2017-10-04 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Dire Time Of Need

September 27, 2017
The Honorable James N. Mattis
Secretary of Defense
U.S. Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

Mr. Secretary:

We write to ask to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss the military’s role and response in providing assistance and relief to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in its dire time of need after Hurricane Maria destroyed most of the island.

Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico two weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Irma, causing combined damages that are estimated to reach into the tens of billions of dollars. Puerto Ricans are reeling from power outages, lack of potable water and a shortage of basic resources – a number of Puerto Ricans have died in the storm and many more are in danger. While we are deeply grateful for the generosity of Americans and the fact that food and supplies arrive daily, there are still many areas of Puerto Rico that have been untouched by the relief effort so far. One week after the hurricane came and went there are still large areas of the island that have yet to have contact with first responders or receive emergency food and water.

The US military provided life-saving, heroic support to the people of Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and in 2005 to the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, deploying a three-star general to command operations there. These are but two examples. We believe the U.S. military is best positioned to save lives, meet immediate needs of the people with food and water, set up a functioning telecommunications system and establish medical triage and emergency medical services. Our military servicemen and women are the best in the world and their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico need their help desperately. We would like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss what the military is currently doing to help Puerto Rico and what more it can and will do in the future. Sincerely,

Luis V. Gutierrez
Joseph Crowley
Members of Congress

Eagle Scout

To The Editor:

The scouts, leaders and members of the Committee Boy Scout Troop 268 take great pleasure in announcing that:

Having completed the requirements for, and having been examined by an Eagle Scout Board of Review, Nicholas Ferderigos was found worthy of the rank of Eagle Scout.

In honor of this achievement, we have scheduled an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Saturday, November 11, at Monahan & Fitzgerald in Bayside.

We would appreciate a letter or certificate acknowledging his achievement. We will compile it with other acknowledgments and place it in a scrapbook commemorating this special occasion.

Thank you for taking time from your extremely busy schedule to help this community recognize the achievements and service of Eagle Scout Nicholas Ferderigos.

Peter Moustakos

Trash Piling Up

To The Editor:

A couple of years ago there were four trash baskets on the four corners of 31st Street and 35th Avenue. Now there is one. I wrote letters to public officials trying to restore the two lost originally, but it didn’t do any good. When the second-to-last one went I called 311. Sanitation’s first response was that the matter had been “addressed.” But there was no trash basket. Sanitation’s second response, when I called the garage and spoke to the superintendent, was that the basket would be replaced. But there was no trash basket. When I called 311 again, Sanitation’s response was that the location “didn’t meet the criteria” for a trash basket. So I called the garage again to ask what the criteria were. This time the person I spoke to said he couldn’t tell me what the criteria were, but that the garage had no power to restore the trash basket (first time I’d heard that one) and that I should call my community board. I did that and was told that a request would be submitted but that there was no way of telling if or when the trash basket would be replaced. And of course there is no trash basket. And the trash is piling up. I now have various options. This is one of them. Possibly someone is listening.

Brenda Woodward

Floating Shelter

To The Editor:

As federal aid continues to pour into hurricane battered Puerto Rico, one other suggestion from this writer is to ask the cruise ship lines to also help by sending one ship from each line to San Juan harbor and moor the ships there, so that people could be brought onto them and receive basic necessities such as food, clothing and water, as well as a place to sleep, since there are hundreds of staterooms on each vessel. The idea is not so farfetched, and it is the least that all of the cruise ship companies could do, given the fact the they rake in millions of dollars each year on cruises to Puerto Rico and other locations throughout the tropical Atlantic. It is time for these cruise ship companies to give back a little. The people of Puerto Rico need every bit of help that they can get now; it is a very serious and worsening situation with each passing day.

While the hurricane season reached its peak on September 10, we have already have had a very active and destructive season – the mainland US, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the southern Bahamas, and the Leeward and Windward Islands all have taken heavy hits from Category 3 and 4 storms, with very heavy damage, as well as some loss of life. October certainly could bring several more major hurricanes, as the conditions continue to remain conducive for tropical development off the southeast coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. As far as any more Cape Verde storms traveling from across the Atlantic, their frequency tends to diminish, with waters starting to cool down. The waters in the southwestern Atlantic basin, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea are still extremely warm, in some areas as warm as 90 degrees. We must not let our guard down just because October is coming. Remember, Hurricane Hazel slammed our area in October, 1954, and Hurricane Sandy pummeled our area in late October, 2012. Also, even into early November there could be some additional tropical storm formation in these areas where water temperatures are still warm enough. John Amato Fresh Meadows

Tweet Away The Presidency

To The Editor:

We currently have problems with countries that could threaten our national security.

Evidently, Russia meddled in our election for President, and continues to hack into U.S. and European government and industry systems. Also, Russia occupies eastern Ukraine.

China laid claim to the South China Sea and is constructing bases on islands claimed by other countries. The Chinese military has confronted U.S. naval vessels and aircraft.

North Korea tests ballistic missiles which are capable of reaching the U.S. It is working on developing ballistic missiles outfitted with nuclear warheads by 2018.

Iran is involved in the Syrian War and is a backer of Islamic terrorist organizations. It keeps challenging our naval forces in the Persian Gulf and continually threatens to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

A dictatorship in Venezuela is causing instability in the country.

Given these situations, what are Trump’s priorities? He is focusing on repealing Obamacare, building a border wall, banning transgender people from our military, worrying about news leaks, undermining the media, replacing White House staff, pardoning a convicted criminal sheriff, attacking NFL and NBA players, and showering Putin with platitudes.

Trump is fraying the fabric of American society, tweeting away the Presidency and jeopardizing our security.

Trump is our disastrous president.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

Set A Good Example

To The Editor:

Revenge porn must be punished by prison time. Nobody should get even with someone by showing porn on social media. That is disgraceful indeed.

In addition, Trump had no right to bash the National Football League in such nasty and obscene tones. This is disrespectful for a president. Trump is not setting a good example for the rest of the world by acting in a deranged manner.

All of the people in this world must atone for their sins, strive to do better and make it a better world. It is shameful how people treat each other and we must set good examples for our children and grandchildren and future generations to follow. That is all we hear on the news is crime. I heard that the schools are overcrowded and classrooms have 30 students in them and that is a lot of students to teach. More annexes or larger buildings must be built, since education is important. Large buildings must be emissions-free.

The awful bullying talk between North Korea and Trump must stop. Both are made men and life is too precious for these threats of dropping a hydrogen bomb by North Korea and destroying civilization, as well as our earth. Something constructive must be done to stop the war of threats and words between two political leaders. I cannot understand why Israel is targeted as a terrible nation violating human rights. The committee on human rights in the U.N. are those who violate them like Iran, North Korea, etc. Israel does not discriminate when she has scientific cures and medications for all people and treats Arabs in their hospitals in Israel. The dislike for others must stop.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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