Jan. 20 no holiday
(An open letter to Community Board 13 Chairman Richard Hellenbrecht)
Dear Mr. Hellenbrecht:
In response to your letter appearing in the Queens Chronicle on Thursday, March 12, (“MTA discriminates”), we at the MTA understand your disappointment with regards to the service cuts we have proposed.
Despite your assertion, Jan. 20, was not a national holiday. The MTA scheduled one public hearing in each borough. Time and resources did not allow us more.
The MTA does not want to cut any services. However, without necessary fuding, we have no choice. The MTA is required by law to balance its budget. Without further subsidies from the state or the federal government, we must raise fares and cut services.
The public hearing, held on Jan. 20, was for all residents of Queens to attend and voice their opinon. Many residents from the entire borough of Queens chose to attend, however inconvenient. I’m sorry you were not able to avail yourself of the opportunity.
H. Dale Hemmerdinger
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Thank you so much for publicizing this blight (“McMansions causing heartburn in Forest Hills,” Central Queens edition, March 12).I cannot stand to go jogging in my own neighborhood.These new houses are so vulgar and gaudy, I get nauseous.Most remind me of funeral parlors for vampires.
Save space in Astoria
(An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg)
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
I am writing to you as President of the Astoria Homeowners Tenants and Business Civic Association. In addition, I am also a member of Community Board One, Tenement Democratic Club, Astoria Civic Association, Dutch Kill Association, United Civic Assocaition, Famee Furlane of N.A.M. Club, Holy Name Association, the 114th Precinct Council, Orsogna Mutual Aid Society, New Orsogna Atheltic Club, Kiwanis Club and the Fratellanza Italiana D’America Club. As you can see, I am a very active member of the community.
I am sure you are aware that Long Island City and Astoria are continuously growing with high-rise buildings. This is virtually eliminating much of our open space and increasing congestion and pollution. Our community is already burdened with Riker’s Island, LaGuardia Airport, Steinway Industrial Park, the Con Edison facilities and more, making it one of the most polluted areas in the city, state and country.
With community support, we were able to stop Con Edison in the sale of 23 acres of land for use as a major distribution center for FedEx. This land is the only open space remaining in this community.
Mayor Bloomberg, I and the members of my association are very proud of your accomplishments and your goals for the future of our great city. We ask that you do everything possible to help keep this property open and turn it into a park which all the community can benefit from. In addition, this area is our only access to the waterfront.
Maybe with your input and influence you can get Con Edison to donate the land to be turned into a park much like Keyspan did in Maspeth. We anxiously await your reply. Thank you for your attention, understanding and good will.
President, Astoria Homeowners, Tenants & Business Civic Association
Monserrate and morals
Sen. Hiram Monserrate has finally been indicted.Of course everyone, including the senator, deserves the presumption of innocence, and that is what an indictment and trialare all about: determining innocence or guilt. This doesn’t mean rational human beings must suspend all rules of common sense.
In your lifetime, how many people do you know that have accidentally walked into a broken bottle, requiring more than 20 stitches? This is the claim made by the senator, even after he was caught on tape dragging his girlfriend by the hair and then bringing her to a hospital 15 miles farther than the one in his district, presumably where fewer people would recognize him.
What infuriates me most about this sordid episode is that not one council memberhad the guts to stand up and voice outrage over his behavior prior to the indictment. Had a police officer been accused of similar wrongdoing, these same politicians would be tripping over themselves to get to the nearest microphone.
Changing the dynamics ofpolitics-as-usualstarts first by electing folks who come from the civics rather than the clubhouse. Perhaps then we will see elected officials who aren’t silenced by political friendships, butrather give voice to ahigher moral standard of behavior for everyone, including those they work with.
The writer is a candidate for City Council.
Veterans deserve better
It is unbelievable that President Obama’s administrationcould approvebillions for foreign banks in a spending bill 16,000 pages long but couldn’tforce AIG to break contracts with executives who performed below standards. Yet this administration considered breaking our government’s contract with its veterans by forcingthem topay for service-connected treatment at the Veterans Administration. This is no rookie mistake. It’s the direct result of the contempt and disregard liberals hold toward the profession of arms and the working class most of us come from.
We need the nation we served and protected to protect us on this and similar issues in the future. Here are some points to consider:
It is unconscionable to pass along the costs of war to wounded veterans and their families.
Caring for wounded and disabled veterans is a sacred trust. Their care is part of the ongoing cost of war, and the price a grateful nation pays for their service.
Insurance companies would pass on the additional costs to covered veterans, raising premiums and fees.That would result in veterans subsidizing their own injuries.
It would impair veterans’ ability to obtain private insurance at reasonable rates, which affects not just them, but also their families. Employers might look at a veteran differently during the hiring process if they think he or she would affect the company’s health care costs, serving as a disincentive for some to hire veterans.
Please do all you can to block increased cost to veterans or cuts in service to them.
Marvin R. Jeffcoat
Sergeant first class, ret.