2015-06-10 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

DOT Issues In NE

A copy of this letter, sent to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Queens Commissioner Nicole Garcia, was received at the Queens Gazette. Dear DOT Queens Commissioner Garcia:

The following three issues need your and your agency’s intervention:

1) Every weekday afternoon, from about 3 pm to 5 pm, the Clearview Expressway southbound becomes jammed with bumperto bumper traffic. The problem is that the exit ramp to the LIE cannot handle the volume of traffic. Delays frequently extend all the way north to 35th Avenue and beyond. The DOT must do something to offer relief from this problem. Perhaps an extended two-lane exit is needed to the LIE, one lane dedicated for westbound and one lane dedicated for eastbound headed traffic. Vehicles try to escape this situation by exiting at Northern Boulevard, however, this only adds to the traffic on that thoroughfare, not to mention increasing pollution in the local community.

2) Now that many of the potholes are finally filled, a big problem remaining from the severe winter weather is the disappearance of lane dividing lines. One example would be westbound on Northern Boulevard at the Clearview Expressway, where you have that shift of lanes after the overpass. The sign is still there, however, the lines have disappeared. Many drivers do not realize the need to shift lanes, which is dangerous. Nighttime driving is particularly tricky on many roads, because the dividing lines have faded. Vehicles meander into other lanes very easily.

3) We are still waiting for a traffic signal in front of the Alley Pond Environmental Center on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston. This request has been made many times. That facility sees over 60,000 children and adults a year. Getting in and out of the Center is treacherous, especially for the schoolbuses carrying children. The exit from the Center will be in the same place that it is now once the new building is completed, according to those planning for the new addition. So the excuse of waiting for completion of the new facility to install a traffic signal is specious. Also, there needs to be a turning lane westbound on Northern Boulevard into the Center. Action is needed before a tragedy occurs.

Copies of these requests are going to elected leaders and Community Board 11. Thank you, Commissioner Garcia, for looking into these issues and acting on them.

Henry Euler
cc: Queens Borough President Melinda
Katz; Councilman Paul Vallone; state
Senator Tony Avella; Assemblyman
Edward Braunstein; Community Board 11

Summer Vacation

To The Editor:

The school year will soon be over. Before long it will start anew. Most students are elated to have the time off, but whether or not they care to admit it, most of them will start missing school even if they don’t quite ache and yearn for it, by midsummer. That’s because most students really enjoy not only the socialization, but even the pressures of study. For many kids their school is a large part of their universe. Apart from their actual homes, and occasionally even more so, their school adventures are the main reference points of their maturation.

What will they be doing during vacation? Hopefully not feeling guilty or an exaggerated sense of duty. Recharging the psychic batteries by relaxation is a vital learning experience too. But they should also, in good time, revisit the subject matter they acquired during the prior term and sharpen their skills and memory for retention. Even during a seasonal hiatus, education is a process that never slumbers.

What will teachers be doing? They’ll be doubling up on college work towards their advanced degrees with the strict time limits set by city and state. They’ll be sweating out extra jobs to supplement their income to offset the loss of real spending power caused by sacrifice and loyal service. And they’ll be making full use of precious, unpaid time by preparing ingenious, custom-tailored lessons to teach in fresh ways to inspire the new crop of kids they’ll be meeting just about as soon as the Labor Day barbecue embers cool off.

A summer day in avid preparation to inspire and train children. That’s an average teacher’s idea of a getaway to Tahiti.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

Vigilance Needed

To The Editor:

The current situation in the South China Sea involving China and other countries including the US is not looking very positive. China continues construction of facilities that it claims will be used for peaceful purposes and not for confrontation, but the situation is not good. Why do the Chinese need to build on these reefs and smaller islands? Other countries in the region, including Vietnam and the Philippines are nervously watching this scenario continue to unfold. The US has demanded that China halt the building of these facilities, but the Chinese government has refused to do so. It is very possible that there could be an incident in that region that could spark a fullblown military confrontation between China and the US. This country needs to be building its military presence there, and not reducing its level of military readiness, as President Obama has been doing over the last six years. He needs to wake up and get with the program and start acting like the Commander-In-Chief, instead of acting like a person with no sense of direction.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Civic Duties

To The Editor:

I was at a Memorial Day breakfast sponsored by the Memorial Day Parade committee that took place at Father Smith Hall in St. Anastasia parish in Douglaston. There were many religious, political, veteran, military, fire departments, police and civic groups in attendance, including my organization, which is St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council 5911, where I serve proudly as Grand Knight. All these groups were there to march in the parade. Now I had the opportunity to speak to a number of organizations and the chief complaint was that they find a decline in membership. It seems that if we want to make our country and community better we need to get involved. Like President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Well that was true when he said that in the ‘60s and is so true today. We have a great opportunity to help our neighbors and our community. This can be accomplished by volunteering with our local churches, temples, faith-based organizations and civic organizations that serve the greater good.

Remember this: we are the people spoken of in the Constitution, “We the people,” and we need to get involved to truly make our communities a better place to live and work. There are many organizations in our local communities and they can be found on the internet or in our local and regional newspapers. So be all you can be and serve your community, you will be proud that you did, because I know I am.

Mark Weprin who is Councilman in the 23rd district for the City of New York is resigning from his position to go to work for Governor Cuomo. This covers many towns in Queens, such as Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Douglaston, Little Neck, Floral Park, Holliswood, Hollis and New Hyde Park. There will be a special election called for by Mayor de Blasio in a few weeks. This will also lead to a primary, and a General Election in November. I therefore call for all registered voters to come out and step up to the plate and vote, and to vote for whoever can best serve the city and local communities. There are those who might say, “My vote doesn’t count,” or “the candidates will maintain the status quo of the rich and powerful who only want to line their own pockets.” Well I believe there are those who are running for public office who truly want to make a difference and honestly want to help those who are hurting. All you have to do is to study the candidates and see who are truly right for that position. That’s not going to happen if we don’t vote in this Special Election coming soon. Remember this: whoever gets elected will affect all of us. If the wrong person gets elected, it could mean an increase in taxes and cutting of services. Again, please vote, for every vote does count.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

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