2016-02-17 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Presidential Hurdles

To The Editor:

Strangely, Trump could win the presidential election. The US will always turn right rather than hard left. Historically, the extreme left was Wallace versus Truman when Wallace claimed the Cold War was caused by the policies of the US.

Sanders is scratching at the same rage felt by Republicans. The citizens of the nation have endured hardships from 2008 and face the future depressed and believing the American Dream is lost to them and their children.

Amazingly Trump supporters are no different in their beliefs. They view the top 10-Percenters gaining while they lose. Trump is a 10-Percenter but has grabbed the icon of Shining Knight, admitting his empowerment through using the system. Trump promises to right the wrongs visited upon the common man while remaking the US into a “Super Rocky,” smiting any foolish enough to stand opposed.

Hillary’s status quo mantle promises to fight against unreasonable refusals by Congress to correct the insults inflicted upon Americans by a Far Right Congress. Following Sanders toward the left has only served to boost Sanders and Trump.

The 2016 election for all of its wild expectations, tantrums and outrageous remarks will result in a President who is restricted in power as a result of political parties unwilling to compromise. The nation faces severely trying times and a President could make certain things better, but will not end the threats of ISIS, declining GNP in the Eurozone and China, a nuclear Korea, bedlam in Syria and a Middle East ready to explode.

The future of America is in the hands of its people. So it was, fighting out of the Depression when all hope was lost. The nation responded to the confidence of FDR. America has and will always turn from fear to optimism. Americans will rally to any of the candidates who offer hope while rejecting the doomsayers.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, L.I.

We Are Getting Cheated

To The Editor:

The city is slowly stealing subway and bus services, and traffic lanes and speed limits are causing more gridlock while more influential areas of the city get more funding and services. “A Tale of Two Cities.”

Can you find out how much money is budgeted for different communities?

For example, Queens seems to have more potholes, poor roads, closed roadways and the subway is always partially closed and buses are delayed. The Marine Parkway bridge many times is shut down too. They say maintenance, but I think it’s more than that. I believe it’s a budget and political issue.

Ask the unions if they see a bias in services.

Why are we getting SBS and not QueensRail? Politics and money?

Why is it that almost every train goes through Manhattan? The outer boroughs are dying with tickets and gridlock, while Manhattan is getting richer and more powerful. Politics and money?

Why does the far west side of Manhattan get the 7 train and Queens gets tickets, taxes and gridlock, and traffic lanes, bus stops, and left turns are taken away from commuters?

Why are we spending billions of dollars for the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, etc., and the QueensRail and outer borough communities are choking in gridlock, tickets, accidents, pollution and poverty?

Please read Subway complaints (https://m.facebook.com/groups/442132382655653?ref=m_notif¬if_t=group_activity&actorid=505257976)

Have you seen our new petition against SBS? http://www.saveourstreets.nyc/faqs

Philip McManus
Queens Public Transit Committee
Rockaway Beach Rail Line

Muslim Music Ban

To The Editor:

Throughout history, music has played an important role in human development and is a primary element in nearly all of man’s diverse cultures. Scientists are discovering that in addition to the positive effects on human health, music enhances intelligence. Research shows that music is to the brain what physical exercise is to the human body.

In 1989, the National Commission on Music Education reported that students taking music courses scored an average of 20-40 points higher on both verbal and math portions of the SATs. Recent research concluded that “music training produced long-term changes in the wiring of the brain and improved spatial-temporal IQ scores important for some types of mathematical reasoning.”

In spite of the research and evidence, music education is usually the first subject to be eliminated in any budgetary crisis.

More troubling are recent reports from Kuwait, Mali, Syria and Muslim communities in many countries that reveal a religious antipathy to music. Muslim parents in Kuwait demanded a ban on government funded music classes, stating “music is not part of our tradition and religion and we totally reject it.” In Somalia, a Muslim leader threatened to file an Islamic lawsuit if all the radio stations did not stop playing music. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria banned music in cars, at parties, in shops and in public. An official statement reads, “Songs and music are forbidden in Islam, as they prevent one from the remembrance of God and the Koran and are a temptation and corruption of the heart,” and claims the proclamation is based on the guidelines set by the Prophet Mohammed who said, “On the day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

Middle Eastern Muslims had access to Greek musical theory but rejected it, unlike Christian Europeans who embraced it. The growth and evolution of polyphonic music in monasteries and cathedrals by Palestrina and Bach led to the monumental opuses of Beethoven and Brahms. There was no Mozart in the Islamic world.

Plato postulated “music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”

Ed Konecnik

Light Rail To Brooklyn

To The Editor:

There is a consensus among members of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association that the light rail streetcar from Astoria to Sunset Park proposed by Mayor de Blasio will be a positive addition to the local transportation choices for residents of the Old Astoria Neighborhood.

Historically, this has been an isolated, underserved area. With the proposed light rail, ferry, Citi Bike, and additional bus routes and frequency, we will finally be integrated into the fabric of the rest of Astoria, and New York City in general. Also, this provides a much-needed additional corridor between Brooklyn and Queens, which today consists primarily of the BQE and G train.

However, until the specific details are determined, such as routes, equipment, frequency, fees, taxes and funding sources, etc. we cannot fully comment or endorse the proposal.

Some comments from our members:

Brett Harris (Aki Development): “The light rail could potentially be the single largest catalyst to future development along the Astoria waterfront. Growth along the light rail will revitalize a long derelict section of Western Queens into a vibrant, mixed-use community that rivals the very best neighborhoods in the five boroughs”

Ilana Teitel (community activist): “For the most part, I’m very excited. It will connect the waterfront, make Astoria a destination, and provide another transportation option for those of us further west in the neighborhood. I’ve heard a lot of people say this would only be for tourists or new people and I disagree. My daughter went to high school in Downtown Brooklyn and this would have made her commute much simpler. It would also be a great link between the ferry, businesses, homes, and the subway.

Because I live right on 21st Street, I do have some questions about noise and whether it will make it harder for seniors to walk across the street, but in general I’m supportive.”

Erin Kirby (Columbia University, community activist): “I am ecstatic to see de Blasio backing the proposal and hope to see the issue move forward successfully. I believe that providing better transportation between Queens and Brooklyn can only enhance our neighborhood, and make life easier for everyone in the waterfront community. I also see it benefiting the cultural centers (e.g. Socrates Sculpture Park), the (hopefully soon to emerge) restaurant scene, and the waterfront’s economy as well. Ultimately I can only see good things coming from it, despite the initial hassle construction may pose.”

John Collins (Queens College): “I think it’d be a MAJOR shot in the arm, as well as convenient, and a congestion destroyer, for Astorians and Astoria property values, especially in our part of the neighborhood.”

Teresa Lisson (local business owner): “That would be so good for NYC and us.”

Anthony Liberatoscioli (teacher): “This could be an amazing thing.”

Joseph Vaccaro (local developer): “While I agree in concept, I am very concerned how this will affect traffic on 21st Street, the main route from the Grand Central Parkway to the Queensborough Bridge.”

Richard Khuzami
President OANA

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