2018-09-05 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Nurses Endorse Peralta

Dear Friend,

It has always been my great honor to work with and represent some of the best nurses in the nation at the New York State Nurses Association, so I am thrilled to receive their endorsement.

Our current healthcare system is broken, and we must work together to address healthcare inequality, keep hospitals open, and ensure safe staffing. NYSNA and I share the belief that health care is a human right, and I will not rest until we have a comprehensive and affordable system that works for all New Yorkers.

•••

With attacks on women’s reproductive health coming from the federal government, now more than ever, it is critical that we have a champion who will defend women’s rights. I have always fought to end gender discrimination and inequality, and will continue to do so.

Watch my new video highlighting my accomplishments for gender equality!

As a 100% pro-choice legislator, I am proud to co-sponsor the New York Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act. Fighting for women is about action every single day, aimed at empowering women and ending discrimination.

Join me in the fight for affordable healthcare. Help defend women.

Watch our new video on gender equality in New York.

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

Jose Peralta
NYS Senate, District 13

Central Astoria Does It Again

To The Editor:

Even though things are changing rapidly in our community, it’s a tribute to Central Astoria that they consistently deliver an amazing summer of fun in the park to delight and entertain generations of neighbors, friends and family. This mainstay of civic pride and community involvement is the sustained vision of committed leadership that goes beyond the organization’s core services related to housing and business development to bring us together each year. It starts with the Independence Day fireworks and continues with their Waterfront Concert Series and weekly Movie Nights, all on the Great Lawn in Astoria Park. Planning and preparation, along with essential funding support from local representatives, are critical to the success of these events. Each year the audience grows, welcoming both newcomers and seasoned regulars to this annual tradition celebrating summer.

I salute George Stamatiades and Marie Torniali, along with the staff of Central Astoria, for their devotion; and express my deepest appreciation for all the summer nights under the stars. This time is sacred for me because I believe in unity and the values of connection inherent in the definition of community. Central Astoria makes those values real. As I look forward to next year’s array of events and activities, please join me in saying, “Well done!” to Central Astoria, its sponsors and supporters as the 2018 summer of fun comes to a close.

Dr. Sharon M. Cadiz
Astoria

‘Fast Forward’ Standstill

To The Editor:

Promises to make New York City Transit “A World Class Transit System Within Five Years” by NYC Transit President Andy Byford is easier said than done (“Does Fast Forward Mean Slow Down?” Emily Sweeney, August 29). His proposed Fast Forward Plan is little more than a fundraising prospectus for potential transportation investors. Here’s why. Let us assume the next MTA Five Year 2020-2024 Capital Program Plan starts out at $30 billion. First they intend to program $2.265 billion, bringing the total local share of funding for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 (96th to 125th Streets including two stations) up to $4 billion. This is necessary to leverage $2 billion in Federal Transit Administration New Starts dollars to support a total project cost of $6 billion! An- other $1 billion each will be needed to complete fully funding the $11.2 billion LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal and $2.6 billion Main Line Third Track projects. The backlog of unfunded NYC Transit, LIRR and Metro North safety and state of good repair projects not included under “Fast Forward” combined far exceed $30 billion. How will the MTA find $19 billion more on top of $30 billion toward funding Byford’s proposed 10-year $37 billion subway system recovery plan? I asked if the $6 billion funding for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 might be better spent as a down payment toward funding his “Fast Forward Action Plan?” Sadly, his response was that he supports spending $6 billion to extend the Second Avenue Subway from 96th to 125th Street. Everyone in the transit industry already knows that neither Cuomo or de Blasio will ever come up with $2 billion per year over the next 10 years to fully fund the “Fast Forward Action Plan.” De Blasio’s millionaires tax and Cuomo’s support of congestion pricing will never see the light of day as potential funding sources. If Byford is so confident in creation of a “World Class Transit System” in five years, let him put up his generous future severance package as collateral.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

No Hands-Free Cells

To The Editor:

According to a report by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which offers an app to motorists to track their road habits, 50% of NY drivers are reported to be on their cell phones while driving. This I find sad, troubling and dangerous. The other day my wife Eva was riding with me in Glen Oaks Village, when a car in front of us all of a sudden decides to change lanes without signaling, while she was on her cell phone. Meanwhile this young woman had two kids and a dog in her car. My wife said to me, “What could this woman be thinking?” Was this phone call so important that she was willing to risk everyone’s life? Now I’m a senior citizen and fully realize the dangers on the road and need my full attention while I’m driving. When my cell phone rings and I’m driving, I respond to it when I reach a spot where I can pull over and stop and then respond to that call. I wish more people would do the same. I believe Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program ought to be extended to drivers who are on the phone while driving. I don’t really care if it’s hands-free because the person’s attention is not on the road, but on that phone call. Our roads need to be kept safer, with more people using common sense.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Don’t Ignore Depression

To The Editor:

This edition of the Queens Gazette was informative and contained positive articles.

This week is National Suicide Prevention week. Suicide is not a crime, but something that results from mental illness and depression. Depression and mental illness are not shameful at all. Those in need must seek counseling, call the hotline, speak to family members and supportive friends. Parents must know the signs of depression and children are suffering now as a result of too much stress put on them. Life is precious.

As for Labor Day we must salute the American worker, not disparage unions and the labor movement; Labor Day is not only a day of sales and parades to the stores, but to honor those who improved working conditions as well as those who improved wages.

It would be wonderful if NYC could be more affordable. Housing must be affordable.

National Preparedness Month is important since September is the height of hurricane season. Also it is also important to be prepared if there are emergencies, both health and fire emergencies. All homes, apartments, schools, and public facilities must have smoke detectors and also CO (carbon monoxide) detectors. Everyone must have a Go Bag. More provisions must be made for the elderly and disabled as well, in case of emergencies. That is true in nursing homes and in assisted living facilities.

I am glad that Council Member Van Bramer is going to allocate money to finish the playground and park in Sunnyside that began in 2015. Playgrounds are important for children for fresh air exercise an outlet for constructive activity and a park is wonderful as well. I applaud Van Bramer for all he does for the Sunnyside Community.

I am glad that school will begin; students must improve their learning and study habits and remember that school prepares them for the future, the world of work, and teaches them responsibility.

I think that it would be a wonderful honor and tribute to the late Sen. John McCain to name a public school in Belle Harbor Queens, PS 114, in his honor; the children will have a role model to emulate.

I applaud Governor Cuomo for his beautiful lauding of John McCain. To me McCain left a legacy of valor, strength, cooperation, and caring for all people and nations. He made his footprints in the sands of our history.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

True American Patriot

To The Editor:

Even though the president and Senator Mc- Cain clashed over different issues, that is certainly no reason for him not to show more respect for the senator, who died last weekend of brain cancer. Veterans’ groups and the American Legion were incensed, and rightfully so, that the American flag was first lowered, then was raised, and then it was once again lowered in honor of Senator McCain, who was a true war hero and should be remembered as such. The family of Senator McCain was absolutely right in asking that President Trump not attend the funeral service in Washington later this week. Vice President Pence will attend instead. President Trump should apologize to Senator McCain’s family for showing a lack of respect for him. He also should apologize to all the veterans’ groups for that snafu with the American flag at the White House. Senator McCain will always be remembered as someone who always spoke his mind with the interests of all the American people at heart, including all of those men and women who served and continue to serve in all branches of our military. The thoughts and prayers of an entire nation are with the family of Senator McCain, and for him as well. America has lost a true hero, patriot and gentleman who served his country for 60 years.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Tribute To Capt. McCain, USN

To The Editor:

John McCain was shot down over Vietnam in October 1967, after completing over 20 missions. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. While McCain fought in Vietnam our fearless President got four college draft deferments. After graduating in 1968, Trump visited a doctor who provided him with a letter stating he had bone spurs in a heel and this enabled him to get a medical deferment from the draft. He later said the bone spurs were “minor.”

Capt. McCain’s passing brings back memories of my Naval service, which culminated in June 1967, and I recall McCain was almost killed in July 1967:

On July 29, 1967 an electrical power surge occurred in a Phantom F-4B parked on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal operating off Vietnam. A Zuni rocket shot across the flight deck and struck an external fuel tank of a A-4 Skyhawk piloted by LCDR White or LCDR Mc- Cain. McCain and the other pilots were able to escape from their planes as jet fuel spilled across the flight deck, ignited and triggered a chain-reaction of bomb explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161.

It was one of the worst Naval accidents since WWII.

Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

Condescending AI

To The Editor:

When computerized artificial intelligence (AI) becomes smarter than humans, it will condescend us to death. In doubt about this, you need only look up “condescending/condescend” in the dictionary:

Definition 1: condescending (adjective): disdainful, contemptuous, arrogant, pompous, patronizing, overbearing, haughty, supercilious.

Definition 2: condescend (verb): What all intelligent entities always do with less intelligent entities: educate, groom, hunt, feed, pet, cage, breed, experiment on, slaughter, eat and/or exterminate.

Leonard Lanzone
Astoria

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