Letters to the Editor
Thanks For Saving Libraries
To The Editor:
On behalf of all the Friends of Queens Library, we would like to thank Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the New York City Council for adopting a budget this year that saves our library and our wonderful library staff!
Thanks to the city council’s leadership in this year’s budget negotiations, all libraries in Queens will continue to be open a minimum of five days a week without any further reduction in service hours.
We would like to thank Bloomberg, Speaker Christine C. Quinn and all the members of the New York city council for the restoration of funding made to Queens Library in this year’s budget. We would like to especially thank Queens’ own Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, our friend and Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, for his leadership as well as Delegation Leader Councilmember Leroy Comrie for his unwavering support. We also recognize Vincent Gentile, the chair of the Select Committee on Libraries, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of all New Yorkers to preserve library service, and Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia Jr., the Chair of the Finance Committee, for delivering a sound budget.
Thank you for recognizing the importance of libraries in these tough economic times. The public library is first and foremost a community center which provides critical services for many that who might not be able to find them elsewhere, from free computer and wi-fi access and job placement assistance to afterschool programs and tutoring. In a variety of ways, the public library creates social capital and expands opportunities for many. We feel strongly that investing in our libraries is investing in the future of Queens and New York City as a whole.
Thank you for speaking up for our library. Sincerely,
The Presidents of the Friends of Queens
Emily Banks - Rochdale Village
Geraldine Benfante - East Elmhurst
Seelia Bogert - Steinway
Maria Concolino - Woodhaven
Tom Dowd - Ridgewood
Phillipe Hogarth - Cambria Heights
Pat Martin - Lefrak City
Betty Scott - Pomonok
The Real Clunkers
To The Editor:
“Officials Warn Queens Residents: Beware ‘Clunker Scam’” (Queens Gazette, Liz Goff, July 25) should also add President Obama and Congress to this list. The Cash for Clunkers program was nothing more than a Three Card Monty street hustle. First, taxpayers bail out failing auto manufacturers with 10s of billions of dollars. Next, to generate sales to these same companies which taxpayers represent the majority owner, Uncle Sam offered $4,500 rebates to trade in older cars with poor fuel efficiency to promote the sales of cars with better fuel efficiency. One billion dollars was insufficient, so Congress authorizes and appropriates another two billion dollars which doesn’t exist. Add three billion dollars more on top of a record $1.7 trillion deficit in Federal Fiscal Year 2009. Worse, we destroy the older cars.
At the end of the day, Uncle Sam took money out of one taxpayer’s pocket and put it in another. The temporary sales spike quickly ended. The used car sales market suffered from fewer available stock. College students, single parents, working and middle class Americans looking for a used car to get to school or work ended up with fewer but more expensive used cars to select from.
The air quality benefits of newer versus older cars at the end of the day had an insignificant impact on the environment in most communities.
We should have introduced mandatory drug and alcohol testing for members of Congress before they vote on more crazy legislation such as Cash for Clunkers.
Many taxpayers can hardly wait until the 2012 elections to trade in their current Congressmember for a fresh new model who is more efficient with our hard-earned money.
QM20 Downtown Service
The Queens Gazette received a copy of this letter. Dear Chairman Lhota and MTA Board Members:
I am Ali Fadil and I am a rider of the QM20 Express Bus in Bayside, Whitestone, and Flushing, Queens and I am writing you as a rider and on behalf of other express bus riders in our area to urge the MTA to run a Lower Manhattan service on the QM20 Express Bus which currently only offers service to and from Midtown.
There are many people in our area who have to drive to Fresh Meadows for the QM7 and QM8 Express Buses for direct service to and from Lower Manhattan turning Fresh Meadows into a commuter parking lot where it can be very hard to find parking. As a result, people circling around looking for parking and people from our area driving to the QM7 and QM8 negatively impacts air quality and adds to traffic congestion in Eastern Queens.
Also, it upsets me as well as other express bus riders in our area that the MTA is creating five new bus routes in boroughs such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx and failed to create new bus service in Queens. This is despite a representative from the MTA who was at state Senator Tony Avella’s town hall meeting held back in May stating that QM20 downtown service is a great idea and that they would like to see the service happen. If the MTA thinks that the service is a great idea, then why not run such a service? Especially since finances are good enough for the MTA to consider making service investments. As the economy is recovering so is Lower Manhattan as a business district, especially with the World Trade Center being rebuilt, and thus there are and will be more jobs being created in Lower Manhattan.
Furthermore, it also upsets our community that when Avella attempted to set up a meeting with the MTA on getting QM20 downtown service, they declined his offer for a meeting. This shows that the MTA talks about making service investments, but refuses to meet with communities about making these investments. Communities such as ours are the ones who ride the MTA’s system and will ultimately choose or decline to use the MTA.
The aforementioned is very important because Avella’s district has an 81 percent car ownership rate and Councilmember Dan Halloran’s district which also overlaps the QM20 service area has an 85 percent car ownership rate. Many residents within the QM20’s service area only use public transit to get to and from Manhattan. Also many riders of the QM20 own cars and outside of their usage of the QM20, they drive; and that is why making improvements to our express bus service and improving access to and from the different areas that our residents go to and from in Manhattan is important to us in Northeast Queens.
Therefore, I respectfully urge the MTA to run QM20 downtown service as the MTA already thinks it is a good idea and service investments are now being made. I would also like to remind the MTA who declined Avella’s request for a meeting that our doors are open and that we are waiting to meet with the MTA to discuss getting QM20 downtown service. Ali Fadil
To The Editor:
Since the invasion of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974, Cyprus and the Cypriot people have battled for justice and human rights. The people of Cyprus, whether living in Cyprus or abroad, have acted as warriors and champions of our small and beloved island.
Since 1974, the international community has repeatedly condemned the illegal military occupation of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey. Seventy-five resolutions have been passed by the United Nations Security Council calling for Turkey to withdraw its troops. Yet Turkey not only continues its occupation, but under Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, aims to turn Cyprus, the first Christian state, into an Islamic state. Therefore, 38 years later, we are continuing our battle for justice and freedom.
We have accomplished a lot as a nation in these last 38 years, although our primary objective is still unresolved. We salute the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias and the people of Cyprus for becoming a member state of the European Union, and for taking over the presidency of the European Union. This is an incredible accomplishment and we are proud! The remains of many of our missing were identified, and their families can finally lay them to rest. We hope every single missing person is returned home and their loved ones can find peace.
I urge everyone to become more involved; it is easier today than ever to make a difference using social media. Please encourage your local representative to support H.Res. 676, whose purpose is:
To expose and halt the Republic of Turkey’s illegal colonization of the Republic of Cyprus with non-Cypriot populations, to support Cyprus in its efforts to control all of its territory, to end Turkey’s illegal occupation of northern Cyprus, and to exploit its energy resources without illegal interference by Turkey.
Visit www.action.hellenicleaders.com/ p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_ KEY=7 917 to send a letter urging support of H. Res 676 to your local representative. We urge you to do so through this link, (the Web site of the Hellenic American Leadership Council), so that they can monitor the statistics of how many letters went to which member of Congress and the Senate.
We urge everyone to stay strong and focused on battling this great ongoing injustice, and assure you that we will not stop, we will not rest, until we see the removal of Turkish troops, the removal of the illegal settlers, and return of all refugees to their homes.
We urge all individuals, to express their frustration in the way they feel appropriate. Whether it’s writing letters to their member of the Senate and Congress, writing editorials, or demonstrating their frustration outside of the Turkish embassy hosting cultural events – everything counts, everything matters, as long as we work legally and cohesively, as long as our efforts are united and work toward a common strategy. Once again, today it is easier than ever to stay involved.
I remind everyone that we have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep. We have made promises to our children, our parents and grandparents to see a united, free Republic of Cyprus.
President of Pseka
To The Editor:
Now with the recent New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) scandal, it looks as though Emperor Bloomberg picked another winner with John Rhea, the same way he picked Kathy Black to run the Department of Education.
The Emperor cannot even select competent individuals to run the city agencies, yet he believes he is qualified to make laws curbing where we can smoke, how much soda we can drink, how much trans-fat and sugar we can consume, and how infants should be fed. He should concentrate on what he was elected to do instead of imposing his personal preferences on the rest of us.
Charles M. Barthold
Use Racino For Nonprofits
To The Editor:
State money has dried up to support nonprofits that educate and enlighten residents all over New York. This is the third year that state money (which is taxpayer money) has been unavailable to enable many valuable organizations to function effectively.
In Northeast Queens, organizations like the Alley Pond Environmental Center, the Poppenhusen Institute, the Bayside Historical Society, the Queens Historical Society, the Queens Botanical Garden and the Queens Farm Museum, among other nonprofits, fight to survive so that they may continue to serve and educate the community at large.
Depending on the organization, they teach us all about our history and our environment.
An idea has been floated by community leader and activist James Trent that would bring financial assistance to these and other groups. Money generated by the Racino in Southern Queens is taxed at a high rate. This money is supposed to be used in part for educational purposes. So is the money brought in by the state Lotto. Since these nonprofits educate the public through school visits and other programs, shouldn’t they be entitled to a portion of the money brought in through gambling venues?
If you agree with this point of view, please contact Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518-474- 8390, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos at 518-455-3171, Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver at 518-455-3791 and your local state senator and assemblymember to urge them to move forward to use this source of state funds to support our nonprofit organizations that contribute so much to our quality of life. The future of many of these organizations are at stake and some may close down if they are unable to receive financial support.
Kudos For USA Team
To The Editor:
Let me give the U.S. women’s gymnastic team a, “royal kudos”, for a job well done! These women showed not only skill but seem to possess a tenacious spirit that was undaunted by the world’s Olympic competition. Mind you the gold medal finish was the first for the U.S. since the Kerri Strug-led squad in the 1996 Olympics.
These women showed true grit and deserve our admiration and praise, for they have made our nation proud. So let me again say kudos to McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Jordyn Wieber.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village, NY
Go Team USA!
To The Editor:
As the summer Olympics continue, our athletes show their perseverance and dedication, as they compete and win medals. We are proud of all of them and what they have accomplished. Our sincerest congratulations to Team USA—you make all Americans proud of you. You are all a credit to America!