2018-09-12 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Abandoned Gas Station

This letter was emailed to and forwarded, with his response, by Council
Member Daniel Dromm to the offices of
the Queens Gazette:
September 6, 2018
To Council Member Daniel Dromm:
RE: illegal use of abandoned gas station in Queens

Please review the many years of complaints against the abandoned Shell gas station located at 71-02 thru 71-10 Northern Blvd in Queens. The certificate of occupancy for the business (attached) expressly forbids the parking of vehicles other than those waiting for repair service, yet the property owner Zinc Realty LLC is using the space to park about 30 to 50 yellow cabs there all day and all night, every day of the year. The cabs never seem to move from this location. Owner filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2017 in a Queens court.

This yellow taxi parking lot/graveyard is a nuisance and an eyesore and safety issue, as well as dragging down local property values and destroying quality of life.

Please force them to clean up their act and remove these taxicabs from the property!

*NOTE* Please be aware that many other neighbors have recently contacted government officials and agencies, as well as the local TV news stations about this ongoing problem with the abandoned Shell gas station to no avail. We need help! We need someone on our side who actually cares about the neighborhood.

Why can’t we get this problem resolved, even in a major midterm election year? Please help us!

Helen Landry

***

September 6, 2018 Dear Helen,

My staff has been working on this issue for over a month. They will give you an update today about where we stand. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Sincerely,
Danny Dromm

BP Endorses Peralta

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to announce that I have the support of our Queens Borough President Melinda Katz as we head into election day on Thursday, September 13th!

Melinda’s confidence in me to continue representing my Queens district and bring progressive leadership for our state is humbling. Together, we have been successful in increasing school seats, upgrading our treasured parks, and preserving affordable housing. Melinda has been a champion for our borough, and I will continue working with her to improve the lives of Queens residents.

This fight can only be won together. Help us continue our work!

**Watch our new video on my commitment to women’s rights**

Sign up to volunteer for GOTV at peralta4queens.com. We have just one week until the election. Find your poll site at www.voting.nyc.

Best,
Jose Peralta

NYS Senate

Daytime Streetlights

To The Editor:

Can anybody explain to me why (almost) all streetlights in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and along the Passarelle pedestrian overpass (leading from the subway station to the USTA National Tennis Center) are on during a bright sunny day? Is it a gross mismanagement (wasting electricity, etc.) or something else? Or maybe someone just wants to demonstrate to tennis fans (foreign and domestic) that we have plenty of electricity (to waste).

Victor Maltsev
Rego Park

September 11

To The Editor:

I am so proud of Carolyn Maloney and that she rang the closing bell at the NY Stock Exchange. She is a woman of valor who is an inspiration to all. She cares for all people – women and men – and is a rare individual. I am proud to know her, as she was my representative when I lived in Astoria and she put my name in the Congressional Record and gave me proclamations for volunteer work at Dellamonica Senior Center. She really is an inspiration for all.

I am shocked to hear that there is segregation by race in NY City schools and thought that never happened in our city. Something must be done about that. White students go to private and religious schools and that leaves the minority groups in schools. Yes teachers do not like to teach in minority schools.

All children including the disabled must be given a good eduction since education is the key to success in whatever one does in the future. Children are our future. September 11 was the blackest day in our history and never again must it happen. We must keep our eyes open, our ears open, have more security on planes, trains, buses and railroads and if someone “sees something they must say something.” A tough foreign policy must be instituted to prevent terrorism. We applaud our heroes, first responders and those who perished in the plane, those who worked at the site and the clergy who helped the people. Rabbi Pearl who is my rabbi at Astoria Center of Israel is a disaster and crisis chaplain who has done so much to comfort and counsel 9/11 victims’ families since that fateful day. He speaks at many places and goes to the center site and the reflecting pool and greets each family member.

The Jewish New Year is not like any other new year with parties etc. but it is the welcoming of a new beginning in our hearts and souls. God is the king and he judges us and we pray that he will inscribe us in his book of life. It is also the time when God created the universe. It is ironic that 9/11 falls on the second day of the New Year. There must be utmost security at synagogues not only the big ones, but also at Astoria Center of Israel the centerpiece of Jewish learning, Jewish life and Jewish prayers in Astoria. I am proud and honored to be a member of that Synagogue for 18 years. 18 means “chai” which means “life.”

May the Astoria Synagogue continue to give spiritual religious learning and community life to all. Rabbi Pearl is embarking on his 11th year of being our spiritual leader. He has turned our synagogue around with vitalization with young children and classes for all ages. Most of all he is the most compassionate person I know since he lifted me out of the bondage of despair and grief and sadness after my twin brother Jay passed away suddenly seven years and three months ago.

I am blessed to know such a wise, kind, empathetic man of God. When I travel a total of about 28 miles on the Sabbath and on holy days from Little Neck where I reside at Brandywine Senior Living for six years and three months I feel such joy to be back in my spiritual home and am honored to be one of the co-presidents of that wonderful synagogue. May God bless Rabbi Pearl, his family, the synagogue congregational members, as well as our borough, city, nation, and the world with peace.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Seventeen Years Later

To The Editor:

As our country prepares to mark the 17th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, it is hard to believe that is now been 17 years since that most horrific day in America’s history, when life was changed forever across our country. As these years have passed, the pain of all those families who lost loved ones on that awful day still continues for them. Some people have already had closure, but there are many, many people who will continue to live for the rest of their lives without that closure. As the nation and the world commemorate this very sad day, one that will, like Pearl Harbor always live on in infamy, let us hope that peace will eventually come throughout the entire world, so that our country, as well as any other country, will never have to experience such a horrific and devastating attack as we did on September 11th, 2001. We owe a debt of deep gratitude to all of those brave first responders as well as countless civilians who also assisted in helping to evacuate the burning Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Many of those first responders and civilians made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as all of the passengers on that fourth hijacked plane who wrested control of the plane from the hijackers, causing the plane to crash into that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which prevented a fourth attack on the ground from occurring. May God bless all who perished on that day, as well as those who survived those barbaric and dastardly attacks on our great country of America. We shall never ever forget!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Prostate Cancer Awareness

To The Editor:

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it is time to stand up in the fight against prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. 164,690 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and 29,430 men will die of this disease this year. The key is early detection, which will give a better outcome in fighting this disease. I know that only too well. I was diagnosed in January 2015. I was going to have knee surgery and I had to have a physical by my primary doctor, Doris Berland and the test showed I had a high PSA and therefore directed me to a urologist, Dr. Gary Goldberg where it was discovered my PSA had gotten higher and needed a biopsy. It was ‘found I had an aggressive’ prostate cancer, but it had not spread yet but I would need my prostate removed. I did what had to be done. I was 66 years old then, and now am 69 and my PSA numbers have remained low. There are many treatments out there today, depending on the progression of the cancer. I call for all men over 50 to get tested, your life depends upon it, and your family depends upon you to live. I also ask those who can, to donate to the American Cancer Society. A cure for prostate cancer can be found, as well as many other cancers but only if you care and give. There was a program on TV Friday, September 7th asking for donations for a cure for cancer. The program was called Stand Up To Cancer. The program showed many people who survived cancer and were in remission. We have come a long way with research, technical improvements and medicines that have helped the many, including myself, in our fight with cancer. But all this needs funding. They suggested you can go to standuptocancer.org. So please give what you can and show that you care. Added to all this my good friend Harry Weymer who I have known for over 50 years, died this year of brain cancer. He truly needed a cure. I still miss him dearly.

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Happy 86th To ‘A’ Train

To The Editor:

On September 10, 1932 service started on the A train, which originally ran between 207th Street in upper Manhattan and Chambers Street in Downtown Manhattan. This was the first city-owned and built IND subway line. At the time, it was considered state of the art with rattan seats, metal straps and overhead fans providing speedy service. The subway cars were so well built, many ran over 40 years, into the early 1970s. The basic design of these cars served as the foundation for future generations right up to the present day. IND stations on the A line were built to accommodate up to 11 car lengths. During the 1930s, NYC began building and financing construction of the new IND (Independent Subway – today’s A, C, E, F and G lines). This new municipal system, completely subsidized by taxpayer dollars would provide direct competition to both the privately owned IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit – today’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines) and BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit – today’s B, D, J, L, M, N, R, Q, W and Z lines).

The original base fare of five cents was established in 1913. Municipal government forced both the BMT and IRT into economic ruin by denying them fare increases in future decades that would have provided access to additional, badly needed revenue. Big Brother, just like the Godfather, eventually made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. The owners folded and sold out to City Hall in 1940.

The A train became famous in the 1940s when jazz musician Duke Ellington wrote “Take the A Train.” The A line was extended in 1936, known as the “Fulton Street branch,” it ran through Brooklyn and terminated at Lefferts Blvd in Queens. When the Long Island Rail Road abandoned the Rockaway Beach Branch in the 1950s, the A line was extended to provide new service to the Rockaways, which began on June 28, 1956.

In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets, to the newly created NYC Transit Authority. Under late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the ‘60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The governor appointed four board members. Likewise, the mayor appointed four more and the rest by suburban county executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary such as NYC Transit would do a good job. When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed – everyone could put up their hands. Don’t blame me, I’m only a minority within the board. Decade after decade, NYC mayors, comptrollers, public advocates, City Council presidents, borough presidents and City Council members would all play the same sad song – if only we had majority control of the board – things would be different. All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the City of New York and NYC Transit is an escape clause. NYC has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which includes the subway, and most of the bus system as well. Action speaks louder than words. If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?

Many are too young to remember that up until the 1970s – NYC Transit extended E line service which ran express in Brooklyn, providing supplemental service to the A line during rush hours to the Rockaways. Riders up until the early 1970’s had to pay an extra fare when traveling beyond Broad Channel to any other station in the Rockaways. For off peak and late night service, there was the old HH local shuttle from either Rockaway Park or Far Rockaway to Euclid Avenue station which was the first stop in Brooklyn.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

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