2012-11-14 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Vet Appreciates Editorial

To The Editor:

Your editorial of November 7, “Veterans’ Day Reflections” has to be one of your top 10.

As a Vietnam vet myself, I thought it was the best I have ever read. You not only explained how we came about celebrating Veterans’ Day, you honored us with something that was so correct.

“See a veteran, stop a veteran, and thank a veteran” is a great thought. But it wasn’t like that in 1970 when I came home. It was “when you see a veteran yell at him, spit on him and call him a baby killer”.

It wasn’t until 1978, eight years after I came home, that the city finally recognized us as defenders of freedom and we were honored with a parade down the Canyon of Heroes in the city. That’s when all the name-calling stopped.

I will be happy to save your editorial in my scrapbook and also Mr. Frederick R. Bedell Jr.’s letter to the editor, “Honor Our Vets” just under yours. These types of editorials make a veteran’s chest stand out, proud that we served our country when she needed us and we didn’t run from the responsibility.

Thank you for putting a bounce back into my step and pride back into my heart. It is great to be recognized as someone special in a country that has been so good to people who believe in their freedom. Jerome J. Basile


LIPA Must Pay!

To The Editor:

Former Mayor John Lindsay’s political career ended as a result of a transit strike. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political future may depend upon fulfilling his promise to hold LIPA accountable for its incompetence and negligent response to Hurricane Sandy.

There are many adjectives that should be used to define LIPA. It is nearly impossible for anyone who depends upon the utility not to hate and vilify LIPA, its management and board. The anger swelling throughout LIPA’s service area may soon result in violence that will not shock those whose power and heat has now been unavailable for nine-plus days. LIPA’s promise of restoration of services to 90 percent of their customers by now is a sad joke. There are just too many people without service to believe the statistic.

It would be wise for any aspiring attorney who is interested in a political future to begin a class action lawsuit against LIPA for its failure to provide services. Immediately thousands would gladly join the class. The residents who are tormented by the failure of LIPA are out for blood.

Many residents are drawing a line in the sand, demanding LIPA be punished for its failures. Sandy may have been a “100-Year” storm but LIPA could never claim that it was unaware of the possibility that such a storm would strike. When dividends to shareholders and bonuses to management override preparing for all contingencies, LIPA has failed in its duties to protect, and obligation to serve the needs and general welfare of the people. As a monopoly, LIPA’s responsibilities demand putting the public first.

If the governor fails to severely punish LIPA management and board then he also has failed the people of New York and should be turned from office as was Lindsay!

Edward Horn

Astorians Find Each Other

To The Editor:

I lived in Astoria for 29 years and left in 1991 with a young family because I wanted my children to grow up with a home and a backyard and the only way we could do that was to move east.

The saying, “you can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl” is so true for me. I am fortunate to still have family in Astoria, which brings me back there all the time. As my children got older, the realization of how much I missed my home made it more and more clear that it was the people I missed.

Aug. 11, 2011 was a turning point for me in my life when Rose Lajszky Schreiber had the brilliant idea of starting an Astoria group on Facebook and wow, did it take off. I will be forever thankful to Rose. Astorians were so excited to meet other Astorians from all over, as we came together and shared our stories. We reminisced morning through night, sharing our memories of the parks, the schools, the bars—lots of bars—diners, delis, candy stores, feasts, Astoria characters and sports. We seem to talk for days about pizzerias. The music posts were precious and took us back to different times in our lives.

We talked about how we embraced the wonderful diversity we grew up with. We talked about how the streets were our playground through every season. The streets and walls were where playing ball took place. The stoops were where we congregated with the kids on the block, and in the winter we tried to stay warm in hallways.

People posted amazing pictures from all over our beautiful Astoria. And that’s when it hit me, the immense pride I have in being from Astoria. I realized many, many years later that I did grow up in a small town where everybody knew everybody with the benefit of being in the best city in the world.

Sixty-five of us have bonded in a unique way and they have enriched my life every day for the last year and three months. I am so grateful to know each one of them, they each have added something different to my life. Some of us had known each other from 30 years ago but lost touch and Facebook has reunited us. I even had the most amazing moment when I discovered my first childhood friend Grace Amzand Rynk was in the group. I hadn’t seen her in way over 40 years. I feel so close with the women, I think of them now as my sisters. We have been so fortunate to have planned many get togethers and we have met each other’s families, danced, ate and laughed together.

Some of our group live in North Carolina and they had get-togethers and we share all our pictures of our special times together.

Laughing together has been a big part of our Astoria family, I have never laughed so much in my life as I do with these friends, but just as important are the tears that have been shed and how I have witnessed time and time again our members offering understanding, support and much needed hugs. We gain strength from each other and daily inspire each other to live life to the fullest and to help each other. We have shared all the holidays together, TV shows, our birthdays, our accomplishments and disappointments, our dreams and regrets, our vacations, our illnesses, our sorrows and deaths.

This past week has been very tough for us New Yorkers and New Jerseyans with Hurricane Sandy hitting us badly and yet again, our stoop friends step up to the plate. I have witnessed our friends nonstop volunteering, sharing information and resources and comforting each other. I never feel like I’m alone. I think we have an unbreakable bond on our stoop and it’s thanks to Facebook and the great people of Astoria. Thank you. Kathy Rygor Roeder

Linda Wilson, Missed By All

To The Editor:

I was so sorry to read of your journalist Linda J. Wilson’s passing. I remember speaking to her so often in regard to our Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and Woodhaven Business Improvement District meeting agendas and our “Wish List” for our business and storeowners in Woodhaven. She also attended our meetings and it was such a pleasure to meet with her personally, and speak to her of our needs. Linda was a very intelligent journalist and represented your excellent, supportive Queens Gazette newspaper well. Our organizations appreciated her intuitive reporting skills and we will miss her.

Maria A. Thomson
Executive Director
Greater Woodhaven Development Corp.
Woodhaven Business Improvement Distr.

Dems, GOP–Same Debt

To The Editor:

If you are despondent that your candidate did not win, let me assure you it matters not a whit. For over a half-century, Democrats and Republicans have taken turns at presiding over the economy, guiding and managing our national debt, deficit and social programs to the brink of bankruptcy. We have spent many decades switching seats but changing nothing. Both parties continue to debate how to spend more money we don’t have and matters that are trivial in comparison to the fiscal crisis we face. We have been doing the same thing, that is, voting for one or the other, expecting different results, a process that Albert Einstein said defines insanity.

Did you think this election would be different? Check your premise. Both parties endorse the core principle of a powerful, “beneficent” government and supported TARP, bailouts for the auto industry, banks, etc. Few politicians speak of solutions and even fewer about our debt crisis, impending bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare and unsustainable social welfare programs. There’s no way to increase taxes to the degree necessary to cover those benefits without draining capital from the economy and sharply reducing the middle class standard of living. There aren’t enough taxes to raise from the wealthy and businesses to deal with what we face and no one is talking about scaling back the size of government in order to live within our means. Americans owe a sum of money we can never, ever repay.

The results of this election ensure that the size of government and our debt will continue to grow and we will again be lulled into a false sense of security and apathy. As a nation, we are inexorably moving towards an illusory utopia of social justice and equal outcomes for all—that is until we run out of other peoples’ money.

Ed Konecnik

Seal Off Tunnels

To The Editor:

When the Holland Tunnel flooded from Hurricane Sandy, it had to be closed for an entire week. A simple solution to prevent that in the future would be to install retractable, water-tight doors similar to those in submarines. With those in place at either end, the tunnel could be sealed off when a flood is imminent.

Though the investment wouldn’t be cheap, it probably wouldn’t cost any more than what has already been spent to get the tunnel up and running again after the storm, in addition to the loss in revenue for the time the tunnel was out of service.

More than 90,000 of us use the tunnel daily. At $12 a clip, that adds up to more than a million dollars a day, multiplied by seven for the week the tunnel was out of commission from the storm. And, of course, the MTA will eventually pass that expense along to the customers by raising fares, yet again.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the tunnel when it flooded; People might’ve been though. So we’re not just talking about money, but saving lives.

Ken Klinger

Sculpture Park Reopened

Dear Friends of Socrates,

Thank you so much for your outpouring of thoughtful messages and well wishes over the last week. We are extremely grateful for your support and know that it has had a tremendous impact on our morale and recovery. Socrates is now officially open and nearly back to speed, but we wanted to fill you in on the current status of our office and grounds.

The park has fared fairly well overall and re-opened on November 5 (only to be briefly closed again with the arrival of snow storm Athena). We are mourning the loss of a few sizable trees. Thankfully, the sculptural installations throughout the park are undamaged, with the exception of one piece which can be repaired. This remarkable video, posted by our neighbor Eric Westpheling, will show you just how fortunate we are and how far we’ve come: http://vimeo.com/52437548.

Water standing at approximately 20” flooded the main office and adjoining storage rooms, submerging files, archives, publications, and office equipment. We removed several truckloads of debris and have cleaned out the premises. Thankfully, we have working computers and Internet service as of yesterday, and coincidentally, most of our slides were recently digitized to complete the new archive of artists and exhibitions on our Web site.

We are truly fortunate to have dodged greater misfortune, and to be surrounded by the love of our remarkable co-workers, friends like you, and this neighborhood that we are so fond of. Our hearts go out to those still facing incredible losses and hardship throughout the city. Some local residents have offered to volunteer, for which we are extremely appreciative—thank you! Since we currently have enough assistance with park clean-up, we kindly request that you redirect your generous volunteer efforts to those in dire need. Here are some immediate suggestions:

• American Red Cross:
Phone: 800-RED CROSS (733-2767)
Text: Donate $10 by text-messaging the
word REDCROSS to 90999
•Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City:
•Habitat for Humanity:
Phone: 800-HABITAT (422-4828)
•Humane Society of the United States /
Animal Rescue
•Occupy Sandy

Please pardon our delay in responding to individual inquiries as we focus on getting Socrates back up and operating. If you would like to get in touch, please email us at info@socratessculpturepark.org.

Stay Strong, NYC! Warmest regards, Socrates Sculpture Park

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