2015-08-05 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Animal Abuse Scourge

To The Editor:

I am hoping you will find it in your heart to get the word out on animal cruelty and the consequences of it in your paper.

Animal cruelty must be stopped. The people have to know they will be fined and jailed for hurting an animal. People think because they own them they can do anything they want to the animals.

Recently, there are six cases that I know about.

1) A Sunset Park man beats his five dogs on a daily basis using a stick; he told police he is training them. When someone shows a phone video of abuse, why must the police wait for the owner to enter the home? After protests from animal advocates they were finally taken by the ASPCA.

2) A Sheepshead Bay man who gets puppies from Florida to sell from his house – the rescued puppies were full of ringworms and underfed and living in boxes. There was a picture of him holding a puppy by his head with his legs hanging. Police were called, nothing was done. If not for a good Samaritan who offered this man $200 for each puppy they would still be there half-dead. Because he did not take care of them the rescuers have a BIG vet bill to pay.

3) A small dog was left for dead in a box on a Coney Island street corner. He was bitten up all over his body and his jaw was half off. He was used as bait for a dog-fighting ring. Thank God someone called a rescuer, they brought the dying dog to their vet and he is on the road to recovery.

4) A woman in Coney Island was going shopping and she saw three men holding a small dog. When she approached them she just knew the puppy was not theirs. She was not afraid to take the dog away, but she did run fast. All these cases are within two months and I am sure there are much more.

5) A man who lives in Flushing keeps his hunting dog in the backyard in the contained area with wood boards. The poor dog doesn’t go out of the homemade wooden cage. There are holes in the wooden floor for the owner to sweep down. A neighbor said this past July 4 the family blew up their fireworks right near the cage and this is why the dog is deaf now. This one no one has helped, he is still in danger.

6) A man who lives in Whitestone has a female beagle behind wood boards on the side of the house. You can see her face peeking out. It was posted the person leaves his rocks there too. This puppy is still in danger.

Dog fighting is illegal and not much is being done to enforce the law. The state should put on street corners notices for a reward, “if you know of any dog fighting going on” in different languages. Everyone needs money.

These animals are defenseless against the cruelty from adults and children. Notices should be sent out to all ethnic newspapers stating you will be fined and put in jail for hurting/stealing a household pet.

Barbarous acts to animals often lead to brutality to humans and this connection is well documented. It has been observed that serial killers often began their sprees of violence on animals as children. We must stop this now.

Gina Annunziata

Ride The Ferry Wave

To The Editor:

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ongoing $55 million program to support the creation of new ferry services around the five boroughs makes sense. Our waterways are an underutilized natural asset which can offer significant transportation alternatives for thousands of New Yorkers. Most of our existing public transportation and roadways are already operating at, or above, capacity. New ferry services can be implemented far more quickly than construction of new subway, commuter rail or highways. These can take years or even decades until completion of environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements and actual construction before reaching beneficial use. Completing all of the above, along with finding funding for ferry boats, docks and parking with costs in the millions may be easier than finding the billions of dollars necessary for construction of new or extended subway, commuter rail or highways. Utilization of ferry boats equipped with modern fuel efficient engines can make a positive contribution to air quality.

Prior to opening the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964, there was frequent ferry service from the 69th Street pier to the St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal with connections to the Whitehall Street, Manhattan Ferry Terminal.

In April 1967, the old Jersey Central Rail Road ended ferry service between Liberty Street and Pavonia, New Jersey. Later that year, in November 1967, the old Erie Lackawanna Rail Road suspended ferry service between Barclay Street and Hoboken. Fast forward to today. Thousands of daily commuters use ferries from Hoboken, New Jersey to the World Financial Center. There are also 66,000 daily patrons of the Staten Island Ferry System which connects St. George, Staten Island with the Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Unlike the other four boroughs, 500,000 Richmond County residents have no direct subway or commuter rail system linking them with the rest of NYC.

In August 2010, new East River Ferry service ridership reached one million riders. Several thousand riders on a daily basis continue to utilize the East River ferry connecting various waterfront neighborhoods including Long Island City, East 34th Street, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Wall Street and Governors Island. Over the next four years under Mayor de Blasio’s proposal, ferry service could expand to serve the communities of Soundview in the Bronx; Astoria and Long Island City in Queens; East 90th, East 62nd, East 23rd, and Grand Streets in Manhattan; Fulton Street Landing, Atlantic Avenue Pier 6, Brooklyn Army Terminal and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn; and Rockaway in Queens. There is also the potential for new service for Coney Island in Brooklyn and Stapleton in Staten Island. Astoria residents would benefit by proposed new service which could connect with stops at Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, 34th Street and Wall Street at Pier 11.

NYC can also apply for both state and federal capital grants to assist in funding. New York state also provides operating assistance for transportation systems. Ridership on any transit service generates yearly federal transportation formula capital assistance. Numerous past private ferry operators have come and gone. They could not financially survive based upon farebox revenue alone without some sort of government subsidy. Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus, subway and commuter rail along with New York City Department of Transportation Staten Island Ferry is subsidized by a combination of city, state and federal assistance for both capital and operating costs. All of these proposed new ferry services will require similar subsidies if they are to survive. Mayor de Blasio’s proposal for a fare structure of $2.75 per ride to match that of New York City Transit bus and subway will require a significant amount of operating subsidy. Thousands of NYC residents elect to pay $6.50 for express bus service. It might make more sense for new ferry services to charge the same as New York City Transit and MTA Bus express services. Riders could purchase weekly or monthly passes for discounted fares. These could be supplemented by using Transit Checks which will further reduce the cost per ride. In the end, the actual cost per ride could still end up closer to $2.75 than $6.50 per ride.

Who would not want to enjoy the fresh air and breeze that only waterborne transportation can provide? Riding a ferry can be less stressful than being packed in a subway car like sardines in a can.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

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