2012-06-20 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Congrats WQG!

To The Editor:

Congratulations to the WQG on its 30th Anniversary. As its first editor, so many years ago, it is hard to believe that the paper survived from its beginnings with an all volunteer crew, and the many local advertisers who took a chance and supported the struggling paper in its growth.

I have special, good memories working with Connie and George Stamatiades. Connie typed early editions of the paper on one of the first electric word processors that we found a way to buy. George found us free space for the “G” office and work room— first in his basement and then in the basement of the so-called community building on 38th Ave. and 31st St. Connie and George became great friends during those days living in Queens. Our goal was to make a strong community and the Gazette became its voice. I’m now up in the Catskill mountains, removed from the excitement of the BIG city—and I sometimes miss that.

It always surprised me how valued the paper was in the community. New businesses, especially restaurants, went out of the way to invite us to their grand openings! We got a good meal and the restaurant got a photo and a good word from us! At one opening, we were photographed with TV personality Joe Franklin who was helping to promote the new restaurant. At another event, a major political dinner, I was introduced to and photographed with Govenor Mario Cuomo. (I still have that photo!)

Congratulations again, to the WQG. Bill Gronwald


To The Editor:

I want to congratulate you for 30 years of a wonderful paper. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for your love and kindness.

You published articles by my best friend, Reverend Armisted including his interviews and photos. He made more people happy. Your newspaper—you can’t imagine—it was a wonderful time for us and we miss him and his articles.

Then he got me into your newspaper as a clown in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for lots of years. And everyone here in Jackson Heights just loved and got such a big kick out of it. I make copies of your articles and send them out with two to three hundred Christmas cards to people all over.

This past holiday you ran a story on Ultima Flower Shop on 81st Street and 37th Avenue. It was about their Christmas window display with the trains. It made people all over town happy, including the flower shop and me, because you put it into your paper.

So all in all, your Gazette newspaper has made many people, from all over, happy throughout the years.

Congratulations on your 30 years, and may you go on for another 100.

You are the No. 1 newspaper in Queens. Keep up the good work.

Joseph W. Ricevuto
Jackson Heights, NY

To Commemorate!

To The Editor:

Accolades and good fortune for another 30 years of announcements and bulletins, good news reporting and nice photography. Charles and Nancy Lercara Flushing

Let Them Sing ‘Proud’

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
June 12, 2012
Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
Chancellor Dennis Walcott
Tweed Courthouse
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor

I am writing to request that you reconsider your decision to support P.S. 90 school Principal Greta Hawkins in her refusal to let pupils sing “God Bless the USA” at a graduation event.

The students want to sing it—they have been practicing for weeks—parents want to hear it, as do thousands of other New Yorkers who have read coverage of the controversy, including this one.

Principal Hawkins clearly made a mistake in this instance, and it seems that sheer stubbornness may be causing her to stick by a bad call. I understand and admire your inclination to stand by a principal under fire, but I would suggest you not do so in this case.

There is no resolution that will satisfy patriotic New Yorkers other than seeing and hearing those children belt out with gusto “God Bless the USA”. Why not take this opportunity to let the now-interested New York City news media broadcast that wonderful song sung by some terrific Coney Island kids?

As a veteran of the Army I must remind you of the troops who come home from harm’s way listening to Lee Greenwood sing “God Bless the USA”. Having the graduates sing it would be magic to their ears, wherever they are.

I volunteer to hold the sheet music if it will help. Sincerely,

Bob Turner
Congressmember 9th CD
Middle Village/Brooklyn

Why Not Willets?

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette
June 12, 2012
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224
Re: Willets Point
Dear Governor Cuomo:

It was tremendously disappointing to learn that your plan to build the country’s largest convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack will not come to fruition. As you may recall, no sooner had you announced the plan during your most recent State of the State address than I endorsed the idea and offered to help however I could in making your vision for the Aqueduct venue a reality.

Fortunately, there is another viable venue in Queens that, I hope you will agree, has numerous significant advantages over other locations reportedly under consideration elsewhere in the city. That site is Willets Point.

Willets Point is, quite literally, across the street from some of the city’s most popular destinations: Citi Field, the National Tennis Center and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The 7 train runs from these locations westward, all along Roosevelt Avenue, to Grand Central Terminal. Millions of New Yorkers and visitors to the city each year take the 7 train to go see the Mets, the U.S. Open or to get to a concert, festival or recreational activity in the park.

And there perhaps is no more diverse a culinary experience to be [had] anywhere on the planet than along Roosevelt Avenue, which is lined with restaurants specializing in a nearly [overwhelming] array of cuisines from all over the world.

In addition, the area, which is also accessible via multiple bus lines and the Long Island Rail Road, is just minutes from LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports. The extension underway of the 7 line, already one of the city’s busiest, will add greatly to the area’s commercial appeal and potential.

Whether by plane, train, bus or automobile, you can get to Willets Point relatively easily from anywhere in the world. The transportation infrastructure already servicing the area dwarfs what other potential venues in and around the city have to offer.

I hope you will give Willets Point the serious consideration its many advantages warrant and look forward to a meaningful discussion of the site’s merits. Thank you.

State Senator Jose R. Peralta
13th Senatorial District

Blight Noise

To The Editor:

It seems that the pitfalls that have traditionally confronted people using New York City’s transit system weren’t onerous enough for that system’s overseer, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The introduction of new subway cars and buses has clearly prompted that ever-sagacious agency to add bombast to the other tribulations it inflicts on its hapless, harassed passengers. I’m talking, of course, about the MTA equivalent of the robocall, those endless loops of loopy computerized, all-too-plangent, nonsquawky “public service announcements” (PSAs) that are now ubiquitous on mass transit.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of encountering these pronouncements firsthand, let me elucidate. The subway messages warn passengers to watch their belongings at all times, to be alert for suspicious packages, that sexual harassment is a crime and that riders shouldn’t hesitate to contact transit staff or the police when necessary. (But who sees either anymore in the subway’s environs?) On the assumption, presumably, that the canned communiqu├ęs need supplementing, zippers attached to subway car ceilings print out the same alerts word for word. On buses, we are ordered to exit by the rear door and informed that assaulting a bus driver is a felony.

George Orwell and others have pointed out that bureaucratic blather is an integral aspect of totalitarianism. I’m not suggesting that the MTA’s inane declamations indicate that the agency has despotic designs on New Yorkers. But I do maintain that the constant repetition of these brain-bashing messages is a sinister—albeit clumsy--attempt to impose a kind of vulnerable, numb, semihypnotized psychological state. (Dear reader, be especially wary of the proclamations when you’re half-asleep in the morning, going to work or school. Resist the harassment by stoking a livid animus toward all things MTA.) Certainly, at the very least the utter banality of the PSAs—their uselessness— signifies a callous contempt for riders that is quite perturbing.

How infuriating is the MTA’s ludicrous logorrhea? By comparison, cellphone users on subway platforms and buses are discreet, well-mannered and considerate. The addled officials who conceived, created and approved this folly have a lot to answer for.

Howard Schneider
Rego Park

Untangle Government

To The Editor:

The question this election season is not “Where’s the beef?”; but rather is there reality left in American politics? Regardless of the winner, Congress will remain split, denying the White House the means of implementing its agenda upon which it was elected.

The Democrats have a proven track record of no cohesion and divided loyalties, preventing a Democratic President legislative authority.

The Republicans are unilaterally committed to never raising taxes, while some would accept the consequences of defaulting on the national debt. Yet the recession has its origins in a Republican administration that did not include in its budget two wars, a prescription drug program and large cuts in the tax obligation of the wealthy while abandoning regulatory oversight.

The current House passes legislation the Senate would never agree upon. The Senate does the same, knowing the House will reject its proposed legislation. The White House swings with party loyalties.

One-party rule proved no advantage during Obama’s first two years. A Republican landslide may prove of no advantage to a Romney administration. A White House controlled by one party with Congress held by the other, as in the current philosophical divide, holds little promise for any meaningful programs that would benefit the American people.

That is the dark reality of 2012. There is nothing that offers hope for a change. Regardless of the outcome, we are promised more of the same anger, stagnation and name-calling partisan histrionics that have paralyzed the nation and will continue to do so. God only knows what is needed to alter the bleak reality that has already cost Middle America a 40 percent devaluation of their net worth and the decline of the U.S.A.

Edward Horn
Baldwin, NY

Patriotism Is Not PC

To The Editor:

I am appalled and outraged upon learning that Greta Hawkins, principal at P.S. 90, the Edna Cohen school, in Coney Island, banned a patriotic song at the upcoming graduation. The name of the song is, “Proud to be an American”, by Lee Greenwood. The lyrics state, “‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S.A.”. It is to be replaced by Justin Bieber’s song, “Baby”, which is about teen love. This will take place at the June 20 Commencement ceremony.

The principal’s reason for banning “Proud” is that it is too adult for a kindergarten class and also, it could offend people from other countries. Bieber’s song isn’t too adult for a kindergarten class? Who is she fooling? As for offending other cultures, immigrants come here to have a better life where freedom reigns. In my opinion this is an attempt to snuff out patriotism at an early age. Principal Greta Hawkins ought to revise her decision or move to another country.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village, NY

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