2018-08-22 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Voters' Morals

To The Editor:

Regardless of political leanings, there are constants within the foundation of our national identity. One is the Oath of Office members of the Congress swear to.

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

With ongoing debate of what the Constitution means, interpretation can be deemed subject to whatever one wishes it to be. Yet from the conception of the nation the stabilizer has been the ethics and morality of members of Congress. Many could, with reason, argue that there is little proof that elected officials have either ethics or morals.

Morals are based upon strong or commonly held beliefs of what is right and wrong. There are lines in the sand that most people would consider to define which side of the line is right or wrong.

Ethics are usually defined as basic principles of decent conduct.

The midterm elections are in November. They may determine which party will control the government during the next two years. Whomever is elected will be decided by those who vote and those who do not.

Voices daily are raised in anger accusing this side or the other of violations of their morals and lack of ethics. Perhaps the reality is the values of the citizens who vote and of those who do not.

Americans get the government they deserve. It is their morals that are on trial in November.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Reschedule Buses-Only Lane

A copy of this letter was received at the offices
of the Queens Gazette.
July 9, 2018
NYC Department of Transportation
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041
Attention: Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner
Re: SBS Bus Lanes on Woodhaven/Cross
Bay Boulevards
Dear Commissioner Trottenberg:

I hope this letter finds you well. It was good to see you in Albany advocating for speed cameras, an issue I would like the state legislature to address this year. I am respectfully requesting that the NYC DOT reconsider the 24-hour operation of the SBS bus lanes along Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevards.

I am hopeful that said bus lanes can be changed to allow for bus-only use during the Monday through Friday morning and afternoon rush hours, namely 7 am to 10 am and then from 4 pm to 7 pm. Since I drive along this roadway daily, I believe the above request would be consistent with the volume of vehicle and bus traffic. I have been increasingly witnessing the empty SBS bus lanes being used by vehicles during non-rush hours.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
State Senate

Supports Working Families

To The Editor:

Working men and women are the lifeblood of our communities, but all too often I see families struggling to get by. I’m proud of my record of delivering for working families, from raising the minimum wage to the nation’s best paid family leave program. Watch my new video highlighting my hard fought victories for working families!: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmgLfOoDkSk.)

As of January 1 of this year, New Yorkers have job-protected paid time off to care for family members. I will continue to push for progressive initiatives such as this to ensure that hard working New Yorkers receive the support they deserve. I am proud to be the champion that Queens can depend on.

Stand with us to pass more legislation to help working families by donating to my campaign!

Learn more about my priorities or sign up to volunteer at peralta4queens.com! Best,

Jose Peralta
NYS Senate

Bike Lanes

A copy of this letter was received at the offices
of the Queens Gazette.
July 18, 2018
Hon. Bill de Blasio
City of New York
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

Please let this letter serve as my official comments on the installation of protected bike lanes on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens. As you know, last month I expressed my support for Queens Community Board 2 as they voted overwhelmingly against the proposal.

Many Skillman Ave. civic leaders, business owners, and residents are concerned about the elimination of parking spaces in Sunnyside, particularly on Skillman Avenue. I would ask that you work with the community to come up with alternatives that help make our streets safer for drivers, bikers and pedestrians. Several of the tragedies were a result of drunk drivers so I would recommend renewed enforcement. Bike riders need protection but there has to be a way to accommodate pedestrians and small businesses as well. I remain in support of Queens Community Board 2 in this matter.

Catherine Nolan
NYS Assembly

Safety Measures

A copy of this letter was received at the offices of the Queens Gazette.
August 3, 2018
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Re: Safety Measures for Woodhaven Boulevard Dear Mayor de Blasio,

Yesterday, an 83-year-old pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue. Since the Select Bus Service implementation in November 2017, there have been countless vehicle accidents along Woodhaven Boulevard. My constituents cross the boulevard every day, especially the popular intersections of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven Boulevard and Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue. All of these locations have a great amount of traffic and pedestrian volume. I am requesting that Woodhaven Boulevard have dedicated crossing times for pedestrians, a study for better synchronized traffic lights along Woodhaven Boulevard and a study to see if Vision Zero can be implemented along the corridor. We cannot afford for another pedestrian accident or future fatalities to occur in Woodhaven. The safety of my constituents is of the utmost importance to me. I look forward to your response on this matter.

Sincerely,
Mike Miller
Member of Assembly
Cc: Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Department
of Transportation

Matinecoc Site Restored

To The Editor:

Hi, my name is Aidan Decker. I am 15 years old and currently working on my Eagle Scout Service Project. I am writing to you to tell you about this special project. I was told to reach out to you by Donna Barron of the Matinecoc tribe.

I have been in the Boy Scouts program since I was in 1st grade. My dad, Lee, has also been my scout leader. It has been a lot of fun, including camp-outs, field trips, earning merit badges and our recent high adventure trip to Philmont, New Mexico last year! It has also been a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and work to earn each merit badge.

I now am working on my most important advancement, which will earn me the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the organization. I chose to restore the Matinecoc Indian burial site that lies in Zion Church graveyard in Douglaston. I chose this project because of the fond memories I have going to this place. My Papa and Nana would take me to the Zion Church for walks and we would collect acorns and pinecones. I was always impressed with the Matinecoc Indian burial site. I became even more interested after earning my Indian Lore merit badge.

I have put a lot of thought into this service project as it will memorialize the Matinecoc Indian Tribe who once inhabited my hometown of Little Neck-Douglaston. In the year of 1931, the City of New York decided to widen Northern Boulevard, by using imminent domain they decided to relocate the burial ground of the Matinecoc Indians to the Zion Church graveyard. This relocation was devastating to the descendants of the Matinecoc tribe, especially since there was already animosity between the Indians and the settlers that stole their lands years before. The re-internment was comprised of about 30 bodily remains. Not everyone was accounted for and artifacts that the Indians were buried with according to tradition were taken. Over the past 87 years, the resting place has fallen into disrepair. The path leading to the site is destroyed, the trees and shrubs are overgrown and the plaque was stolen sometime during the 1990s.

When I approached the descendants of the Matinecoc tribe, they were extremely grateful and excited about this project. The Zion Church vestry is also overjoyed about this project. I hope to draw attention from Little Neck/Douglaston and our surrounding communities to the Zion Church and to the history of the native people, the Matinecoc Indians of our area.

To restore this final resting place, I needed to fund this project. I have been going door to door to various garden centers, mason suppliers and anywhere I can get things like soil, rocks, pavers, plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. I am also looking to replace the plaque that was stolen. I have met some very generous people and we now have what we need to get this done.

There will be an unveiling of the restored burial site on Sunday, September 9, 2018. The Zion Church community and the Matinecoc Indian tribe will be there! All donors of the project will be acknowledged then. Everyone is welcome!

Yours in Scouting,
Aidan Decker

NOT Feasible

To The Editor:

What ever happened to the promised MTA feasibility study for restoration of Long Island Rail Road service on the old Rockaway Beach line? The original completion date was June 2017. It was subsequently delayed until December 2017, and again to June 2018. Two months later, both draft and final reports have yet to be made public. Continued delay in release of the study could imply that both feasibility and costs have been found to be prohibitive. The estimated costs have already grown from $600 million to $1 billion over recent years.

Remember the old proposed LIRR Lower Montauk branch Light Rail Project championed by former NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley? Release of the $500,000 feasibility study for introduction of light rail on that corridor last December may have been the final stop for this project. According to this report, the anticipated cost grew by 2,100% from $100 million to $2.2 billion! Support from public officials, transit agencies, transit advocates, commuters and taxpayers subsequently disappeared.

Don’t be surprised if results from the MTA Rockaway Beach LIRR restoration study reveals a cost in the billions and timetable for completion of over 10 years. This may be the last breath for any hope of MTA Rockaway Beach Branch LIRR restoration.

If the study results were favorable, there would have already been a joint press conference with the MTA, LIRR and local supporters such as NYS Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato, along with project transit advocates to share the good news. This announcement would include promises to add additional funding which would be amended into the existing $32 billion MTA 2015-2019 Five Year Capital program. Millions would be needed to begin the environmental review along with preliminary design and engineering. More funding for final design and engineering, along with construction would be added to the soon-to-be proposed next MTA 2020-2024 Five Year Capital Plan. Planning work on this upcoming document, which would be released in 2019, is already underway, behind the scenes at both MTA Headquarters and the Long Island Rail Road.

The longer the MTA sits on the study, the greater the odds some consultants, along with MTA staff, are staying up late trying to wordsmith the report so as to downplay the bad news.

The only winners from this study will be the well-paid consultants. They will move on to the next transit planner’s dream.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Pedophile Priests In PA

To The Editor:

It has just been reported by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro that 1,000 children or maybe more had been abused by pedophile priests over decades and it has been covered up. He said, “The pattern was abuse, deny and cover up.”

As a Catholic and as a grand knight in the Knights of Columbus, I find this report to be sad, troubling and appalling. And to think this could have occurred nationwide and even worldwide. I have known many priests in my life and found them to be dedicated to their faith. It is the few who forgot that they were men of God and abused children without guilt. Many dioceses, including my own of Brooklyn and Queens, have a zero tolerance policy for priests who are accused of abusing children. It has been a long time coming but I believe it is working to protect our children. As Jesus said in Matthew, ch. 18 vs. 6, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” I offer my heartfelt prayers for all those children who are now adults and were abused through no fault of their own. I also offer my prayers to those many faithful priests who are dedicated to doing God’s will.

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

The Church Knew

To The Editor:

The recent news story that over 300 priests were found to have committed acts of sexual abuse on many, many people when they were children in Pennsylvania is indeed very upending and horrific. Why should this type of behavior surprise anybody? These allegations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests has been going on for decades and decades—and no one lifted a finger to stop it. The hierarchy knew about these sexual molestations and did everything they could to keep a lid on them. Also, I am sure that there were sisters and brothers who were teachers in the Catholic elementary and secondary schools at the time who knew that these priests were doing this and said absolutely nothing about it, and that was absolutely very wrong. The few who dared to speak up in defense of the children were silenced with threats of retribution by the hierarchy. So, the Catholic church in this country continues its downward spiral. It is such an outrage that there were thousands of children who are now adults that had to endure all of this emotional suffering for all of those years. It is time for the Catholic church to join the real world and mandate an extensive background check of every single priest in every single diocese of this country to make sure that there are no sexual predators among them that could harm any child, anywhere, ever. Shame on the Catholic hierarchy for not taking the appropriate action at the time all of this disgraceful and abhorrent behavior by these priests was going on. I have lost all respect for the Catholic church because of this outrage!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

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