2017-12-06 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Pre-K In Flushing Meadows

To The Editor:

I want to applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing into law my bill that will allow the city to build a much-needed pre-K center in an effort to fight the severe school overcrowding my district has faced for decades. It is unthinkable that in 2017 New York City children are learning in classroom trailers, and this is why the construction of a state-of-the-art pre-K school next to the Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will benefit the community. We are talking about the use of one acre of parkland, which is currently a parking lot. More than 300 new seats in a space that is used for cars will now be available for children from Corona, which is one of the most school overcrowded areas in the entire City of New York.

Jose Peralta
New York State Senate

Car Dealers On Northern

To The Editor:

The Auburndale Improvement Association wishes to publicly thank the 111th Police Precinct for their recent actions to remediate problems with many of the auto dealerships and some of the other auto-related businesses along Northern Blvd. in Bayside. The police have also made many other attempts to address problems with these businesses over the years.

Our thanks also extend to NYS Senator Tony Avella, Assembly Member Edward Braunstein and Council Member Paul Vallone for their support in addressing all of the complaints that this civic organization receives regarding these auto businesses. We have been working for years trying to get these businesses to mend their ways and to become good neighbors to the residents of the area.

We have also worked with Community Board 11 and other civic groups including the Bayside Clear Spring Council headed by Mr. Mandingo Tshaka. You would think that with all of this community cooperation, conditions would improve. Unfortunately, problems still continue that adversely affect local residents.

It is not our goal to put any of these companies out of business. All that we ask is that they obey the law, that they follow conditions in their certificates of occupancy and/or variances and that they be considerate of the residents of the community.

This civic organization will continue to advocate for the residents and cooperate with city agencies and elected officials in trying to resolve these issues. These auto-related businesses are not worlds unto themselves. They are part of the community and must act in a responsible manner that shows respect for the residents who live near them.

Terri Pouymari, President
Henry Euler, First Vice President
Auburndale Improvement Association,
Inc.

A Ride To Yesteryear

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. The “Shoppers Special,” consisting of eight cars from the 1930s’ runs between the 96th Street 2nd Avenue Q line station and 6th Avenue F line stations in Manhattan, Sundays on December 3, 10, 17 and 24, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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.

NYC Transit is also operating a fleet of vintage buses on the M42 midtown crosstown 42nd Street route in Manhattan for weekday service during December, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from December 5 to 21. Likewise, riding the old vintage buses are 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 Metro Cards affording free transfers between bus and subway, along with discounted weekly or monthly fares. Employee transit checks to 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 non-existent 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 percent 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 percent of the city’s 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 percent on a daily basis.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Season’s Greetings

To The Editor:

We extend our very best wishes and season’s greetings for a happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and happy Kwanzaa. May this New Year bring you and your family an abundance of good health, happiness and success.

With our sincerest appreciation for all of the contributions you have made throughout the year to make our community a better place to live, work and raise our families.

From all of us at Community Board 2.
Denise Keehan-Smith,
Debra Markell Kleinert,
MaryAnn Gurrado, Joan Bergman,
Kim Waber

Well Done!

To The Editor:

What a wonderful issue of the Gazette this week. So many positive topics that showed the kindness of others to those who are less fortunate were presented and that lifted spirits in a time when we need that so badly. I am proud of those in New York Cares for the coat drive, for the students who served meals to those in need and it is said in the Bible we should clothe those who need it and feed the hungry. These precepts are good deeds. I am glad that that person in recovery from drug abuse was presented a NYS Assembly Citation and that she is a role model for all to follow. I also am glad that there will be safe, protected bike lanes, since many bike riders get injured or killed. I am also glad that our mayor will do something to improve our bus system since it is slow and workers arrive late to work. I am glad that the NYPD will publish safety tips for fire prevention during the holidays, a time for happiness, not for fire, injury, and destruction of property and death. I applaud the Astoria Center of Israel for their December 3 blood drive. When a person gives blood they give life and that is a good deed.

The tax reform plan will hurt New York and other states, and also add millions to the already existing deficit. The government cannot be shut down. Both parties must work together to compromise and agree.

The harassment of women is awful and an abomination and I’m glad that Congress will pass a law prohibiting it. Harassment in the workplace is sinful indeed.

It is really a very awful idea to close down the New York subway system during the wee hours of the morning, claiming that not many riders use the subway, less than one percent. That is wrong, since people who work at night need transportation. The city never sleeps and neither does the transit system.

I am glad the police officers were honored as far back as the early 1900s, that is wonderful. Police, firefighters, EMS and other first responders must be honored and appreciated. I am elated that the Towers to Towers Foundation provided the family of the slain single mom police officer, Miosotis Familia’s, family with a brand new house, free of charge. That is a truly wonderful gesture and a way of honoring a special police officer who gave her life in the line of duty. That organization is truly wonderful and doing good deeds to improve the lives of those in need. So is City Harvest.

Murders for this year are not even at 300, but there should not be any murders. Human life is valuable and a treasure. Humans must not take life, only God can take life as well as give life.

The new tax reform law, if passed, will increase the national deficit and benefit the wealthy. Drastic cuts to the most vulnerable populations, elderly, disabled, and special needs people will suffer due to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. All pay into the system for Medicare and the government has no right to take that away or lower the benefits. It is not an entitlement, but a right, not a privilege. Also what would happen if Medicaid is cut? People in nursing homes will suffer. Let the heart and compassion be put back in our United States government. The government must not be shut down.This is a threat every time. A plan must be devised – not temporary stop-gap measures – to stop this from looming over our heads.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

True Christmas Spirit

To The Editor:

Christmas is fast approaching and there is much for most of us to do. Gifts to buy and wrap, cards to send out, and put up decorations and trees. It is also a time to reflect about the troubles in the world. I can’t help but wonder about the message of the season which is, “Peace on earth and good will towards men.” Now where is it? Have we lost what the meaning of Christmas is all about? I believe it is a time of caring, giving and sharing, and helping others who have so little. We can reshape the world by helping one life at a time, helping those who are in need of our love and compassion. We’re in the season of peace and love and are faced with much hustle and bustle this time of the year. Yet I believe in kindness to all those we meet, even if it just entails a friendly smile and a hello. If we accidently knock into someone while shopping we should say, “I’m sorry,” “have a nice day.” Also if we are traveling by bus or train we should take our kindness further and offer our seats to the elderly and the handicapped, who are in need of our understanding and respect.

In closing, let us think of our military personnel who are committed to protecting democracy and can’t come home for the holidays. These brave men and women are missing their children, relatives and friends and all they hold dear. It is a lonely time for them. So please offer a prayer for these men and women that they will be safe in the performance of their duties preserving freedom. In my opinion that is what Christmas means to me. To all those who celebrate Christmas, let me say, “Merry Christmas to all!”

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

The Holidays

To The Editor:

As we prepare to begin another holiday season, the pace of life changes, with shopping malls becoming jammed with frenzied shoppers looking for all those wonderful items for Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. While it is usually a hectic time of the year, we should really try to take some time out for ourselves and reflect on what this time of year truly means. All three holidays, Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa, are holidays of reflection and being thankful for the things that we have in our lives – family, friends, good health and cheer. During this beautiful time of the year we should remember all those people who are less fortunate than us – the homeless, physically disabled and mentally ill, and try to help them out via monetary donations to the various organizations that help and support these people. We should also remember our first responders – our police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, doctors, nurses and our 311 and emergency 911 operators – and be most grateful for all of their dedication and hard work that they do each and every day to help us. Let us also remember our nation, the most wonderful place to live in the entire world, because we have many freedoms here that people in some other countries do not. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Peace and Goodwill to everybody this holiday season of 2017.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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