2011-01-26 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Controlling Class Size

To The Editor:

So [Schools] Chancellor Cathie Black suggested birth control as a solution to the schools’ overcrowding problem. It sounds like she is as out of touch as the “Emperor” who appointed her. Charlie Barthold

Jackson Heights

A Semi- Snow Day?

To The Editor:

When the city faced its second major snow storm in three weeks, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had several decisions to make. He declared a weather emergency, which was helpful in getting vehicles off the street so plows could get through. He also decided to keep public schools open, offering relief to parents who had to go to work but a dilemma to those adults who were snowed in themselves: If you keep the children at home, you risk a blemished attendance record and missed school work, not to mention braving the snowy roads. On the other hand, if you send the children to school, they might end up spending the whole day watching movies because the school does not have enough teachers present to cover all the classes. What’s a parent in that situation to do? Here’s my solution: When a storm is not severe enough to close the schools but is serious enough that the city asks people to avoid unnecessary travel, why not announce a modified school opening, a semi-snow day? Here is what it would look like: The schools open for those parents who are going to work and need to send their children someplace safe; the teachers who can make it to school are there, as they were this time. On the other hand, those parents who do not have to go out can keep their children at home. Students are not marked absent and teachers do not cover new material in class; if the principal decides to put everyone in the auditorium and turn on the cartoons, no one minds. There are fewer drivers on the roads, fewer students who feel that they are wasting their time in school, and a lot of families who can enjoy a snow day together. I think it’s worth a try.

Mark S. Weprin
Oakland Gardens

Bikes Need Licensing

To The Editor:

Reading the January 14th piece in the New York Post, “Pol Pushing ID Tags”, I thought I was dreaming; help has finally arrived.

I have been a consumer advocate for more than 25 years. My only interest is in helping people but this cause is probably one of the most important and cannot be handled by a few individuals especially when organizations and individuals resist the fact that the crazy bikers should be licensed. Their only interest seems to be that they wear helmets for their safety, thousands were given away free, but what about the pedestrians? I write letters that are printed and then come the disagreements portraying me as an ogre.

Enough of bikers going against traffic, through red lights, [and] also [cycling] on the sidewalk. One morning I was walking out of my building and a man who should know better, wearing a business suit and a helmet went right by me on the side walk—that was a heart stopper.

Many elected officials together with Transportation Alternatives and the DOT believe the answer is in bike lanes; it is not. These bikers behave the same way in the bike lanes as if the roads belong to them. The answer is licensing. Once they know they will be fined when identified, most of them will follow the rules of the road.

I commend Lenny’s Restaurant. The owners are following a law which is not being enforced, their delivery bikes have the restaurant’s name and identification number on a plate on the back of the bike.

People, wake up and save pedestrians from being hurt.

Bless you Councilm[ember] Eric Ulrich. Can we all work together to resolve this safety issue?

Bunny Abraham

The Forgotten Borough

To The Editor:

The Queens Civic Congress denounces the city’s “unforgivable incompetence” after the snowstorm of Dec. 26, 2010 and has a list of questions that must be answered by the administration.

City Hall’s unforgivable incompetence during the last week of December 2010 was unmatched in the history of this city. While New Jerseyans—with more snow than the city—and Nassau County residents saw their roads and highways cleared quickly, the mayor of the City of New York told you and me that the blizzard was an “inconvenience” and that we should take in a Broadway show!

City Hall failed New York City during the week of December 26, 2010.

We need to know why the administration was unable to meet the challenge of a snowstorm.

Here are some questions that need answers:

Why did the mayor, or the deputy mayor designated to act in his absence, fail to call a snow emergency on the night of December 26, when the National Weather Service forecast [predicted] an accumulation of 20 inches in most of the city?

Why did the 311 and 911 systems collapse?

Why was the Sanitation Department unable to plow or salt Queens’ streets until Wednesday afternoon—or in Eastern Queens, Thursday?

Why did the MTA not call upon city emergency services’ assistance to remove passengers from a stalled train in Howard Beach?

And, most of all, we need to know what City Hall and the responsible mayoral agencies are prepared to do to never repeat the disgraceful record of that week in December.

Patricia Dolan
Queens Civic Congress

Congrats On 29th

To The Editor:

Congratulations on “Gazette Embarks Upon 29th Year”, editorial, January 19. It was a great trip down memory lane of the Gazette’s proud history.

Queens residents once had both their own daily Long Island Star Journal and Long Island Press newspapers until they went out of business in the ’60s and ’70s.

Daily newspapers concentrate on international, Washington, Albany, City Hall, business and sports stories. They have few reporters assigned to cover local neighborhood news stories. These reporters have to compete against colleagues for limited available print space. As a result, daily newspapers miss significant news and political stories from local Queens neighborhoods. Weekly newspapers based in Queens such as our own Queens Gazette along with others 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 information 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 between a number of daily newspapers. They face competition from other daily newspapers who have a strong presence in their own communities such as Newsday, Staten Island Advance, Journal News (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties), Star Ledger (New Jersey), Herald Record (Hudson Valley and Catskills) along with the best source for international news coverage in the New York Times are also in the mix with the New York Post and Daily News. There is 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 CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, BBC and the Internet for late breaking news which can sometimes become stale by the time it reaches print the next day. A growing population of new immigrants support their own newspaper, radio and television stations. 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 affords me an opportunity to express my views, as well as differing opinions. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials. Public officials use taxpayer 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 for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter.

If you really want to be informed of what goes on in the neighborhood, read your local weekly community newspaper. Patronize their advertisers and shop locally They help your friendly newspapers survive, keep people employed and neighborhoods prosper.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Incandescent Lights

To The Editor:

How many of us know that our government is outlawing incandescent light bulbs [this] and next year, which will force us to use the more expensive [compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)] fluorescent bulbs?

These are the ones that appear to resemble chicken’s intestines, and will not do much to enhance the dining room chandelier. This, they assure us, will save energy.

The Department of Energy (DOE) was initiated because we were too dependent on foreign oil, importing one-third of our needs. Now we import two-thirds and it’s getting worse. The DOE agency costs billions, yet produces nothing but regulations which, in turn, creates dependency.

Like all the other socialist agencies, it is sand in the economic gears and should be abolished, freeing up the market. That would aid our economy on every level and prevent our chandeliers from looking like they were designed by Herman Munster.

Lawrence Burke

Help Us Help Them

To The Editor:

The Angelo Graci Republican Club has been holding its meetings since inception in 1984 in the community center of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, located on the corner of 101st Avenue and 86th Street in Ozone Park.

Christ Lutheran celebrated their 130th anniversary in December, 2010. Like many other churches finances are a major problem.

We want to help in some small way to thank them for allowing us to use their facilities for some 26 years.

To accomplish this our membership agreed to sponsor a raffle to benefit Christ Lutheran.

The raffle will be a “50-50”, [with] three prizes, half [will go] to the winners and the other half to the church.The amount of each winner’s prize will be based on the total number of tickets sold.

Each raffle ticket is $25 with only 100 tickets printed. The drawing will be held during our club’s meeting on February 22. We meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month, at 8 p.m., except December, July and August.

Anyone interested in hearing more about the raffle or our club go to www.gracirepublicanclub.org [and] help us help Christ Lutheran continue their important work in the community.

Bernard Solow
Ozone Park

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