2018-08-15 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Don’t Deport Family Man

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of
the Queens Gazette.
August 8, 2018
Judge Mirlande Tadal
625 Evans Street, Room 148A
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Tel: 908-787-1355

Hon. Judge Tadal:

I write today to strongly urge that you halt the deportation proceedings for Mr. Edisson Barros and immediately release him from custody at the Hudson Correctional Facility back to his family and community in Queens, New York. At the very least, and in the interest of justice, I ask that you halt the deportation long enough for his pending motions for a stay and to reopen his case have been processed.

Mr. Barros came to the United States not to be a burden on taxpayers or take advantage of any system. He came here without malice or corrupt intent. Mr. Barros came here out of a sense of duty to his family, to be a father to his US-born daughters, and to provide them with financial and emotional support—as would any father capable of doing so.

To that end, Mr. Barros has been exemplary in his dealings. He is a dedicated family man, working as a taxi driver to support his family. Mr. Barros has established himself as an upstanding member of his Queens community. When a friend, relative or stranger is in need, Mr. Barros does not balk, he lends a hand. He embodies the best attributes America values in its people.

I admit Mr. Barros’ case is personal for me. Like him, my family came to Queens from Ecuador and the timing of this case triggers a cognitive dissonance for me. August is Ecuadorian Heritage month. Over this past weekend, thousands of people came out to Northern Boulevard— despite the heat wave—to celebrate our annual Ecuadorian Independence Day parade. It strikes me that the Ecuadorians and immigrants from across the world not only celebrate their heritage and the freedom of their home countries on their respective independence days, but also the communities they’ve cultivated in their adoptive nations. Those days are celebrations of perseverance and of character forged in the crucible of difficult times.

These are difficult times, and our character— both individually and as a country—is continually being tried.

Our community is strong because it includes Mr. Barros and men, women and children like him. Mr. Barros is not a threat, he has no criminal history. Mr. Barros is an asset to this community, to this city, to this country. His deportation will not “Make America Great Again.” It will make us weaker.

Judge Tadal, I urge you to take all this into consideration and halt the deportation of Mr. Barros, at least until his motions for a stay and to reopen his case can be considered.

Thank you for your time,
Francisco Moya
NYC Council Member, District 21

Enough Is Enough

To The Editor:

Governor Andrew Cuomo is following the infamous Rose Garden strategy of ignoring underdog Democratic Party challenger Cynthia Nixon by refusing to participate in a series of public debates between now and the September 13 Primary Day. He prefers to hide behind his multi-milliondollar weekly series of television ads. They are paid for out of his ample $32 million reelection campaign war chest raised primarily from special interest pay-for-play donors. This is supplemented by “public service announcements” run daily in heavy rotation by state agencies and independent authorities such as the Empire State Development Corporation at taxpayers’ expense. He will do the same prior to November 6 General Election Day against underdog Republican challenger Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. Cuomo will stall until late October with the goal of agreeing to one or two last-minute debates knowing full well that his election is already preordained. He did the same in 2014 to Republican challenger Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. His father, Mario Cuomo, did the same to the late GOP Westchester County Executive Andrew O’Rourke when he ran against him in 1986. Like father, like son.

Cuomo has no interest in providing a free forum for either Nixon or Molinaro to get their respective messages directly out to voters. All newspapers and good government groups should shame Cuomo into participating in open forums and debates.

Cuomo should participate in a series of debates sponsored by daily newspapers and television stations. If he doesn’t show, leave an empty chair in the room with his name on it.

Let us hope that enlightened newspapers such as the Queens Gazette call for an end to the incumbent use of the infamous Rose Garden strategy. Intelligent voters deserve frequent debates prior to the primary and general elections as opposed to canned TV commercials.

If Cuomo refuses to participate in series of debates with either Nixon or Molinaro, he should be subject to critical newspaper editorials. He should forfeit any chance of endorsements by media outlets.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Saving Monarch Butterflies

To The Editor:

I don’t know if this neighborhood story is something you might be interested in or not, but I would like to share it with you just in case you might.

My husband, Duane Jonker-Burke, has been involved in helping to save the monarch butterfly for over 30 years. He taught science at PS 297 in Brooklyn where students create paper butterflies that are sent to Mexico, where they are then cared for by students. When the monarchs begin their “Journey North,” the paper butterflies are sent north, back to the students in the USA and Canada. Duane has continued this at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

To further support the monarchs, Duane has created a butterfly garden as part of the Church of the Redeemer’s garden. Last year he had 15 monarch caterpillars living on his milkweed plants. (Milkweed is the only plant monarchs can lay their eggs on.) Earlier this summer he had two monarch caterpillars and right now he has two more. As the summer comes to an end, he hopes to have many more caterpillars becoming monarch butterflies that will travel to their winter resting places.

Again, I don’t know if this is a story that interests you, but I did want you to know about my husband’s wonderful work to help keep the monarchs surviving.

Sarah Jonker-Burke


To The Editor: Tree branches are falling in Fresh Meadows—it’s time for the public to be forewarned now! As a concerned citizen who lives in Fresh Meadows, I am very concerned about what is happening to our trees after all of this recent heavy rain, which has totaled nearly a foot since mid-July, causing extremely saturated soils all across the area. During the last few weeks, it should be made known that in Kissena Park, there was a large lateral limb that snapped and fell from an oak tree, as well as in Cunningham Park, where another large lateral limb snapped and fell from a cherry tree. Also, at the intersection of 188th Street and 64th Avenue, another very large lateral limb snapped from an oak tree. Between Union Turnpike and 73rd Avenue, and also in Fresh Meadows there were large lateral limbs that snapped from two trees: one a huge poplar tree located near the baseball fields; and another large lateral limb that snapped from an oak tree right past the pedestrian bridge between Union Turnpike and 73rd Avenue, on the grass beside the northbound lanes of Francis Lewis Boulevard. Finally, there was an oak tree that completely fell onto the entrance of that same bridge over Francis Lewis Boulevard, which was immediately cut up, since its branches were blocking the bridge. Since the ground is completely saturated due to all of this very heavy rain, the stability of some trees in our parks and playgrounds that are already in a weakened state due to other external problems such as fungal growth, insect infestation, or aging could very easily be compromised. Even healthy trees could be at risk in some cases also. It is time for the city Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver to issue an advisory to the public to avoid walking under or near heavily wooded areas in the parks and playgrounds throughout the entire city as a precaution to avoid possible serious injury, since there could very well be some trees within the forested areas that could lose branches or even possibly fall due to the extremely wet ground. There also could be some street trees that could be in the same situation, so caution must be advised with regard to them as well. I hope that the commissioner will put out a public alert with regard to this situation which could turn tragic, to prevent anyone being struck and injured or even killed by a falling branch or falling tree. The people of this city have every right to know about this potentially dangerous situation, and to know about immediately!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Space Force Needed

To The Editor: The Trump administration wants a Space Force. VP Pence has warned that Russia and China have already militarized the final frontier. We need to protect the homeland from attacks from outer space—Russia and China are developing technology that could attack our satellites. A Space Command is long overdue. Let me also mention we could face attacks from aliens unknown. Remember today’s science fiction could be tomorrow’s reality. As stated in the Star Trek series, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Let me also add something else, and that is our population is increasing; we now have a population from 6-7 billion and by the year 2050 we could have a population of 18 billion. Therefore we need to explore other worlds like Mars for possible colonization. As such we would need a space force to protect such population. As stated in the Star Wars series, “May the force be with us.”

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Pristine Random Thoughts

To The Editor:

Here are my “Purely, Chaste, Pristine Random Thoughts XXVII.” I can’t believe there have already been XXVI of these. Here is another set (20) of my thoughts on a host of topics. Hopefully, the reader will not find any of the comments below offensive.

 Any of the readers familiar with my books? A “fan” recently emailed me on my new book: “I’ll waste no time reading it.”

 I’m working on two processes to get safe drinking water from the sea. Sounds simple. All you have to do is separate out the salt.

 Anyone ever think of starting a business that would provide a service of placing your pet(s) while one is away with others who have pets at a nominal fee? (I would call it Vacation Exchange of Pets, VEP.)

 Trump truly has many attributes. But, at times, he ought to give some thought to the gift of silence.

 I still can’t believe the number of walks given up by major league pitchers. The key to being a great pitcher is to not walk batters.

 I also still can’t believe that batters don’t run out ground balls and fly balls.

 The key to good health is walking and drinking water.

 Just published my 115th book. This one’s titled, “Introduction to Mathematical Methods for Environmental Engineers and Scientists.” It was coauthored by Chuck Prochaska, a graduate student at Manhattan College.

 Kelly Behan, a junior structural engineering student who studied at Buffalo and is a resident of Mineola, is the coauthor of our soon to be released book, “Introduction to Optimization for Environmental and Chemical Engineers.” Kelly is presently interning with Turner Construction and previously served as the editorial manager on my “Basketball Coaching 101” book.

 I still maintain that environmentalists have become a liability to our society. Their fanatical conduct is simply not acceptable.

 The Queen and I received a standing ovation at the recent annual Air and Waste Management Association awards luncheon in Hartford, Connecticut.

 I keep hoping things will be “resolved” in North Korea, Iran, Israel, Syria, China and Russia. Am I asking and hoping for too much?

 What happened to our Mets?

 The New York Giants are doomed with Manning.

 I’m planning to do another edition (IV) on Great Eats. The next one will key on casinos.

That’s it, folks. I’ll be back with another “random” in 6 months.

Visit me at www.theodorenewsletter.com or on my Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101. Lou Theodore

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