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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:00 am

Party safely

Dear Editor:

Holiday celebrations require party hosts and party goers to think ahead to plan what food to serve, what music to play or what gift to bring. And most adults also are including the most important element of the perfect party plan — the designated driver.

For adults hosting parties, remember these tips to help have a safe celebration:

When serving alcoholic beverages, offer a variety of good food;

Offer non-alcoholic beverages for the designated drivers;

Serve guests one drink at a time;

Stop serving alcohol before the party ends.

Anheuser-Busch Sales and Service of New York, Inc. encourage adults who choose to drink to do so responsibly and to use designated drivers and alternate transportation if they may have had too much to drink.

Thanks to these efforts and increased law enforcement, our nation is making progress in the fight against drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk-driving fatalities have decline 38 percent since 1982.

For more party tips and to thank your favorite designated drivers with a fun thank-you e-card, visit designateddriver.com. Remember, responsibility matters.

C.A. Verdon

Consumer Social

Responsibility Coordinator

Anheuser-Busch of New York

Manhattan

Don’t forget our precinct

Dear Editor:

While I like the article announcing the promotion of our former commanding officer (“Former 102nd C.O. to head security planning for trials,” Dec. 3, multiple editions) did you not fact-check it?Deputy Chief Michael Blakewas promoted to inspector while in the 103rd Precinct, where he was commanding officer for over three years. Yes, he came to us from the 102nd, but served in the 103rd and then was promoted to deputy chief.

The deputy chief left behind a lot of people in the 103rd Precinct area who wish him all the best, and we take offense to being omitted since he will always mean a lot to folks in this area. He was one of the best commanders that this precinct has had.

Donna Clopton

President

103rd Precinct Community Council

Jamaica

A bad sign in Bayside

Dear Editor:

When Bayside High School opened on March 16, 1936, it was surrounded only by O’Connor Park and a 100 percent one-family residential neighborhood. It still is.

Three months ago, however, the general harmony between the school and community was broken by the installation of a casino-style flashing light in front of the school, which was on — initally — 24/7. Neighbors immediately began to complain about this obnoxious intrusion and obvious traffic danger, as serious injuries and fatalities can now result from drivers who are distracted by the sign.

On Oct. 7, I met with the principal, Michael Athy, to discuss the situation, and as president of the Bayside High New Alumni Association, ideas for the coming 75th anniversary of the school. In the seven weeks following the meeting, there was no response of any kind from Mr. Athy.

During that time, however, Mr. Athy did issue a notice to the school staff sarcastically ridiculing community concerns which included errors of fact, and — incredibly — used a “Biblical voice.” (Following a reference to Christmas, he stated: “Another sign has appeared unto us and thus I speaketh unto thee,” something I find particularly insulting, as a Eucharistic minister in my senior years.) Even were the sign OK, such language is a disgrace.

Subsequently the East Bayside Homeowners Association voted unanimously to demand the sign be removed entirely, as inappropriate for a residential area, and to enlist the help of elected and appointed officials. On Nov. 30, I wrote Mr. Athy asking him to immediately and permanently have the sign turned off and make arrangements to have it removed. As of Dec. 3, I have received no response.

Ironically, since the sign project started five years ago, long before Mr. Athy became principal, he is now being blamed for this fiasco, which wasn’t his idea in the first place.

Frank Skala

President

East Bayside Homeowners Association and

Bayside High Shcool New Alumni Association

Bayside

Weprin’s the one

Dear Editor:

I’ve learned that David Weprin has announced his intention to run for the vacant Assembly seat in the 24th Assembly District. More power to him.

David has been my City Council member for the past eight years. As the president of a cooperative, I have called upon him dozens of times to assist in problems dealing with individual shareholders ranging from senior citizen issues and education matters to issues dealing with veterans and delivery of municipal services. His office has addressed these issues with both a professional and sympathetic ear, keeping people informed of the progress of their inquiries and usually, their successful outcomes. He has been most responsive to community needs, identifying funds for the Hollis Library, Cunningham Park and citizen centers.

When I vote for a legislator, I want someone who will fight for my interests. David has a proven record. I will vote for David in the special election, and I know that all of those actively involved in civic and community activities will do so, also.

Marc A. Haken

Holliswood

Homeschooling is legal

Dear Editor:

In the Dec. 3 article “Family fights ACS, DOE over schooling,” Education Department spokeswoman Marge Feinberg says, “We cannot comment on individual cases, however, the decision to grant or deny a request for home instruction is made after a department physician evaluates the case and communicates with the doctor who made the recommendation. It is reasonable to expect that a healthy child attends school.”

That is simply not true! Nobody needs any approval to homeschool. It’s a legal option in New York. Most homeschoolers don’t have any medical conditions.

Any parent has a legal right to choose a way to educate their children. Please educate yourself about the process and go for it! You are very brave for standing up for your children. You can do it!

Angelika Zamfirescu

Astoria

Homeschool: your choice

Dear Editor:

Your Dec. 3 article “Family fights ACS, DOE, over schooling” may have led readers to mistakenly believe that parents must have a medical excuse to legally withdraw their children from school. But there are two forms of home instruction in New York State, only one of which, home tutoring by a teacher sent to the home by the DOE, requires an excuse or a “reason why.”

The other kind of home instruction (often called “homeschooling” or “home education,” with one of many variants known as “unschooling”) is done by parental choice. Thousands of parents in New York City opt for this second kind of home instruction, and they are not required to justify their decision in any way.

Often parents are unaware that under the Regulations on Home Instruction, Part 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education, they may begin homeschooling at any time and without prior notice. They must send a letter of intent within 14 days after doing so, and then submit other paperwork throughout the year.

The false impression left by the article could have been avoided by including a sentence explaining that the parents were aware that they could homeschool the healthy child themselves without “permission,” but that given the time-consuming medical situation of the other child, they had decided to request a DOE tutor.

I will be writing to the family to tell them that homeschooling needn’t be as rigidly scheduled and time-consuming as the regulations may make it seem. It also occurs to me that local homeschooling families might be happy to help the Tavolacci sisters keep in touch with peers, maybe using webcams, whenever they need to be isolated because of the medical situation.

Elsa Haas

Director, Partnership for

Accurate Homeschooling Information

Staten Island

Getting at the truth

Dear Editor:

Re: “Willets Point resident says he’s not leaving,” multiple editions, Dec. 3, by Managing Editor Liz Rhoades:

Thanks, Liz, we can always depend on you to bring out the real story. Great job. Thanks again.

Jerry Antonacci

President, Crown Container

Willets Point

Gay marriage inequality

Dear Editor:

On behalf of Queens Community House, a multi-service organization with 36 programs in the borough, I am writing to express outrage at the outcome of the vote on the marriage equality bill brought to the New York State Senate floor on Dec. 1.I am particularly disappointed that four of the dissenting votes came from Democrats representing Queens, the most diverse county in the country and perhaps the world.State Sens. Joe Addabbo, Shirley Huntley, George Onorato and Hiram Monserserrate voted to limit the human rights of their gay and lesbian constituents.

Marriage equality is part of a larger civil rights struggle in the United States, and the Queens Community House and the 20,000 residents we serve each year will continue to battle for equal rights that honor the full humanity of all people — including lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people.Our elected officials must be reminded that their opposition to LGBT marriage places them on the wrong side of history and they are not representing the beliefs of many of their constituents.

These senators had and bypassed the opportunity to honor same-sex couples with more than 1,000 rights and responsibilities that opposite sex couples currently receive including hospital visitation rights, shared health insurance, and various legal benefits.

Most of us agree that the miscegenation laws that forbade interracial marriage until 40 years ago are a great national embarrassment.Forty years from now our children will be baffled that loving couples were once treated as second-class citizens.

Irma Rodriguez

Executive Director

Queens Community House

Forest Hills

Nice work on VA story

Dear Editor:

Re: “Development at St. Albans VA still on hold,” Nov. 25:Thanks for the balanced reporting. Good job.

Raymond P. Aalbue

Public affairs officer

Veterans Administration

New York Harbor Health Care System

St. Albans

Addabbo voted right

Dear Editor:

Bravo Joe! How rare you are — a New York elected official who voted in accordance with his constituents’ wishes and not as instructed by his party’s leadership (“Four Queens Dems help defeat gay marriage bill,” Dec. 3).

Why can’t Councilmen-elect Dromm and Van Bramer understand that people are elected to represent their constituents — that’s a fundamental principle of a democratic republic. Will they represent their constituents’ wishes or the party bosses’ wishes?

Go Joe go! Politically live long, prosper and continue responding to your constituents.

John De Riso

Howard Beach

A disappointing vote

Dear Editor:

Senator Addabbo’s vote is very disappointing (“Four Queens Dems help defeat gay marriage bill,” Dec. 3). You have claimed that 74 percent of your constituency wanted you to vote this way — in a city where 61 percent support the legislation.

Was scientific polling done or do you mean 74 percent of those who contacted the office? I am confident it is the latter, and indeed you only reference those writing to you. A mere 400 letters from a district with a population of over 300,000. That means 99.87 percent of your constituency did not lobby you to vote against this bill. So please do not claim a consensus in our district.

In any event, the letters you did see likely presented a very skewed view. Since you had a strong LGBT voting record in the City Council, including voting for the recognition of gay marriages conducted outside New York, it is likely that many of your constituents who favor gay marriage (or at least do not oppose it) felt your vote was safe. Conversely, opponents would have made a special point about contacting you because they thought your mind needed changing.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. I understand our district has some conservative voters, but surely people of all political leanings can recognize the importance of maintaining equal rights for all groups and limiting government’s restrictions on liberty — which the ban on gay marriage certainly is. That is a constitutionally solid and, therefore, proper position to take, as well as morally and ethically right, and I strongly encourage you to adopt it.

Peter Beadle

Rego Park

Great hobby, great article

Dear Editor:

Fascinating! (“Forest Hills man carves his way to a dream job,” Central Queens edition, Dec. 3.)

It’s fascinating that in such a busy city like New York that woodcarving classes like this exist, and it’s great that people are interested in learning the art. I’d imagine that it’s a hugely relaxing and therapeutic activity.

What a great article about a little gem buried in our chaotic and noisy city.

Tim Lee

Brooklyn

Monserrate gets off easy

Dear Editor:

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate gets off with a slap on the wrist for domestic abuse (“Monserrate gets probation, not jail,” queenschronicle.com, Dec. 4). I cannot understand how the judge could do this, considering the assault on this poor woman. This is a setback for every woman who is looking for justice aganist domestic abuse.

Any man who assaults a woman is not a man at all in my book. Furthermore I think the state Senate ought to give him the boot — show him the exit and say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks

My father’s killing

Dear Editor:

My name is Erik, and I am Adrian Moldovan’s son. You’re one of the few newspapers to report on my father’s death, and the only one to report on his killer’s conviction (“Officer sentenced for F.H. shooting,” Central Queens edition, Nov. 12). For that I am extremely grateful.

It matters to me that his death was important enough to the community to be acknowledged. He was a friendly, hard-working man and it makes me happy to know that others know that as well.

I no longer live in New York City, and I’m soon leaving here in service of the Air Force. Because of this, I was not able to get a printed copy of the Queens Chronicle edition that reported the story I read on queenschronicle.com. It would mean a lot to me if I could receive a copy.

Erik Moldovan

Seattle

Editor’s note: A copy is on its way.

Welcome to the discussion.