2016-09-07 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Sept. 11 – Patriot Day

To The Editor:

Look back and remember. Remember that bright, cloudless morning, that beautiful, ordinary, September Tuesday, which became in an instant the last day for so many souls to look upon the sun.

Can we not still hear their cries, feel their despair, as their goodbyes were swallowed up by fire and smoke? Do we not still stand in awe as we recall the bravery of those who tragically ran into the inferno to lead others to safety? And, do we now recognize the pain of those who suffer lasting ill effects from their recovery efforts?

The years have passed, and loved ones yet devotedly keep the vigil, for the horrors of that terrible September morn are forever engraved in their hearts. On this anniversary of that fateful 11th day of September, 2001, let us once more share in their grief. And then, as we look forward, may we never forget.

Footnote: On December 18, 2001, President George Bush signed Joint Resolution 71, a resolution approved by congress by a vote of 407- 0. This resolution designated September 11th as “Patriot Day,” a day to remember the events of September 11, 2001, to remember those who lost their lives and the acts of heroism performed by so many people.

Janet Collins
Jackson Heights

Airplane Noise Up 80%

To The Editor:

According to data retrieved from a Freedom of Information Request (FOIL) by Queens Quiet Skies, airplane traffic above Jackson Heights has risen by nearly 80% since 2008. Queen Quiet Skies is concerned that the Federal Aviation Administration has been misleading residents by claiming that airplane traffic has merely changed, and not increased, due to variations in wind patterns.

As an elected official and longtime Jackson Heights resident, I take these reports very seriously. I have worked closely with Queens Quiet Skies over the the past several years in order to understand and address the increase in airplane noise in our community. If you would like to donate time or resources to the organization, or would simply like to learn more about this issue, please visit www.queensquietskies.org. This site will also explain what we have done here in Jackson Heights to organize our community against airplane noise abuses.

I will continue to work with Queens Quiet Skies on this issue to ensure that airplane noise is reduced as much as humanly possible. My office will continue to answer any questions you might have.

Complaints about noise should be directed to the Port Authority at 800-225-1071 or online at www.panynj.gov.

Your complaints have made a difference in tracking this airplane noise issue. Thanks for your help.

Daniel Dromm
New York City Council Member, District 25

Northern Much Quieter

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
August 29, 2016
Deputy Inspector Brian C. Hennessy
Precinct Commander
40th Police Precinct
257 Alexander Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454
Dear Mr. Hennessy:

Thank You!!!!!

You may recall that I attended some Community Council meetings of the 115th Precinct last summer to bring up the matter of extremely loud music coming from bars and restaurants on Northern Boulevard. You went to work on the problem and, over a period of a few months, the noise was reduced considerably. This year, when the weather turned warm, I thought the violations would start up again and I would have to resume my complaints, but I was amazed when I noticed that both the seriousness and the frequency of the violations were only a small fraction of what they were last year. That has continued all of this summer.

For a long time I have wanted to move out of the city, and last year’s experiences made me consider that a fairly urgent priority. But based on this year’s experiences I can make moving away a back-burner project.

Policing may often seem like thankless work, but I’m sure I speak for all the law-abiding residents of my neighborhood when I say that we appreciate tremendously the work that you and the officers of the 115th Precinct did to reduce the noise levels here. You have made Jackson Heights a better place to live in, and you should be very proud of that. Again, Thank You!!!!!

Jim Strawhorn
Jackson Heights
cc: Mayor Bill de Blasio
Police Chief William Bratton
City Council Member Daniel Dromm
Community Board 3
New York State Assembly Member Michael
G. DenDekker

Happy 84th, A Train

To The Editor:

Happy 84th anniversary to the A train.

On September 10, 1932 service started on the A train which originally ran between 207th Street in upper Manhattan and Chambers Street in downtown Manhattan. This was the first city-owned and -built IND subway line. At the time, it was considered state of the art with rattan seats, metal straps and overhead fans, and providing speedy service. The subway cars were so well built, many ran over 40 years, into the early 1970s. The basic design of these cars served as the foundation for future generations, right up to the present day. IND stations on the A line were built to accommodate up to 11 car lengths. During the 1930s, NYC began building and financing construction of the new IND (Independent Subway – today’s A, C, E, F and G lines). This new municipal system, completely subsidized by taxpayers dollars, would provide direct competition to both the privately owned IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit – today’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines) and BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit – today’s B, D, J, L, M, N, R, Q and Z lines).

The original base fare of five cents was established in 1913. Municipal government forced both the BMT and IRT into economic ruin by denying them fare increases in future decades that would have provided access to additional, badly needed revenues. Big Brother, just like the Godfather, eventually made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. The owners folded and sold out to City Hall in 1940.

The A train became famous in the 1940s when jazz musician Duke Ellington wrote “Take the A Train.” The A line was extended in 1936, known as the “Fulton Street branch,” running through Brooklyn and terminating at Lefferts Blvd in Queens. When the Long Island Rail Road abandoned the Rockaway Beach Branch in the 1950s, the A line was extended to provide new service to the Rockaways which began on June 28, 1956.

In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the ‘60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The Governor appointed four board members. Likewise, the Mayor appointed four more and the rest were appointed by suburban county executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary such as New York City Transit would do a good job. When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed – everyone could put up their hands. “Don’t blame me, I’m only a minority within the Board.” Decade after decade, NYC mayors, comptrollers, public advocates, City Council presidents, borough presidents and City Council members would all play the same sad song: “ if only we had majority control of the Board, things would be different.”

All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the City of New York and NYC Transit is an escape clause. NYC has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which includes the subway and most of the bus system as well. Actions speak louder than words. If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of our destiny?

Many are too young to remember that up until the 1970s – NYC Transit extended E line service which ran express in Brooklyn providing supplemental service to the A line during rush hours to the Rockaways. Riders up until the early 1970s 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.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

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