2015-09-09 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Being There Matters

To The Editor:

Why being there matters: On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

Thank you very much for your support of the men and women in US Navy, deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans. Very respectfully,

MCSN Jamal McNeill Media Production
Support Navy Office of Community
Outreach 5722 Integrity Drive Bldg.
456-3 Millington, TN 38054

Quantity Or Quality

To The Editor:

At the recent debate among the top 10 Republican candidates running for president, Marco Rubio made the following statement. He said that the Republicans have 16-17 qualified candidates running for president, while the Democrats cannot even come up with one. So far, it’s unfortunate that many of us feel the same way.

Charles M. Barthold
Jackson Heights

Trump Not Presidential

To The Editor:

Donald Trump should not be a candidate for President of the United States. He is a volatile loose cannon who is out of control, and I am not referring to the immigration issue, which has to be addressed by more logical minds.

Trump is the personification of a global bully who would try to bully our potential adversaries into submission, and he could end up initiating major conflicts in the world. My concern is he will shoot from the hip and blunder into a nuclear war with Russia or China.

I have been voting as a conservative for various candidates from both parties since 1960 and I do not recall a presidential candidate who is so off the wall as Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is not presidential material and he could be a threat to the security of this country and the world. We need to trump all of his cards and return him to his casinos.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

Simplistic Huckster

To The Editor:

Music has always accompanied campaigns to both schmooze, amuse and enthuse watchers, as well as be an introduction theme for purposes of gathering support. Neil Young rejected the nebulous honor for a candidate contrary to his personal values and political ethics and immediately withdrew the unauthorized usage of his “Rockin’ In The Free World,” music being misused by Donald Trump as part of his Kingly-Koronation. Perhaps Trump and his Morton Downey-esque ravings should in his future musical background be accompanied by Queen’s, “We Are The Champions”; less modest than Neil Young’s perhaps, but more to the point. I can see it now, a gigantic, “The Trump White House” emblazoned as a crown in neon lights above our famous American presidential citadel, now newly painted a color to suggest gold.

How long will it take for his angered and desperate supporters to realize that his constant simplistic huckster diatribe is directed toward conning them?!

Nicholas Zizelis
Bayside

The A Train’s 83rd Year

To The Editor:

On September 10, 1932 service started on the A train which originally ran between 207th Street in upper Manhattan and Chambers Street in downtown Manhattan. This was the first cityowned and built IND subway line. At the time, it was considered state of the art with rattan seats, metal straps and overhead fans providing speedy service. The subway cars were so well built, many ran over 40 years, into the early 1970s. The basic design of these cars served as the foundation for future generations right up to the present day. IND stations on the A line were built to accommodate up to 11 car lengths. During the 1930s, NYC began building and financing construction of the new IND (Independent Subway - today’s A, C, E, F and G lines). This new municipal system directly subsidized by taxpayers dollars would provide direct competition to both the IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit) and BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit).

Municipal government forced both the BMT and IRT into economic ruin by denying them fare increases that would have provided access to additional badly needed revenues. Big Brother, just like the Godfather, eventually made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. The owners folded and sold out to City Hall.

The A train became famous in the 1940s when jazz musician Duke Ellington wrote “Take the A Train”. The A line was extended in 1936 known as the “Fulton Street branch” running through Brooklyn terminating at Lefferts Boulevard in Queens. When the Long Island Rail Road abandoned the Rockaway Branch in the 1950s, the A line was extended to provide new service to the Rockaways, which began on June 28, 1956.

In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the ‘60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The Governor appointed four board members. Likewise, the Mayor appointed four more and the rest by suburban county Executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary such as New York City Transit would do a good job. When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed – everyone could put up their hands. Don’t blame me, I’m only a minority within the Board. Decade after decade, NYC Mayors, Comptrollers, Public Advocates, City Council Presidents, Borough Presidents and City Council members would all play the same sad song – if only we had majority control of the Board – things would be different. All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the City of New York and NYC Transit is an escape clause. NYC has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets which includes the subway and most of the bus system as well. Actions speak louder than words. If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?

Many are too young to remember that up until the 1970s – NYC Transit extended E line service which ran express in Brooklyn, providing supplemental service to the A line during rush hours to the Rockaways. Riders up until the early 1970s had to pay an extra fare when traveling beyond Broad Channel to any other station in the Rockaways. For off-peak and late night service, there was the old HH local shuttle from either Rockaway Park or Far Rockaway to Euclid Avenue Station which was the first stop in Brooklyn.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked in the transportation field for 31 years.

Phase Out Pan American

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
August 31, 2015
Hon. Bill de Blasio
Mayor
City of New York
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

I write in reference to the contract between the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Samaritan Village, Inc. for a standalone transitional shelter to be permanently placed at the former Pan American Hotel located at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, NY 11373 which was recently rejected by Comptroller Stringer for a third time.

I am supportive of the Comptroller’s decision due to numerous outstanding safety violations at the location and the absence of proper community input prior to the facility’s opening. As you know, this shelter has been plagued with problems since its first day. The lack of transparency during the entirety of this process has been deeply troubling and existing conditions at the facility are a major disservice to my constituents, as well as those who are housed at the facility.

While I understand the need to address the needs of the homeless, the Pan American location has proven to be truly inadequate for such a facility. The absence of coherent planning, community involvement, and quality living conditions is inexcusable. I strongly recommend that rooms left vacant by current residents who have transitioned to permanent housing, not be filled. This ensures that current residents are not evicted and that new families are not moved into a sub-par facility. Given the evidence against this structure as a viable option, I urge you to reconsider this location.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

Sincerely,
Grace Meng
Member of Congress

Listen To Community

To The Editor:

The School Construction Authority (SCA) is proposing to construct a new high school on the site of the Bayside Jewish Center on 32nd Avenue and 203rd Street. This has raised concerns among local residents who feel the site is inappropriate because of limited space and parking and traffic concerns.

The Auburndale Improvement Association supports these residents and our colleagues from the Northwest Clearview Civic Association in opposing a large high school at this site. We all understand the need for new schools, however, the SCA has chosen this site without listening to the input of those who know their neighborhood best, the residents who live there and who will be directly affected by the impact of a new school.

We have also heard that a new school is planned for Linden Place in Flushing. This site is highly congested and the residents are opposing the plan. They are willing to discuss alternative plans, however, the SCA seems unresponsive.

This method of choosing a site for a school seems to be par for the course in the way that the SCA operates. Just recently, the SCA had decided to construct a new school on the former Keil Nursery property on 48th Avenue and 211th Street, in Bayside. That property goes right up the middle of the block adjacent to residents’ backyards. Any privacy will be gone once the school is constructed. This site is also on a busy thoroughfare with limited parking. When SCA representatives came to Community Board 11 to present their case for the site, they seemed disinterested in what the public had to say. No plans were shown for the new building and the representatives could not even give an idea of the size or type of school that would be constructed. Even months after, no one is sure what will be built at the site. Shouldn’t a city agency be accountable and responsive to the public who pays their salaries?

The SCA seems to be a world unto itself. The Department of Education (DOE) does not seem to coordinate with the SCA. State Senator Tony Avella is proposing legislation that will compel the SCA to include the community and local elected officials into the process of school site selection. Our civic association supports this legislation wholeheartedly.

Many people feel that a new high school is not really needed in the Bayside area. Our three local public high schools are overcrowded because students from far away neighborhoods are allowed to attend these schools. These students are motivated to come to Bayside because their local high schools are seen as inferior and/or unsafe. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the DOE to concentrate on improving those high schools so that all students can attend an excellent high school in their own neighborhoods?

It is time for the SCA and the DOE to stop acting in an imperial manner and listen to and work with local residents on proposals that will affect communities for years to come.

Terri Pouymari, President
Henry Euler, First Vice President
Auburndale Improvement Association

Ban All Drones

To The Editor:

Drones – here, there, and everywhere. What’s a person to do but pray? There are so many drones being flown by irresponsible people, this in turns endangers many lives. This is especially true of those of us who travel by air. As reported, there have been 50 drones so far this year that have been sighted near or at JFK and La Guardia Airports. Furthermore there have been up to 650 drones been sighted nationally. Last week the Queens DA said it would charge flying a drone near a plane or helicopter with first degree reckless endangerment and could mean seven years in prison. Meanwhile the federal charges would be a $25,000 fine. Well it’s about time. But I have another question – what is stopping a terrorist from flying a drone with a small bomb toward civilian and military planes? Now that is something to thing about and that is pretty scary if you ask me. I say ban all drones for they are dangerous.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

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