2016-09-14 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Increased Air Traffic

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
September 7, 2016
Patrick Foye
Executive Director
Port Authority of New York & New
225 Park Avenue South, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Dear Mr. Foye,

We would like to bring to your attention troubling information we have learned regarding air traffic over parts of Queens and ask for your expeditious response to its implications.

As you may already know, Queens Quiet Skies, a local organization that advocates for decreased airplane noise, conducted a study and released a report based on information they received directly from the Port Authority. Their investigation concludes that there has been a nearly 80 percent increase in air traffic over the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Woodside in our districts over the past decade. As longtime advocates for the need to mitigate airplane noise over communities in Queens, we ask that you provide a detailed explanation of the data provided to Queens Quiet Skies and an assessment of the conclusion drawn from their investigation. Specifically, we would like to know whether traffic over these particular communities has in fact increased, and if so, whether it was diverted from other communities or is the result of overall increased traffic to LaGuardia Airport.

Additionally, as recently as last October, we contacted the Port Authority regarding ongoing construction at one of LaGuardia’s runways and its consequent impact on air traffic, creating early-morning and late-night noise over Woodside and Jackson Heights. Residents and their elected officials were told both in person and in writing that while the construction’s timing could not be altered due to multiple constraints, it would be completed within a few months. However, that construction is still ongoing, and we suspect it may have contributed to the findings released in Queens Quiet Skies’ report. We would like to know definitively when this construction will be concluded so our constituents can get some degree of relief.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure the communities we represent are neither disproportionately nor needlessly impacted by the noise of low-flying aircraft. Sincerely,

Congress Member Joseph Crowley;
NYS Senators Toby Ann Stavisky, Jose
Peralta, Michael Gianaris; NYS Assembly
Members Margaret Markey, Michael
DenDekker, Francisco Moya; NYC
Council Member, Daniel Dromm and
Jimmy Van Bramer

A World Of Peril

To The Editor:

The incoming administration will confront possible worldwide conflicts that would stretch America’s abilities to respond and may well change the balance of power.

Eventually North Korea will go one step too far and the armistice of the past 60 years will vaporize in artillery fire and tanks. With a million-man army always prepared to march south, Seoul will fall with thousands displaced, killed and wounded. The American troops will be forced south to defensive positions awaiting reinforcements. Stopped and repelled north, the lunatics in Pyongyang may push the nuclear button.

China is aggressively pushing claims of dominion into the South China Sea, militarizing miniature outcroppings into military installations and threatening freedom of the sea. China seeks control of the maritime routes of commerce. The flashpoint will be a group of islands properly belonging to the Philippines known as Scarborough Shoals. For the US, the Shoals are a red line and could erupt instantly into a war zone.

Putin is pushing westward, trying to reestablish the borders of the Soviet Union. He has inserted the Russian military into maintaining Assad in Syria. He has defined NATO as an adversary and has demonstrated a diplomatic approach that frames him as reasonable and willing to negotiate, but then, using proxies, he never terminates his aggressions. His actions do not mask his contempt for the West, nor his belief that there is the West has no stomach to stand and fight.

The Middle East will remain an explosive region with no apparent resolve by the combatants to seek peace. Radical religions that are a convenient cover for political gains will continue, regardless of attempts by world powers to find a longterm solution. With US oil production freeing the nation in large part from the fears of oil dependency the calls by many to step aside from involvement in the region will gain legitimacy.

The next president will have a world of perils to confront and the voters should consider who best to trust.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Astoria Pool Upgrades

To The Editor:

Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of his Anchor Park Initiative is welcome news to all New Yorkers, and especially residents of Astoria. We are pleased that funds will be allocated to Astoria Park. We are writing this letter to urge that Astoria Pool not be forgotten when improvements are made to the park.

Astoria Pool has rightly been called “the crown jewel of the pool system,” and should be considered one of New York City’s greatest assets and attractions. Many seniors such as ourselves have been swimming at the pool for over half a century and hope to continue for many years to come. To ensure that, we would like to see funds allocated for the following:

1. The repair and maintenance of the mechanical system (pumps, filters, valves, etc).

2. Modernizing of the bathhouse locker rooms, toilet and shower facilities.

3. Restoration of the bathhouse exterior brickwork and tiles to their original condition.

4. Cleaning and repairs to the pool, the pool deck and the seating areas.

We fervently hope that a portion of the proposed allocations of funds to Astoria Park be used to ensure the future of Astoria Pool.

Richard Nebenzahl, Lorraine Sclavos

With All Due Respect

To The Editor:

I think that it is shameful that the sports player did not stand when the National Anthem of our nation was played. Where is the respect for a nation that is the greatest in the world? Where is the respect of paying homage and gratitude?

Also Labor Day is not for picnics, going to the beach, and going to stores for sales, but for honoring all workers for the labor they do. We honor all who contribute to society in every way no matter what job they do.

Peter McGuire started Labor Day in 1892. The work ethic is not the same as it used to be, sad to say. It seems that people are interested in vacation when it is time for breaks and retirement and when their next paycheck and raise will arrive. We must not take work for granted.

Also, we must honor whose who work for free, our volunteers who do work out of the kindness of their hearts. As a volunteer for 25 years with Catholic Charities, I can say that volunteering has enriched my life as well as brightening the lives of others.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Allow Saudi Lawsuit

To The Editor:

The house should pass that bill that would enable the families of the victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudi Arabian government. Most of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, so there should be no logical reason not to pass this important piece of legislation. President Obama must not veto this bill for any reason; the families of all of the nearly 3,000 people who died on that terrible day have been suffering very much the past 15 years since the attacks, and they are entitled to have their day in Federal Court. No politician in their right mind would dare to prevent this bill from passing. The 9/11 families have been through a living nightmare; now they are entitled to much-deserved monetry compensation. Saudi Arabia cannot act as if it did not know what was happening on September 11th. They are in for a very rude awakening!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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