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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2006 12:00 am

Con Ed Is To Blame

Dear Editor:

While Con Ed is the major culprit in the Astoria blackout, the company is not alone in the negligence department. I wasn’t surprised to see the power outage slip past the attention of Mayor Bloomberg for nearly a week while his constituents continued to broil, bake and lose health and money. That seems about par for the course when it comes to City Hall and people of Queens.

When the lights go out in Washington Heights, it only takes a matter of hours for the mayor and the city to make a move. Remember the blackout in the summer of 2000, when Ozone Park and Howard Beach were without power for two or three days? This was right around the time of another blackout in Washington Heights. Oh, but was there ever a big difference in how the residents of those two communities were treated. In Washington Heights, “cooling tents” were set up, bags of ice were brought in along with cold bottled water, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was given out, and the Red Cross served meals (this was on day one).

In Ozone Park Howard Beach, bupkis. But we did get some attention from Con Ed—we got a guy who took over the McDonald’s parking lot on Crossbay Boulevard, yelling through a bullhorn and berating the community for using too much power. No ice, no water, no cooling tents, and of course, no Ben and Jerry’s. Sound familiar, Astoria?

There’s another striking similarity between the Astoria and the Ozone/Howard situation—no looting, arson, or rioting. Can’t say the same for Washington Heights, where the same heat, frustration and anger regularly gives birth to riots and crime sprees. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the unspoken reason that so little attention is paid to the working class communities of Queens, where despite terrible conditions, people still behave in a civilized fashion, taking personal pride in their neighborhood with respect for the law.

This is a clear illustration of just where City Hall holds the middle class: We’re good for paying property taxes (to pay for all those social, educational, medical and recreational programs we never seem eligible for) and little else.

To City Hall, Queens might as well be Oshkosh. When it comes to city crises, Queens has been the sacrificial lamb since the time of John Lindsay. I am not advocating that we revert to hostile behavior in the streets, but in the voting booth. Next time around, Queens needs to remember that it is not in our best interest to elect another mayor from Manhattan, but someone from the outer boroughs where we live real life, not yuppie life.

Ann Rychlenski,

Ozone Park

Fathers’ Rights

Dear Editor:

I agree very strongly with your editorial of July 13, “Marriage Is A Fundamental Right For All,” calling for equal rights for gays in marriage. It is the job of newspapers to take a stand for equality, even if it means going against the majority of the people in this country.

We all know that some of the most vicious discrimination faced by certain groups of people in the past would never had ended if it weren’t for brave souls in the media and government who decided to stand up. However, the thing that disturbs me is that we do not hear a peep about other types of discrimination regarding marriage and divorce. For example, I know many fathers who are shut out of their kids’ lives because of draconian divorce laws.

This injustice could easily be remedied if the powers that be wanted to fix this outrage. However, it seems that the state Legislature is bent on pursuing a sick anti father, anti child agenda. In particular, the two stalwarts of the gay marriage movement—Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick—have voiced opposition to shared parenting.

Unlike gay marriage, the overwhelming majority of the public support shared parenting. Unfortunately, the only ones that don’t—major feminist groups, the billion dollar divorce industry and other interest groups—seem to be calling the shots.

Nick Berrios,


For Gay Marriage

Dear Editor:

As a fairly progressive Catholic, I fully believe in freedom of conscience as taught in Vatican Council II. So, I have decided that I support same sex marriage. Gays and bisexuals are children of God just like others.

As a Catholic progressive, I reject this arch conservative Pope Benedict. I do openly have a social agenda: I want the Catholic Church to modernize and come out of the theological dark ages.

There are plenty of Catholics who favor gay rights at Jesuit colleges.

S. Carletta,


Ambulette Crash

Dear Editor:

Re: “After Crash, Focus On Van’s Driver,” July 20. Yes, focus upon the driver, he is indeed the most vulnerable. All other people involved in the incident have multiple layers of protection.

Take the focus off the owners, off the government officials—state and local—who ignore the ongoing violations in group homes and focus upon the driver.

Harold Mario,

Ft. Myers, Fla.

Israel Quagmire

Dear Editor:

I’m distressed about what is happening in the Middle East, as many of us are. Israel has two terrorists groups—Hamas at one end and Hezbollah at the other. Both groups have one goal and one goal only— and that is the complete destruction of Israel.

The groups have the backing of Syria and Iran. Israel, I think, is right in not negotiating with the terrorists and doing what is necessary by demonstrating to her enemies their actions will not be tolerated.

Frederick Bedell Jr.,


Israel Vs. Lebanon

Dear Editor:

Terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and the lives of almost 3,000 innocent civilians in retaliation for the United States’ actions in the Middle East.

Israel is destroying Lebanon and the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians in retaliation for the actions of Hezbollah in Israel. If killing innocent civilians equals terrorism, then Israel is guilty of terrorism and the United States is complicit in the crime.

Bill Hagel,


Flushing Woes

Dear Editor:

Democrats will always be elected in my district in Flushing. However, none of those running—though a Democrat all my life—will I vote for: Assembly, state Senate, City Council, Congress or other offices on the Democratic line. There is obviously no concern for those living within the 11354 zipcode area of Flushing.

There are terrible streets and sidewalks that are dangerous for us. There are many produce stands that don’t keep their goods within 36 inches of their storefronts, blocking the sidewalk. As a senior using a walker, all of the above have made my life very difficult.

If it were at all possible, it would also be good to ban cellphone conversations while walking. At times people have walked into me and put themselves in danger by conversing when crossing streets. My main concern is downtown Flushing, which is a mess. Promises of the future do not make the present tolerable.

W. Pagenkopf,


Welcome to the discussion.