2019-01-09 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Atrocity To Repeat?

To The Editor:

On the eve of a New Year it is discouraging to realize the anger and hatred that has a grip on America and throughout the world. Mass killings in the US, for reasons beyond comprehension, have become so commonplace shock no longer applies.

In an awful comparison, the deaths of thousands in 2018 from Yemen and across the Middle East overshadowed the genocide in Myanmar. In Pakistan a woman was to be stoned to death for allegedly offending the name of the Prophet. In Pittsburgh worshipers at a synagogue were gunned down for being Jews who believed it was their obligation to help Muslim immigrants.

Anti-Semitism, which has existed for millennia and which provided Hitler the leverage to come to power, killing 6 million Jews and an estimated 20 million others, is open and obvious.

America is very much under attack and because our moral leadership has vanished, the worst of the world has been empowered. Hitler never gained a majority in the German legislature. His party could only garner 35% of the vote. Yet with that foundation of support Hitler set the world on fire.

Trump informed the voters what he intended to do if he became president. The sorry state of our union is only supported by 40% of Americans. History has the habit of repeating itself. The debacle of the 1930s may well be what 2019 has to offer.

Ed Horn
Baldwin, LI

Avella’s Contributions

To The Editor:

Tony Avella had been a NYS Senator for eight years in Northeast Queens prior to his loss in the November election. Before that, he was a Council member for an additional eight years. As a civic person, I am very grateful for his service and his assistance over the years that he was in office. I also thank his staff for their efforts.

Senator Avella advocated for the contextual rezonings that have done much to protect the character of our neighborhoods. He also supported the establishment of the R2A and R1-2A designations for single-family detached homes that are prevalent in Northeast Queens. He worked with urban specialist Paul Graziano to ensure that all parts of his district were zoned correctly. The rezonings may not have completely halted overdevelopment and inappropriate development in our area; however, they have helped and were positive accomplishments.

Senator Avella had also been an advocate for landmarking worthy buildings and districts. Landmarking is the ultimate in neighborhood preservation. Unfortunately, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has not paid enough attention to those structures in Queens that may merit such acknowledgement. As an example, the Broadway-Flushing community has been fighting for years to carve out a historic district. Perhaps now that a new chair has been appointed to the commission, a historic district in that community can be established. Efforts should also be made by the commission to educate the public about landmarking and to listen to concerns that some people have concerning the process of designation and the responsibilities involved when owning a landmarked property.

In terms of other community issues, Senator Avella had always been responsive to problems and concerns that arose regarding businesses and land use issues in our area. Innumerable times, I have gone to Senator Avella’s office with other community residents to discuss these particular problems and possible ways to resolve those problems. Also, whenever a letter was written to the senator regarding a community concern, a response was received and action was taken.

I have also attended many press conferences that he held to address controversies in our communities. He has always spoken out in defense of his constituents.

Senator Avella was very supportive of our local non-profits. Organizations like the Alley Pond Environmental Center and the Bayside Historical Society, among others, have received financial support through his efforts so that they could continue to serve the community and especially educate our young people.

I hope that Senator Avella remains active in community and civic circles in the years ahead. He has a lot of useful institutional knowledge that can be put to good use for the benefit of all residents.

I thank him and his wife Judy for their commitment to our communities and hope that the future holds many happy and healthy years to come.

Henry Euler

End Spectrum Strike!

To The Editor:

It is hard to believe that it has been 20 months since 1,800 IBEW Local 3 employees of Spectrum were forced to go on strike because of the hard-nosed policies of Spectrum Cable Company. These hardworking men and women have been struggling for these last 20 months to pay their bills and feed their families. They are continuing to demand a fair and equitable contract that will provide them with livable salaries and improved health and other company benefits, which they so rightly and without any question deserve. What is the matter with the upper management of Spectrum? While these executives sit in plush, padded offices and rake in huge salaries and have excellent benefits, they seem to have totally ignored and forgotten about these 1,800 dedicated workers who are only asking to be treated with respect, courtesy, and dignity by management. But that is not happening, and now it is time for some major action on the part of our governor, Andrew Cuomo, to intervene in this protracted labor dispute and bring both sides to the negotiating table. I am proud to say that my father, his father, as well as his two brothers, and several cousins were all proud members of IBEW Local 3, and were all hardworking, dedicated electricians who gave 200 percent while working for this excellent union, one of the best and strongest in our city, state and country. I am in total support of these 1,800 employees who are demanding fairness and justice. All New Yorkers should voice their support for them as well! To Spectrum Cable: end this petty and pointless 20- month strike immediately, and restore every one of those 1,800 IBEW employees to their former positions with better pay, and with better health and other benefits now! They, like all of the rest of us, have bills to pay and families to feed!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Bravo To NYPD

To The Editor:

The NYPD is reporting most crime is on the way to historic lows. Murders are at 278 now, compared to 1990 when 2,245 people were killed. Commissioner James O’Neill and his de- voted officers, using smart techniques like community policing, have made the difference. An example of this is when NYPD officer Syed Ali fought off five vagrants in a Lower East Side subway station with his baton and self defense measures that made all the difference and did not take a life. Ali needs to be commended for his act of bravery. He kept the fight from turning deadly. As Officer Ali said, “Life is precious and going to that weapon is not necessarily the first thing that we should be thinking about.” He is a well-trained police officer who has also served in the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and did the right thing under these circumstances. Ali is a fine example of the new NYPD that is getting results. Let me therefore say bravo to our police officers who are keeping us safe.

It’s January 2019 and another year of making resolutions, where many will fail or be forgotten as the year goes on. Some will make resolutions to lose weight, get healthy habits, exercise and even generate a positive nature. Well let’s do things that we can all do and accomplish what will take little effort. Let’s do things for others by giving to our local charities, food kitchens, food pantries, and even giving the gift of life by donating blood if we can. Here’s some other things we can do: whenever we go to a store, business, or apartment, please open a door for a neighbor or stranger. When we get on a bus, train or subway please give up a seat for a handicapped or elderly person, and in general show acts of kindness for those in need even if just a kind word. I feel we can all do these things for others and make our communities better places to live. Those are good New Year’s resolutions in my book.

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Some Steps Forward

To The Editor:

I applaud the Gazette for such interesting, informative articles. You have brought us a wonderful 2018 full of articles which enlighten us, educate us and inspire us. Happy 2019 to the Gazette, and to all its readers, to all Assembly members, Council members, and other elected officials. I am proud to be a Gazette reader since 2000 and contributor to the Letters to the Editor column. Although I live in Little Neck, I cannot wait to read the online edition of the Queens Gazette since it brings news of Long Island City and Astoria, where I lived for almost 60 years. Congratulations on a job well done.

I am so sorry that Meals on Wheels no longer sends a big box for the holiday season, as they are cutting back on funding. It seems that the homebound and disabled are shortchanged, while well seniors who go to senior centers, are given big lunches, activities, trips to stores and other places. It seems that disabled and homebound elderly are forgotten and this is not the right thing to do. All senior citizens should be given a piece of the pie of enjoyment to make their golden years full of gold and happiness.

It is a total disgrace that our president will not relent and has shut down his own government and about 800,000 federal workers are going without paychecks. Why pay the high officials in the federal government? And the president had the audacity to attend a conference that costs lots of money at Camp David while federal workers are taking second jobs to pay their bills. Stop this shutdown Mr. President, wake up to reality and remember that you are self-centered and uncaring toward those who work hard to protect others.

I am glad that our governor made changes to the local campaign laws putting a cap on money raised for campaigns, as well as giving the general public an opportunity to contribute small amounts of money towards elected officials.

I am glad that Crowley is involved with the bill preventing genocide. Also, I heard that Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden may both run for president and we must make a concerted effort to have a new era of a presidency that is back to normal, not like the rollercoaster emotional attitude and antics of this current president. Our nation is in chaos sorry to say.

I am sorry that Ms. James left as public advocate and she was indeed a wonderful one, and will make a great attorney general. I am glad that an election will be held on Feb. 26 to elect a new public advocate and we must all vote since public advocate is an important job in our city government. I really liked our governor’s speech at Ellis Island starting his third term. He is a great orator like his father. I remember when his father Mario made a speech at the Democratic national convention in 1984. It was one of the best speeches I ever heard. Governor Andrew Cuomo is good presidential material.

I congratulate Nancy Pelosi for becoming speaker of the house. Our president must reopen the government and he has no right to shut it down. At least Social Security and the Veterans Administration are not shut down. Wake up from your stupor Mr. President and do something to improve this nation.

I am appalled to learn about the theft of wheelchairs of seriously disabled children and teenagers. This is an awful, cruel, heinous act. During this season of caring this should not happen.

I am glad that murders numbered less than 300, but nobody should be killed. Life is precious and every human life is a gift and murder is a sin according to God’s ten commandments. I applaud NYPD for their efforts in reducing the murder rate and remember when there were 2,000 murders in this city years ago. I pray that the standoff and closing of our government will end. Nobody must be denied a paycheck, since the workers need money to pay bills.

Finally, I am so glad that the holiday of giving resulted in toy drives, coat drives and fundraising to help those in need of food. The best gift is of oneself, to volunteer each day of the year. Do not wait until a holiday to give of yourself.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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