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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 12:00 am

PETA’s sexploitation

Dear Editor:

Re “On the road to being the queen of green,” by Anne Marie Costella (April 1, multiple editions): Why does even being vegetarian have to be sold with sex?

While I applaud PETA for many of their efforts on behalf of animals, others are questionable. Example: PETA’s shelter in Virginia has an 85 percent kill rate, the highest in the nation, as they feel animals are better off dead than being “owned.” It seems it’s okay to treat women as objects but not animals. Remember the naked women demonstrating against fur?

That being said, I do feel Nicole Angela Amendolare’s concern and commitment against animal suffering are cause for praise. Anyone who is against glue traps can count me as a huge fan.

Linda Harrison


Morals, sans religion

Dear Editor:

Re “Who cares? I do,” Letters, April 8:

Like many religious people, Lorice Loria equates religious training with ethics and morality. I have ethics and I consider myself to be moral, but it isn’t because of faith in some possible superdiety or holy book. I am agnostic.

I fought for civil rights because I knew, at the age of 10, that it made no sense that the people who cooked meals at Woolworths couldn’t sit at the lunch counter and eat those meals. Since then I’ve been fighting for social and economic justice. I teach computer programming at a nonprofit for free. I volunteer with several organizations to make our neighborhoods and parks better. I work for a nonprofit that helps the poor and powerless.

I know of many wonderful people who draw strength from their religious beliefs, and I know of many awful people who use religion to hurt other people and gain power. I do what I consider to be good workbecause that's the way I was raised, not to earn some “afterlife” or because of fear of going to hell.

As for Ms. Loria’s complaint about the mechanics not being around or playing a radio in a car, maybe it was their break time. Thanks to unions, people no longer have to work 12-hour days without any breaks. Maybe the district manager didn’t notice because he isn't a slave master. Was your car fixed correctly? If not, find another shop.

David Kulick


Get your local news here

Dear Editor:

There is good reason for “Community-focused newspapers expanding” (April 8, multiple editions).

We continue to befortunate to livein one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down toonelocal daily or weekly newspaper.

Newspapers and magazines have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reducedadvertising revenuesand declining readership due to competition from the Internet and other newinformation sources.

While daily papers such as The New York Times, USA Today, Daily News, New York Post and Newsday concentrate on international, statewide, business and sports news, weekly newspapersfill the void for coverage of local community news.Weekly newspapers based in Queens such as our own Queens Chronicle,along with competitors such as the Queens Courier,Queens Tribune, Queens Gazette,Queens Examiner, Queens Times and the Queens Times Ledger, provide more in-depthcoverage oflocal news not found in the remaining major daily newspapers.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, LI

Why’d they diss Chris?

Dear Editor:

Re “Former pro wrestler Chris Kanyon dies,” April 8, multiple editions:

It’s sad that this had to happen. Why didn’t World Wrestling Entertainment or Total Nonstop Action Wrestling even mention this? Bad publicity?

They should always show a little tribute to former wrestlers when they pass away. When Umaga (Eddie Fatu) died, they didn’t say anything either, nor did they when Test (Andrew Martin) died. They just put up who they want.

Juan Rodriguez


Fighting Big Tobacco

Dear Editor:

In response to your April 8 article, “Where there’s smoke, there’ll be taxes” (multiple editions):

Rep. Weiner’s bill, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009, or PACT Act, will finally help close a loophole that allows cigarettes to be sold illegally to children and to those who would cheat citizens out of taxes owed on tobacco sales.

Of course, Big Tobacco will cry foul, even as they target your children with a product that, when used exactly as directed, kills 400,000 Americans every year. The industry will oppose anything that reduces the consumption of their deadly product, including common-sense cigarette tax increases designed to protect kids from lifelong addiction and premature death.

The next time you walk into a supermarket to buy a gallon of milk, notice where the cigarettes are placed: directly in the line of sight of candy, stickers and toys. Some chains brazenly display locked glass cabinets with cigarettes on one side, and baby formula on the other.

The $150 million that New York City is losing from illegal mail order cigarette sales is money that could be spent defending our children and families against the industry’s $1.1 billion advertising machine that targets every diverse segment of our community.

New York City’s greatest gains against the tobacco industry have been bold, uncompromising measures, which, like the PACT Act, are designed to support the health and social justice of all affected.

Public health decisions should be based on protecting citizens first, and not on whether a deadly industry makes a profit.Together, we can beat Big Tobacco as we uphold our children’s right to protection from industry manipulation, and everyone’s right to breathe clean air.

As we consider a future without tobacco, we should act with the same strength as Rep. Weiner and Mayor Bloomberg have. Only then will we rid our city of this costly epidemic and secure a healthier future for today’s children and all future generations of New Yorkers.

Dan Carrigan

Director, Queens Smoke-Free Partnership

Kew Gardens

Alone in April

Dear Editor:

In memory of my beloved wife Shirley, born and died in the month of April, 1932-1998:

How bittersweet you are

Dear lady April

That first you

Gift me with her birth

To ensure my future happiness

And then to grieve me with future sadness.

In the opera “La Boheme” ill-fated Mimi cries out in despair, “no one sings alone in April.” Dear Mimi, sing a duet with my beloved Shirley and I shall hear it and be content. Soon, my dearest.

Hyman Auslander


Worker safety solution

Dear Editor:

Why must workers die before our government takes action? The recent tragedy at the mine in West Virginia could have been avoided, as well as other tragic work accidents.

Here is what our government should be doing for working people. When violations are not fixed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should shut down a workplace and pay the workers until the employer remedies the violations. And if the employer does not comply in an orderly time frame, the agency should put the property up for sale so a responsible employer can resume operation.

If it is a profitable operation some conglomerate is sure to be interested.

This is a logical, reasonable solution to these ongoing tragedies. The city of New York does this with delinquent landlords. Free enterprise does not give a company the right to murder its workers.

Gabriel Falsetta


Private sector ‘steps up’

Dear Editor:

Thanks to Flushing’s Eugene Forsyth for contributing to April 8th’s issue the letter to the editor entitled “Private sector: step up.”As a civic-minded constituent of the private sector, the title of his piece interested me.However, while he attempts to provide a solution and includes indisputably positive ideas like enlightenment and generosity, his rather divisive and unsophisticated proposal on how to increase prosperity leaves much to be desired. He merely suggests that the private sector “help out with the money.”

Along with some of our brethren working in the public sector, us private sector folks like to think that we help fund government via our payments of income tax, property tax, sales tax, payroll tax, excise tax, bridge tolls, subway fares, bus fares and sewage fees, among others.We’re very grateful to people in the public sector, such as teachers and firefighters (and too many more to mention), who provide services.But we’re troubled by the wastefulness and corruption ofthe elected officials responsible for allocation.And just because someone owns a business or works in the private sector does not mean she or he has cash lying all around the house.

Some ofus less-enlightened folks believe we can help our fellow man outside of the government apparatus.We can donate time and money directly to those in need.Even if I did heed the advice on how to “step up,” I’d need instructions on how to deliver said monies.Should I add a zero to the check I’m cutting today (April 15)?Coins into the mailman’s mail cart? A bag of loot into Hiram Monserrate’s cutlery drawer?Benjamin’s into Charlie Rangel’s beach towel?

In “Seinfeld,” George Costanza finds success by doing the opposite of what his instinct tells him.This will work for Mr. Forsyth too.He should donate money to individuals who are opening businesses. The private sector, in a freedom-based marketplace, will then “step up” through innovation, productivity and competition.It will generate prosperity and create sustainable jobs, including jobs for teenagers and those coming out of prison.Flush with cash from donations and tax reduction, the private sector will then offer more real-world job training than it already does.High employment, combined with personal responsibility, will lead togreater opportunity for all.

Those seeking more details on how to make a donation tothe private sector can find me on Facebook.

Matthew Blaine

Ozone Park

Racism and Aqueduct

Dear Editor:

There was time when I had great respect for the editorials in the Queens Chronicle.However, of late, I have been gradually losing it. That is because of your coverage ofAqueduct and our elected officials in the last few weeks (“A growing scandal,” April 8, and more).

I don’t know why you seem to want to blame Gov. Paterson for rewarding the contract to AEG when the three men in the room made the decision on whom to give the contract to; i.e., Speaker Silver, Sen. Sampson and the governor. Gov. Paterson then made the announcement.

Now, as black people, we are almost accustomed to seeing the rules changed in the middle of the game. We never liked that. Yet, in this situation, I understand the rules were changed after the game, the contract, had been played. That change involved Darryl Green, who not only had paid his debt to society, but also removed himself from the Aqueduct group. Then the 10-year prohibition became 15 years. That was a powerful change.

If I were a part of AEG, I would sue the state for breach of contract and see if the courts will uphold the awarding of the contract, which seems the right thing to do.

It is quite clear why this contract had to become null and void, because it meant too much to African-Americans in our quest for parity. We would have been making as much or more than “massa,” and that’s not permitted in this white man’s world.

If my information is correct, Gov. Paterson met with the Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake after the fact. He was seeking some direction for his wounded political status. And this was brought on by some of the worst journalism I have seen in my life of fourscore and three years.

There is no doubt the contract also had to be killed because of the Rev. Flake’s intention to build housing on some 20 acres of land that would be available. Who better to do this than the one who has built housing for which he is known all over this country?

With an African-American in the White House, one still in the statehouse — and one who should have been in City Hall — the genie is out of the bottle. And it cannot and will not be put back. As a people, we have waited too long, been duped, lied to and lied on too many times. Our time has come, and with God’s help and well-meaning other groups, we can collaborate with each other and all have an equal share of the pie.

Rev. Dr. Charles L. Norris Sr.

Pastor Emeritus

Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church


Disrespect in Flushing

Dear Editor:

I had the misfortune to attend the Community Board 7 hearing on March 22 regarding the proposed Flushing Commons project. I arrived at 7 p.m. when the hearing began, but I did not get to say my piece until the early hours of the next day, more than five hours later. The preparation for and organization of the hearing was totally inadequate and disrespectful to the people who attended.

First of all, the leaders of the board should have realized that this project would bring out a large segment of the community, both in favor and against. The room at the site of the hearing was much too small to handle the hundred who showed up. Of course, there were not enough seats and people had to stand for hours in the aisles. It was difficult to hear the speakers and security had a hard time managing the crowd.

My church, the Macedonia AME Church of Flushing, attended in full force to support the affordable housing aspect of the project, known as Macedonia Plaza. Instead of dealing with that part of the project in a timely manner, we were the last to be heard. It was like we were told to sit at the back of the bus.

Sitting there, I thought back to the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court decision which said that even a free black man does not have rights that a white man has. That sentiment is still alive today.

It was also infuriating because that land where the project is to be built, Municipal Parking Lot 1, was once a predominantly African-American community of homes and businesses. Back in 1954, the city callously took by eminent domain all of that property to make the parking lot. They paid the people very little for their land and homes. The Macedonia Church, which is located on the lot, escaped being swallowed up at the time. But many of the church’s members had their property taken away from them. And some of their descendant were present at the hearing.

And there we sat at this hearing waiting for our turn to be heard. Many of my sisters and brothers could not wait to speak. They were tired from a day’s work and had to get their sleep for the next day’s labors. Many church members attending were senior citizens like myself. And yet we were made to stay for hours while others debated parking and traffic. Yes, they are important issues, but the board should have showed the proper respect to my people. Construction workers and others present at the hearing got to have their say before we did.

I believe that those who run CB 7 could have done better. They need to get their act together and, in general, show more consideration and respect for the people. The board is there to serve the residents of the community. It is an arm of our democracy and operates for the people and by the people. Unfortunately, on the night of March 22, it did not serve my people well and a public apology is in order for what happened to the people of Macedonia at that hearing.

Mandingo Osceola Tshaka


Welcome to the discussion.