The ongoing saga of Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the city’s apparent acquiescence in defiling Queens’ crown jewel with yet another massive structure, took two major turns this week. First, â€¦
(An open letter to Community Board 10)
Many residents of Lindenwood, especially those who live on the block of 80th Street where the new group home will be located, were surprised, if not shocked, that not only was a group home coming to their block, but that it was an accomplished fact without the Community Board 10 communicating this to the affected homeowners on the block, or to the greater Howard Beach community, before they voted unanimously to OK it! (“CB 10 OKs group home in Lindenwood,” May 9, South Queens edition.)
For Nigel Cole, the Birch Organization’s deputy director for community services to say that “the group home will not have a negative effect of any kind, only a positive impact” at a CB 10 meeting after the cat was let out of the bag, so to speak, sounds like typical political rhetoric.
Although group homes are a worthy endeavor as compared to institutionalizing developmentally disabled individuals, they are not openly or truly welcomed by nearby residents! Why? One reason might be that real estate values most likely will be negatively affected. Another reason is that the group hom
e is not an “ordinary residence.” It is a service business conducted by a nonprofit entity that is definitely not reflective of the surrounding two-family community.
Next to last, but not least, the fact that this appears to have been done before the word got out to the Lindenwood community, especially the affected 80th Street taxpaying homeowners, hints of the fears of the Birch Organization and CB 10 as to what would have been universal objections to the establishment of the group home. (The feeling is, “This was done behind our backs without us having any say whatsoever!”)
Finally, many homeowners we have spoken to seem to have the feeling Lindenwood is the stepchild of the 11414 Howard Beach community in that we have been chosen to have more than our share of group residences, as opposed to Rockwood Park, Old Howard Beach and Spring Creek. Can the community board address all of the above?
The writer says he speaks on behalf of many of his neighbors.
The Subway Series, which gets underway on Monday at Citi Field and concludes Thursday at Yankee Stadium, is a great way to take stock of our two Major League Baseball franchises. Last June the Mets dropped five out of six games against the Yankees, which served as a warning that their supposed terrific first half when they won 46 games was a mirage.
This year the Mets are not teasing their fans, as they have been playing at the low level that was expected of them before the season began. The Yankees, on the other hand, have been near or at the top of the American League East standings despite the loss to injuries of such household names as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texeira and Curtis Granderson. Granderson has returned to the team but was replaced on the disabled list by veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte.
How can Helen Marshall approve, and Michael Bloomberg say, “they’ve sold parkland in Flushing Meadows so that a soccer stadium can be built?”
Parkland belongs to the state, and therefore the people. In the 1970s, part of Flushing Meadows Park was leased to a millionaire connected with the United States Tennis Association to build privately owned facilities. These multiple stadia are eyesores and are used for only a two-week annual event. David Dinkins was the mayor then.
Why is Gov. Cuomo silent about a proposed soccer stadium? Doesn’t he have the say about giving away or leasing the people’s parkland for personal enrichment? The public is being betrayed by him and other elected officials in order to satisfy millionaires’ insatiable greed. With the city’s rapidly growing population, we need more greenery, not concrete structures in a park.
As a member of Rockwood Park Jewish Center, I was offended and angered by the article and front page of the Chronicle of May 16 depicting the center hosting a raucous party (“Hava tequila — synagogue is a party place, neighbors say,” South Queens edition).
As the writer describes in his outrageous article, the synagogue had no knowledge of the event, which did not take place in the synagogue as suggested by the article. You should get your facts straight before printing anti-semitic remarks. We had always had a good relationship with our neighbors and regret the incident.
I am appalled and distressed over the murder of Mark Carson, who was gunned down by alleged suspect Eliot Morales in Greenwich Village, all because he was gay. This has to stop. According to police statistics this murder is at least the 22nd anti-gay attack in the city. Anti-gay attacks are up 77 compared to the same period last year. This I find very sad. There has to bemoretolerance for those of different lifestyles.
My prayers go out to the family and friends of Mark Carson in this most difficult time.
The horrific Benghazi tragedy on 9/11/12 which resulted in terrorists murdering ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members will never be forgotten.
It is a disgrace that Fox and GOP friends are making “political hay” from this sad ordeal. It’s obvious that this duo-team is out to manipulate a plot to kill Hillary Clinton’s political future.
Listen to two Fox “falling stars.” Mike Huckabee predicted Obama would not complete his second term. Bill O’Reilly did not mince words: “Right now the only thing on Hillary Clinton’s resume is the murder of our ambassador.” O’Reilly hit a new low for “fair and balanced” FOX news!
Here is what two GOP senators had to offer. Ron Paul (R-Ky.) said, “Clinton should never hold high office again.” It is obvious Sen. Paul’s goal is to eliminate Clinton, who would trounce him for president! Here is a stupid idea from Sen. James Imhoff (R-Okla.): Obama is headed for “I.” Folks, he was even afraid to use the word “impeachment!”
Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, invited (select) “whistleblowers” to his ... fishing expedition. If his intention was to bring down Obama and Clinton, he failed. His hearings have become a witch hunt with a tug of war over emails and talking points.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering’s accountability review board studied the question of security. He said those talking points had no relationship with security. Readers please note, Obama requested $128 million in 2011 and $331 million in 2012 in security funds. The GOP House voted only $88 million! It appears to me that the “duo team” plans to use those emails and talking points as ammo for their assault weapon ... aimed at Obama and Clinton.
I am currently a student attending Penn State University. While taking a geography course on sustainability and human-environment systems, I spoke a lot about where I am from and what life is like at home in Saint Albans.
Within a project that I was working on with a few of my classmates, we chose to do research in developing technology that does not require as much or any of the rare earth minerals that are predominantly controlled by China. China has control over about 95 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals. Having this much control, China is able to control the price of things that mean a lot to us, such as cars and cell phones. For example, dysprosium is a rare-earth mineral from which car batteries are made. Something simple as the raising cost of manufacturing a car battery could really harm the economy more than it already is.
Despite the name “rare earth,” these materials are actually quite abundant. The issues lie in things like the control over those minerals, not being able to manufacture certain technologies in the United States due to not having direct access to the minerals, and the cost of transporting
the already manufactured technology over to the United States. The transportation process alone is detrimental to our environment as it makes our already deep carbon footprints even deeper.
Before there can be collective action there must be individual action. We should want to be able to sustain our environment for as long as we can. It is possible to achieve desirable sustainability and protect the environment for future generations without depriving ourselves of nature’s nutrients and life’s experiences. If community members could spend a little time finding ways to improve on sustainability and find better means of producing the products we love to rely on, we will be that much closer to achieving desirable sustainability.
It doesn’t say all that much for our political situation when it’s worth going out of our way to congratulate an honest politician. But that’s how it is.
“Shocker! Post finds honest NY politician” a New York Post page 2 headline blared last Saturday. That politician is Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who blew the whistle on a builder’s alleged efforts to bribe him.
More than 40 percent of the state’s population lives here in New York City, and when you count the other downstate counties, the number soars above 60 percent. Put simply, this is where the people are.
So why does Gov. Cuomo want to see new casinos built upstate only? And why would he continue to deny Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Race Track the full table gaming he would allow upstate?
It’s been 30 years since the New York Islanders won their last Stanley Cup, and frankly, they have been abysmal for most of the years between 1983 and now. During this labor-dispute-shortened National Hockey League season, the Islanders played respectably enough to earn their first playoff berth in seven years as they clinched the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders drew the unenviable assignment of playing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins, long an NHL powerhouse, in the first round. To their credit, the Isles showed that they weren’t merely happy to be there, as they battled hard to force the series to six games. Unfortunately for the Isles, they lost two overtime games at the Nassau Coliseum, including Saturday night’s finale.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, I hope it will not slip by with many forgetting the importance of this day. It is not just another day off to maybe shop for sales and enjoy back yard barbecuing. Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.
I find myself thinking what it means to be an American. The answer is crystal clear, and that is the pride to live in a county that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and speak our minds. These freedoms come with great personal sacrifice for those who leave family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good. I myself had served during the Vietnam era. Although I never saw combat, I had friends who did and who died serving their country.
So, please honor Memorial Day by honoring those who gave their lives for what we all hold most dear. You can do this by attending parades in your local communities and saluting those who served our country so well. I also ask the many who can to display the flag of our country from homes and businesses You can also call those veterans you know and tell them thanks for serving and keeping us free from tyranny.
The idea that the City of New York intentionally discriminated against minority applicants to the Fire Department was never more than a misguided misinterpretation of test results, at best, or a demeaning lie at worst.
Now a federal appeals court has agreed that it was wrong for U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis to determine that was the case because too few black and Hispanic applicants to the FDNY managed to pass the department’s entrance exam.
(An open letter to the New York Congressional Delegation:)
Sexual assaults in our military are running into the thousands and are way out of control! Victims usually are required to report all incidents to their military superiors. A very bad move ... very little justice will come out of this idea.
I urge you to introduce legislation requiring Congress to create a civilian review board with power to discipline any accused military sexual predator found guilty.
This matter should have prompt consideration on your part.
HR 1565 is new legislation in Congress to expand Brady background checks on gun sales. But despite the fact that nine in 10 Americans support expanded background checks, the gun lobby extremists are working overtime to kill the bill.
Strong, sensible gun laws preserve Second Amendment rights, prevent gun violence, and save lives.
While the Brady Law requires criminal background checks of gun sales at gun stores, these checks are not required at gun shows, online sales and other venues where unlicensed sellers operate.
Right now in most states, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill can walk into a gun show, flea market or even log on to the internet and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers, no questions asked.
Congress should require a simple criminal background check on gun sales. The Brady Law has stopped over 2 million felons and domestic abusers from getting guns at gun stores. Now it’s time to finish the job.
Completing the necessary paperwork for background checks takes mere minutes, and more than 91 percent of these checks are completed instantaneously.
I strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this right also requires basic responsibility, and as a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill.
In addition, there are exemptions from a check between family members, hunters and sportsmen who temporarily want to exchange firearms while hunting or participating in sports shooting activities.
I urge every reader to contact their representatives today and ask them to co-sponsor the bipartisan King-Thompson bill (H.R. 1565) to expand criminal background checks and save lives.
I was in the supermarket the other day and the young person in front of me was speaking to the cashier in Spanish, and I noticed that he was buying four one-quart ice cream boxes. The total price was about $15 and he gave the cashier a “blue” Benefits/Medicaid card — with a picture of a woman on it. The cashier didn’t say anything about the picture on the card being a woman; she just processed the purchase. I noticed that the total amount he had to pay was zero.
My questions are:
1. Why did the cashier accept a card from a young man (in his twenties) when there is a picture of a woman on it?
2. I thought the “blue” Benefits/Medicaid card was for impoverished people and could only be used for food. Is ice cream now considered food?
3. Why are my tax dollars being used to pay for people to buy ice cream?
4. Why are “illegal” aliens allowed to get a ‘blue’ Benefits/Medicaid card and get food, prescriptions, hospital/doctor visits, hearing aids, glasses, etc. for free? While I, a person who is 80 years old and has been paying taxes all my life, must pay for all these things? Wh
y are my taxes being used to pay for all these free benefits (including ice cream)?
Can anyone answer these questions? No wonder the United States is in such a financial mess!
If an investigation of the Benghazi attack should reveal that there were members of the Obama administration, including the president himself, who knew what really happened and did nothing to prevent it from happening, then all of them should be forced to resign from their positions, including the president.
The anger of the American people is building regarding the entire incident. We have every right to know the full facts and truth about this tragic incident, which took the lives of several people. Why can’t our government ever admit that it was not totally honest with the American people?
It is time for accountability regarding the Benghazi attack. President Obama needs to take full responsibility for this major screwup. The Wizard of Oz could do a much better job of running the country.
Walking along the six blocks encompassing Windsor Park and Bell Boulevard with my aide, I meet and greet beautiful people who smile and offer their services well beyond the norm. This neighborhood offers everything for rich and poor alike. Windsor Park, you are the sunshine in my life — next to my family.
There is much talk both positive and negative relative to the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline. It is planned to pump crude tar sand oil from Canada across the U.S to Texas where it would be distilled and sold overseas. I happen to be in accord with the latter since in no way does the XL profit the American people, but rather exclusively the already bloated petroleum industry. For the public, what is left is a 3-foot diameter filth-filled funnel snaking its way south through their land waiting to burst. (see: Mayflower, Ariz. spill and multiply by 10). Those with a positive view have been conned into thinking that this filthy crude will some how help us to become oil independent by fulfilling our needs.
Nevertheless, a pipeline could be a positive thing and truly benefit “we the people.” Imagine if in lieu of the KXL Pipeline, we built an H2O pipeline delivering desalinated water to our decimated states that have suffered through devastating droughts. No more Grapes of Wrath. Building t
hat pipeline would create those jobs that the pro-KXLers claim we would not, lest the KXL is built. Additionally desalinization stations would have to be built creating additional jobs. There are already more than 21,000 world wide. The technology is there. In 1791 Thomas Jefferson did it (in small scale), cruise ships serve thousands, submarines, Saudi Arabia, Australia, even our embarrassing Guantanamo Bay. No more disputes concerning the shrinking Colorado River while lowering, however infinitesimally, the rising ocean. We could convert deserts to gardens a la Israel.
It’s a win-win situation and if we can get lobbyists with enough of the necessary bribing collateral, Congress will love it and make it the law of the land (or sea). One critical measure however must be considered. President Obama must disapprove of the plan or it would undoubtedly be filibustered and blocked. As a proven “people’s President,” I’m certain he would comply.
What does the First Amendment mean to you?
Not since 1971 have we seen the government so blatantly attack the freedom of the press. Working for local news organizations most of my life, I have a strong affiliation to the principles that should guide the news. I also hold in equal regard the freedoms that must be upheld for our democracy to flourish.
September 2014 will mark the end of an era as CBS, the network that has broadcast the championship matches of the US Open as far back as anyone can remember, will not renew its contract with the United States Tennis Association when it expires next year, the Queens Chronicle has exclusively learned.
It took about 15 hours for the first fallout from the Nets’ disappointing Game 7 loss to the undermanned Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs to be felt. Nets general manager Billy King announced that interim head coach PJ Carlesimo would not be offered a contract.
Given the way the Nets choked away a 14-point lead with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, combined with their putrid performance in the decisive Game 7 — trailing by 17 points at the half before making a too little, too late run — it was inevitable that Carlesimo would get his walking papers.
Preet can’t be beat, unless you think Loretta is better. The U.S. attorneys for the southern and eastern districts of New York, respectively, Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch, are in the midst of stellar work that should do more to clean up the political corruption that seems endemic to Albany than most so-called reforms have ever managed.
They’re going after corruption in case after case and knocking down one elected domino after another. Any city or state lawmaker who’s on the take and hasn’t been charged yet must be very, very nervous.
The city’s executive budget plan has been released. It proposes a cut to Queens Library of $29.6 million, part of a proposed cut to libraries citywide of $100 million. If that proposal were to become reality, the impact on library service hours and the number of job layoffs are unthinkable.
Our representatives in City Hall and the City Council value libraries. They have demonstrated that in the past. Elected officials have limited revenue resources and tough choices to make. Nevertheless, the proposed cut is enormous.
It is up to the people of Queens to show the City Council and City Hall that library hours and library jobs are critical to this city. Libraries in Queens urgently need your help. Go to savequeenslibrary.org. You will be able to sign our electronic petition and send an email to your elected representatives. Or, stop in to any library and sign the paper petition or write a postcard.
Speak up for Queens Library! Tens of millions of our neighbors use free library resources or attend free library programs. They enjoy quiet reading time, sharpen their skills for their next big job, use the computers, prepare for an important exam for work or school, find out more about a health con
dition or email a friend far away. To allow that, libraries must remain open for service at least five days a week, or more.
As we speak with our elected officials, we will also be talking about how critical a stable funding stream is for libraries in the future. We need to be able to better plan for the library services you need from year to year and be assured of being able to buy books for the shelves.
For now, I hope I can count on everyone to Speak Up for Queens Library. Go to savequeenslibrary.org on your computer or smartphone, or stop at the library and sign the petition. You need your library. Right now, your library needs you.