2018-12-05 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Giving Is Its Own Reward

To The Editor:

So many of us hear a story or observe a scene that is disturbing. We shake our heads and ponder the circumstances that could have led to such depressing, dismal circumstances. We reflect how fortunate we and our families are.

The economy is doing fine for some of our citizens. Employment is high, yet so many of us are working multiple jobs to keep up with expenses. High-paying jobs, or those which pay a living wage are harder to find. Pay increases are meager. Major employers are expressing that a changing marketplace and increased technology demand reduction of employees.

Christmas will be celebrated shortly. Families shall gather and rejoice. Just making it another year without illness, unemployment, or the mayhem that afflicts so many should be cause for joy.

But what about the ill-equipped, struggling poor among us that we’d rather keep in the shadows of our minds? What about their children in a world with splashy ads and overwhelming wealth? What about the child who has no hope of receiving a Christmas present or sharing a smile or decent dinner?

An occasional news story reports of a charitable act by someone who responded to awfulness by asking themselves, “What can I do?”

“What can I do?” might be answered by the simple act of donating a toy to a needy child. It is truly a small act that rewards the soul and gives true meaning to the season.

On Saturday, December 15 at 3 pm, St. Michael’s Cemetery (72-02 Astoria Blvd.) will host a contingent of the United States Marines and Santa Claus at the Annual Toys for Tots toy collection. Join those who serve our nation, bring a child to stand with them, take a photo with Santa and donate a toy or provide a gift for others. What you will receive is the gift of doing well for others while receiving the blessings of the season.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Patronize Wonderful Diners

To The Editor:

It was disappointing to learn that the Shalimar Diner is closing (“Shalimar Diner’s Farewell Feast,” November 28). I have enjoyed many excellent meals for decades when frequenting any one of our many local diners, including the Shalimar Diner. Over the years, we have seen the demise of too many others including Nevada (Elmhurst), Saravan (Flushing), Palace (Flushing), Future (Fresh Meadows), Waterview (Howard Beach), Fame (Jamaica), Scobees Grill (Little Neck), and other diners.

Diners have been part of my life from teenage years to today. Eating out is a periodic ritual with either friends or family. Portions are generous – who never took a doggie bag home with leftovers to eat the next day? Between the customary soup, salad, rolls, coleslaw and pickles, along with the main course – dinner could satisfy the heartiest appetite. Many times, we bagged our desserts to go.

Neighborhoods all over Queens have seen changes over time. New immigrant groups tend to favor their own ethnic foods and restaurants. Diners have also lost customers over time to numerous fast food restaurants, many whose menus have expanded to include breakfast items and a greater variety of items to select from for lunch or dinner.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs who own and operate diners have continued to invest in our community creating new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

GCP Dangers

To The Editor:

Driving on the Grand Central Parkway at dusk, overnight or in the early hours of morning, you may find yourself challenged by the lack of light and the fading reminders of where lanes are supposed to be. I am writing this because I have been that driver struggling to safely traverse the patches of roadway that are hazardous because of the absence of clear lanes and poor lighting. The fact that there is a great deal of construction and changes that make it impossible to solely rely on memory of where things ought to be, adds to the confusion and heightens the risk of a fatal accident. If someone from DOT or one of the elected representatives happens to read this, I hope that they will consider addressing this problem before someone is hurt. In the meantime, I believe that I will write to the borough president to urge some attention to this problem.

Dr. Sharon M. Cadiz
Astoria

Remembering A Friend

To The Editor:

It’s been a year now since my dear friend Harry Weymer passed away around Christmas last year from brain cancer. We had known each other for over 50 years. We first met when we both attended Grace Lutheran Day School in Queens Village, when we were both in third grade. Harry and I were both in the Boy Scouts and sang in the church choir at Grace Lutheran Church. We also played parts in various Christmas plays and in one of them we were both Wise Men. When my mother passed away in 1963, Harry got the word and came over the very same day to tell me how sorry he was. I will never forget his compassion. In 1964 we both attended the World’s Fair and learned what the future had in store for us and that the possibilities were limitless. Harry and I attended different high schools, but got together often and rode our bikes and went on many adventures. We rode to many parts of Queens and into Nassau. After high school Harry attended Cortland College and one spring break he invited me up and we had a great fun-filled weekend with concerts and a beer bash off campus. I later went into the US Navy and Harry went to Europe to further his education and later became a teacher, ending up teaching in Ithaca until he retired. We lost touch but reconnected after almost 40 years, when he found me on Facebook. He told me our old school, Grace Lutheran, had shut down, due to lack of attendance. Many former students were having a meet and greet and were planning a party where we could celebrate our old school, which we did in Franklin Square. Harry and his wife Melania lived in Ithaca, but in the last three years we kept connected by phone and emails and on Facebook and short visits when he would drive down with his wife. We talked about many of our great teachers including our choir master, Mr. Nathan Eickmann. We also talked about our health issues. I was recovering from aggressive prostate cancer and Harry with his brain cancer. Mine went into remission and Harry’s didn’t. I received an email and a posting on Facebook by his sister who lives in Mineola, that Harry had passed away. That brought me much sadness, but I was very thankful we reconnected. Yet I still miss Harry as another Christmas passes by. All I can say, if I could, to Harry is, “Thanks for the memories.” I will never forget you Harry, until we meet again.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Spectacular Tree Lighting

To The Editor:

The 86th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting was nothing short of spectacular. Nearly 500,000 people jammed the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center for this star-studded extravaganza. All of the performers did an excellent job! When Diana Ross came on at the end of the show, she looked as radiant and beautiful as she did over 40 years ago. She sang so beautifully, and the crowd just loved her, as does this writer. You would not think that she was 74! Tony Bennett did great also, and, at 92, he can still belt out those songs. Both he and Diana Ross are living legends in their own right, and their presence at the tree lighting, along with John Legend, the Rockettes and all of the other entertainers made the evening a wonderful way to begin the holiday season here in New York City. There is no better place to be at Christmastime than in New York City. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and above all, let us hope that peace will indeed fill the world as we end 2018 and begin 2019.

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Retest Drivers Over 65

To The Editor:

I am saddened to learn that a 70-yearold driver got confused and put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brakes and hit people, killing one person. People over 65 should be tested for driving again with a road test and have a doctor certify that they are cognitive and in good health.

Why should there be a Giving Tuesday? Every day should be a giving day of charity and of oneself and caring for others. Special days are once a year, but giving, kindness, goodness, and helping others must be done everyday as it is said in the Bible and in the Ten Commandments.

I am so elated that 200 people had Thanksgiving dinner at the Church of the Redeemer. The kindness of those who helped and gave food and donations to those who would not have food are to be applauded and again this is an example of the true spirit of giving and doing good deeds.

I applaud District Attorney Brown and the Queens Interagency Council on Aging for having a meeting on elder abuse. How can people abuse the elderly? The Greatest Generation is the backbone of our society, and those who do this awful, heinous act must be put into prison. In addition, we all must be careful of scammers and thieves who are not Santa Claus, and who take advantage of Christmas and the holiday season to hurt and harm others.

I am appalled to learn of the Sunnyside lawyer who himself is a criminal. Lawyers are those who uphold the law, not break it. I am sad to learn about the closing of the diner in Rego Park after 40 years.

In addition I applaud the FDNY for their concern and giving us tips on how to be safe during the Season of Lights since deaths, destruction of property, and injuries occur with Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs. Green gifts and gifts to charities are the best gifts of all.

I agree with the mayor that electric bikes and scooters are dangerous to pedestrians and should not be legal. We have enough killings of people crossing streets by autos and bikes and do not need more, since life is precious indeed, and it cannot be wasted anymore.

There is an urgency to build a new tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting NJ and NY and our president must wake up and give funds for this construction. President Obama did promise to, but this present president rescinded the order. The tunnel is crumbling and dangerous. Must there be a fatality to open the eyes of our president? This is true of everything in life. Only disaster and fatalities wake people up to renovations. Life is precious as I mentioned before and yes it seems that governmental representatives do not think that way anymore. As our governor said, repairing or building a new tunnel is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but a safety issue, and life itself does not run across party lines. God did not create political parties, but created human beings.

Also I am deeply touched by two people who are not related, yet one donated a kidney to save the life of the other. That is the true meaning of the Christmas and Hannukah season: to add light to the world by kindness, giving of oneself, and I am proud of the Astoria Center of Israel by having a blood drive on Sunday, December 2. When you give blood, you give life, and that is a good deed and a mitzvah in God’s sight.

The gift of life is the greatest gift of all.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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