2013-04-17 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Roosevelt Island Error

To The Editor:

We are writing in dismayed response to the article concerning Roosevelt Island that appeared on the cover of the Queens Gazette, Mar. 27, 2013.

We are Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, and Judy Buck, secretary of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition. On Mar. 21, 2013, we spoke at the Long Island City Astoria Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, at the invitation of Arthur Rosenfield. We presented the history of Roosevelt Island and the issues raised by the impending development of Cornell NYC Tech.

The article, “Concerns About Roosevelt Island Tech Campus”, by Gazette reporter Thomas Cogan misrepresents our remarks.

As in many previous public meetings, we cited several issues that concern our community, which include heavy truck traffic, and wear and tear on the island’s infrastructure.

At no point, however, did we “alert” our audience—nor did we say, or imply, that without more “cooperation”, Cornell would be “forced to endure a run of angry denunciations, court injunctions, construction delays that threaten to prolong matters...”

These are Mr. Cogan’s words and Mr. Cogan’s conclusions. There is a video of the meeting, available through the Chamber of Commerce, to which Mr. Cogan could have referred to confirm the accuracy of his report.

Thank you for publishing this corrective letter.

Judith Berdy, President, Roosevelt Island
Historical Society
Judy Buck, Secretary, Roosevelt Island
Community Coalition

Respect Historic Church

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Chairman Ferrer:

I am writing to you today because I am concerned about the situation around St. George’s Episcopal Church at 135-32 38th Avenue, Flushing.

As you may know, this is an historical, landmark quality church, dating back over 200 years. It is one of the most notable structures on Main Street. It is a core building in the religious history of Flushing and Queens.

The problem is that buses are always parked around the perimeter of the church, making it difficult for parishioners and visitors to enter and exit the church safely. The problem becomes particularly egregious during a funeral. To me, having this church blocked by buses in this manner is an insult to this holy place. It shows a lack of respect for the church’s sanctity. I doubt that this would happen around St. Patrick’s Cathedral or the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, or for that matter, any other house of worship.

Please look into this problem and let me know what can be done to ameliorate the situation. Thank you for your anticipated response.

Mandingo Osceola Tshaka
President, Bayside Clear Spring Council
cc: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City
Comptroller John Liu, Queens Borough
President Helen Marshall, state Senator
Toby Stavisky, Assemblymember Ron
Kim, Councilmember Peter Koo
Local newspapers

Organize Against MTA

To The Editor:

The buses on the Woodhaven Corridor are too overcrowded and unreliable and the MTA doesn’t care.

They are hoping the problem will go away. They have increased buses but the buses are still overcrowded and unreliable.

The Rockaway Boulevard bus stop going to Rockaway during rush hour is pushing and shoving. Many people are afraid at this location. People are angry and frustrated. I think people will start to assault each other.

Mr. Norman Silverman from the MTA stated the overcrowding will improve after the A train reopens again. Duh?

He said no to 24-hour Q52 and Q53 bus service. It costs too much and they have no more resources. One lady spent over $20 dollars to get to Rockaway from Liberty Avenue.

If you miss the last bus at Rockaway Boulevard at night to Beach 95 Street it can take you over two hours to get home via the Howard Beach bus shuttle through Far Rockaway.

This is amazing and incredible! The MTA doesn’t care. What can we do? Most people are taking the Q52 and Q53 to get home faster. Many people have given up.

I’m not sure but I think the shuttle bus to Far Rockaway is useless. It takes too long.

We need to organize constantly. Tell people to contact me, Philip McManus at Rowing612@aol.com. Join Queens Public Transit Committee for better public transit. Join any group that will fight for better transit. Contact our elected leaders, media and the MTA to give more service. Don’t give up.

We also need to fight to reopen the old LIRR Rockaway Beach Line and provide better transit options for Queens.

Philip McManus

Faith-Based Initiative

To The Editor:

Maybe wind turbines would be a good investment if the things actually worked. But they don’t. Not that well.

But a lot of true believers don’t care: They tell us wind is an ideal way to solve global warming. And the only thing standing in its way is the intransigence of dinosaur-minded fossil-fuel crowd.

That, and the facts.

Let’s put aside for a moment all the talk about Global Warming: Whether it exists; Whether it is man-made; And whether alternative energy will slow it down.

Let’s even forget for a moment that the plunging price of natural gas and its increasing popularity as a substitute for coal has reduced carbon emissions to their lowest level in 20 years—and is threatening to make wind power even more economically obsolete.

Let’s talk about what potential investors in wind energy may not know if they rely on the Green Energy Press: Wind turbines don’t last as long as promised; don’t produce as much energy as hoped; and require more maintenance than anyone imagined.

The Daily Mail recently reported that the University of Edinburgh found “for onshore wind, the monthly ‘load factor’ of turbines, a measure of how much electricity they generate as a percentage of how much they could produce if on at full power all the time - dropped from a high of 24 percent in the first year after construction, to just 11 percent after 15 years”.

And that is just for turbines that are working. In America, numbers are hard to come by—another red flag for investors— but as many as one in four wind turbines just do not work. Some do not even spin. Others spin, but do not generate electricity, so it is hard to tell by looking at them.

Hawaii provides the favorite example: The 37 turbines at the Kamaoa Wind Farm stood derelict for more than six years after it was discovered that repairs were more expensive than replacements. This is just one of six abandoned wind farms in one of the most wind-ideal places on the planet.

The Altamont Wind Farms in Northern California used to be the largest wind farm on earth. Now it is known as the largest killer of eagles and other raptors. The turbines are shut down for four months a year to protect the birds during their migration.

So much for that pro forma.

As many as 4,500 wind turbines have been built—and abandoned—in California alone. But as long as the tax subsidies continue, so will the good money continue to chase the bad.

How long can that last? Many of the True Believers don’t care. They even say that making money is no longer the point of being in business. They are free to believe that. But not with my money.

Even so, callers to my wealth management business and syndicated financial talk radio show want to know about the recent uptick in some wind energy stocks; and whether now is a good time to add them to their portfolios.

There may be a one million reasons to invest in wind. Or installing a windmill. Most involve bragging to your friends that you are saving the planet. But if you need the energy or the money, don’t. Because right now, wind is still a faith-based initiative.

Bill Gunderson
San Diego

Retirement Accounts

To The Editor:

The events unfolding in Cyprus are an example of déjà vu happening all over again. I remind the low information citizens oblivious of the historical record of tyrannical machinations of government bureaucrats which includes the bank closings in the United States in 1933 and President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102 requiring all gold coins, bullion and certificates to be delivered to the Federal Reserve.

I am surprised that few realize that what is happening in Cyprus is gaining momentum and acceptance here in America. Our wealth and assets are being devalued by the Fed’s Quantitative Easing, the inflationary printing policies of the Federal Reserve, the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare which imposes an additional 3.8 percent tax on real estate transactions.

A more ominous and potentially destructive policy was proposed by economics professor Teresa Ghilarducci at a congressional hearing. She proposed Congress establish universal retirement accounts. Every worker would save five percent of their pay into their Guaranteed Retirement Account to which the government pays a three percent inflation indexed guaranteed return. Here’s the kicker: at retirement, the assets of the plan would be turned over to the U.S. government, which would then pay an annuity to the retiree. The retiree’s heirs would not receive the residual assets upon the death of the retiree.

The governments of Argentina and, I believe, Hungary have already nationalized private retirement accounts. Our government’s policies and legacy do not inspire confidence that it can’t happen here.

Ed Konecnik

Letters To The Editor

To The Editor:

Surveys reveal that “Letters To The Editor” (Editorial, April 10) is one of the most widely read and popular sections of any newspaper.

Weekly newspapers in Queens, such as our own Queens Gazette, offer readers a chance to speak out. The same is true with daily newspapers. There are also numerous foreign language daily and other weekly newspapers in all five boroughs within New York City. Weekly newspapers tend to offer more space for writers than daily newspapers. Some daily newspapers have quotas of no more than one letter every 30 or 60 days per writer. Many weekly newspapers tend to frown on giving any one letter writer a regular space each week. Most daily and weekly newspapers will print letters submitted by any writer regardless of where they live.

You may periodically see some familiar names including myself, John Amato, Fred Bedell, Michael Chimenti, Patricia Dolan, Thomas and Constance Dowd, Henry Euler, Bob Friedrich, Frank St. George, Cynthia Groopman, Benjamin Haber, Edward Horn, Steven Kalka, Ed Konecnik, Janet McCarthy, Donald A. Moskowitz, Tom Nolan, Zack Pal, John Procida, Carl Rosenberg, Joyce Shepard, Vytautas Vileniskis and others gracing the Letters To The Editor section.

Contrary to popular myth, we don’t always have our submissions published. Being a prolific letter writer doesn’t always guarantee publication on a regular basis by anyone. It helps to have a snappy introduction, good hook, be timely, precise, have an interesting or different viewpoint to increase your odds of being published. Many papers welcome letters commenting on their own editorials, articles or previously published letters to the editor.

We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership.

Many of us have opinions on news— not only from Washington, Albany and City Hall—but also neighborhoods and local issues which impact our communities and daily lives.

I continue to be grateful that the Queens Gazette, along with other daily and weekly newspapers, afford both me and my fellow letter to the editor writers the opportunity to express our views, as well as differing opinions on issues of the day. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials in any Letters To The Editor section. Public officials use taxpayers’ dollars to promote their views, via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Queens Gazette and all the other weekly newspapers.

Let us thank those few brave souls who are willing to take on the establishment and powerful special interest groups in the pages of your Letters To The Editor section. They fill a valuable niche in the information highway.

Please join me, along with your neighbors, in reading your favorite daily and local weekly community newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the revenues necessary to keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This is what helps keep our neighbors employed, the local economy growing and provide space on a daily and weekly basis for your favorite or not so favorite letter writers.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

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