I saw the movie the Da Vinci Code and I like[d] it very much. Many religious people ask[ed] us not to see it, but are those the master of the brutes? They want to keep people in ignorance, they want to be the fathers. The terrible owner of the cattle.
No[t] me, I went to see the great movie three times. By the way, I do believe in Jesus and now, after see[ing] the movie I believe in him more than before. God made him as a man to know an[d] feel as such. He was not made asexual, because if he was, then he was not a man.
He was the greatest man that ever existed, although he was not God, but his son, he never said he was God. Sincerely, Ana Gloria Long Island City
Hails Crossing Guards A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette. Attention Officer Perez:
A couple of weeks ago I sent you a letter commending a School Crossing Guard. Her name is Helen. Every day she is courteous and professional while doing her job. I sent the letter so she could be recognized for her hard work and dedication. My hope was she would be informed of the compliment. I wanted her to know that she was appreciated by the parents of the neighborhood. So you can be aware again, her name is Helen and she works on the corner of 42nd Street and 30th Avenue. She should be recognized for her commitment to her job.
I would also like to take the time to commend Paula Kleva. She works on 43rd Street and 31st Avenue. She has to cover 6 different right of ways. It is hard enough to cover one intersection. Paula has to deal with much more than that. I think she could use some help there. She does an amazing job keeping the children safe. I think our children's safety is worth the cost of another crossing guard at that location. She should be highly praised for a job well done. Sincerely, Bob Boggs Astoria
Borders Protect Us To The Editor:
Here's the immigration issue in a nutshell. Everyone wants to come to the U.S.! Isn't everyone allowed to immigrate and do what they want? Isn't freedom what it's all about?
There is a cost for freedom and for us in the U.S. to be free we need an identity. What I mean is we can't all have different languages and cultural viewpoints.
We must all conform to some generalized identity which we might call Americanism. Why do we need this? We need to be Americanist so we can stand together on the matters which really count. Political demagogues and social engineers enjoy multiculturalism and no borders so they can control the masses.
To exist we must have laws. Laws come from God ("In God We Trust"). Eliminate this idea of God and law and we have an elected dictatorship. A majority of people can always be swayed (look at Hitler).
Borders protect our identity. Amnesty, guest workers, etc. are all to destroy our borders, identity and nation. For more information see www.jbs.org. Write your congressman. Sincerely, Vytautas Vileniskis Fresh Meadows
Got What They Deserve To The Editor:
I would like to applaud the guilty verdict of Kenneth Lay and Jefferson Skilling. These two men were greatly responsible for the collapse of Enron. What these men did was appalling, when you consider the fact that 5,600 employees lost their jobs plus [the[ $2.1 billion loss to the Enron employees' pension plans and in December 2001 Enron filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. A great many of these people worked for Enron for many years and now have nothing to show for it. This tells us to what extent their greed went. Let's hope this trial serves as a lesson to big business. Also remember this, greed will not rule the day as long as employees like Sherron Watkins step up to the plate and say this is wrong and whose actions try to make things right regardless of the consequences to themselves. For remember this: It is the good of the many that outweighs the good of the one. Sincerely yours, Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Bellerose
Seat Belts, Taxs And Sewers To The Editor:
It is a sad state of affairs that people neglect to buckle up and fasten their seat belts when driving or when they are passengers in a car, SUV or truck. I am glad that the seat belt law will be enforced and that it will cost $50 as a fine if this very important safety measure is violated or ignored. Human life is so important and car and truck and SUV accidents occur hurting, injuring and killing innocent people as well as drivers and passengers of the vehicle with the violator of the seat belt law.
Also I am glad that the governor will put a cap on the eight percent gasoline tax beginning June 1. That will cost [sic] the drivers a savings of about $4 million. More mass transit should be promoted.
In addition, Peter Vallone Jr. is so right that the sewer treatment plant in Astoria is causing noxious odors that are harmful. We must protect the health, safety and financial stability of all New Yorkers. All of these measures described above will do so. Cynthia Groopman Long Island City
America's Youth-Wake Up To The Editor:
I am an Astorian born and bred who now lives in Europe. I have lived in Italy, England, Ireland, and have travelled through most of Europe and several Gulf countries. I do business with people in over 90 countries on a daily basis. I am writing this mail based on my experience. I consider myself a "Global" American.
It is not hard to see how and why Senator [Hillary Rodham] Clinton made her remarks about young people. As a former Staff Sergeant who served 11 years in the U.S. Air Force, the young Americans I have come across, either being tourists or students, have for the most part no idea about Europeans or the countries they live in. Americans in the military are a small minority of the American population in Europe, and their idea of why they are in Europe is different to the student and tourist.
The tourist and students have ideals, which sadly are that America is the biggest and best of everything, and this portrays America in a negative light. The impression that Europeans have of Americans is of people who don't want or to try to want to understand other world people or cultures. I find that more people outside of the U.S. have a better understanding and acceptance of others throughout the world than Americans.
I try to explain to others that America is a country where people don't have to travel outside of to experience deserts, tropical islands, nature and wilderness, and theme parks. I try to explain that Americans have a belief that if you work hard enough, you can do anything you want to; it's all down to you. Most Europeans like Americans (not the present government policies) and feel that America and Americans have a lot to offer the rest of the world, outside of Hollywood, and would like to see America pursue topics such as World Hunger, Aids, Debt, instead of iPods and mobile phones.
So you see, the American youth seen in Europe are a reflection of the culture we present, rather than the well informed, caring face of America.
I hope you understand that Senator Clinton was not far off the mark by her comments, and it should be seen as a wake up call for the youth of America to see and understand those outside of the U.S. borders. Regards, Phil De Monte Technical Account Manager Dell, EMEA Enterprise Expert Centre
A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette. Dear John Young and Beatrice Ammann, NYC Dept of City Planning:
At its meeting May 25th, the West Flushing Civic Association voted unanimously to oppose the city's Rezoning Plan for parts of Flushing south of Sanford Avenue and east of Kissena Boulevard.
Flushing residents are seeking relief from overcrowding, traffic gridlock, inadequate parking, overcrowded schools, and pollution. Your recommendation to upzone is a slap in the face and a kick in the behind for Flushing residents.
The only people who will benefit are investors who have bought up homes with the intention of knocking them down and building as densely as they possibly can. They may be renting them out now, waiting for the right time to build, especially if they have parcels that you designated for upzoning. For the people living here, this plan to increase overdevelopment is an assault on quality of life, which has already deteriorated in recent years.
Astonishingly, your recommendation calls for upzoning of both residential districts and commercial overlays, in some cases quite drastic, with density increases exceeding 150 percent FAR, floor-area ratio. This is unacceptable.
There is no residential or commercial downzoning in this plan. However, we view the changes from R3-2 to R3X and from R6 to R6A as positive because they provide some control and restriction on construction, albeit at a cost.
According to the information that you provided, the R3X permits only oneand two-family detached homes, and therefore would not allow construction of row houses as would the R3-2. However, there is a tradeoff because smaller lot sizes are permitted. R6A would limit building height to 70 feet, whereas the existing R6 does not limit height. The downside here is an increase in FAR. Although they do not constitute downzoning, these proposed changes were viewed favorably.
However, these improvements would be greatly overshadowed by the devastation that would result from implementing the other aspects of this proposal.
Our objections to the Waldheim-Holly Zoning Study draft recommendations include the following:
1) The plan subverts any attempt to create a uniform neighborhood character by cutting up existing monozoned areas into fragments that contain various levels of upzoning. The new zoning would often allow large buildings to be constructed next door or across the street from areas zoned for oneand twofamily homes.
2) The plan proposes upzoning (more dense living space, less available parking, less open space), whereas residents want downzoning (less dense living space, more available parking, more open space). Upzoning will also lead to more pedestrian and vehicular traffic, more pollution, more garbage, increased demands on our sewer system and water supply, and will worsen school overcrowding.
3) The plan fails to correct the zoning blunders of the early 1960s, when areas were zoned to encourage development in anticipation of a huge population explosion that never took place. Many areas that were zoned R7 and R6 then should be downzoned now, but the plan does not propose to do that.
4) The plan provides no incentive to build affordable housing. Increases in FAR could be contingent upon construction of affordable housing in areas that permit multiple dwellings, as is now done for community facilities. Instead, the city is giving developers blank checks, which will result in the continued glut of luxury condos and continued severe shortage of affordable housing. Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg has said that there is a great need for affordable housing; here is an opportunity to do something about it.
5) The plan provides an arguable "benefit" to some, at great expense to others. However, it could be argued that no residents would benefit from this plan. For example, it is not desirable to own a detached one-family home across the street or a block away from apartment buildings with inadequate parking whose residents will be circling through the neighborhood grabbing up street parking, etc. What good is it to have your property zoned the way you want it, if you are surrounded by properties whose zoning would allow dense multiple dwellings that provide inadequate parking? A property's zoning designation affects not only the property owner, but the quality of life for all who live in the community.
No Flushing resident will be better off if this plan goes through and destroys the community.
This plan, which you call the WaldheimHolly Zoning Study draft recommendations, was kept secret from the public until May 9th, when it was revealed by City Planning at a meeting held at New York HospitalQueens.
As you know, I had requested information about the plan under the Freedom of Information Act on April 27th after weeks of repeated "informal" requests were ignored.
I am still waiting for City Planning to comply with the law. The public has the right to know what's going on here and why.
Our unanimous rejection speaks for itself. Richard Jannaccio President, West Flushing Civic Association
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