2016-01-06 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

New Year’s Resolution

To The Editor:

Once again, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions, particularly those to improve our diet and exercise routine. Although gun violence and traffic accidents remain the leading causes of death among young people, the most dangerous weapon for the rest of us is still our fork. Well over a million of us are killed each year by high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases linked to our meat-based diet. But times are changing. According to Gallup, 22 percent of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Supermarket chains, along with Target and Walmart, offer a growing selection of delicious and healthy plant-based meats and dairy products. Animal meat consumption has dropped by 8 percent in the past decade. Hundreds of school, college, hospital, and corporate cafeterias have embraced “Meatless Monday” and vegan meals. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell, and White Castle, are rolling out vegan options. Let’s make this New Year’s resolution about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrees, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks, as well as the more traditional green and yellow veggies. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.

Felix Britt
Fresh Meadows

Mega Mall Or Parkland?

To The Editor:

The City Council has voted overwhelmingly to support the developers of the Willets West megamall at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) by passing a resolution authorizing the Council to issue an amicus brief in support of the developers in the case that is pending. Only Councilmembers Paul Vallone and Rory Lancman voted against the resolution. Councilman Barry Grodenchik abstained. I understand that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito sponsored the resolution and no public hearing was held prior to the vote taken by the City Council.

The case to build the megamall is being appealed by the developers to the highest court in New York state, the Court of Appeals. The suit in favor of the megamall was turned down by a lower court, the State Appellate Court, in July. At that time, that court ruled that the proposal to build the megamall could not move ahead without state legislative approval because the megamall would be built on land that is parkland. The state would have to agree to “alienate” the parkland for the purpose of development.

It is my opinion and the opinion of many, including state Senator Tony Avella, who was among those who filed a countersuit against the megamall, that parkland belongs to the public and must remain undeveloped and should be used for recreational purposes by the people. Under the proposed deal, the developer building the megamall would get the multi-acre site for only a pittance. This is public property! This deal is really outrageous and I am truly astonished at the Council members who voted to support the developers without even hearing from the public.

What also seems to be ignored in this situation is the impact that a megamall will have on traffic in the proposed area and the effect of a megamall on the surrounding communities and businesses.

There is another part of this story. The Mayor is proposing to have special events like concerts and the like at FMCP. However, the promoters of these events would be allowed to take over the park and close it for days at a time to the public so that these events could be set up and then dismantled after the event was over. Again, doesn’t parkland belong to the people and shouldn’t they be allowed to access the park every day? The people who live near FMCP use that park extensively. It’s their back yard! It also belongs to anybody who wants a place to relax and enjoy green space.

I support the position advocated by the Queens Civic Congress and others, that if a concert or other event is held in a city park like FMCP, the park must remain open for public use. That provision must be included in any contract signed between the city and any event promoter.

Imagine if Central Park or Prospect Park were to be closed off to the public for a for-profit happening or if part of those parks were to be developed for a private for-profit business venture. The public uproar would be audible throughout the city! FMCP and all parks need to remain as oases for relaxation and recreation for all!

Henry Euler

Permanent Solution

To The Editor:

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s idea to house the homeless at Creedmoor has unofficially been dropped. My wife and I live a few blocks from Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village. We therefore have been concerned over this proposal. Now let me point out that I’m not biased against the homeless, for I was homeless 40 years ago and do feel their pain and loneliness and desperation. Yet temporary shelters are costly and do not solve the problem. In my opinion we need low-cost permanent housing which I believe is the ultimate goal. Added to the problem, some of the homeless have psychiatric problems and at Creedmoor they have facilities to deal with those issues. And yet there are no guarantees those with certain issues will not be walking around and could still endanger those in the communities of Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks Village and Queens Village. In closing, I believe Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio need to come up with a plan for the homeless that comes up with a permanent solution that works for all concerned and that provides decent and affordable housing.

Frederick R. Bedell
Glen Oaks Village

4 Oblivious Horsemen

To The Editor:

President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, former Secretary of State Clinton, and Senator Bernie Sanders are oblivious to the danger posed by ISIS.

Bernie Sanders keeps harping on our economy, and hardly talks about ISIS. He is way out in left field.

President Obama referred to ISIS as the JV team and dithered when moderate Syrians asked for air strikes. Over the past year Obama’s air campaign against ISIS averaged 20 sorties per day compared to 1,100 sorties per day in Operation Desert Storm and 800 per day during the second Gulf War.

Obama continues to refuse to call them radical Islamic terrorists.

When referring to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, Secretary Kerry said there was “a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.” And then he described the killing of 130 people in Paris as indiscriminate. There is no rationale for any terrorist attacks, and showing sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo attack is ridiculous.

In a Democratic debate former Secretary Clinton said she couldn’t refer to the Paris killers as radical Islamic terrorists, which is parroting Obama’s view of the terrorists. Clinton and Obama think we should lead from behind and let others be out front, and ISIS and others are taking advantage of this policy of non-leadership, and they threaten the security of this country and the Western world.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

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