2015-12-09 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Celebrating Safely

To The Editor:

From office parties to neighborhood gatherings, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to spend time with co-workers, family and friends. With the season of celebrations well under way, it’s also a time to remember that the best celebrations start and end responsibly. Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser once again encourage adults to enjoy the great times this holiday season by being or using a designated driver.

Thanks to the help of designated drivers and increased law enforcement, the nation has made significant progress in preventing drunk driving. While that’s great news, there’s always more work to be done.

All of us at Anheuser-Busch wish our friends and neighbors in New York a safe and happy holiday.

Together, we can help keep our roads safe!

C.A. Verdon
Consumer Awareness and Social
Responsibility Coordinator, Anheuser-
Busch Sales & Service Of New York

Pure Gold

To The Editor:

Middle Village’s Linda Czerwinski always put her best foot forward in giving a helpful hand at the Queens Library Maspeth branch. Daniel Finger, her appointed replacement, has inherited this golden woman’s Midas Touch. Mr. Finger appears readily to be a valuable asset to the Maspeth library’s staff. He interacts well with readers of different abilities. And Daniel’s very sharp with his computer skills.

Daniel has the reader’s pulse and is right on target.

I wish that Daniel Finger has a happy and prosperous tenure at his new location. Welcome him when you visit Maspeth’s library.

Stan Parchin
Middle Village

Queens Museum To The Editor:

What a year! As my first anniversary at Queens Museum quickly approaches, I could not be more proud of this remarkable New York institution. We are leaders in our field, pushing the boundaries of what a museum can do: presenting great art that urgently relates to people’s daily lives, proudly being the first in the country to have community organizers and art therapists on staff, employing a growing team of Visitor Experience Agents who engage our diverse audiences daily in multiple languages, and so much more. The Queens Museum and our artists directly make an impact on so many, particularly through arts education, and so today I’m putting our Education Department in the spotlight.

Take our zine-making workshop led by teaching artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed, a recipient of the Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists and whose work is currently on exhibition at the museum. The workshop was taught as part of the New New Yorkers program, which provides art, technology, and English language acquisition classes for immigrant adults. Kameelah encouraged students to narrate their life experiences through self-published works. As she guided them, students learned to improve their art-making skills to express themselves and enjoyed sharing their personal stories with one another.

“I got lucky with this teaching opportunity at the Queens Museum – such great students, great staff, and a spirit of empathy and learning,” said Kameelah Janan Rasheed, artist-archivist and materialbased historian.

In the New Year, the Queens Museum will continue to provide opportunities for the public to connect with practicing artists like Kameelah, free of charge, through our comprehensive arts education programs.

New New Yorkers is just one of many educational opportunities at the Queens Museum. Directly impacting the lives of hundreds of families, our education team works 24/7 to maintain a meaningful link to the museum’s diverse community – many of whom are our neighbors here in Corona.

Queens Teens is a program that fosters the next generation of arts leaders by providing high school students meaningful work experiences while also offering them the chance to give back to their communities through service. These nationally replicated education programs are just some of the ways we enrich the lives of people from all walks of life, for people of all ages, all abilities, all legal statuses, and in many, many different languages.

By making a 100 percent taxdeductible contribution today, you will support our acclaimed arts education programs. To make a donation online, visit www.queensmuseum.wufoo.com/forms/s upport-queens-museum/

I couldn’t be more excited for what 2016 has in store, ranging from our biennial survey of emerging artists based in Queens, to a very special rocking exhibition – stay tuned for more!

Laura Raicovich
Queens Museum

Does Not Trust Obama

To The Editor:

Before the Affordable Health Care Act became law, our president assured us repeatedly that Obamacare would be affordable and, if you wanted to keep your doctor, you could do so. It turned out that neither of those things happened once Obamacare became law. Now our President is trying to assure us that we should admit 10,000 Syrian refugees after being thoroughly vetted to exclude possible terrorists. The problem is, as FBI Director James Comey stated, there are currently no effective ways to identify all possible terrorists. So if we admit these refugees, we run the risk of admitting even more terrorists intent on killing us and destroying our way of life.

Charles M. Barthold
Jackson Heights

Self-Serving Studies

To The Editor:

The New York City Department of Transportation recently announced The Access to Opportunity:Transportation and Housing Study in the Eastern Rockways. The study championed by numerous elected officials is nothing more than a $1,499,283 placebo paid for by tax dollars. It is designed to placate demagogues who are not regular users of the numerous public transportation alternatives that have been available for decades. How many of these same public officials promoting this study have a MetroCard and ride the system like constituents do on a daily basis?

Many are too young to remember that up until the 1970s New York City Transit extended E line service during rush hours to the Rockaways. Until the early ‘70s, riders 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.

The MetroCard, introduced in 1996, affords a free transfer between bus and/or subway. Prior to this, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing either a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Many employers offer transit checks, which reduces the cost even further.

Residents of eastern Rockaway communities can already select from a number of bus routes including the Q22, Q52, Q53, Q113, QM16, QM17, along with Nassau Intercounty Express (NICE) N31, N32 or N33. There is also the A train subway, and the Long Island Rail Road Far Rockaway branch.

Elected officials all around NYC, including those representing the Rockaways, play the same game with our tax dollars. Other local elected officials proudly announced securing funding for the Northeast Queens Restoration Study and Staten Island Bus Study. The dollars paying for these studies would be better spent on real improvements, instead of just lining the pockets of consultants.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the availability of increased funding for additional transportation service in the Rockaways. Operating subsidies are required to increase the level of service and reduce the amount of time one waits for a bus on existing routes. Same for adding more off-peak, late night and weekend service.

Capital dollars are required for purchase of additional buses, off-board fare collection equipment, real time communications systems to notify riders of anticipated arrival of the next bus, shelters and facilities. Introduction of Limited Stop Service, Select Bus Service or Bus Rapid Transit are not new ideas that need to be studied once again. Both operating and capital dollars are needed for initiation of new ferry service.

Just like the Northeast Queens Bus Study, there will be no real new transportation services coming out of The Access to Opportunity: Transportation and Housing Study in the Eastern Rockways. All you will end up with is a series of press conferences and news releases designed to provide free publicity for elected officials to assist them in greasing the wheels of future elections.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, LI

Consumers Beware

To The Editor:

As Liz Goff notes in your recent piece (“NYPD: Beware Christmas Crooks, Identity Thieves,” November 25), this is the season of giving – and of getting ripped off.

As consumers shop online and at brickand mortar stores, their odds of encountering identity theft appear more likely than ever.

The transition from traditional credit cards equipped with magnetic strips to cards embedded with microchips – and requiring PINs – has been long overdue, and sluggish at best.

The cards already were fully adopted overseas, and were envisioned as a panacea to combat identity theft here in the United States. Yet, many retailers still require signatures – which can be forged – and consumers seem to encounter a different process at each venue they visit.

Consumers need to remain alert, too, at the gas pump and ATM. Skimmer fraud is a huge problem both in the United States and around the globe. Skimmers are electronic devices used to read and store electronic data, and they have advanced quite considerably over time; they have more memory and are much smaller (and more easily hidden).

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Pace University reported that the United States was ranked number one in the world in terms of financial losses associated with skimming fraud in the first six months of 2011, followed by the Dominican Republic, Russia and Brazil.

There are 2.2 million ATMs worldwide, which will escalate to more than 3 million by 2016. A new ATM is installed every five minutes, and North America has the largest ATM market in the world, with the most – approximately 425,000 – in the United States.

This season, it’s important that when shopping and traveling consumers take necessary steps to rebuff identity thieves, from changing passwords for each account to using credit over debit to using chip cards.

Consumers also should use a hand to cover a keypad when entering a PIN and be careful of criminals “shoulder surfing”; regularly monitor their accounts, financial statements, and credit reports to be alerted to skimmer fraud or any type of identity theft; and, provide financial institutions with up-to-date contact information, including a mobile telephone number.

Steps like these, unfortunately, warrant another holiday list. But if practiced, they can help us enjoy the giving spirit of the season.

Warner Johnston
Head of the New York City-based ACCA
USA

Real Tree Hints

To The Editor:

As people begin to decorate their homes and apartments for the holidays, it is important to be very careful, should they be selecting a real tree for Christmas. First of all, select a tree that is very full, with thick branches. Always shake the tree to see if a lot of needles fall off. If that does happen, then do not buy it. When you find a really good tree, and bring it home, put it in the garage in a huge bucket of water, so it will be be moist and suck up a lot of water to keep it turgid. It is best to wait until five to seven days before Christmas to select and put up your tree, so that it will last at least through January 1. Many people who select and put up their trees right after Thanksgiving will have a difficult time to be able to maintain them to last until Christmas or beyond, because they most likely will have dried out significantly, which could then cause a potential fire hazard. When setting up your tree, remember to place it in areas away from radiators or fire places, and use only UL-approved lights and extension cords to decorate it.

And never, never use real candles. Also, it is very important to monitor the water level at the bottom of the tree stand, and it must constantly be filled with water to keep the tree alive and moist. That must be done every single day. When going out always, turn off the tree lights to avoid overheating and possible fire. Finally, if you have pets, they can be very inquisitive, especially cats, who like shiny objects, which Christmas ornaments are. You may have to anchor the tree with twine and tie it to some strong object where you set it up to prevent it from toppling, should your cat or dog decide they want to investigate it. Follow these steps, and you’re certain to have a wonderful holiday season. After Christmas, you can bring your tree to one of several city parks throughout the five boroughs, where the Department of Parks will cut it and use it for mulch for flower beds and to spread around trees and shrubs to retain moisture during the spring and summer months. Merry Christmas!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.