2009-07-29 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Zoning Plans Need Work To The Editor:

The New York City Department of City Planning is nearing the end of their study regarding the contextual rezoning of Central and Southern Auburndale. Some preliminary plans have been put forward by this city agency and some meetings have already been held by Councilmember Tony Avella, and Community Board 11 in concert with local civic groups. The plans look promising; however, there are still several major issues that need to be addressed from my point of view as a vice president of the Auburndale Improvement Association, one of the oldest civic organizations in the city.

There is an area in the Station Road neighborhood currently designated as a manufacturing zone. The auto service dealerships that have been operating there for an extended period of time have not been good neighbors to the surrounding residents and my colleagues at the Station Road Civic Association along with other community leaders would like to see this manufacturing zone replaced with a residential designation. That would mean that as these businesses leave the area or go out of business, they could be replaced by new single- and two-family homes that should match the residential character of that community. A manufacturing zone does not belong in the middle of a residential area like the Station Road community. Other, even more undesirable, businesses could locate there, creating even more problems for the area. It needs to be changed.

Another issue that has been raised by civic associations for decades is the concern that single-family attached homes do not have an appropriate zoning designation among all of the designations in the City Planning arsenal of zones. In Auburndale, as in many areas of Queens, there are many blocks of beautiful attached singlefamily residences that merit their own special, protective designation. Designations that City Planning are currently using for these areas like R3-2 and R4 do not fit the characteristics of those areas. Those designations apply to many types of housing, including multifamily ones and encourage higher density development. Many civic leaders across the borough have been urging a new "rowhouse" designation for years; however, none has been forthcoming. Isn't it about time that a designation is developed and adopted for this type of residential use?

A third concern with the preliminary rezoning plan is that certain recommendations made by City Planning could be improved upon to ensure that discrete areas are correctly zoned based on the preponderance of housing stock in those areas. The Auburndale Improvement Association and other civic groups will insist that all areas be zoned to ensure that neighborhoods receive as much protection as possible to preserve neighborhood integrity and stability.

A final big concern are commercial overlays along major thoroughfares like Northern Boulevard. Approximately one mile of Northern Boulevard in the Auburndale and Station Road areas have no commercial overlays and we would like to keep it that way. Civic groups and others feel it would be in the best interests of the community to leave the variances that currently control the businesses in those areas. This would afford more community input into how these businesses would be allowed to operate as these variances come up for renewal. Additionally, protective covenants that affect parts of the area prohibit commercial overlays.

The Auburndale Improvement Association as well as neighboring civic and community groups will continue to fight to ensure that the proposed rezoning of Auburndale and the other communities involved in the plan including Station Road, Kissena Park, Oakland Gardens and Hollis Hills are rezoned fairly and correctly based on each individual neighborhood. We want this plan enacted as soon as possible in order to curb inappropriate development and overdevelopment in our communities. Henry Euler First Vice President Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc.

Obama Enables Adversaries

To The Editor:

President [Barack] Obama damaged the CIA when he released memos describing the enhanced interrogation techniques"used on high level terrorists. He weakened the CIA when he said he would release photographs showing abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, but then under pressure he decided not to release the photos.

This is typical flip flop behavior by the administration, hold a press conference, berate and expose people for political purposes, profess it is about change and transparency, and then back off and shift positions when called to task for inept decisions that hurt the country.

The weakening of the CIA will have serious adverse consequences for the gathering, analysis and dissemination of intelligence.

CIA officers will be looking over their shoulders at blabbermouth administration officials and Congress, will not trust them, and will be more concerned with covering themselves than doing their jobs. Plus rogue countries and terrorist organizations have gained valuable information from the release of the memos.

President Obama's lack of national security experience, poor judgment, and appeasement philosophy are hurting us. He is undermining our intelligence apparatus and enabling our adversaries, and our country is less safe under his watch.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire

Hold Special Election

To The Editor:

With the Tony Seminerio seat up for grabs, wouldn't it be wise for the Governor to call a special election that would be held on Primary Day?

In addition to saving money, the polls and workers would be there for the primaries, it would mean an automatic Dem victory to fill the primary

the Republicans don't have any primaries in the Assembly District involved in the Ozone Park- Seminerio bailiwick). They will almost automatically vote for the Democratic choice on the ballot for Assemblyman.

Another victory for Hi-Ho Silver, away. Very truly yours,
Kenneth Lloyd Brown
Forest Hills

Don't Rap Carrozza

To The Editor:

Who is this vilified Ann Carrozza I keep reading about in the Daily News—no less than nine articles, editorials, and cartoons, etc., most with her picture and sarcastic titles—in just the past 20 days? What could she have possibly done to merit such negative attention? Is she one of those officials who has recently pled guilty to a crime and resigned, or starting a jail term? Has she been indicted for slashing someone's face or some other violent act? Was she forced to resign in a sex scandal or for using state police as illegal spies? Did she arrogantly change the law to run for another term, or recently threaten to "arrest" the state senate for defying her will, like a third-world despot, desperately trying to cling to power? Is she accused of "incompetence"? No, to all of the above! Carrozza's alleged offense seems to be only that she had—briefly—moved from Bayside to Nassau County, but now has returned here!

Having read all the "coverage" of Ann and her family in the Daily News during the past three weeks—and that which has followed in the local weekly press—I am not convinced Carrozza is guilty of anything other than some bad judgment. In the 13 years since Ann was first elected as our local Assembly representative, I have always found Ann responsive to our local concerns—so much so that the East Bayside Homeowners Association, Inc. awarded her with one of our Community Service Awards several years ago. She and her staff have been prompt to my E.B.H.A. calls or letters regarding our state-jurisdiction concerns or occasional requests for a meeting. While I am a Republican and she is a Democrat, I have none the less voted for Ann several times, due to her work for us.

Neither Ann nor anyone else has asked me to write this letter, and indeed I am not a close personal friend of hers. I remain impressed, however, by what I see as her warmth and sincerity, as per the Easter plant left on my porch a few years ago, signed "Ann", and her attendance at the jam-packed fundraiser for the Hilsdorf family at Sacred Heart Church four months ago, where I introduced Ann (and Senator [Frank] Padavan and [City Councilmember] Candidate [Dan] Halloran) to the family members!

Hey, Daily News editors, where is your perspective? Do you even know how many Americans died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past week? Concentrate on tragedies like those, and end your obvious vendetta against Ann Carrozza a "story" which hasn't appeared even once in the Times, the Post, or Newsday! Respectfully,
Frank Skala
East Bayside Homeowners Association

Need More Bridges

To The Editor:

With the recent [emergency] closure of the Throgs Neck Bridge, it has become increasingly apparent for the need for other crossings between Queens and The Bronx.

I have submitted my suggestions to MTA officials. These new crossings will not only alleviate traffic nightmares of the future but provide current employment for so many laid-off workers .

The new Flushing Bay Bridge will get northbound only drivers swiftly from College Point to Hunts Point, while the Long Island Sound Bridge will merrily have travelers rolling along southbound only from their City Island lobsters to the manors of Douglaston.

Simultaneously, the triple crown project will include our jewel of the Nile, the East River, with the completion of the A-Rod Tunnel. Commuters will be singing,"Take Me Out To The Ballgame", as they whisk from Citi Field to the new Yankee Stadium and back.

Not to omit our Brooklyn neighbors, those residents will rejoice in the planned construction of the Dodger Parkway connecting the Verrazano and Brooklyn Bridges so commuters can drive in circles.
Mark Lane
Little Neck

They Weren't Good Old Days

To The Editor:

"Idlewild opens, Subway Fare Doubles In July 1948" (July 22) was a great trip down memory lane. Continuing forward, in 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the '60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The governor appointed four board members. Likewise, the mayor four more and the rest by suburban county executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary such as New York City Transit would do a good job. When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed-- everyone could put up their hands. "Don't blame me, I'm only a minority within the Board. Decade after decade, NYC mayors, comptrollers, public advocates, city council presidents, borough presidents and city councilmembers would all play the same sad song-- if only we had majority control of the Board, things would be different.

All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the city of New York and New York City Transit is an escape clause. NYC has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which include the subway and most of the bus system as well. Actions speak louder than words. If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nation's largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?

Before anyone starts complaining about last month's MTA fare increase, consider: since the fare was doubled in 1948 the average cost of riding either the bus, subway or commuter rail has gone up at a lower rate than either the consumer price index or inflation. Prior to the MetroCard, which affords a free transfer between bus and subway, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing either a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Thousands of employers offer Transit-Chek, which pays even more of your costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You'll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Pans Bam's Health Plan

To The Editor:

President [Barack] Obama last night [July 22] was pitching to the American people the national health plan that is in Congress and he says is good for the country and for most Americans. I, like some Americans, hold a great deal of trepidation for the plan. To begin with, the cost is too high and I think the government will have more control over our lives and that would be completely unacceptable. Furthermore, this plan would restrict access to medical treatment in a timely manner and that would further endanger lives. I think if the author of 1984, George Orwell, was still alive, he might say, "I told you so."
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Likes Star-Journal Recaps

To The Editor:

I wish to commend the Gazette, and the Greater Astoria Historical Society, for periodically publishing the Queens history vignettes. They are enjoyable and informative, and I look foward to reading them. Sincerely,
John J. Cox

Why Not Repave Once?

To The Editor:

I live on 30th Ave[nue] in East Elmhurst, Queens.

The DOT (Department of Transportation) ripped up the whole avenue from the BQE to 97st [Street] six weeks ago to repave it.

Why don't they pave it the next day?

The road is a hazard to drive on, not to mention my car bottoms out every time I leave my driveway.

How can they get away with this? It's very dangerous.
Thank you.
Craig Simpson
East Elmhurst

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