lovely place for all makes me glow. This shows how all can get together and help create a beautiful environment.
In addition, I applaud the City Council and [Speaker] Ms. [Christine] Quinn for caring about libraries, senior citizens and other important things in the discretionary budget that were left out by the mayor. These services bring literacy, reading, computer use and ESL to people of all ages. In addition, senior citizens' services are the reason for living for the elderly. Working together, the council can create a positive plan that will benefit all New Yorkers. Thanks, Gazette, for caring and for publishing articles that show positiveness in this time where the negative is very often accentuated. Cynthia Groopman Long Island City
Sheriff Has Solution To The Editor:
Sheriff Webster of Oregon was interviewed on the Savage Nation WOR Radio show last night (May 15) and told how he had a partial solution to the illegal immigrant problem. Yes, the illegal problem and not the immigrant problem, as so many have wrongfully stated.
The sheriff has 100 cells occupied by illegal immigrants who have committed murder, rape and other crimes. He has room for another 125 but he doesn't have funds for them. It costs $64 a day for one inmate. The town does not have additional funds to accommodate any more.
What Sheriff Webster has done is write to President Vincente Fox of Mexico, asking him to pay for the illegal inmates in his jail. He sent the letter in February and so far he has not received an answer.
"I know I'm on the right track," the sheriff told Michael Savage, "but I need more support from others."
Unquestionably Sheriff Webster is on the right track and he should be given every possible help. Sincerely, John Favicchio Flushing
Refutes Da Vinci Code To The Editor:
The great Leibniz held that every book has some value. Nonetheless, I can't see how any Christian-Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant-could on balance benefit from reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code as Frederick R. Bedell suggests (April 6).
Mr. Bedell writes that, after all, it's only fiction. So is the infamous "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". Other essential differences aside, the intent of both works is the same, viz, the deception of Masses of gullible people (aka boobs).
Only fiction? Mr. Bedell himself proves that not to be the case. In fact, he tells us "That the ideas that the book suggests will not go away," for instance, "whether women ought to be ordained priests." (Perhaps it is telling that the only person he quotes in his letter is a female Episcopal Minister.)
Question: How can a work of fiction, based on sloppy research, misleading "evidence" and plain falsification change an essential teaching of the Catholic Church, a doctrine defended by at least five Successors of Peter in the last 100 years? Dan Brown's "suggestive ideas" overrule 2,000 years of the sacred tradition of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Sure.
Look, anyone seeing the lowdown on the "Code" can read The Da Vinci Hoax by Carol E. Olson and Sandra Miesel. You won't find it on the usual best-seller lists. The fact that Brown's book has been on those lists for over two years brings to mind H.L. Mencken's dictum: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the American public. Sincerely, B. Cerutti Elmhurst
Principal's Reputation To The Editor:
In every community across America there are people who make a difference every day. In our Astoria community we have many of these people but one in particular needs our support, and that is Mary Kojes, principal of P.S. 122, here in Astoria.
Ms. Kojes is the best principal any school could hope to have. Her hard work is what has made P.S. 122 the outstanding school it is today. Hundreds of phone calls come in during the year from parents trying to find out how they can enroll their children in P.S. 122. Awards and commendations are just a part of what goes on at P.S. 122 on a daily basis. There is an atmosphere of learning that is certainly the envy of all who witness it. The staff and volunteers who give their all to the kids every day know the truth.
Right now there are people who want to hurt Mary Kojes' reputation. Many of the parents of children who attend P.S. 122 want it known that we support Ms. Kojes and we will continue to support her in the future. Name Withheld By Request Astoria