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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005 12:00 am

Sold Out

Dear Editor:

As hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States are lost because our industry is being outsourced, we might ask how these impoverished nations can afford to build their infrastructures to host this influx of factories. Though the United States is trillions in debt, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency is devoted to using taxpayer’s dollars to build the economies and manufacturing infrastructures of our economic competitors—particularly in China and Mexico.

While Republican congressmen sold us out again by voting in CAFTA, they should have voted out this U.S. Trade and Development Agency which, no doubt, will be spending our tax money to improve Central American economies. The sellouts never stop and the revolution against America continues.

Lawrence Burke,


Bad Pedestrians

Dear Editor:

I am writing this in regards to Queens Boulevard. I have sat in my car while waiting for someone to come from one of the therapy offices between 62nd and 63rd Drives. I think they should put barbed wire on top of the fences so that pedestrians must go to the corner to legally cross the street and not take shortcuts by climbing the fences with children in their arms trying to beat the cars.

I really feel that at times it is not the drivers who are at fault, it is the pedestrian that is too lazy to walk to the light on the next corner.

The most terrible person I have seen was a woman with a 3-year-old, pushing a stroller right in the middle of the street. She walked from one end to the other end of the street, due to the fact she could not carry the stroller over the fence. She had no choice but to walk to the corner of Sears.

If she or her child were injured, it would be the driver’s fault. I feel that this was a case of neglect. This is not the only time I have seen pedestrians jumping the fence, I have seen it all the way up to Woodside.

Now let me ask you, how can the driver be at fault when you take a chance by jumping a fence?

Diann Negri,

Forest Hills

Save Neighborhood

Dear Editor:

Three-foot cement lions, shiny metal doors, high brick walls: a sorry inventory for the historic English Tudor architecture of Forest Hills, which is rapidly being transformed into a polyglot of mishmash architectural details.

Is no one addressing this transformation of an historic area? Shouldn’t prospective homeowners be made aware of retaining the English Tudor style as an investment, if nothing else?

At the present rate of home “improvement,” Forest Hills will be transformed in five years, from a unique residential area, to a garish melee of lions, shiny metal doors and high brick walls. Yes, indeed, there goes the neighborhood.

Sonia Kludjian,

Forest Hills


Dear Editor:

Your front page story “No Relief In Prices At Local Gas Pumps,” (Sarah Stanfield, August 18th), reminded me that the next time you are upset at the price when filling up at your local gasoline station, consider other options.

Many employers now allow employees to telecommute and work from home.Others use alternative work schedules, which afford staff the ability to avoid rush-hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon.You could join a car or van pool to share the costs of commuting.

Why not utilize public transportation to and from work?Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail or subway.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Bus, Metro North Rail Road, Staten Island Rapid Transit Authority, New Jersey Transit, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Connecticut Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Transportation, Staten Island Ferry, along with many suburban counties including Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam all provide such options.There are many private bus and ferry operators along with many smaller suburban operators providing service.

Elected officials and government employees can turn in their taxpayer-funded vehicles and join the rest of us by using public transportation to get around town.You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination. Let others do the driving and we will all breathe easier.

All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single-occupancy vehicles.In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks that help subsidize a portion of the costs.Most public transit systems are supported by our tax dollars.City, county, state and federal governments usually contribute capital and or operating assistance.These are your tax dollars at work—why not reap the benefits?Using any of these options will allow you to arrive at your final destination with more time to read fine publications like the Queens Chronicle.

Larry Penner,

Great Neck

Long Island, The Day After

Dear Editor:

On August 6, 1945, shortly after my eighth birthday, I learned about “the dawn of the atomic age,” when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which killed 140,000 people, including several hundred American prisoners of war held in that city. Now, six decades later, I speculate what would happen if one of the current generation of nuclear weapons, some reportedly reduced to “suitcase size,” were detonated by some rogue nation/terrorist cell/solitary lunatic in New York City—after being brought in on one of the 94 percent of ships entering our port that the government does not now inspect.

For the purpose of this essay, I am considering only the effects of such a nuclear attack on the four counties—Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk—the last two located on Long Island, with a current combined population of 7,448,618 people, although much of what follows would also apply to nearby portions of New York and northern New Jersey. For those on Long Island, Armageddon would arrive with a blinding flash in the west as the nuclear bomb exploded, with heat like the surface of the sun, in New York Harbor, vaporizing almost everything in Brooklyn and western Queens.

Tens of thousands of buildings would disappear, along with every person, animal, tree and blade of grass in or around them. Between those instantly obliterated and those mortally injured, perhaps a third of the population—some 212 million—of Long Island would be dead and all connections to Long Island—bridges, car, rail tunnels and water tunnels—would no longer exist.

The probable electro-magnetic surge would shut down all electrical service including everything operated by batteries and any phone service in the four counties. Further away from the nuclear blast—in eastern Queens and Nassau—another third of the Long Island population—perhaps 212 million more—would still be alive, but many would be severely injured from billions of shards of flying glass, collapsed buildings, raging fires, etc., and probably already doomed because of exposure to the radioactive fallout. Neither the police nor the fire departments would be in operation and those hospitals that remained intact would be overrun with the injured who had been able to walk there, and the sights/sounds/smells of the devastation would drive many other survivors insane.

The final third of Long Island’s population—another 212 million—in eastern Nassau and all of Suffolk—would initially fare much better, with fewer deaths and injuries and even some hope of long-term survival. By the next day, however, reality would set in, as they realized they were trapped on Long Island, with no radio, television, phone communications, no food deliveries, no electricity to pump gasoline out of storage tanks and water from wells, etc., no heat in the remaining homes—if it were winter, no refrigeration and no useable transportation. Further, roving gangs with guns would have begun killing anyone they suspected might have bottled water or canned food, as civilization on our isolated island collapsed. Areas closest to where the bomb went off would be totally lifeless—except, maybe, for cockroaches—while farther away from ground zero, in parts of Long Island—only partially destroyed, the screams of the injured and dying would fill survivors’ eardrums. Hoping that the ferries on eastern Long Island might still be in service, a lemming-like migration of several million survivors walking east would begin—leaving the dying behind—not knowing if people could/would accept them in Connecticut, on the other end of the ferry routes, or just send them right back.

For additional concepts about “Long Island—The Day After,” I recommend seeing “War Of The Worlds,” still playing at local theatres. Just mentally substitute the “hydrogen bomb” for “space aliens.” The reality of an actual nuclear attack, however, won’t have a “happy ending” for anyone—it will be more like, “the survivors will envy the dead.” Even if it temporarily cripples commerce, we must demand that 100 percent of ships coming into New York Harbor be totally inspected—far out in the ocean—and in every house of worship we should be praying there never is a “day after,” here or at any other location.

Frank Skala,


Consumer Beware

Dear Editor:

As a vehicle owner, I’m pretty sure you would agree that you should have the right to choose where your car, SUV, minivan or pick-up truck are serviced and repaired. You probably wouldn’t be too happy if the car company that built your vehicle controlled where you take it for service.

Well, if we are not careful you just might lose your right to get your vehicle serviced at your neighborhood repair shop and be forced to take it to a new car dealership. Why? Because today’s modern vehicle is a very high-tech machine and nearly every system on it is controlled and monitored by computers. It takes technical information, software and tools for professional technicians to service and diagnose and repair these vehicles.

So, what’s the problem? The problem is that the big car companies are not making enough profit selling new cars and they need to make more money selling parts and service. Even though a dealership’s parts and service sales account for about 12 percent of total sales, it contributes to 48 percent of their total operating profit, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association themselves. Compare this to the fact that new car sales are 60 percent of total sales, but only contribute 35 percent to total profit.

To capture a bigger piece of your vehicle service and repair business, they are trying to “lock out” the independent repair shops from the information and tools needed to work on your car so you will have to return to the dealership. Not a pretty picture. But there is something you can do about it.

You can fight for your right to choose by contacting your congressmen and urging them to support the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act (HR 2048). It’s easy and takes only a couple of minutes to go to www.righttorepair.org to send a letter.

The Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act is a bill that requires that the same information and tools that car manufacturers provide to their dealerships to service and repair your vehicle should also be available to your neighborhood repair shop. After all, when you buy a vehicle, you should choose where it’s fixed, not the giant car companies.

Kathleen Schmatz,

president and CEO,

Automotive Aftermarket Industry Assoc.

Brave Act

Dear Editor:

What a brave and kind act that was for Victoria Ruvolo to forgive that young kid for tossing a frozen turkey into her windshield thus causing severe facial damage. Steven McDonald also forgave the fellow who shot him causing him to be paralyzed for the rest of his life. People who can forgive have great faith and that is what sustains them after such life-changing events.

We should all hope that we have this within ourselves.

Patricia Whalen,

Richmond Hill

Welcome to the discussion.