Letters to the Editor
I Remember My Father
To The Editor:
June is the month we honor our fathers and memories of my dad bring many to my mind.
My father’s name was Frederick and he was 59 years old when I was born. As he got older there was a lot he couldn’t do due to his age but in some ways he did a lot for me that counted more.
He always told me to tell the truth and to stand up for what I believe in. Many times my father would sit me down and tell me about our colorful family history. He would tell me that my great-great-grandfather had come over from England with his twin brother to fight in the American Revolution and forge a new life for themselves. My grandfather served in the Civil War and fought under General Sherman. My father was born in 1890 and was the youngest of thirteen children, only six of whom lived beyond the age of 21.
He once told me a story I would never forget. He was nine years old and saved all year to buy fireworks, which were legal in 1899. When he was about to shoot them off a bully of about 14 years old threw a match in his box of fireworks, which all went up at once. My father was very angry and beat him up. The bully ran home to tell his father, who came over to complain to my grandfather. My grandfather called my dad to his side and said, “Look at the size of your son and look at the size of my son, your son did a bad thing and deserved what he got.” At that the father of the boy pulled his son home and I guess punished him good.
My father got married at 19 and had a daughter named Marion. My father had gotten a job at a coffee company and one day working through his lunch to repair one of the machines, someone came in and started up the machines and my father ended up losing two fingers on his right hand. It was 1909 and he didn’t know it at the time but that wound saved him from serving in WW1 in 1917. Many of his friends who did serve ended up dying in the war.
His first wife died in 1941 after 35 years of marriage due to a doctor’s mistake. World War ll started in 1941 and again he was called by the draft board and was excused. He really wanted to serve as before but becasue he lost two fingers was not allowed to serve. He did his part in the war and voluteered as an Air Raid Warden.
He met my mother in 1945 and they got married and settled in Queens Village. I was later born in 1949. He said he had waited all his life for a son and the best part was I was born on his birthday, August 1. My father was a tough little man of 5’4” at 126 pounds. He always spoke his mind and tried to do what was right. He died in 1973 at the age of 83.
Let me say this to my dad: “I’m proud you were my father and always will be my dad for you are forever in my heart.”
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.
Soda Ban Shrinks Economy
To The Editor:
Mayor Bloomberg’s support of the NYC Department of Health’s proposal to ban the sale of beverages over 16 ounces to combat the excessive calories contained in sugary drinks is a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. “Mayor’s Big Cup Ban Is All Wet” (Queens Gazette Editorial, June 7). There is no coercion used to get customers to purchase beverages. Everyone is aware of both calories and sugar content. High obesity rates have just as much to do with the sedentary life style of many, who spend more time on iPods and home computers than playing sports, exercising after work or just walking. Following this insane logic, we should also stop stores from selling ice cream, pizza, fries, cake and cookies. The ban will start with just restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas but will inevitably expand to fast food restaurants, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas. Everyone’s profit margins are dependent upon the sales of large beverages. Distributors of soda provide gainful employment for thousands of warehouse and delivery people. Restaurants, movie theaters, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas who stock larger sodas and related products assist in providing tens of thousands of additional jobs.
All of these people are our neighbors who are just trying to earn a living. Both businesses and employees pay taxes that help pick up the tab for municipal services. Customers purchase these products via free will. Even a child can figure out how to get around this ban. Customers will increase pollution by purchasing two smaller beverages to consume over 16 ounces. Our economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of the bedroom, marketplace and our stomachs! Just what will the “politically correct” Health Food Police go after next?
New Yorkers face a nine percent unemployment rate with an additional seven percent more who have given up looking, a looming multibillion dollar municipal budget shortfall, growing $65 billion dollar long term debt, long term pension funding shortfalls in the billions along with critical issues dealing with education, housing, transportation, public safety and the environment just to name a few. Mayor Bloomberg should lighten up on becoming our Health Food Czar and worry about these more pressing quality of life issues of the day.
Great Neck, NY
Forest Park Carousel
To The Editor:
I read with interest the article regarding our Forest Park Carousel which I so aptly named “The Jewel of Forest Park” in 1985.
This was at a time during which an intense drive was being mounted to reopen this “Jewel”. In 1985, the reopening of our carousel was very important, for rumors abounded that it would be moved elsewhere, or the beautifully hand carved wooden animals would be sold off individually.
I remember we, along with Assemblymember and then Judge Frederick A. Schmidt and state Senator Serphin R. Maltese, Councilmembers Arthur Katzman and Walter Ward along with community representatives, met with the city Department of Parks and Recreation to find a new concessionaire.
We were very fortunate to find a wonderful concessionaire in 1989, who reopened the carousel. This after many years of being closed, neglected and the object of vandalized gates and attempted arson. This concessionaire repaired the calliope, cleaned the carousel area, renovated the carousel, and added rides for the children, making it a magical showplace in our Forest Park.
Now again, after experiencing a neglectful, uncaring concessionaire and being closed for five years, the “Jewel of Forest Park” is again shining.
Although it was open over Memorial Day, as the writer stated it is not fully operational yet and there are many rough edges to be smoothed over. But I have faith in the Parks’ choice of this concessionaire, and as they have promised, as of July, all the amenities will be in place. So just as I remember, we can once again enjoy the afternoon and sometimes the evening while partaking of the food and drinks at the concession stand. Then, again, this “Jewel of Forest Park” will shine in this magical place to be enjoyed by young and old.
Maria A. Thomson
Woodhaven Development Corporation
P.S. Until July, the concessionaire has advised that the Forest Park Carousel will be open weekends only, after 11 a.m., with entertainment from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. Seating availability and the food concession opening are both still pending.
Free From Freedom
To The Editor:
Elections have become public auctions of private goods. Voters have figured out that they could vote themselves more money from the treasury by voting for people who promise to give them more money in exchange for electing them.
The people getting free stuff outnumber the people paying for that free stuff. We are nurturing contempt for private property, destroying self-reliance and self-responsibility. Will we vote for those who will redistribute our wealth and limit our freedoms in the name of “social justice”? Will we acquiesce to bureaucrats who are determined to dictate how we live our lives? If we sanction the subservience of individual interests to collective authority, we disregard the Constitution at our peril.
History is replete with chronicles of the immorality, dishonesty and exploitation of collectivist societies. In those societies, the individual has a reality only as part of the group, value only insofar as he serves it. People who join demonstrations and protests demanding somebody’s “fair share” do not recognize private property and they reject personal responsibility. Collectivist ideology contends the government determines how individuals may live their lives for the benefit of society. Individual rights and choices are limited or eliminated for the “greater good”.
There are some who think it is unimportant who wins or loses in the next election because the changing of “masters” has no effect on freedom. However, the results may reveal the depth of our dependency and aversion to individualism. If choices and decisions required to effectuate self-sufficiency and self-determination are an irksome burden, we will vote to join the mob and mass movement to escape individual responsibility and be free from freedom.
Use Diplomatic Means
To The Editor:
With all of the international tensions that are currently affecting many parts of the world, one area that we really need to be watch is China. While we do not agree on all international issues, there must be a willingness between both nations to work together to resolve issues of importance such as the growing dispute between China and its other neighbors regarding the Spratley Islands. The U.S. needs to work with China and the other nations involved in this dispute, which could become a very serious problem if not resolved through diplomatic means. China and the United States can and must work together on the international stage for the importance of strengthening world peace. Our two nations need mutual cooperation, not confrontation. Our two nations will find that there are more areas of mutual cooperation than potential confrontation.
Fresh Meadows, NY
U.S.A. Is Not A Democracy
To The Editor:
The idea that America is a democracy is getting a little tired. Our founding fathers rejected democracy and gave us a republic, small “r”. Proof of this can be found in Federalist Paper #10 by James Madison.
I cannot remember once in all my history classes in high school or college where this fact was taught. So much for getting an “education” in our public schools! Part of the solution of the mess we are in is a little understanding of the damage caused by misinformation coming from the media, academia, and government officials, Democrats and Republicans alike.
Frank St George
East Rockaway, NY
To The Editor:
In February 2009 President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program was supposed to create five million new jobs and reduce unemployment below eight percent by the end of 2010. He missed both projections by wide margins.
Now, in June 2012 unemployment is still above eight percent and only 69,000 new jobs were created in May, the fewest in a year. When we add in people who have stopped looking for work the real unemployment rate is closer to 13 percent.
During Obama’s term the national debt has increased by $5 trillion to over $15 trillion, and is increasing. The flailing administration has created extreme uncertainty in the private sector, which has depressed manufacturing activity and inhibited hiring.
Obama’s policies and programs have had a negative impact on the workforce. He obstructed job creation by putting the Keystone pipeline project on hold. The Congressional Budget Office stated Obama’s healthcare bill will cost 850,000 jobs.
The latest reports show we could be in a stagnant economy and could possibly fall back into another recession. President Obama has been in office three and a half years, and he owns the faltering economy. As President Truman said, “the buck stops here”.
Donald A. Moskowitz