2010-07-21 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Successful Warfare

To The Editor:

It perhaps seems ironic to label the Korean War, which began sixty years ago this June and frequently called the “forgotten war”, America’s most successful military undertaking. It achieved its objectives and had the most satisfactory long-term results. South Korea has gone on to become one of the world’s strongest democracies for more than half a century. Both the U.S. and the Soviet/Chinese governments have respected the thirty-eighth parallel that physically separates North and South Korea and, as both sides in the Korean War refrained from using nuclear weapons, it initiated the idea of limited war which characterizes the way warfare has been conducted for the past sixty years.

In contrast to the lasting benefits secured by the Korean War, the first World War, certainly a military victory for the United States, failed to lock up a political peace. World War II was also an American triumph but it opened the door to Soviet expansionism and set the stage for the Cold War. The other 20th century military slam-dunk, the Gulf War, protected the West’s oil supplies but left Saddam Hussein in power.

Though tolerated when it was being fought, America couldn’t wait to forget the Korean War when it was over (hence its appellation the “forgotten war”). Little did the American public know then what a successful venture it would turn out to be.
Martin H. Levinson
Forest Hills, NY

Good Local Information

To The Editor:

Congratulations on your 28th Anniversary Issue. It was a great trip down memory lane of the Gazette’s history. Queens’ residents once had their own daily Long Island Star Journal and Long Island Press until they went out of business in the ’60s and ’70s.

Weekly newspapers based in Queens such as our own Queens Gazette, along with competitors such as the Queens Courier, Queens Tribune, Queens Chronicle, Queens Examiner, Queens Times and the Queens Times Ledger provide more in depth coverage of local news not found in the remaining major daily newspapers.

We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of informational sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership.

In New York City and Queens we have ongoing circulation battles among a number of daily newspapers. They face competition from other daily newspapers that have a strong presence in their own communities such as New York and Long Island Newsday, Staten Island Advance, Journal News (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties), Star Ledger (New Jersey) and Herald Record (Hudson Valley and Catskills) along with the best source for international news coverage. The New York Times is also in the mix with the New York Post and Daily News. There are also national editions of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal along with freebies such as AM New York and Metro New York. More people turn to all news radio, national network news such as ABC, CBS, NBC along with their local affiliates, News 1, FOX-5, WOR-9, WPIX-11 and PBS, cable news stations such as MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, FOX, BBC and the Internet for late breaking news which can sometimes become stale by the time it reaches print the next day. Don’t forget the growth of weekly papers such as the Village Voice, New York Press and New York Observer.

I continue to be grateful that the Queens Gazette, along with other daily and weekly newspapers, affords me an opportunity to express my views and differing opinions. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials. Public officials use taxpayers’ dollars to promote their views via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Queens Gazette and all the other weekly newspapers. They fill a valuable niche in the information highway.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Shame On Yankees

To The Editor:

It has just come to my attention that no Yankees player made the effort to show up for the funeral for Bob Sheppard. Now to beat all, Derek Jeter said he did not know the funeral was Thursday [July 15] and didn’t think you have to go to a funeral to honor someone. Well, in my opinion you attend a funeral to honor the departed but also to give comfort to the family. Bob Sheppard honored these players both past and present. I find this totally disgraceful. To all the Yankees players that didn’t show up for Bob Sheppard’s funeral, let me say, “Shame on all of you.”
Frederick Robert Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Fire Principal, Too

To The Editor:

The recent tragedy involving the drowning of that 12-year-old student who was on a field trip with her class now has become even more complicated–the classroom teacher was fired, the assistant principal, who was originally supposed to go on the trip [and] suddenly backed out due to last minute administrative paperwork, has now been demoted back to a teacher, and the principal still is the principal of that school!

While the teacher is the person who is responsible for making sure that her students are safe, what was the principal’s role in all of this? Were the permission slips explicit in explaining that there would be swimming? That principal should at the very least resign, and if not, then he should be fired. One teacher should not be totally blamed for this terrible tragedy.
Respectfully submitted,
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Speaks Her Mind

To The Editor:

I have many topics to share with fellow Gazette readers.

I strongly agree that smoking should be ended and banned in public parks and beaches. The air is polluted enough by pollutants that are not under our control. Smoking secondhand variety is a potential cancer given to a selfish addict who does not care for others except himself or herself.

Beaches and parks are havens for nature lovers, for relaxation and rest and for breathing fresh, clean air.

Mayor Bloomberg has done so much with smokers and he should follow suit.

I applaud Assemblymember [Michael] Gianaris for his Consumer Bill of Energy rights.

None of us must be harassed by energy problems and by those large companies that bother us and make our lives miserable.

Our Assemblymember is an advocate for all people and cares deeply for every fact of life for our city and he is truly an asset to us.

I do not like the idea of drinking fountains and it is unsanitary for me.

Public fountains are dangerous and health problems exist and we do not know who is drinking from them.

I applaud all who made the tribute to Julian Wager with a plaque and a tree planted in his honor and the touching narrative of an Amtrak train blowing its whistle as it went by and Peter Vallone Jr. is a gem and a wonderful caring man for all.

He and all of the others in planting a tree for him is perpetuating Julie’s memory. In the Jewish faith, it is customary to memorialize a person’s life by planting trees in their names.

I love the ecumenical nature of everyone and the brotherhood and love exuded for Julie. To me, Julie was a winner, a hero and a gem of a man and a friend.

The tree will reach up to heaven eventually and Julie will be able to view it from his front seat up in God’s house.

I am dismayed that Social Security is on Twitter and Facebook. These are for the young people. Many elderly people do not have computers or do not have Twitter or Facebook and even I am not a Facebook or Twitter person. There should be a recording on the phone with buttons to press that would give special news about Social Security.

This is money wasted.

What happened to the older, non-computer literate generation?

Are they forgotten?

Sorry to say that things are done for the young.

It is awful that the unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed were not continued. Must people starve and must people go through economic and psychological depression as the result of disagreement amongst party lines politically?

Unemployment and aiding those who cannot find jobs is not a political issue but a human issue.

It is good to use senior centers as cooling centers, but why were the ones closed which could have been used as cooling centers. The MTA was very uncaring when petitions were signed and pleas were made on behalf of senior centers by political luminaries.

Senior citizens are suffering emotionally as a result of closing their havens.

It was great that the pianos were there for the people to play and it brought so much joy and happiness to the many who played and who do not have pianos of their own. We hope that next year they will return in the parks and areas for people to use.

Again, I feel so sorry for the piano that was defaced.

I also notice that crime is rising in our city. Perhaps it is the unemployment, the economy, the lack of summer jobs for youth and the uncaring for those less fortunate.

Lastly, I encourage your publication of poetry that is written for occasions and holidays and encourage readers of the Gazette to submit them.

Just like the pianos that were placed to be played, there are poets around who want to share their poems and thoughts in verse with others.

Perhaps that can be considered.

Also some very interesting topics were presented in the Gazette of July 14.

I really liked the cultural articles about the Buddhist culture and the renovation of the Museum of the Moving Image.

We learn through culture, and it is a great way to study history and it is so important to learn no matter [the] age we are, in order to enable each of us to make this a better world.

We are fortunate to have a museum in our midst. Senior Centers can also make tours and it is an easy trip for local senior centers to visit the Museum of the Moving Image. I wonder where the money came from to renovate it? Money is tight and essential services are being cut and senior centers and buses and subways, etc.

I think that the foul odor coming from the Wards Island Sewer Treatment Plant is very noxious, unpleasant and not healthy.

That subject was important to be brought up for television, but it was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I think that DEP should write a response to the letter to the editor that addressed this important issue. The happy occasion on June 30 was overshadowed.

Thanks, Gazette, for another splendid issue.
Cynthia Groopman
Long Island City

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