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Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:00 am

Bad Bus Service

Dear Editor:

I feel it is necessary to rebuke the MTA—for the elimination of long established bus stops, poor service and equipment—after taking over the private bus lines. I fervently believe these changes have adversely affected the quality of local bus service for many of our borough’s residents.

It has been many months since the takeover by the MTA and they have failed to deliver the much touted service and equipment improvements, and we still have many outdated and trouble plagued buses spewing exhaust and having no air conditioning. It seems that the former Green Bus Line has become the place for the MTA to put all of its antiquated equipment. Residents of southern Queens neighborhoods deserve much better service and equipment.

It seems the MTA plan is putting brand new buses on the express routes—running between Queens and Manhattan—leaving local bus riders of Queens with the worst equipment in the MTA inventory. I suppose MTA officials would be embarrassed for these ill repaired, wretched buses to be seen by the world on the streets of the emerald city, Manhattan. It is not uncommon to be waiting for a local bus and see a practically empty (3 5 passengers), expensive express bus pass by, only to have a dilapidated, standing room only local bus arrive 10 15 minutes later.

Within weeks of taking over, the MTA eliminated bus stops on many routes including the Q 11 route. The termination of these bus stops occurred without community input or public notice. These terminations have forced people to walk additional blocks and put them in harm’s way by having to traverse busy streets that they could avoid before these bus changes were put into effect.

At a Community Board 9 meeting in June, an MTA official, Norm Silverman, told the crowd that these stops were eliminated due to MTA guidelines—not being the required 750 feet for distances between stops. When asked by a board member why there were still bus stops with shorter distances on city routes, he sidestepped the issue and never answered the questioners. Mr. Silverman did not seem very concerned with the community impact of those service changes or the problems. I believe the following example illustrates my point: when Mr. Silverman was asked who made the decision to eliminate the stops, he stated that he had made the decisions solely. When further pressed as to who above him at the MTA the public could appeal to, he emphatically stated that his decision was final. Mr. Silverman is a public official who feels his dictate is law, as though he were some sort of royalty. Needless to say, the smell of self importance and hubris filled the room.

I am asking the MTA and Mr. Silverman accept public input and not treat us as nuisances to their very existence. The MTA should show some accountability to the residents of southern Queens. Finally, the MTA must be taken to task for failing to provide quality bus service that we deserve and more so, that we as a community demand.

David Quintana,

Ozone Park

Where Are The Moderates?

Dear Editor:

In reaction to John Bleumke’s letter in the Queens Chronicle of Sept. 21, I am sad to say that if it is indeed only about 1 percent of the Muslims in the world who are violent, then the other 99 percent is either cowering in the corner afraid of the lunatics who are running their religion, or they agree with them. Fanatical Islam is nothing new: It is unconnected to the war in Iraq, or Bush’s policies. It is rooted in the dark ages and seeks glory in violence.

We first saw the insanity erupt at the Munich Olympics in 1972 with the massacre of the Israeli weightlifting team. It then moved on to the Achille Lauro hijacking, various bombings in airports around the world including Rome and Vienna; the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat; the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, killing 242 U.S. Marines; the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993; the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia; the Empire State Building sniper attack in 1996; killing of 58 tourists at the Egyptian ruins in 1997; U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya in 1998; attack on the USS Cole in 2000; the Manila bombing in 2000; the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States; the attack on the school in Beslan, Russia; rail bombings in Madrid and Great Britain, and countless bombings in Israel.

Add to that the disgraceful way women are treated under Sharia law, and the pervasive hatred that is preached in some mosques and masjids throughout the world (including right here in New York), it is obvious that if moderate Muslims exist at all, I believe they are in the minority.

Ann Rychlenski,

Ozone Park

Chavez Anger

Dear Editor:

No matter what our presidents think of the heads of various countries, they have never spoken disparagingly about a country’s head while a visitor in that country.To see Danny Glover and Charles Barron embrace Hugo Chavez while in our country, and their audience condoning Chavez’s outrageous remarks about our president, is a disgrace.They constantly knock our country, so perhaps they should pack up and go back to Venezuela with Chavez. See what happens when they speak out in that country.Thank you, Congressman Charles Rangel, for taking the high road.

Patricia Whalen,

Richmond Hill

More Chavez Comments

Dear Editor:

In regard to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez who insulted President George Bush, calling him “the devil” and the United States an “imperialistic empire,” this was an insult to most Americans. Now, here’s a world leader who is definitely not playing with a full deck and is truly suffering from delusions of grandeur. If he thinks Bush is the devil, then I think Chavez is the anti Christ.

It has been said you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Just look then at Chavez’s friends Fidel Castro of Cuba and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of Iran, leaders who deny their citizens the right to think and speak in a free atmosphere not to mention what of the rights of men which doesn’t exist in their country.

Frederick Bedell Jr.,

Bellerose

Pope Benedict’s Comments

Dear Editor:

Referring to the Iranian government’s beheading of gay Iranians because of their gayness, William Pagenkopf’s letter of Sept. 14 charges that “similar injustices have been perpetrated by the Catholic Church” and, of course, by “the Nazis” (shades of Rosie O’Donnell here). In all honesty, I did not know this about my church. Another cover up, I suppose.

Now, as a semi practicing Catholic, I hereby apologize for this outrage. If it’s still going on, the church must stop the practice immediately and Pope Benedict should add this horror to a growing list of papal apologies.

B. Ceruti,

Elmhurst

‘I Have Often Walked’

Dear Editor:

Regarding Ron Marzlock’s recent “I Have Often Walked” column: I read with interest your piece about the Fisk theater. As a child, I lived on 65th Place in Maspeth. The area was known as Ridgewood Plateau. I attended P.S. 78, starting in 1937.

During the week, employees of the Fisk theater would stand outside the school and distribute fliers with Saturday’s program printed on them. The fliers were approximately 3 1/2 inch by 10 inch and were printed on different colored heavy papers.

The program generally consisted of two full length features, two serials (Flash Gordon, etc.), one newsreel and an indeterminate number of cartoons.

My father would drive me to the theater and pick me up at the end of the day.

Admission was 10 cents and everyone received a free comic book on the way in. Also, each week a different color was selected and if you had the right color flier, admission was free. We always tried to get as many different colored fliers as possible.

Thanks for bringing these memories to mind.

Irwin Kunkes,

Fresh Meadows

Rochdale’s Fuel Surcharge

Dear Editor:

Last March, Rochdale Village management found it necessary to respond to the Queens Chronicle regarding allegations made by the organizers of an anti fuel surcharge and rent increase.The insurgents planned a protest because an impending fuel surcharge was onerous and unnecessary.They claimed the fuel surcharge was a cover up for mismanagement and board inefficiency.

The volatile natural gas market collapsed last week because several large hedge fund giants and commodity speculators made an enormous blunder that a Katrina like hurricane would cause the difference between summer and winter natural gas prices. Luckily, we had a very mild hurricane season and they lost billions.

Based upon what would appear to be an artificial market created by the natural gas speculators, the Rochdale Village Board of Directors and management made a hard decision to act responsibly and institute a 12 percent fuel surcharge to meet heightened operating fuel costs in our power plant.A small band of opportunists who participated in the rally to “roll back” the fuel surcharge are using this issue and the decision not to recognize a defunct house congress as a rallying cry to get rid of the sitting Board of Directors and substitute themselves.Therefore, after the posturing and claiming the senior citizens would be left homeless their true intent is now obvious to all.

We promised the co operators that we would review the continuing need for the 12 percent surcharge on a quarterly basis.The events of the past several days and the softening of the spot natural gas markets to a price of $4.625 per 1,000 cubic feet have not been seen since Sept. 17, 2004.It would appear on the surface that this could result in a rollback of the fuel surcharge as much as 50 percent.While this is not a certainty today, it well may be tomorrow.

Seven months have passed since we implemented the fuel surcharge; no senior citizens have lost their homes and Rochdale is well on its way to recovering from this disaster.

This is election time in Rochdale Village, and with 29 people running for the board, there will be a lot of lies, rhetoric and boasting about what they will be able to do for you. Remember, the Rochdale Village Board of Directors answers to a higher power, namelyDepartment of Housing and Community Renewal and their mortgage holder, American Properties before they can make any kind of financial decisions.

All one has to do is call any realtor and inquire about apartments outside of Rochdale Village and see the going rates for 1 , 2 , and 3 bedroom apartments and the case of the “high” maintenance charges would be a “closed case.”

Barbara Staples,

treasurer,

Rochdale Village Board of Directors

CORRECTION

An article in last week’s Queens Chronicle about a Maspeth tribute to veterans missing in action and prisoners of war gave the incorrect name for the organizing group. It was Local Chapter 32 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, not the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Welcome to the discussion.