2016-05-04 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Noise Barriers Needed

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
April 26, 2016
Thomas F. Prendergast, Chairman &
CEO, MTA
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
Re: Request for a Sound barrier
LIRR Tracks, Barnett Avenue
Sunnyside, NY

Dear Chairman Prendergast:

It has come to my attention that your agency has informed Queens Community Board 2 that it has no intention of putting up sound barriers along Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside. As you know, Queens Community Board 2 has contacted you about receiving several complaints from residents about the noise coming from the construction of the East Side Access project, especially overnight work during the weekdays. Additionally, with the increase in train traffic that is expected, a permanent noise barrier has been discussed with the community and now it seems that is no longer in the plan.

I support and strongly endorse these concerns and ask that your agency work with the community and follow through on your promise to install noise barriers. As you know, I have strongly supported State funding in Albany for the expansion of our mass transportation system. However, we need to continue to work together to ensure that the quality of life for our residents in Sunnyside and Western Queens is respected. Thank you for your attention on this matter.

Sincerely,
Catherine Nolan
Assemblymember 37th A.D.

cc: Rep. Joseph Crowley; Rep. Michael
Gianaris; Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer;
Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA
Capital Construction; Patrick O’Brien,
Chairman Queens Community Board 2

Homeowners’ Rights

To The Editor:

I have lived in Flushing for over 30 years and have supported the Broadway- Flushing Homeowners’ Association’s efforts to improve and enforce zoning and building codes as well as the Rickert- Finlay Covenant. I cannot, however, support its quest to permit an unelected unaccountable bureaucracy usurp a portion of our property rights – that is, to impose landmark designation.

In an effort to obtain NYC Landmark designation, the association requested the homeowners to vote in favor or against seeking landmark designation. According to the law, landmark designation is not the subject of a vote by the community or homeowners and notification to homeowners is not required.

In a response to my concerns regarding landmark designation, the Law Department of New York City apprised me that “A formal application process does not exist. The commission considers eligible buildings and districts for designation in response to suggestions from many sources, including groups and individuals as well as the observations of Commission members and staff. While the Landmarks Commission seeks and encourages community and property owners’ participation and support when considering proposed landmark designations, neither is a required condition for the designation of a landmark.”

The letter continues, “the determination as to whether a building or a district is to be landmarked is not the subject of a referendum or vote by the community or property owners.” It is clear the wishes and desires of the homeowners are superfluous.

If these facts are not sufficient to prompt a pause in the cause for designation, consider the regulations and restrictions on private property. Designation requires homeowners to apply for and receive permits for most work, to consult with architects or contractors approved to work on historic buildings, to wait 20 to 90 days for a permit which will give permission to paint wood, masonry, handrails a different color, install exterior light fixtures, install new window sash or frames, paint doors and door frames a different color, replace roofing material, install yard lighting, etc. Please visit the NYC Landmark Commission website for a complete list.

Invoking Landmark Laws to resolve problems resulting from unenforced building codes, inadequate zoning laws, indiscriminate variances, corruption, and lack of oversight is disingenuous. This is neither the intent nor spirit of the Landmark Laws. Restricting and regulating homeowners’ property rights may stifle their proclivity to enhance and enrich the “gracious sense of place” they created in the first place.

The character and “sense of place” the association cites that distinguishes our neighborhood consists of many elements. Among them are the increasing number of local store front signs, ads, and posters that are undecipherable to many residents. In the interest of “preserving our neighborhood,” perhaps BFHA should instead seek landmarking of the English language.

I implore my neighbors to get informed and assert their common sense.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing

Trouble Brews For BDB

To The Editor:

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, including himself, seem to be on the verge of a major scandal that is brewing. There is a list as reported by the media. It starts with accusations of donations for favors, real-estate deals that are questionable, and Mayor de Blasio’s scheme to fund upstate Democratic political campaigns, according to investigators. Meanwhile Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has joined forces in a probe with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara into campaign violations that could lead to felony indictments. If all proves true, in my opinion Mayor de Blasio needs to resign. Furthermore I think Mayor de Blasio needs to remember this, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Corruption Is Intolerable

To the Editor:

I am deeply appalled to learn that our mayor is under investigation for corruption. Is it an all boys’ corruption club that is happening in our city and in Albany? Political leaders must be beyond reproach and must be role models. People will not vote if they cannot trust politicians.

Also the voting for the participatory budgeting is a good idea, but to fund parks is not the greatest idea. What about funding improving of bumps on the Grand Central Parkway, road repair, water main repair? The electorate must be educated as to what Astoria needs.

Also, I am appalled to learn that there is a secret report about 9/11 and that Saudi Arabia is involved in funding the terrorists that destroyed our WTC, our Pentagon and caused massive destruction and death, injury and grief and tears.

Also, it is appalling to learn that guns being used to kill people, to rob people and that children are involved.

What happened to the moral fabric of our society and the obeying of the Ten Comandments?

Also parks must be given more police and security.

I am happy that the Astoria Center of Israel had police stationed outside as we worshipped for Passover. Also, The Astoria Center of Israel had a successful blood drive as well as gave lots of food to the poor. This is the true meaning of community and doing good deeds.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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