2010-06-23 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Proposition 14 Is Model To The Editor:

California’s Proposition 14 could very well be a model for all 50 states in ending the partisan divide in government at the state level, thereby ending the immobilization of our elected officials in carrying out the will of the people. The proposition was approved on June 8, 2010 and will take effect in 2012.

Briefly, Proposition 14 opens up primary elections to all registered voters, regardless of their party affiliation. It is essentially a voter nominated primary election. The top two winners of the voting will then have a runoff. Political parties would be barred from nominating candidates for the elections, but could support those nominated by the public at large.

The stalemate in New York state government, and nationally, is clearly delineated along party lines, with party members obviously reluctant to deviate from their party mandate. It is unlikely that members of any one party share identical viewpoints on every single issue, yet they stick together on every issue. The consequences of crossing party lines can result in party in-fighting in Albany and the possibility of being ostracized—or worse. In this scenario, where is the will of the people taken into consideration? Our elected officials have lost sight of a government by the people and for the people. Government has become a power play among those in office and New Yorkers would likely be open to an alternative to the current status quo.

Opening up the primaries and allowing every registered person to vote may provide the opportunity to break the back of inaction on the part of our elected officials. All Democrats vote with their party as do Republicans with theirs, but with the possibility of a more moderate elected official in charge with no direct party affiliation to the Democrats or Republicans, perhaps something can be accomplished in government. A proposition such as this would also send a message to Albany that the people want—and deserve—something more.

Regarding Proposition 14, only time will tell as to whether it will make a difference. America should keep an eye on developments in California, with a dose of cautious optimism.
Klea Theoharis

Denied His Rights

To The Editor:

My name is Anthony Gallo. I am the N.Y. Post Liberty Medal Award Winner “Courage” 2003 for attacking and capturing a NYC subway slasher. Shortly after, I wrote a book called A Father’s Right.

I never could have imagined that my daughter would one day be ripped out of my life and legally kept away from me. For years, I went up against a biased and dysfunctional legal system, Family Court, which claims to have “the best interest of the children” in mind, yet has no consideration for fathers. My simple response to the flawed system’s claim is that it takes two parents to serve the “Best Interest Of The Children”.

This story is about my fight for compassion and justice. It’s about the startling and damaging effects of “Parent Alienation” on both my daughter and I.

Ultimately, this book is a testament of my love for my beautiful little girl, with whom I often daydream of meeting again. I also wrote about the Liberty Medals, with pictures.

As a result of my experiences with NYC and its Family Court system, I returned all the awards that I received for my heroism [from the] N.Y. Post, the John Walsh Show “Hometownhero” and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Anthony Gallo

Keep China Out

To The Editor:

The announcement that Afghanistan is wealthy with natural resources worth billions should be cause for rejoicing. The Afghans now allegedly have the means to bring their nation into the 21st century. For the U.S. taxpayers there is the hope that Afghanistan can economically stand on its own.

The factions tearing Afghanistan apart will assuredly fight for a share of the bounty. Lacking a meaningful central government, privateers armed to the teeth will descend like vultures. The warlords who have been part of the landscape of the ravaged country will now lay claim to whatever part of the wealth their private armies can grab. The Taliban will fight for part of the pile, replenishing their coffers currently dependent upon the drug trade.

Russia, that invested so much and lost terribly must view this new-found wealth with frustration and anger. Having paid so dearly for no gain, some in Russia may believe they are due their fair share.

The nation that will pose the most troublesome for Afghanistan and dangerous to the U.S. will be China. China has been on a worldwide buying binge of natural resources. Africa has become a cookie jar for China, selling them its natural resources for discounted prices while surrendering governance of affected areas.

With Afghanistan in China’s neighborhood, the temptation to seek power and influence will be too powerful to avoid. The Chinese will seek dominance, replacing the U.S. while blocking Russian interests. In the end, the price the former Soviet Union and presently the U.S. has paid to tame Afghanistan may be the prize China holds.
Edward Horn
Baldwin, New York

Bukharians’ Kind Act

To The Editor:
On June 3, an elderly man was leaning
over his broken seat cart near the Post
Office, unable to walk. What moved me to
tears was that nobody came to help him! I
approached him and he told me his seat
cart broke and he couldn’t walk without it.
Now, how could I help him?
I saw the Bukharian Center across the
street and decided to get help there, even
though he could hardly walk there. I held
his hand, throbbing from intense blood
pressure, and we slowly, step-by-step with
the broken cart, made it to the center,
because every car stopped to help us cross.
Arriving, we found all doors were locked
but one, slowly opened and a man emerged
and I told him of the man’s problem. He
immediately gave him his cellphone to call
home, which he did, and he told us his
wife would come to get him in a taxi and
bring him home
When I left, the man kissed my hand
and said, “Thank You” and “Stay Well”.
The man at the Bukharian Center
deserves a special thanks for bringing a
happy ending to this disabled man’s almost
tragic day. He showed compassion to a
pitiful stranger without being asked. May
he be helped some day with the same compassion
he showed to this disabled person.

N Kelly
Forest Hills

Steinway St. Memories

To The Editor:

I lived in Astoria for over 50 years. I read some of the Steinway Street nostalgia articles and started to reminisce about the many times I spent on Steinway Street, going back to when I was a little girl in the 1950s.

Here’s my list of favorite places and some trivia:

Sokol’s– This store used to be pretty much where Yogi Lala is now. I was about 10 years old and my mother and I went into Sokol’s to get a greeting card. My father and baby brother remained outside. While intently reading the cards, the owner came in the back and asked us to leave right away. We started to see smoke come from the walls. My mother threw the cards up in the air and we ran out. In minutes the whole place was filled with smoke. The owner crawled back in on his hands and knees to retrieve, I think, the cash register. The fire spread rapidly and big crowds gathered. I don’t remember if it was Sokol’s or a toy store next door but I do remember a lot of toys starting to fall, particularly a Patty Play Pal (remember those life size dolls that you walked with?). I always remember how lucky we were to get out of the store in time. Thanks again to the FDNY.

Woolworth’s-– Express is now there. Woolworth’s (a.k.a. “the 5&10”) had everything. This is also where we went to get parakeets, goldfish and turtles (who knew about salmonella then?) They also had a great soda counter. My best friend Rosemary Schuler got a job there as a “soda jerk” when we were still in high school. My mother and I would go there and pick a balloon, break it and see how much we had to pay for a banana split. I am sure it was always less than a dollar for a big dish of ice cream on top of a banana with everything on it.

Kresge’s– Across from Woolworth’s. We had two “5&10’s”. How lucky we were.

Jennie’s Pizza-– Near McDonald’s. It has remained a pizzeria all these years, but under different owners. When my mother was pregnant with my brother in 1960, she had cravings for pizza all the time. We spent a lot of time in Jennie’s. Jenny and her family were very nice and hard working. They had a juke box. I felt very grown up when I got to pick a song. One day I made the mistake of putting hot red pepper on my pizza and had to drink everyone’s soda.

Sig Stern– Near Jennie’s Pizza. This was the only place chubby kids could find clothes. My brother and I spent a lot of time there getting outfitted for the upcoming school years.

Lerner’s-– Where Dr. Jay’s used to be. This was a very large women’s clothing store. This is where everyone went to buy “nylons”. Every time you bought a pair of nylons, your card was punched and eventually you would receive a free pair. This was also the only store that had proportioned slacks for women. We were devastated when they closed but I think they are still around as “New York and Company”– no more nylons, but they still have proportioned slacks for tall people!

Godner’s– Where Wendy’s now is. You could not pass Godner’s without looking in their window. They had the most gorgeous women’s sweaters and blouses. We thought they were very chic and were thrilled to buy our bathing suits there each year.

Saymel’s-- near “The Clock”. Whenever you needed a fancy dress or a wedding gown, this was the place to go.

Don’s Luncheonette– This was approximately a couple of stores up from where TD Bank is now. I can still taste their charcoal grilled hamburgers. It was always a treat to go in there and relax after a day of shopping.

Astoria Movie Theater-– where Duane Reade is now. Spent many an afternoon there watching the double features and then watching them over again. I always had to bring my birth certificate to prove I was still eligible for the children’s ticket, which was 50 cents. Just my friend and I went without adult supervision. Now I wonder why they let us go alone but things were different then. For some reason the kids liked to annoy the matron by blowing into empty candy boxes (doing this made a loud squeak). I can also remember hearing someone hysterically crying during the screening of Disney’s “Old Yeller”. The last movie I remember seeing there was “Jaws”.

Triboro Movie Theater– This was on Steinway and 28th Avenue. It was a sad day when this theater was torn down and replaced with stores and houses. It should have been landmarked. As a child I was so impressed by the theater, which reminded me of a medieval castle with the dark red velvet curtains and statues, sweeping staircase and nooks and crannies. I found it a little scary. William Cullen Bryant H.S. senior class of 1969 was so large we had our graduation ceremony at the Triboro. We had to graduate in “size places” and so I was the last girl to graduate.

Olympia Theater– on the other side from Triboro Theater, up towards Astoria Boulevard. Believe it or not, this was a XXX rated movie theater. Can’t tell you any more as we never went there and were embarrassed to walk past!

Wagner’s Jewelry Store-– they are the ones who installed “The Clock” outside their store. This is the place we went to when we wanted to buy good jewelry for special occasions. They were also very trustworthy to do repairs. My friend Cathy Malley’s Uncle Rick worked there.

Thanks for reading my trip down memory lane.
Margaret Pross
Forest Hills

Support BP Efforts

To The Editor:

I think that continuing blaming BP is counterproductive. They are professionals who do their best. Let’s stop filing lawsuits (at least for the time being) and give our support to BP. Do you understand how it is difficult to work on an emergency when everybody criticizes you? Besides, who will pay for the cleanup if BP goes out of business?
Victor Maltsev
Rego Park

Keep Gov’t Out Of Food

To The Editor:

The attempt by our government to grab control of our food is an outrage! Government control of anything is always a disaster, yet the Senate bill S.510 would expand the FDA’s control over the right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, serve, or even eat every food known to us. It would grant control from seed to chemicals, to animals and with their waste, and from producers to sellers to consumers.

Control over our food is control over the lives of our people. It is a tool of tyranny, and that is why it is outlawed by our Constitution. Why must the fight for liberty be against the people we elect to represent us?
Larry Burke
Roslyn, New York

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