2015-11-04 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

To PANYNJ Re: Noise

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
October 27, 2015
Patrick Foye
Executive Director
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
225 Park Avenue South, 15th
New York, NY 10003
Dear Mr. Foye,

Over the past few months, the Port Authority has conducted needed construction on the runways at LaGuardia Airport in order to maintain their quality and safety. However, it has come to our attention that much of this work, which causes air traffic to be diverted over communities surrounding the airport, is conducted on weekends in the early morning and late at night. On behalf of the many Queens residents affected by this peak in noise, we ask that the Port Authority adjust the hours during which construction takes place on weekends.

We appreciate the investment the Port Authority is making into improving LaGuardia Airport and understand how important it is to conduct work on the airport’s runways. We are also aware that air traffic demands impose restrictions on when this construction can be conducted. That said, it is important to note that weekend nights and early mornings are the times with the greatest impact on the residents of communities in the path of diverted air traffic. As you can imagine, the last thing hard-working families need is to be awoken from their sleep on their days off.

Members of the communities affected by this increased noise would greatly appreciate if the Port Authority could refrain from closing runways during the early-morning and late-night hours on weekends. While we understand the work must be completed in a timely manner, we hope the Port Authority can find alternate times that would be less disruptive to residents. Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

Joe Crowley
Member of Congress, 14th
Jose Peralta
NYS Senate, 13th District
Michael DenDekker
Assembly, 34th District
Francisco Moya
NYS Assembly, 39th District
Daniel Dromm
NYC Council Member, 25th District
Congressman Crowley is the nine-term

Dangers Of Radicalism

To The Editor:

The Civil War resulted in 750,000 deaths and countless loss of limbs and fortunes. The nation was preserved by a flow of blood that no external war has ever cost the United States.

The Civil War was the culmination of iron dogmas that did not permit compromise. The issue of slavery almost destroyed the Colonies from declaring their freedom from the English Crown and could have ended the Constitutional Convention. Slavery pitted two diametrically opposed beliefs that denied compromise leaving only armed conflict to resolve.

The current American political divide which has been brewing since the election of Bill Clinton is now a trench that seems incapable of peaceful resolution. Americans have had ideological conflicts in the past that were hotly debated in the Houses of government and the streets of our cities but ultimately settled by both sides coming to the table. Now, compromise is deemed a betrayal. With compromise off the table there could only be a mind-set of winning at all costs and the devil with the results.

The rhetoric against our national institutions is historic. Judges are condemned for not agreeing with partisan advocates. They are demonized as “activist” and yet when in concurrence they are “constitutional scholars.” Members of the House and Senate view the other Party as enemies. The Republicans are a house not only divided but enraged.

When political discourse becomes hatred the situation of today could easily be expected. Violence is more than a potential. Attacks upon our very system of government is more than a probability. One can easily understand these possibilities by threats to have the government close, not pay its bills and have infrastructure crumble. History can be repeated. Examine the post-World War I events of Germany to have a chill down your back!

Ed Horn
Baldwin, NY

Veterans’ Sacrifices

To The Editor:

With Veterans’ Day only a few weeks away, it is so very important that we never forget the sacrifices that these brave men and women have made so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country today. Our veterans, both past and present have served this nation well, and we as a nation owe them an immense debt of gratitude for the sacrifices that they have made. Veterans’ Day is not just about a day off from work or school or department store sales; more importantly, it is about taking time out to reflect and honor all of those who gave their lives in every war from the American Revolution through Afghanistan and Iraq. God Bless our veterans today and always. Thank you for your dedicated service and sacrifice that you have made for this nation. You are the true heroes and heroines of this nation now and forever. God Bless America!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

School Scanners Harm?

To The Editor:

There’s talk about doing away with the metal-detecting scanners that are stationed at the entrance of a relatively small number of public schools. Their presence is for the stated purpose of protecting the school community from weapons such as knives and guns and trained safety agents have reportedly intercepted nearly 100 of these potential instruments of tragedy.

Should the DOE dismantle the scanners? One would think that if they have done the job, the argument would be moot. Have they looked at the undoctored data and determined that the scanners are no longer necessary? Was their analysis free of overriding publicrelations priorities? Will their justification for doing away with the scanners be a publicity ploy to advance the perception of school security? Or are they, in an exercise in voluntary self-denial, subscribing to their own claim that the scanners are failing to perform their function?

Are the scanners legitimate law-enforcement tools? After all, they are used in courthouses. Have hidden guns and knives been seized that, it can be fairly presumed, would otherwise have been undetected and might have caused mayhem? Or is it possible that these machines are sometimes used punitively and arbitrarily? If so, how is that possible, given that all students are scanned? Is it alleged that the scanners are located in schools with a preponderance of minority children? If so, does that make their presence a liability or an asset to these kids’ learning environment?

Are students intimidated by the presence of these scanners? Do they create a “fortress” mentality and unreasonably taint a school’s reputation? I think not. But even if so, should these be the overriding concerns?

If you believe that the Lord works in mysterious ways, then you must see a holy streak in the Department of Education. To fathom their incomprehensibility is among the most daunting of life-long projects. They are intractably stuck in some wrongful attitudes and policies, but quite often they eventually do the right thing, although they often need to be dragged, or at least shepherded into doing it. And occasionally they make a proper choice outright, and if they do it for the wrong reasons, nobody cares anymore as long as it gets done.

Will the scanners be removed? Should they? What will replace them? Is no replacement needed? If we have a strict “honor system,” will we be sorry, or will we discover that we had compounded a threat by overestimating it? Will we be deluded or will we be more serene? Only time and maybe the police blotter will tell.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

The Halloween Spirit

To The Editor:

Every year there is a family at 21-52 46th Street in Astoria, that decorates their entire house outside, and the whole family including the dog dresses up, it’s great. They provide lots of candy, and out of this world decorations for all the neighborhood children. I think this family should be recognized for all the hard work they put into it for Halloween for all the children. So many parents line up to take pictures and are greeted with friendly treats. Stop by and see for yourself. It’s a wonderful place to visit on Halloween.

Let’s says thanks.

A thankful parent

Diners Are Endangered

To The Editor:

The closing of the Market Diner on 11th Avenue near Times Square in Manhattan is sadly part of a growing trend. It reminded me of good times past. I have enjoyed many excellent meals for decades when frequenting any one of many local diners in Queens. Over the years, we have seen the demise of the Gold Star (Bayside), Seville (Douglaston), Sage (Elmhurst), Saravan (Flushing), Palace (Flushing), Future (Fresh Meadows), Fame (Jamaica), Scobees Grill (Little Neck) and other diners.

Diners have been part of my life from teenage years to today. Eating out is a periodic ritual with either friends or family. Portions are generous – who never took a doggie bag home with leftovers to eat the next day? Between the customary soup, salad, rolls, coleslaw and pickles along with the main course – dinner could satisfy the heartiest appetite. Many times, we bagged our desserts to go.

Neighborhoods all over Queens have seen changes over time. Many new immigrant groups favor their own ethnic foods and restaurants. Diners have also lost customers over time to numerous fast food restaurants. Many of their menus have expanded to also include breakfast items and a greater variety of items to select from for lunch or dinner.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs including Argyris “Archie” Dellaportas of the Bel Aire diner in Astoria along with Peter and George Plevrites of the T-Bone Diner in Forest Hills and others who own and operate diners have continued to invest in our community creating new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Why not honor the fond memories we had at the Gold Star, Fame, Future, Palace, Sage, Saravan, Scobees Grill, Seville, and other diners which have come and gone, by continuing to patronize our remaining diners. Here’s hoping that the remaining diners, including the Bel Aire Diner of Astoria and TBone Diner of Forest Hills don’t go the way of the dinosaurs into permanent extinction.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Greatest Generation

To The Editor:

I heard that 48 percent of children who attend school in New York State are overweight. That is awful. The construction of gardens and cooking classes will not help. These children need parental supervision. More funding should be given to Meals on Wheels. Senior citizens depend on one small meal and a small box when there is a holiday weekend. It seems that our seniors are being forgotten.

I am disappointed in the friendly visitors program in Sunnyside center. They should not blacklist a senior citizen who is disabled if the volunteer that was chosen did not work out. That is absolutely wrong and DFTA funds that program. Having been a volunteer for Catholic Charities and DFTA for almost 25 years it is appalling to me. Senior services and friendly visitors must train their volunteers to be kind, patient, and understanding. Also, again, I am absolutely appalled and irate at the fact that the govrnment will not give seniors a Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) increase. It is a shame and again, we are busying ourselves in the business of other nations and neglecting our own disabled, and Greatest Generation. Shame on the leaders and Social Security. There must be another way of basing COLA increases.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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