2018-02-21 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Pieces Of El Falling

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of the Queens Gazette, in which Assembly Member Cathy Nolan urged the MTA to do an immediate survey and review of the entire 7 line viaduct after chunks of concrete fell from the 7 train overpass at Queens Boulevard and 41st Street.

February 12, 2018
Joseph Lhota, Chairman
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Re: 7 Train Viaduct in Sunnyside (33rd Rawson, 40th Street Lowery, 46th Street Bliss Stations) Dear Chairman Lhota:

Please find the enclosed article from the (Sunnyside) Post regarding the accident that occurred early this morning beneath the 7 line at 41st Street and Queens Boulevard. While I understand that no one was injured, this incident was nevertheless a cause for great concern.

As safety must continue to be the MTA’s top priority, an immediate survey and review of the entire viaduct needs to be undertaken. This structure was rebuilt in the early 1990s using capital funds; our community had been repeatedly assured that the structure would last over 50 years. This failure, after only a few decades, is shocking. There are other signs of disrepair on the 7 line, including leaking platform roof rain gutters, and buckling treads on the station stairs.

Our community deserves an expedited review of this frankly alarming situation, to ensure the safety of the residents who work and live in Sunnyside. I am, of course, available to meet and discuss this situation at any time. I look forward to the results of your review and your plan for the future of the 7 line. Sincerely,

Catherine Nolan
NYS Assembly Member

Patronize Our Diners

To The Editor:

How disappointing to learn about “Georgia Diner Slated To Close” (February 14) on March 25. I have enjoyed many excellent meals for decades when frequenting any one of our many local diners including the Flagship. Over the years, we have seen the demise of too many others, including the Neptune (Astoria), Gold Star (Bayside), Seville (Douglaston), Sage (Elmhurst), Saravan (Flushing), Palace (Flushing), Future (Fresh Meadows), Fame (Jamaica), Scobee Grill (Little Neck) and other diners.

Diners have been part of my life from teenage years to today. Eating out is a periodic ritual with either friends or family. Portions are generous. Who never took a doggie bag home with leftovers to eat the next day? Between the customary soup, salad, rolls, coleslaw and pickles along with the main course—dinner could satisfy the heartiest appetite. Many times, we bagged our desserts to go.

Neighborhoods all over Queens have seen changes over time. Many new immigrant groups sometimes favor their own ethnic foods and restaurants. Diners have also lost customers over time to numerous fast food restaurants. Many of their menus have expanded to also include breakfast items and a greater variety of items to select from for lunch or dinner.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs who own and operate diners have continued to invest in our community, creating new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Why not honor the fond memories we have of the Gold Star, Fame, Future, Neptune, Palace, Parkway, Sage, Saravan, Scobee Grill, Seville and soon the Georgia (merging with the Nevada), which have come and gone, by continuing to patronize our remaining diners. Here’s hoping that Queens diners, including the Bayside, Court Square, Kanes, North Shore, Terrace and a handful of others still in business don’t go the way of the dinosaurs into permanent extinction.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

No To Budget Cutbacks

To The Editor:

I am appalled and deeply saddened to hear about the shooting and killing of students, teachers and coaches and the injuring of many at the school in Florida by a former student.

I admire and applaud the young people from the Florida school that was attacked, for their vocal political action, for their speaking out and for their planned march on Washington and they are truly going to make a difference in this world. I am horrified that the FBI director did not do anything when a tip arrived saying that a person will kill students in a Florida high school, and I agree that the director should be fired. We are told to say something and do something, but nothing transpired and 17 innocent children and teachers were killed at the hands of the brutal gunman.

Guns must no longer be in use, except by law enforcement officers, etc. Life is so important and a blessing and only God gives life and takes life and that man must get the death penalty.

I am appalled that there will be budget cutbacks in the Trump administration for helping 911 first responders and others who suffered illnesses as a result, and also a change in the background checks for gun purchases. Cutting back on background checks is horrible. I am glad, however, that our state has laws banning assault rifles.

Also, all of us must contact our mayor to please not give favorable treatment to those under 21 who are in prison’s special section when they brutally attack correction officers. These officers have been attacked and an end must be put to these attacks.

Elevators must be installed in all MTA stations. That is a violation of ADA.

I am glad that there will be a law stating that there will be no sexual harrassment or relations between police and females who are in their custody.

In addition I am glad that pet stores will no longer get puppies or cats from mills but rather from rescue organizations or shelters and that will be the true meaning of caring for homeless animals. I agree that there should be full service animal shelters in the five boroughs.

I commend Crowley for telling Democratic House members to stick together. Unity is important. I am glad that Van Bramer is so politically active and we are proud to have him. I agree that the shut down of Ditmars Blvd. station will seriously impact business as well as those who use the subway. I am applauding the Bronx Muslim leader who is promoting peace. I believe that he is an inspiration for all to follow as we were told to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

When Will Carnage End?

To The Editor:

As the country is told about yet another school shooting, this one in Florida, once again the safety of students in our nation’s schools will become the focus of intense debate. Why is this continuing to happen at these institutions of learning? Students, teachers, administrators and other school personnel should not have to worry that their lives are going to be in jeopardy every single day because of this madness and lunacy by sick and deranged people who are able to somehow obtain guns to carry out these heinous crimes. Hopefully, those 20 injured students will make speedy recoveries, and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, and a very special thanks to those brave first responders who immediately rushed to the school upon receiving those first frantic 911 calls. Something radical via Congress needs to be done to put an end to these heinous and tragic shootings in our schools. Stricter gun control laws must be enacted, and the NRA needs to work in tandem with Congress to see that this is accomplished. Also, there must be much stricter screening of anyone who walks into a gun shop and wishes to purchase a weapon. Our mentally ill, who are able to obtain these guns, need to be taken off the streets and institutionalized to get the necessary medical treatment to help them get better. Why are the politicians of this country dragging their feet on this very serious and recurring problem? Have we not learned from Sandy Hook, Charleston or Las Vegas? Wake up America and get serious—NOW!

The planned March 24 march on Washington by thousands of young people and their parents, as well as others, is the absolute correct thing to do, given the terrible high school mass shooting. It is time for the talking to stop and for action to be taken by the Congress to rein in this scourge of mass shootings that has ripped across our country for nearly 20 years! What in the name of common sense is it going to take to get the politicians—both Democrats and Republicans—and the President to work together to toughen existing gun laws? There should be marches all across the nation as well—in every city and town in our country to demand an end to these horrific mass shootings. Those high school students in Florida have the right idea, and I, as a former teacher and a proud American citizen, commend these young men and ladies for their candor and determination. I, along with millions of others, stand with you, proud and tall as you take your message to Washington DC on March 24. No more killings and much tougher gun control laws!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Death Count Appalling

To The Editor:

A demented teen suspect named Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers and injured at least 15 others with an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As reported there have been 18 school shootings nationwide since January. I find this most troubling and appalling. The lives of these students had much to offer and to give to our nation. Many had hopes and dreams and died too soon. I feel more must be done in treating those with mental illness; that will take funds allocated from the federal government. I also feel those with a mental illness should never possess a gun. As stated at a police conference, if you see someone acting strange and posting violent posts on the internet, it should be reported to police or the FBI.

Our youth are standing up against gun violence.

At a rally on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, thousands called for change in their protest in the wake of this massacre of 17 students and teachers. Emma Gonzalez, a student at the school, gave a speech that blamed President Trump, Congress and the NRA who mainly gave lip service to their grief. The youth of our nation are standing up against gun violence and are saying if the government is not going to act, they will. They intend to take their protest to the media and will shame those in Congress through Facebook and other media outlets. They will also hold rallies across the country, including a big one in Washington in the coming months. Our children are crying out for action. They just want to be safe when they go to school. They will not be silenced and will be heard. Some young people at the rally held signs that said “Money killed my friends,” “My friend died for what,” “Guns don’t die, children do” and “We stand with you Stoneman Douglas.” All the rhetoric will not bring about change, but I believe the voices of our children will bring about changes in waves of tears for justice. Remember this too: “Evil thrives when good people do nothing!”

To all those families, friends and coworkers affected by this horrible massacre, my heartfelt prayers go out to them.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

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