In these difficult economic times along with many people going away for summer vacations, it is especially important to patronize your local neighborhood businesses. There are so many great local businesses within the heart of your local village or town downtown main street.
My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite local neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering takeout, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated.
Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued to create new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment especially to students during the summer. If we don’t patronize our local community stores and restaurants to shop and eat, they don’t eat either.
Please join me and your neighbors in continuing to support our own Queens Chronicle. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business and your paper free of charge. Let them know you saw their ad.
On Feb. 28, the Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc. sent Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a a letter requesting to meet with her regarding PS 130, located at 200-01 42 Ave. in Bayside. To date, we have received no response from her or anyone on her staff. The letter was sent certified, return receipt requested, so we know that our letter was received by the chancellor’s office.
In the letter, we told the chancellor about our civic association’s goal to allow local children living around PS 130 to be given priority placement in that school. The school is geographically in District 26, but is utilized by District 25. Most students are bused in or delivered to the school by car from other distant areas. Meanwhile, children living around the school have to be bused to other overcrowded schools in District 26. We also sent more than 200 petition signatures and many comments from residents living immediately around PS 130. They want the school back. Surely, their concerns deserve some type of consideration.
If PS 130 were returned to the local community, it would no doubt alleviate the need to construct a school on the Keil property in Bayside. There is still a lot of controversy swirling around that plan. It would appear to my civic that new schools would be better utilized elsewhere in District 26, as well as in District 25.
This is not the first time that my civic group has been ignored regarding this issue. Former Chancellor Dennis Walcott and other Department of Education officials ignored our requests to meet as well.
We would still like to meet with Chancellor Fari–a to discuss this issue. We have written her a second letter to request a meeting and have asked our local elected officials for support. There must be some way to enable local children to receive priority placement at PS 130. We feel that would be in their best educational interest.
At the same time, we do not wish to interrupt the education of those students currently attending PS 130. By meeting, details can be worked out so that everyone wins.
We will continue to advocate for what is right for the children living around what should be a neighborhood school first.
Your paper recently had an article about the people who are leaving religious offerings in Jamaica Bay (“A delicate balance on Jamaica Bay’s shores,” June 26, multiple editions). These offerings are meant to represent beauty, prosperity and renewal. As a person who does not follow this religion and one who has fought for environmental causes and for protecting our natural areas, I see it as a threat to the ecosystem of Jamaica Bay.
Thankfully the group Sadhana is reaching out to the Hindu people to educate them of this destructive practice. What we put in the water winds up somewhere and will likely stay there a very long time unless someone removes it.
There are hundreds of millions of Hindus. What if they all put fruits, vegetables, food, candles, reams of cloth, statues, glass picture frames and more in our waterways? What would our waterways look like?
I cannot see how this practice can represent beauty, prosperity and renewal. I see garbage. There is nothing pleasant about seeing rotting fruit, food still in aluminum foil and plastic bags along the beach.
Perhaps a symbolic ceremony could replace this practice and the people who come to these ceremonies can see a beautiful, prosperous and renewed natural wildlife area that is full of life, for us and future generations to enjoy.
Re “Pray for no strike,” Letters, July 17:
In that letter the writer stated that the then-approaching Long Island Rail Road strike would affect the 99 percent who depend on the rails to get to work. He also stated that he would pray for a compromise, and “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few,” a principle I generally agree with.
However, what choice do workers have when the hirers refuse to compromise in good faith? This results in hardship, and inconvenience to both the workers and the public.
He might also pray that the moneyed elite not inconvenience 99 percent of the public by creating hardship and depravation to millions of our citizens by giving up some of their outrageous wealth so that all of our citizens can live decently — this, in a country with more than adequate resources for everyone.
If we as a nation adhered to the Judeo-Christian ethos as claimed, we would have no need for strikes, etc. — we would be a contented and happy people.
In your coverage of the lawsuit between Breezy Point/Belle Harbor residents and National Grid/LIPA, you incorrectly stated that more than 100 homes in Broad Channel ...burned down during Superstorm Sandy. You meant to say Breezy Point. Broad Channel got its fair share of suffering, but our hearts go out to those who lost their homes to fire.
Broad Channel Historical Society
Editor’s note: We thank the writer, and the error has been corrected.
The right strikes back
Re Robert LaRosa’s “The GOP is just awful,” Letters, July 10:
The purpose of the Supreme Court is to determine if laws meet the test of constitutionality. Our politicized Supreme Court no longer serves that function.
Mr. LaRosa became unhinged at the court’s decision to excuse Hobby Lobby from paying for certain contraceptives and abortion drugs for religious reasons. He called the Supreme Court GOP-controlled. This is the same court that declared Obamacare constitutional and said federal policy on immigra
tion superseded states’ rights. Neither decision was constitutional, but since leftists agreed with them, nobody called them GOP-controlled then.
Hobby Lobby’s owners were also contemptuously said to believe in “the magic man in the sky” — the same “magic man” who gave human beings the opposable thumb and brains to think with to differentiate them from the animals. Sadly, all human beings not being equally endowed are capable of using both.
No woman today is denied access to contraception or abortions. If she is working and can’t get what she wants from her employer, she can get it somewhere else.
The truth is what is, not what one wants it to be. Mr. LaRosa would have those who disagree with Obama’s “transformation” of America into a dictatorship “dig deep.” We might then find (stupid as we are) the “irrefutable evidence” that Obama is black. But Obama is only half-black. His mother was white. Like all socialists, LaRosa doesn’t practice what he preaches. If he had dug deeper, he’d have known that Obama is of mixed race.
By the way, what ever happened to the man who was jailed for making the anti-Muslim video that caused that murderous riot in Benghazi? And those incompetent workers in Cincinnati who caused irreparable damage to the reputation of Lois Lerner and the Internal Revenue Service?
In response to the July 3 editorial “Avella the Banker? No,” I respectfully disagree. The fact is that my legislation will not establish any new regulations that do not currently exist.
The State of New York already has oversight of state-chartered banks to ensure that ample data is collected and reviewed prior to bank branches closing down. As you correctly point out, currently, federally chartered banks are only required to provide a 90-day notice to their customers prior to the closure.
But to say that the community gives its input by not depositing enough money is a bit misguided. If any bank settles into a community, establishes relationships and takes money from area residents, there should be more accountability when that branch decides to close. “Reviewing the impact in the name of ‘community input’” is exactly what is needed for these bank branches that come and go as they please.
My legislation would simply address the present inequity in bank branch oversight between state- and federally chartered banks. These branches are oftentimes crucial to the economy of the neighborhood where they are located and area residents should have a fighting chance in keeping these institutions open if the closure will have significant negative impact on the surrounding community.
There have been plenty of times throughout history when private financial institutions took advantage of public resources and the government had no choice but to step in. Let us make federally chartered banks undergo the same review process that is currently in place for state-chartered banks. Members of the public, who invest their own monetary resources into these institutions, have a right to be heard.
There was a groundbreaking ceremony at the Flushing Commons site that is replacing Parking Lot 1 last week. Many think this new behemoth project is good for Flushing, others are skeptical or against it altogether. Mayor Bloomberg and developers pushed hard for it with building renditions of grandeur and talked about how good this was for Flushing. Downtown Flushing needs parking desperately. The developers “cured” that problem by putting a large underground parking lot under the Commons site to hold about 1,600 vehicles. What nobody talked about is the fact that shoppers don’t like to park in big underground lots. Shoppers who drive won’t go there anymore.
The Commons underground parking lot is a nail in the coffin for drivable Flushing. No longer does it make sense to drive to downtown Flushing to shop. Some European cities have fabulous underground automated parking lots that are popular and well-used. Not here. People, I for one, don’t like to park in large underground parking lots with low ceilings, cramped spaces, with a gate at the entrance and exit. Not to mention feeling safe in them. And, I certainly don’t like paying a minimum three bucks for a stay that will only last a few minutes.
The best use of the site would have been for a city-owned five-story parking lot similar to the one in downtown New Rochelle. There you drive in, no gates, park in a numbered spot, put your spot number in the parking machine at the mall entrance, and you pay for the amount of time you expect to use, be that 25 cents for 15 minutes, or two to three hours at $1 per hour to go to the Imax Theatre. When you leave you just drive out. There are no lines. Gated lots are nightmares. If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind somebody who can’t figure our how to use the ticket machine at the Queens Center mall, you would appreciate this kind of easy-access lot.
The loss of above-ground parking is sealing off Flushing to those who live there and nearby. I would rather drive to Macy’s in Manhasset to shop because I can park right outside the doors. Goodbye, drivable Downtown Flushing. It was good to know you.
Re “No pre-K at libraries,” Letters, July 3:
Queens Library is very proud to be launching a universal prekindergarten class at Queens Library at Woodhaven. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring additional quality early-childhood education into the community, in one of the best places a child can be: the neighborhood library.
Even with the addition of the UPK program, the community will continue to have a full schedule of programming and will continue to be the hub of the community, offering ESOL, music programs, book discussions and the much-beloved children’s programs. Work will soon be underway to create newly renovated space that will become additional program space. That work will be coordinated to ensure the program calendar will continue as scheduled with the least disruption possible. All the familiar programs will be available, plus some new offerings as the year goes on. Included will be the addition of iPad minis that will be used for special technology programs.
The new program space plus the renovated UPK area will complement the main floor renovation that was completed last year.
Please join us in celebrating Queens Library at Woodhaven, as it truly becomes a place for lifelong learning. Toddlers, students, adults and seniors: There is a special place for you at Queens Library.
New York City’s Board of Elections noted a low voter turnout for the June primary and a declining participation rate over the last few years.
There’s a good reason why. The BOE closed a number of polling sites because they were deemed inaccessible to handicapped voters under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sending absentee ballots to disabled voters instead of closing polling sites for everyone makes more sense. Closing polling sites disenfranchises thousands for the sake of a few.
Kew Gardens Hills voters lost their chance to cast ballots at a conveniently located site when the BOE abandoned PS 164 over two years ago.
Unless the BOE corrects this situation, its initials really stand for Barrel of Errors.
When we study great past civilizations, what do we revere about their culture? Not their military conquests. Their glamour quickly is reduced to dry footnotes and maybe a movie script. It’s through the arts — music, painting, sculpture, dance, architecture and crafts — that we achieve the nearest thing to immortality.
So why are so many public schools bereft of art instructors? Why has attention to the arts largely withered away in recent years? Are they frivolous and shallow? Just the opposite. Let’s just say they didn’t fit in with the emphasis established by the late chancellors Klein, Black (don’t forget the middle fare in the sandwich) and Walcott. They had other educational “priorities” often adrift of education itself.
Chancellor Fari–a recently increased the funding for arts facilities and materials by a couple dozen million dollars. That’s still paltry but it’s a windfall after the dry spell of neglect.
The arts are an indispensable part of the “major subject” of civilization itself.
The latest invasion of illegal aliens, an act of war against the citizens of the United States, was allowed to happen when the so-called government and the judicial system decided that illegal aliens had a “right” to taxpayers’ money, so called “entitlements.”
Question: Do the citizens of any nation have the “right” to decide who shall live among them? Citizens, patriots, your country has been invaded. Save her or lose her; there is no other way.
Congratulations to the GOP-controlled Supreme Court! Because of its Hobby Lobby ruling, a woman can be denied contraceptive coverage if her employer believes in a magic man in the sky. Absolutely pathetic!
This decision is bad for women, bad for workers who rely on their employers for healthcare, and bad for anyone who believes that the rights of corporations should not come before the rights of people. And let’s hope that the Republicans continue investigating the Obama “scandals” (Benghazi, IRS, etc.) because when they get to the bottom of those, they will have irrefutable evidence to support the truth: The president is black.
Regarding the parades people are running, celebrating their country of origin and flying only foreign flags, I must say I find it disturbing. At the very least, American flags should be more prominent. I especially dislike the idea of people flying only foreign flags on their cars or in front of their homes. My feeling is, if it was so great, why did you leave? Stay then and try to improve it.
When some of my foreign friends knocked the U.S.A., I always reminded them that you can feel free to criticize or complain about things in the U.S.A., just as I am with this letter. But if you have hateful things to say about the U.S.A., always remember, unlike many other countries, it’s very easy to leave. My parents were immigrants and both felt the same way.
Recently I read the June 19th issue of “The Queens Chronicle.” I was overjoyed to read a nice article about my neighborhood Sunnyside. However, I was dismayed that Bix Beiderbecke was not listed as one of the famous people who had lived here. The music of Bix Beiderbecke has influenced, and continues to influence, many famous musicians the world over.
The legendary jazz cornet player, pianist and composer lived his last days in Sunnyside. He passed away at the young age of 29 on Aug. 6, 1931. He lived in an apartment at 43-30 Bliss St. (now known as 46th Street). A memorial plaque now decorates the building — as does one at the Sunnyside home of actress Judy Holiday, who was born and raised here.
Bix’s life and music have been celebrated for the past 14 years with an annual outdoor concert. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 2 to 7 p.m., under the Sunnyside Arch on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. This is a free event, open to the public.
I would like to invite all your readers to come by and enjoy an afternoon and evening of great swing and Dixieland music, remembering Bix where he lived his last days.
I was quite surprised to read the letter from Alexandra Shepard in last week’s Chronicle critical of the Shalimar Diner’s accommodation of wheelchair-bound patrons (“No wheelchair access”).
I have patronized the Shalimar for 40 years because I found it always provided professional service at reasonable prices and was most attentive to its customer’s needs.
Three years ago I had an operation that left me unable to walk and I needed a wheelchair to navigate even the shortest stoops and stairs. This inability did not impede me from visiting the diner several times a week simply because the owners and staff always opened their side door on Austin Street, without delay or complaint. This side entrance is on street level, fully accessible to wheelchairs and walkers, and allows direct entrance to the main dining room.
While Ms. Shepard may dislike the use of a side door rather than the main entrance, I can attest from personal experience that the Shalimar affords the disabled the same if not better access than many other similar venues in the nearby community.
Seventy-five billion dollars, Mr. Mayor, and you could not put the funding in the fiscal 2015 budget for the Rockaway-Brooklyn Army Terminal ferry service. Five borough presidents, Community Board 14, some of our representatives in Congress, the state Senate, state Assembly and City Council — and most important, the residents of the Rockaways, Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Brooklyn — are all in support. We think you should rethink this and add the funds needed for the operation of this most needed form of transportation, our only form of water transportation for the entire Peninsula.
Now I know why you never came to the thank-you rally we held for you because you extended our ferry service. Most likely you knew when the train was going back into service and our ferry would sail away for good. This proves once again that Rockaway is truly the stepchild of New York City
I read with much sadness the news of the passing of Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa. I met him on many occasions during a number of political campaigns I was involved with, for former Mayor Bloomberg, former state Sen. Frank Padavan and for Bob Friedrich, president of our Glen Oaks Village Co-op Association, when he ran for City Council and state Assembly.
I found Phil Ragusa most personable, honest and a man of integrity. I also found him to be concerned for the community and its residents, with ideas to make things better for all concerned. He will be truly missed for he was the voice of all we hold most dear.
God bless you, Phil, for all that you stood for, and let me also offer my heartfelt prayers for your family, who are missing you at this sad time of mourning.
I am writing to point out that the Queens Chronicle grossly misrepresented the view of most New Yorkers when you published a slanted opinion piece that claims the carriage horse industry in Central Park is somehow “humane.” (“Meet the Central Park carriage drivers,” June 19, multiple editions). Nothing could be further from the truth, as this industry is cruel to both horses and potentially humans.
While the writer mentioned that draft horses are in fact capable of pulling large loads of cargo for a great distance, the writer failed to mention that these carriage horses are asked to do this in unbearable conditions here in New York. Cars, buses, taxis, trucks, pedestrians, emergency vehicles and many other obstacles face them every day and at every step of their journey. A potential accident awaits the horses and the citizens at any given moment.
Some call this “romantic.” Is seeing a beautiful horse lying on the street dead after a collision with a vehicle romantic? I don’t think so, and I believe any person with half a heart agrees. God forbid that one of these horses should ever collide with a human head-on; the human wi
ll most likely lose the battle versus a 1,100-pound creature. Is that romantic?
These carriage horses are surrounded by a city so feisty and chaotic that many, many people I know can’t stand being here, and they can choose to go elsewhere if the city overwhelms them. These horses have no say in what they get to do. Almost every single New Yorker I know agrees that this archaic practice must end, full stop.
Your piece that attempted to put a positive spin on this brutal industry will only serve to energize the opponents of this abuse and end something that should have ended decades ago. Maybe I should be thanking you for your short-sightedness in this biased article.
I would like to know why libraries will be housing universal prekindergarten when there are financial investigations going on.
The Woodhaven branch already has given out UPK applications. I am outraged that library space is being sacrificed for this program and now the Woodhaven community will lose its downstairs space. The UPK space cannot be used for any library programs even when class is not in session or after the school day is over.
Our children will miss out on all the enriching programs: game days, movie making, toddler time, guitar lessons and so many others the library offers. Adults also will lose their programs: ESL, fitness, music book, Zumba classes, etc.
Woodhaven, we must speak up, not only for our community because this is just the beginning of UPK taking over our libraries. Mayor de Blasio didn’t like charter schools taking public school space; what makes it okay to take over community library space?!
Library President Tom Galante stated at the reopening of the Woodhaven Library after upstairs renovations that there will be a phase 2 for downstairs to make that a children/teen space. Well, I guess he meant just 18 children! Maybe he will get a new position to be in charge of the UPK budget.
Other libraries will be taken over if we just bury our heads. The renovation is starting July 11 at the Woodhaven Library. Please speak up!
We missed our copy of last week’s Queens Chronicle here on 90th Street in Howard Beach. No one on our block had the weekly papers delivered last Thursday. I was finally able to find your editorial, “Library gets what it paid for,” through the internet. I appreciate your comments and am so glad that reform is finally coming to the Queens borough libraries.
I had once sent in a letter about “Galante’s greed,” which was unpublished. In that issue, you ran an editorial along the same lines as my letter. I felt that the library CEO was flaunting his position at our expense — installing a smoking roof at taxpayers’ expense while the truncated hours at our branch are a hardship for many working people and for retirees, as well as for schoolchildren who depend on Saturday hours. The automated machines also seem to me an extravagance.
I also wanted to read your report on the recent civic meeting at St. Helen’s. It was well-attended and very informative. I had a chance to talk to some of the speakers. I missed our councilman, Eric Ulrich. I wanted to thank him for his vital help. We are very pleased with all of our conscient
ious politicians. They come to our meetings and are available to assist us when we need them. Bravo!
Iraq has once again taken over the headlines and the armchair warriors are valiantly fighting President Obama for not fighting in Iraq and fighting the enemy (whomever they may be) who are fighting each other as they have been historically fighting that fight as long as they have had the energy to fight.
The Iraq debacle was a war precipitated by the United States based on lies of weapons of mass destruction in their possession and a conspiracy threatening our country. The real reason is far less explosive but equally conspiratorial: The Bush/Cheney impetus.
Bush: “Watch, Dad, I’m going to break your enemy for you,” while Cheney: “Watch, Halliburton, I’m going to break the bank for you.”
In June 2008 President George W. Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement between Iraq and the United States. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraq cities by June 30, 2009 and all U.S. forces would be completely out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
Wily guy, that Bush. He always had that little sparkle in his eye, but how did he know that his signing America’s complete withdrawal from Iraq back then would be blamed by some home-brewed heroes on President Obama six years later. Son of a gun. I would “enjoy a beer with him.”
On May 6, the Obama administration unveiled a national climate assessment report, which confirms that climate change is affecting Americans in every region of the country. The assessment is the result of a three-year analytical effort by over 300 climate scientists. They concluded that global warming is causing the sea level to rise and glaciers and the Arctic sea ice to melt. National Geographic reported that Greenland was “Ground Zero” for global warming.
Recently, two senators expressed opposing views. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, “Humans aren’t to blame for global warming. Preparing for drastic specific climate change is … overreach which will cause massive layoffs and destroy our economy.”
We all know the GOP is alienated from science, but it looks like this champion of denial is playing to the GOP base and conservative corporate America.
The report stated the oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide. This fact was expressed in a Senate speech by Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. He said that the waters of Narragansett Bay have become so acidic that it has done severe damage to the state’s seafood e
conomy. For his public stand, I consider Whitehouse to be a hero for decision makers as they prepare to draft climate-change policies.
Global warming should be viewed as a “natural” security threat to America and be treated as such by … all of us!