2016-12-07 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Designated Drivers

To The Editor:

From office parties to neighborhood gatherings, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to spend time with co-workers, family and friends. With the season of celebrations well under way, it’s also a time to remember that the best celebrations start and end responsibly. Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser once again encourage adults to enjoy the great times this holiday season by being or using a designated driver.

Thanks to the help of designated drivers and increased law enforcement, the nation has made significant progress in preventing drunk driving. While that’s great news, there’s always more work to be done.

All of us at Anheuser-Busch wish our friends and neighbors in New York a safe and happy holiday.

Together, we can help keep our roads safe!

C.A. Verdon
Consumer Awareness and Social
Responsibility Coordinator
Anheuser-Busch Sales & Service
Of New York, Inc.

Kindness Year-Round

To The Editor:

We’re in the holiday season, and there is a lot of hustle and bustle this time of the year. Yet I believe in kindness to those we meet, even if it just entails a kind smile and hello, or even to say we are sorry if we accidentally knock into someone while shopping. You can also say “Have a nice day.” Now, let me take this further, I’m back to taking buses until I can afford a car again. I’ve had learn a few things while working in retail, and that is, when I board a bus I greet the bus driver with a kind hello and when I leave the bus I say goodbye by saying have a nice day. You see these bus drivers have a lot of stress in their day and need a kind word to cheer them up. I think more people ought to do the same. Here’s an experience I had the other day on the bus. I’m 67 years old and have bad knees and usually sit in the front of the bus, but when I saw an elderly woman with packages who was having a hard time, I offered her my seat. You see, I believe there are those that are worse off than myself and need a helping hand. Here something else I find a lack of, and that is kindness and respect toward women. My question is: has chivalry ended ? If so, let’s bring it back, by giving a seat to women, opening a door or just offering a measure of kindness and respect; not just during the holidays, but all year round. Remember this again: kindness goes a long way. So pass it on to others.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Honor Elders & Children

To The Editor:

I think that ACS must be overhauled and revamped. Too many children are victims of child abuse, which is unnecessary. Also, there are more and more cases of elder abuse by members of one’s family and these elder people are afraid to speak out. There is a special number to call. Abuse is an abomination. We should honor our elderly people and our children.

I am glad that many places had Thanksgiving meals for people and a toy store had free toys for children. That is the true spirit of giving.

I agree with the editorial in the Gazette about Thanksgiving and its meaning, but Thanksgiving is every day – thanking God for restoring our soul when we awake in the morning, for answering prayers and for giving us the necessities of life, as well as the ability to help others. As a volunteer for Catholic Charities for 25 years, I am thankful for helping others and now as a telephone reassurance volunteer for both Southwest Queens Senior Services and Western Queens calling homebound people and reporting their status to the case management, I feel that I am making a difference in their lives. When we give of ourselves, we receive a special golden glow, and that is that of gratitude.

I applaud Rep. Crowley for running again; he has done a great deal for his district.

It is awful that vote recounting is again having problems. Let us settle this once and for all, get used to the fact that we have a new president and do our best to get accustomed to it. If we do not like what he does we should exercise our civic duties of petition, assembly, writing and calling our lawmakers.

I am glad that the Chick-fil-A foundation donated books to schools; through reading children learn.

I am also glad that the dental clinic will examine children’s teeth. That is wonderful news, since children at an early age must learn about proper dental hygiene, as well as having their dental needs met. This is true giving and it is great news that people care and share.

All school buses must be equipped with seat belts. Also, everyone riding in a taxi cab or private car service must use a seat belt in the back seat.

I am also proud of the Gazette for bringing us all kinds of news to enrich and englighten our lives.

I agree with our City Council Speaker and many Council members that New York City must not pay for the protection of Trump Tower. This is the federal government’s responsibility and it costs our city $1 million per day. Our city will get in financial trouble if this continues.

The federal government must reimburse our city immediately for the expenses incurred, and henceforth they should shoulder the responsibility. Trump was not nice to New York City, showed no appreciation and why must our taxpayers and our city suffer financial hardship?

I agree that our schools’ cafeterias must be inspected and rated on the same scale as restaurants. Our children’s health is in jeopardy as a result of finding mice, roaches and other sickening vermin. This is shameful and abomination indeed. What happened to cleanliness?

Also again all train operators through- out the nation must undergo sleep apnea tests; the train operator in Hoboken, NJ who fell asleep is justified in suing, since there must be positive train controls and brakes to stop the trains if something happens to the engineers. Why must safety measures be put into place only after fatalities and accidents happen? This is the same old story.

I think that all nominees for Trump’s cabinet or other positions in the government must have their federal tax returns made public. They are a bunch of rich billionaires.

We found out that the unemployment rate is the lowest in years, but yet the forgotten ones, those who cannot find jobs and give up are not included in this count. Statistics do not tell the truth at times.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Trains Used To Be Clean

To The Editor:

It is refreshing to hear that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit has begun running a series of nostalgia trains and buses to help celebrate the holidays in December. “Take A Ride Back in Time” (Liz Goff, November 30). The “Shoppers Special” consisting of eight cars from the 1930s runs between 10 am and 5 pm along the 6th Avenue line between Queens Plaza and 2nd Avenue station in Manhattan, Sundays, December 4, 11 and 18th.

Riding the old subway cars reminds me of a time when it was common to find both penny gum and soda machines dispensing products at many subway stations. Clean and safe bathrooms were readily available. It was a time when people respected authority and law. Previous generations of riders did not litter subway stations and buses by leaving behind gum, candy wrappers, paper cups, bottles and newspapers. No one would openly eat pizza, chicken or other messy foods while riding a bus or subway. Everyone paid their way, and there was no fare evasion.

NYCT is also operating a fleet of vintage buses on the M42 midtown cross-town 42nd Street route in Manhattan for weekday service during December 18 between 9 am and 5 pm. Likewise, riding the old vintage buses is also a great trip down memory lane. It was a time when bus drivers had to make change and drive at the same time. No one dared bring any food on the bus or leave any litter behind. You had to pay separate fares to ride either the bus or subway. Now there are MetroCards affording free transfers between bus and subway, along with discounted weekly or monthly fares. Employee transit checks that help cover the costs didn’t exist decades ago.

Previous generations of both bus and subway riders survived daily commutes with no air conditioning. All they had for comfort were overhead fans. Air conditioned buses and subway cars that we all take for granted today were virtually nonexistent up until the time of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Air conditioned buses were still a novelty. It was not until 1966, that NYC Transit first purchased over 600 buses with this new feature. Subsequently, all future new buses would include air conditioning. By the early 1990s, 100% of the bus fleet was air conditioned.

In 1967, NYC Transit introduced the first 10 air conditioned subway cars operating on the old IND system (Independent municipal NYC built, financed and operated A, C, E, F and G lines). It was not until 1975, that air conditioned subway cars were introduced on the old IRT (NYC private franchised Independent Rapid Transit system operated 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Franklin Avenue and Times Square shuttle lines). Subsequently, this also included the old BMT (NYC private franchised Brooklyn Manhattan Transit system B, D, J, L, M, N, Q, R and Z lines). It took until 1982 to retrofit all the original IRT “Redbird” series subway cars. By 1993, 99% of the NYC 6,000 subway cars were air conditioned with the exception of a handful running on the 7 Flushing line.

Fast forward to today, and you can see how MTA public transportation is still one of the best bargains in town. Riders can count on air conditioned buses, subway and commuter rail cars working close to 99% on a daily basis.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Dec. 7 Lives In ‘Infamy’

To The Editor:

As the nation prepares to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sneak attack by Japan on the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, it is important that we never forget all of those who lost their lives on that terrible Sunday morning. They had no idea what was coming, and still there are over 1,000 sailors entombed in the hull of the USS Arizona. America became even more resolute after the attack, and, as President Franklin Roosevelt called it, in a speech before Congress asking for a declaration of war between the United States and the Japanese Empire, Sunday, December 7th 1941, is “a date which shall live in infamy.” As Admiral Yamamoto of the Japanese Imperial Navy said after the attack, “I fear that today, we have awakened a sleeping giant.” He was so very right. Four years later, with two major Japanese cities destroyed by atomic weapons, Japan surrendered and the war was over. May God bless all of our brave servicemen and women, who sacrifice so much, so that we can live in a free and prosperous country. However, the memories of what took place will never be – and should not ever be – forgotten by all Americans.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

KISS: Keep It Simple...

To The Editor:

As Democrats rehash the events of the Clinton campaign and try to understand what happened and why Hillary lost, they will undoubtedly come up with a list of what they think made the difference. Clinton says tops on the list should be FBI Director Comey’s disclosure about Clinton emails on another laptop two weeks before election that further tarnished her image. She never recovered from that. I agree, but I think Hillary lost two years ago, when Donald Trump came out with his slogan to Make America Great Again. His message is a strong action statement that hits right at the heart of all Americans. Don’t all Americans want to make American great again? Yes, they do! It didn’t seem to matter that America is already great, and that we are well on the right track and we don’t need a retooling. The phrase was spot-on, and provided the momentum for his win on November 8th.

On the other hand, look at Clinton’s message of Stronger Together. That message is not an action message. Her message doesn’t motivate the voter to take any action because it has no action verb. We all know that we are stronger together, but the march up to the election is about them versus us. Nobody wants to be together before election, because the separateness is reason to vote for one party or the other. We can advocate stronger together after the election, not before. Her campaign slogan was weak, and her message was weak. Americans overlooked Trump’s nasty words, his groping of women, his lies and bankruptcies, the Trump University scandal, his non-disclosure of his taxes and medical records, and his temperament in order to Make America Great Again. His slogan elected him.

Her message is a perfect example of Democratic campaigns and their weak messages. Democrats have always had the best arguments, but their ability in getting their message across has been a dismal failure. Go back to when John Kerry was running for President in 2004. He had a much better message about why he wanted to be president, but it got lost in his never-ending run-on verbiage. People are not willing to hear long answers today. They want it short and to the point.

For example, how do you react when you get a long, detailed email from a friend telling you about what’s been going on in their lives? Long? No thanks, just give me bullet points. When you consider that about 50% of the people get their news from Facebook, you have to realize that the message is in the headline, not the explanation. Due to the changing world of technology, and the information overload in which we find ourselves, people are looking for short messages. Multitasking people today don’t have time for a long anything. Trump’s tweets were short and right to the point. Wrong points and nasty words we may agree, but they were out there in the briefest form possible. Same with the “wrong, wrong, wrong” words Trump used to constantly interrupt in his debates. Nasty yes, insulting yes, and inaccurate yes, but it was a one-word putdown that dismissed Clinton’s whole long-winded argument. People only remembered the word wrong; they forgot Clinton’s message.

The Democrats have to learn to talk in action words and short phrases. They need to hire a consultant who is an expert in doing just that if they want to win elections and keep this country on a progressive course. Clinton could have campaigned on action phrases such as Make America Strong, or even Build A Strong America. These are action phrases that play to American pride, and would have given many a reason to vote for Hillary Clinton in the battleground states she lost that determined the election.

Tyler Cassell

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