2016-03-23 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Greetings From Walcott

To The Editor:

It is an honor to lead Queens Library in the important work of empowering and serving the people of this borough. I have lived in Queens most of my life and got my first library card from the St. Albans branch when I was in elementary school. My wife, Denise, was an active Friend of Cambria Heights Library. I know first-hand what Queens Library means to the life of our community and our city.

In the time since my appointment, I have visited nearly half of our branches and met hundreds of outstanding staff and enthusiastic customers. Residents of all ages, from every walk of life and every corner of the world, count on our services every day. Queens Library provides – free to everyone, with just a library card – incredible opportunities for lifelong learning, intellectual growth and civic and cultural engagement.

It is clear that we epitomize some of the best that libraries have to offer. Yet we have a lot of work to do to ensure everyone in every neighborhood in Queens benefits from world-class library services that meet the diverse needs of the community now and in the years to come. Your input is welcome and vital. I will continue to visit all of our locations and to reach out to you for your ideas and perspectives.

I look forward to working with everyone in the community, Queens Library’s hardworking and dedicated staff, the Board of Trustees, and elected officials to advance one of the greatest and most dynamic institutions of our city.

Dennis Walcott
CEO Queens Library

Hudson Station Flaws

To The Editor:

There is even more to problems with new 7 train Hudson Yards subway station including broken escalators, out of service bathrooms along with water leaks from the ceiling. The original cost of the overall project was $2.1 billion and grew to $2.4 billion (an addition $300 million).

Neither New York City nor the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could find $500 million to pay for the proposed intermediate subway station to be built at 10th Avenue and 41st Street that was part of the original project. The trick used by MTA to complete this project within budget was to drop a portion of the original work. Deletion of this second station kept the project cost at $2.4 billion rather than $2.9 billion.

Keeping on schedule was just as bad. Construction started in 2007 with a planned completion date of December 2013. The anticipated first opening day slipped several times from this date: first to June 2014, second to Feb. 2015, third to June 2015 and finally to Sept. 13, 2015 – 21 months late!

In the rush for final completion, you have to ask if MTA cut corners in inspection and acceptance, also known as quality assurance and quality control which may have resulted in premature opening of the station. Did MTA hold back release of retainage or final payment to contractors until they fix all these problems? Commuters and taxpayers should expect no less. How will the MTA respond in the future when the same contractor bids on other new construction projects?

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Enforce Noise Provisions

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
Emily Lloyd, Commissioner
New York City Department of
Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11373

Dear Ms. Lloyd:

Re: Suggested Additions to the DEP’s Noise Code Brochure

Violations of New York City’s Noise Law are ubiquitous. Some people seem to think that noise is a trivial matter, but it is very serious. It violates people’s right to have peace and quiet in their homes, and can even cause health problems if it interferes with people’s sleep. Because New York City is densely populated and many New Yorkers work at night, it is reasonable to assume that at any time of day or night, one is not far from a person who needs to sleep because of their work schedule.

Greater public knowledge of the provisions of the law could help to reduce the frequency and egregiousness of the violations. The DEP’s Noise Code brochure is good as far as it goes, but it leaves out some very important provisions. For example, it says nothing about either the 25 foot rule, which makes it illegal to operate a personal audio device in such a way that it can be heard at a distance of 25 feet or more (Section 24-233 of the law), or the provision that prohibits businesses from projecting sound from audio systems or musical instruments into public spaces such as sidewalks (Section 24-244(b)).

Both of these provisions are violated constantly and the violators are rarely if ever stopped and fined. The 25 foot rule was introduced with great fanfare in 2005 as a way to make violations easy to detect: It is not subjective, and the only sensing device needed is a human ear. Similarly, many businesses violate Section 24- 244(b), probably without the slightest inkling that they are breaking the law and could be fined up to $5,250 for their actions.

Including these provisions in the Noise Code brochure would make it easy to spread information about them widely; widespread knowledge of the law would make it easier to enforce; and general compliance with the law would greatly improve the quality of life in New York City. I hope you will give serious consideration to adding these provisions to the DEP’s brochure.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about it. Sincerely,

Jim Strawhorn
CC: Mayor Bill de Blasio
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton
Deputy Inspector Brain C. Hennessy,
Commanding Officer, 115th Precinct
Captain Christopher M. Manson,
Commanding Officer, 110th Police
Commanding Officer Theresa J. Shortell,
New York City Police Academy
NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm
Ms. Giovanna Reid, District Manager,
Community Board No. 3, Queens Local

‘Presidential’ Debates

To The Editor:

I am glad that the W train will begin to operate in Astoria again this fall. I have no idea why it was discontinued in 2009.

I am glad that smokeless tobacco will be banned at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium and that the players will not be chewing that. This is a great idea and sets a good example for children and young people who idolize these ball players.

I am glad the electric scooters are banned, they are dangerous.

I also am angered and appalled at the manner in which the Republican Presidential Debates are being held with lots of name-calling, bashing, unprofessional behavior, and none of the issues are being discussed. How can other nations look up to us?

Also slashings and stabbings are at a high and something must be done. The current administration of our mayor is not effective in fighting crime.

I am in favor of the Summer Youth Employment Program indeed, but there must be jobs that offer training, not just sitting around or being “go-fors.”

I am glad that finally there will be safety mediation on Shore Blvd. and Astoria Blvd. What happened to Queens Blvd. and the many deaths that ensued?

It seems that “out of sight, out of mind” as the saying goes unfortunately.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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