2018-07-18 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Deeply Resents

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of the Queens Gazette.

Dear Senator Charles Schumer,

I have been a Democrat all of my life. My parents were Democrats and all of my children are registered Democrats. My husband is a Democrat. We firmly believed that the philosophy of honoring American citizens, protecting our country was the right Democratic choice for us.

All of this has changed however for us. The Democratic Party is now a socialist party that advocates breaking the law, illegal immigration, no jails, no punishment for criminals, is anti-gun, does not believe that our soldiers should be protected, favors illegal immigrants over American citizens, detests all things that are Trump because he became president, does not fairly look at candidates for the Supreme Court, only believes that if Donald Trump favors a candidate, he must be bad, does not want to reduce taxes but rather raise them, comments that refunds are “crumbs,” thwarts the building of any type of borders for our country and seems each day to tell average American citizens that they do not matter. Non-citizens do not have to follow the Constitution. Neither do the citizens who object to rules. Those that have come into our country illegally matter more.

None of these things are items that my entire family believes in. We are ashamed to call ourselves Democrats in today’s society.

Why have you as the primary spokesperson of the Democratic Party begun such a hateful rhetoric? Why have you forgotten those who voted for you? Am I only important to you if I give you money to perpetuate your hateful rhetoric? I will not contribute one solitary cent to your cause because I believe that many of the things that Donald Trump has done are good for our country. I will not apologize to anyone for believing that my country should have borders. I want people who enter to be glad that they are in this great nation. I want them to embrace their new country and be proud to be here. I do not want people to come because of all the free things that we offer like housing, medical, dental, free food via food stamps and school lunches and breakfasts, free schooling, sometimes through college. My children had to pay for college. I was OK with that but I deeply resent non-Americans who break our rules, come into our country illegally and then receive all these perks. Who should pay for these things? If you believe that only the rich should pay then you are advocating a socialist agenda.

I also once believed that the Democratic Party was the party of the people. Average Americans who worked hard, saved what they could, helped each other, loved their country, were willing to protect it and believed in rules. That is no longer true. You still support Hillary Clinton who has broken the law multiple times. You are OK with her doing that because she is a Democrat. It appears that there are two sets of rules, one for you and your party and one for everyone else. I am now part of the everyone else.

I have always thought you were a fair-minded person. However bashing a candidate for the Supreme Court even before you knew his/her name does not qualify you as fair. You and your party have made statements like Roe v. Wade will be eliminated and thousands of people will be harmed. (Even if that were true and it will never be, the decision would go back to the individual states. At present 45 states support abortion.) How do you know this to be true? Was there a court case that I was unaware of? Scaring citizens is what dictatorship governments do. We are not a dictatorship yet! If you were fair-minded you would question Donald Trump’s candidate (who appears to have sterling credentials), listen to his answers and then make your decision. This goes for all in your party who were elected by average citizens like myself.

Because of your actions and words and the words of people like Maxine Waters and many others in your party I cannot remain a Democrat. My entire family and some of my friends feel the same way. You have lost us. No matter who is running in the Republican party, we intend to vote for them. Living in New York City we are certain that any Republican will lose but be careful Senator, the tide may turn.

Those of us who are educated, and follow what is going on are disgusted and very upset that the party that we once followed has turned socialistic and now believes that everyone is entitled to everything for free. Such a philosophy (look at history) is doomed to fail. A nation without borders is doomed to fail. A nation without rules is doomed to fail, and a nation where there is a double standard will certainly be overturned.

I will not allow the nation that I was lucky enough to be born in, and have loved, and have raised children to be social servants (of) both in society and the military, to turn into a socialist nation without a fight. As a proud American I believe that we can as a nation “Make America Great Again.” I will never apologize for living here like our past president did and as a citizen in your district you should not either. The most important realization is that the Democratic Party is not proud to be Americans. How sad! God Bless America!

Maureen Santora
Wife of Deputy Chief (retired) FDNY 40+
years of service Alexander W. Santora
Mother of FF Christopher A. Santora (murdered on September 11, 2001)

Voting Reforms Needed

To The Editor:

This year, there was a Federal primary in New York on June 26th. There were no contested races for the US Senate seat currently held by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and few Congressional primaries. However, there will be another primary on September 13th for State officers.

Governor Cuomo is being challenged by fellow Democrat Cynthia Nixon, and there will be a Democratic Party primary for attorney general with probable candidates Letitia James and Zephyr Teachout. There will no doubt be a smattering of other races as well, including contests for State Senate and Assembly.

Why do we have two primary dates? Why can’t the primaries be combined to save the taxpayers millions of dollars?

In New York in 2016, there was a Presidential Primary in April, a Congressional Primary in June and a State Primary in September. Three primaries! Does this make sense? Doesn’t this separation of primaries encourage lower voter turnout? And again, the cost to the taxpayers is staggering.

We need to have reform of our voting system here in New York State and I was pleased to read that reforms are being proposed in Albany to encourage voter participation. We also need to make running for office less onerous and easier for would-be candidates of any party. There is also the issue of campaign finance reform to ensure that elections can’t be controlled by wealthy contributors. However, to me, the most obvious reform and probably the easiest to implement is to schedule all primaries in our state on one day.

Henry Euler

Gateway Tunnel

To The Editor:

Here is why the $29 billion Gateway Tunnel project other than the $1.6 billion portal bridge is not proceeding forward. Acting Federal Transit Administration K. Jane Williams’ June 29 “Dear Colleague” letter stated “Before advancing a project, Section 5309 requires FTA to evaluate all projects seeking Capital Investment Grants (New Starts) funding on local financial commitment. Given the competitive nature of this discretionary program, the statute specifically urges FTA to consider the extent to which the project has a local financial commitment that exceeds the required non-governmental share of the cost of the project. To this end, FTA considers US Department of Transportation loans in the context of all Federal funding sources requested by the project sponsor when completing the CIG evaluation process, and not as separate from the federal funding sources. Strong local financial commitment and stable, reliable, and dependable non-federal funding sources are necessary for all projects to do well in the CIG program.”

Previous governors of New York and New Jersey found billions in hard cash for their local share to obtain FTA New Starts funding for the following projects. These include NJ Transit’s Hudson Bergen Light Rail Minimum Operating Segment One ($992 million), Segment Two ($1.2 billion) and Secaucus Transfer ($450 million). The Metropolitan Transportation Authority did the same for Long Island Rail Road East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal ($10.8 billion) and Second Avenue Subway Phase One ($4.5 billion). None of these projects required a federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing or Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Improvement Act loans. The Gateway Tunnel Portal Bridge ($1.6 billion) and Hudson River Tunnel ($11 billion) portions along with Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 ($6 billion) are currently in the first phase of FTA’s New Starts program, known as “Project Development.” MTA Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 has $1.7 billion in approved local funding within the MTA $32 billion 2015 - 2019 Five Year Capital Plan. The MTA intends to program an additional $2.3 billion in local funding within the next MTA 2020 - 2024 Five Year Capital Plan for a total of $4 billion in local funding. They hope to use these local dollars to leverage $2 billion in future FTA New Starts funding. MTA LIRR has previously provided billions in over match to cover billions in cost overruns for East Side Access. Any FTA Full Funding Grant Agreement requires the recipient to be legally responsible for any additional costs above the agreed upon FFGA project cost.

Previous governors found billions in real local dollars to provide real skin in the game “today,” not over decades. Why can’t current Governors Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York do the same today?

It is up to Cuomo and Murphy with the assistance of Port Authority of NY and NJ to come up with $14 billion each toward their local share to progress beyond the $1.6 billion Portal Bridge and fully fund all nine phases of the overall $29 billion Gateway Tunnel. Time to stop crying poverty and man up.

Without real, hard financial resources from Washington ($14.6 billion), NJ ($7.3 billion) and NY ($7.3 billion), how will the full $29 billion Gateway Tunnel be paid for? A project can’t be financed by borrowing and fare surcharges alone. Washington, Albany and Trenton all share equal blame for the lack of a real $29 billion Gateway Tunnel financing package.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Where’s Trump’s Tax Return?

To The Editor:

I agree that cars and trucks should not be standing with their engines running for more than three minutes. That pollutes the air. It is awful that there are such terrible traffic accidents; life is so precious.

I am glad that Carolyn Maloney won the primary. She is a wonderful representative who cares for all people.

I am not happy that our mayor flew in a special plane intended for homeland security people.

Nothing was mentioned in the budgets of NYC and NYS about Meals on Wheels funding. This is so important. As a volunteer for telephone reassurance calling homebound clients who get Meals on Wheels (I know) there are cuts on case management. No longer do clients see their case manager twice a year, but once a year. It seems that senior services for the frail, elderly and disabled are decreasing. However for the seniors who are so-called healthy at the senior centers they have trips to stores, trips to various places, and are not forgotten. Why should my tax money go to take seniors to stores? These people can use Access-a-Ride. Also NORCs should not be funded by the city or state, since it is duplicating senior centers’ duties. They also have trips. The homebound should be able to be taken to senior centers by special vans. They used to do that, but stopped and that is sad indeed.

Our president wants to change the Affordable Care Act and increase premium payments. Everyone is not as wealthy as Trump. Also he should have his tax returns shown to the public. That is only fair.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Memories of Queens Village

To The Editor:

Once upon a time, I lived in a town named Queens Village in the county of Queens, which is one of the five boroughs of New York City. I was born in 1949 and lived with my father and mother, Frederick and Teresa, in the 1950s- 1970s. As was once said about another place long ago and yet applies here as well. “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” Living there had many highs and lows. About a few months ago my wife Eva and myself were spending time there for the day with our close friends in Bellerose, Dave and Marion Duffy. Dave and my cousin Ronald Moyne had lived in Queens Village in the 50s and 60s. Our conversation centered around our past living in Queens Village. As for myself I lived on 213th Street and 102nd avenue. The house we lived in was bought by my mother’s father named Frederick Williams and his wife Alice. As I was told by my father the house was bought for $11,000 in 1924. At that time much in that area was farmland. After my grandparents died in the early 1950s my mother inherited the house and her sister Mary was living in another house in Queens Village which she shared with her sister in-law named Betty, after her husband had passed away. She had a son, my cousin named Ronald.

I remember my father would take me down about a block to 99th Avenue where there was a chicken farm where I was allowed to feed the chickens. A few years later there were two junkyards on the same avenue where I could take used newspapers and collect extra money for turning them in. A few blocks over on 212th Street there was a deli known as Yugo’s which I thought made the best sandwiches in the world. And right next store was a stationery store where you could buy candy for a penny and pick up newspapers, at 5-10 cents a paper. I also remember a diner on 212th Street and Jamaica Avenue where my father would take me on Saturdays so my mother could clean the house without interruption. I thought this diner made some swell pancakes. This diner later became a car wash. Let me also point out we had three bowling alleys and one was on 213th Street and Jamaica Ave. and you had to walk downstairs to where it was located. We also had two movie theaters, one was named Century Queens and the other was Century Community theater. You could go there on Saturday for 35 cents and get two movies and a cartoon. What a buy compared to prices today. We also had a clothing store named Wilson’s where I and my friend Dave, his brother Bob and my cousin Ronnie would buy our Boy Scout equipment and uniforms.

I attended with my parents Grace Lutheran Church and later Grace Lutheran elementary school with my good friend Harry Weymer who, sad to say, has just passed away at age 67 of brain cancer. Queens Village had a lot offer to our youth of that day, with schools, parks and Alley Pond park where we could discover nature. Let me also mention I belonged to Boy Scout Troop 114 which met in the basement of Grace Lutheran church on 100th Ave. and Springfield Boulevard. We had many stores, one of which was Megan’s hardware where you didn’t have to buy screws and nails and cabinet hardware by the box, but by the piece. I also belonged to the YMCA and we went on trips to many interesting sites like the United Nations, Empire State Building and to beaches where we learned to swim. My friend Dave said to me, “You can never go home.” Well I say that is so true, but maybe you still can in your mind, where you can go back and forth and memories can be lived again. All those who once lived and maybe still live in Queens Village, I hope I have brought back some fond memories. Remember this was the way it was way back when.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

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