Letters to the Editor
Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004
Dear Commissioner Yassky,
I write regarding an important matter affecting numerous local businesses and residents in Western Queens.
Thirty-First Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue is one of the most active streets in Western Queens, occupied by small businesses and frequented by residents who utilize the Ditmars Boulevard station of the local N/Q subway line.
To service these residents, a large number of livery cabs flock to this location and, in the process, participate in three illegal actions: 1) responding to street hails from pedestrians; 2) blocking traffic by double parking along the street curb; and 3) sitting in metered parking spots either without feeding the meter or using the space for longer than the one-hour allotted period. Due to these violations, I have received numerous complaints regarding this situation.
Even when enforcement agents come to the location, the situation always reverts back to the original pattern of illegal street pickups, double parking and occupying meters inappropriately after the agents are gone.
Due to the high volume of people seeking alternatives to existing public transportation options, one potential solution might be the creation of a taxi stand at this location. A taxi stand would allow transportation service to adequately fit the needs of the residents in our community without affecting small businesses. In the meantime, however, I request increased enforcement to ensure these livery cabs follow all regulations.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
New York State Senate
cc: Stephen Cirabisi, Deputy Inspector,
114th NYPD Precinct
To The Editor:
With each passing day the prospect of finding products labeled, “Made in the USA” becomes increasingly unlikely. Clothing, electronics, housewares, tableware, the very dishes from which we eat, all made overseas, primarily in China. “Made in China“ has become the mantra of our economy.
Some companies which had received stimulus to get back on their feet, once stable again, have moved production overseas. Not enough that production of the very goods we need, or at least want, are predominantly made in countries other than our own, a recent occurrence sprinkled some salt on an already wounded pride. It involves our very own [RKO] Keiths Theater in Flushing.
It appears that a real estate firm, Canterbury Finance Group in Manhattan, is lobbying the project developer in charge of the proposed overhaul of our long-neglected and abused RKO Keiths Theater in Flushing, to take on the services of a Chinese construction company. The firm has more than adequate funds to finance the construction of the project and is based in China. It is possible, due to our country’s present bleak economic environment, that such an arrangement may actually come to be?
Under such circumstances and as troublesome as it is to acknowledge that the vast amount of our daily expenditures are toward items “Made in China”, it would be an inter- esting paradox indeed to be able to say our Keiths [Theater] was, “Made in the USA”. I would rather not.
Amagansett, New York
Over Spending And Taxing
To The Editor:
Well, here we are again, tax time! Citizens should be aware that the federal government is way over-spending, and way over-taxing us to pay for such boondoggles as foreign aid, these awful unconstitutional (UN) wars, bailouts, and worse.
President [Barack] Obama wants to “tax the rich”. What an outrage.
What the government needs is less money, not more money. And the proposals to trim a few billion dollars is not enough. How about closing some of the 140 military bases scattered around the globe? How about eliminating foreign aid?
The amount of money flowing into Washington [D.C.] is a scandal all by itself. We need to get informed and then inform others of the treachery going on in Washington.
Contact your congressman and let them know you disapprove of their conduct if they are in favor of the wild spending.
Frank St George
ULURP Needed Now
To The Editor:
Back in 2009, NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told members of the Maspeth community, in a nutshell, that if our elected officials secured funding to purchase the St. Saviour’s site, the Parks Department would pursue it.
The electeds complied and in a December 2010 letter, Benepe stated that Parks now has enough money on hand to kick off the Universal Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a prerequisite for property acquisition by the city. According to the City Charter, a ULURP must be completed before any monetary transactions can take place. So why has the city been preoccupied with negotiating price without having initiated a ULURP, especially knowing full well that title to the property cannot be taken until this lengthy process is finalized?
It is the duty of our elected officials to make sure that the Parks Department starts ULURP now. There is absolutely no excuse for further delay as the site is in danger of being built upon. ULURP sends a message that the city is serious about acquisition. Delaying the process indicates otherwise. We are just one bureaucratic process away from securing this historic site for generations to come. The community has been patient for five years, but has grown tired of waiting in limbo, unsure of what the outcome of our efforts will be.
What happens over the next few weeks will reveal whether or not our elected officials possess the necessary political muscle and diplomatic skills of true leaders or if they are simply well-versed in how to write nice letters and pose for cameras. I pray it’s the former and not the latter for the sake of current and future generations of Maspeth.
If our representatives were to drop the ball at this point it would be tragic and unconscionable.
Newtown Historical Society
Felix Rohatyn Bridge?
To The Editor:
In response to the recent law renaming the Queensboro Bridge as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, I would like to make several points.
Firstly, City Council precedence in the city of New York indicates that parks, streets, and any other public places are co-named or re-named posthumously; therefore, the moribundity of Ed Koch is irrelevant.
Secondly, Queens Community Board 2’s committee (CB2) “Save the Bridge”, collected 500 petition signatures opposing the renaming of this bridge; hence, although advisory under the City Charter, the local community board, opposed this bill.
Thirdly, several years ago, Brooklyn CB3 voted in favor of renaming Taaffe Playground to USMC Anthony V. Manago Playground, but City Council Speaker [Christine] Quinn refused to steer the proposal into committee and ultimately for a council floor vote on grounds that the council no longer re-names city parks, since the Parks Department has that prerogative, although unspecified in the City Charter.
However, the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation, Adrian Benepe, in a letter to me, stated that the Parks Department does not name or re-name parks, but the city council does by legislative initiative. Yet Brooklyn’s Borough Parks Commissioner, Julius Spiegel, sent me a letter in an administrative denial of the request to rename the Taaffe Playground.
Fourthly, in view of Paul Simon’s “59th Street Bridge Song” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, I believe, to quote Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg, “it’s only appropriate that we name something iconic, something great after . . .” (not Ed Koch), Felix Rohatyn, who in the 1970s, headed the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) and successfully restructured New York City’s debt and resolved the city’s fiscal crisis; Felix Rohatyn was the “bridge over troubled water” for the city of New York so, by Bloomberg’s logic, should be renamed the Felix Rohatyn Queensboro Bridge.
In any event, this present law must be repealed, so I encourage people to sign the petition of the “Save the Bridge” committee. As for Ed Koch, his tenure on “The People’s Court” television program was hilarious, so maybe a sculpture for Ed Koch in front of the Metromedia Channel 5 studios in Manhattan is in order? But, don’t let this go to your head, Ed, because lines ran down Broadway for Jackie Mason but not for your mayoral schtick!
Joseph N. Manago
Bridge Ramp Dangerous
To The Editor:
I applaud our state Senator [Michael] Gianaris for his attention and caring to improve the conditions existing at the hazardous ramp turning off from the Lower Level of the [Ed Koch] Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City.
That area is so dangerous where there were two crashes into the same row of stores. The DOT must make conditions safer.
I am so disappointed in the MTA and Port Authority in establishing a proper radio communication system for use in emergencies such as terrorist attacks, etc. This was supposed to be ongoing since the 911 terrorist attacks but I heard that the process is so slow and it is shameful.
This is so important to promote the safety and protection of property and human life.
I am proud of the new Schools Chancellor for being a Queens resident, for attending a Queens public school, and for being an educator and that is what our schools need, not a super star in the publishing world.
It seems that our mayor’s third term is not as successful as his first term.
I am glad that the government is not shut down and that compromise was made. That is what democracy and working together to promote the common good is all about.
Long Island City
To The Editor:
I’ve have just read that the homeless in shelters has increased to over 113,000. Now this is a 37 percent increase since Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg first took office. This is such an outrage. These numbers are the greatest since the Great Depression. Mayor Bloomberg seems to have failed these suffering people which includes children. I feel for these [people] for I was homeless after the Vietnam War, I was living on the street and was cold, hungry and lonely and had bleeding sores on my body from not being able to bathe. If it was not for the kindness of a stranger I might still be living on the street or even worse, dead. We need to help these people which means the mayor and the city needs to do more. Let’s give a damn about our fellow human beings
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village
To The Editor:
Now several weeks old, the crisis in Libya seems to be deepening rather than lessening.The United States should not be the main country leading the efforts to prevent the killing of thousands of Libyan civilians; this should be a concerted effort by the European countries, and the United Nations, who should be taking the lead. The United States cannot always be the protector of everyone everywhere all over the world. Our resources are already stretched to the breaking point, since we are fighting two wars Afghanistan and Iraq.We cannot be sending more servicemen and women into harm’s way in Libya. Our servicemen and women are already making great sacrifices in those two countries; we cannot ask more of them to do the same in Libya. The United Nations and the European Union need to get more involved to help bring the Libyan crisis to a successful conclusion. The United States needs to be involved as just assisting those other nations in this process. Our country has enough problems, and our president needs to focus more on the domestic issues instead of foreign issues.