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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:00 am

True Conservatives?

Dear Editor:

If conservative nut-jobs like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter are telling us to vote for Hillary Clinton over John McCain, what are they going to do if she gets elected? They’ve been spewing anti-Clinton venom for two decades. Now they’re going to help her get elected president and help divide the Republican party. They can’t have it both ways.

I honestly think nobody would satisfy these so-called “true conservatives.” You would have to raise Ronald Reagan from the dead.

Michael Chimenti,

Bayside

Stimulus Plan

Dear Editor:

Congress has passed a $168 billion stimulus plan; House of Representatives: 380 to 34, Senate: 81 to 16.It had been stalled due to the Democrats demand to include such obvious aid as extension of unemployment benefits, energy assistance for low income households, payment for 20 million senior citizens and 250,000 disabled veterans; hardly frivolous demands.The inclusions would have raised the cost of the plan to $204 billion over two years.

The Republicans felt that the increase was exorbitant and unnecessary and thus voted against it making it impossible for the Democrats to get the 60 votes necessary to pass the amended plan.Nice work.

Finally the Democrats caved, in order expedite getting something in the hands of some of the people as opposed to nothing for all of them.A compromise was thereby reached allowing at least payment to senior citizens and disabled veterans and thus the plan was approved to be sent to the president to sign.

True to the modus operandi of this administration, giving tax breaks to those who need it least, their large corporate benefactors and tax cuts to the wealthiest, trumps aiding those citizens who have lost their job and can’t find another as well as poor households that cannot afford the day to day high energy costs.

Fortunately, we are fast approaching an election.Let us hope that this time the voters will vote with their minds rather than once again with fear conjured up by our present administration.To unmangle the president’s attempt at quoting Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” hopefully.

Nicholas Zizelis,

Bayside

About Congestion Pricing

Dear Editor:

I can’t understand who these politicians think they are representing, considering that according to a recent poll 61 percent of Queens voters support congestion pricing if the money is used to improve mass transit (which is obviously the plan).

Furthermore, only a tiny number of Queens commuters drive to Manhattan alone.The rest stand to benefit from better transit and easier driving due to the ripple effect of reduced traffic toward Manhattan.

Steven O’Neill,

Brooklyn

Myopic Politicians

Dear Editor:

Notwithstanding Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the second most used park in the New York City municipalpark system, it also has the dubious distinctionof being the most abused and neglected of any major park in New York City, courtesy of myopic politicians who do not have a clue as to the importance of passive urban parkland and who have sat by and watched this park torn apart piece by piece.

It is no secret Donald Manes, the late former discredited Queens borough president, wanted to turn that park into another Meadowlands to be named after himself.As recentlyas a few years ago the current Queens Borough President Helen Marshall thought it was a good idea (foolish would be a better word) to put a huge Jets football stadium smack in the middle of the park.

The park is replete with a host of non-park structures, all of which are alien to passive urban park use. I write this letter with sadness about the passing of Dave Oats “Park Watchdog, Historian David Oats Dies At 58” (the Queens Chronicle, Feb. 7).Dave was dedicated to preserving Flushing Meadows Corona Park as envisionedby Robert Moses when he promised that would be accomplished after the 1939 Worlds Fair.

Occasionally I did not agree with Dave aboutsome aspect of the park, but I did for the most part and I knew he always had the best interests of the park at hand.

I know he was upset about the plethora of non-park structures in the park and he always fought to preserve it as a park and not a sportsplex. He spent many years trying to help the park and he will be missed. I think it would be appropriate if a section of the Flushing MeadowsCoronaPark was named in Dave’s honor.

Benjamin Haber,

Flushing

About Congestion Toll

Dear Editor:

I do not understand why nobody is addressing the issue of how public transportation will be able to accommodate more people who are expected to take public transporation as opposed to driving into New York City. I travel from Queens to Manhattan every day and find the subways and buses overcrowded and on many occasions delayed. Why is it no one is commenting on this issue? The politicians and officials that are promoting the toll do not use public transportation and have no idea how crowded the system is every weekday.

The mayor when he does a “promo” always has his entourage with him and probably does not travel more than two or three subway stations. As a daily commuter, I am deeply concerned about what mass transit will be like if this congestion toll is approved. Please let me know what your thoughts are on my concern for the future of mass transit in New York City should this toll be approved.

Virginia Stank,

Ozone Park

Step Aside And Run

Dear Editor:

If Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain are so confident that they will be our next president, why don’t they resign from their Senate seats and give these seats to someone who can attend more sessions instead of campaigning?

If I were to skip work while searching for a new job, I’d be fired. Clearly, these senators have no confidence, and their true intention is to keep their current jobs. At least former governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.)has the decency to campaign on his own time, not on the taxpayer’s time.

Sergey Kadinsky,

Forest Hills

Domestic Violence

Dear Editor:

I did not vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton because I recall when she was first lady she was betrayed by her husband who also happened to be the president of the United States. I understand her underlining motives to suppress any ill feelings as her ambition was then and is today to be the first female chief of state.Some, especially women will probably call me a sellout or accuse me of betraying my gender. Two men whom I had this debate with have already said I am.

My reasoning is as a survivor of domestic violence who too had ambitions and goals though not as high, but nevertheless trampled on and taken away from me. It has taken me years to rebuild and reclaim a life that I do not wish to return to while my abuser has lost nothing but me. I have since joined a sisterhood, who campaigned for and raised awareness, to speak out, and flee against domestic violence. I think in many instances we have been very successful but for me to support a candidate who has not only remained loyal to her abuser but quiet about where she stands takes all that away.

It is admirable that Clinton’s husband is supporting her plans, but would have he done so if he were able to run again for presidency? I will admit that I admire her courage and strength to look the other way. It is my own courage and inner strength that I hold onto when the impossible seems near when obstacles block my path as it often does.

Since I have not heard her speak about issues that matter to my fellow sisters on this issue is another reason she has not received my vote. I want to know how will she tackle the impact of domestic violence on a national level to support what we as activists are doing on a local level? Too many violence prevention programs are losing funding or being eliminated altogether. If this happens the lesson she taught us to stand by your man no matter how inhuman he treats us will resonate not only here in the United States but around the world.

This is not to say I would vote for a Republican as I do not support the ongoing war or any violence whether on a battlefield or in my own home. My vote would be for a candidate who understands and is outspoken about oppression and adversity and then does something about it for those affected. I have yet to hear a candidate who is.

Suzanne Joblonski-Philip,

Ridgewood

A Different View

Dear Editor:

After reading your editorial, “Bush’s Budget: A Slap In The Face To New Yorkers”(the Queens Chronicle, Feb. 7), I wasn’t sure if I was reading a newspaper or a talking points memo from MoveOn.org. It was filled with the same brainless Bush hatred we’ve come to expect from the hard core left wing.

First of all, we are not headed for record deficits. The Bush tax cuts “for the rich” that you liberals hate so much have produced record receipts for the treasury and have cut the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule. This is simply fact.

Secondly, you complain about the reductions in Medicare and Medicaid funding and you conveniently fail to mention how New York spends more than twice the national average on these two entitlements. Why don't you talk about trying to find ways to reduce these costs as opposed to whining about not getting another blank check from Washington.

Lastly, you describe Bush’s presidency as “abysmal.” Excuse me, but can you tell me how many times we've been attacked since Sept. 11? The answer is none sir, and this is no accident. It is due to the leadership of a man who has been a great wartime president. Next time, why don’t you try writing an editorial, not a propaganda piece?

John LaPorte,

Whitestone

St. John’s Students

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Lawrence Green’s letter in connection with St. John’s students.

I’m sure Mr. Green is living in an area where he gets a peaceful evening and a full night’s sleep after a days work. Unfortunately, I have two nearby houses that when school is in session, we have to call 311, 911 and the 107th Precinct to get a night’s rest. It’s also very painful going to work early in the morning without a good nights rest.

I also observe that the owners of these homes who rent to students have no respect or concern for their neighbors. Money and greed is also contributing to the problem. On behalf of the local area, who have worked hard for peace and quiet, perhaps Mr. Green would have second thoughts about St. John’s students coming to the area.

Bridget Finnerty,

Jamaica

Response To Dorm

(This is an open letter to the Jamaica Estates community.)

Recently I read David Belt’s (developer of the controversial off-campus dorm for St. John’s University) open letter to the community. Contrary to what Mr. Belt and his associates would have you believe, absolutely nothing that was supposedly agreed to by him and H2H Residences LLC was voluntary. Only after the Department of Environmental Protection requested the Department of Buildings to issue a Stop Work Order in a letter dated Dec. 19, 2007 did Belt and H2H agree to perform the additional work required by the city agencies. Belt and his partners are motivated by only one thing, greed. I don’t know where he lives, but I am sure that it is an upscale affluent community where a six-story dorm with 485 students would be violently opposed.

From the inception of Belt’s plan for the Henley Road dormitory, until today, nothing contained in Belt’s letter could be further from the truth. Belt and St. John’s University secretly commenced the project that they knew would be of great concern to the community. There was no “respectful, open and honest dialogue” with the Jamaica Estates community.

Belt’s plans for this dormitory were self-certified by his architect/engineer and he commenced construction of the project before the community became aware of his plan.

I, together with the members of the Jamaica Estates community called for a review of these self-certified plans by the DOB, as well as the DEP and other related agencies. Upon such review, we discovered a number of errors and miscalculations on the part of Belt’s architect/engineer. Currently, H2H has no approval for the proposed dormitory sewage discharge plan.

I personally met with the Deputy Commissioner James Roberts of the DEP and reviewed Belt’s sewage discharge plan. I was advised that if the original self-certified plan was allowed to be completed, there would be serious sewer problems for the Jamaica Estates community.

I have also requested a review of Belt’s storm drain plan. The problem of storm drainage is highlighted by the excavation site constantly flooding with ground water. At my request, the DOB inspected the site and determined that Belt’s original plans for two storm drainage installations would be totally inadequate. They ordered H2H and Belt to put a minimum of nine storm drainage units at the site.

Can we assume that St. John’s University can control criminal activity off campus, when in fact it cannot control criminal activity on campus directly under the supervision of Father Donald Harrington.

The construction of the dormitory is wrong for the students, it is wrong for the community and must be stopped.

Frank Padavan,

state Senator,

11th District

St. John’s Housing

Dear Editor:

(This letter is in response to the items listed in a letter referred to as “Henley Road” (the Queens Chronicle, Feb. 7) and are my replies to Lawrence King’s remarks, president of student government at St. John’s University.)

Construction of a six-story building on Henley Road in Jamaica Estates. Big mistake.

Students are being labeled as irresponsible and destructive. Please allow me to set the record straight. I have been a long-time resident (36 years) of a street that abuts St. John’s University. The following are just some of the incidents that occurred and still occur on my block since the dormitories first opened at SJU.

Glass from broken beer and alcohol bottles continually thrown in the streets causing flat tires and also a danger to the many animals that walk along the streets.

Partially eaten food, along with containers, that are strewn in the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood. A student will think nothing of opening his car door and just dumping a bag filled with food items into the street. I know this might sound hard to believe but, trust me, it happens.

Public urination.

Cars revving their motors and reckless racing along the street.

Cars and their ear shattering sound systems set at maximum volume day and night.

Squads of students flooding the streets at all hours of the day and into the night (3-4 a.m.) shouting, singing, chanting with absolutely no regard to the time of day.

Students walking, 2-3-4 abreast in the center of the road. Oh, by the way, they don’t move for the driver so the driver can pass by — the driver has to move and swerve for them, and if you beep your horn, trust me, most times they have some type of remark to give to the driver.

Disappearance of Christmas and Halloween decorations from lawn and front porches. The pumpkins are actually taken and smashed in the street. The Christmas decorations were missing.

I would have to state and I have seen first-hand the inconsiderate, ill-mannered effects of having St. John’s college students living in my neighborhood. When all the students are gone, we have peace and quiet and clean streets.

I am sure Sen. Frank Padavan speaks from knowledge with reference to the drug and alcohol violations you mention. When a public official receives complaints and letters over an 8-year period of time, I’m sure he has to research the problem to try to correct the situation and not make inaccurate statements. He is representing a community that is crying out for help to attain some semblance of order in our once peaceful community. Do you think it’s right that people have to sell their homes that they’ve lived in and enjoyed just to get away from the havoc areas?

I am one of those community residents who brand the students because I’ve been woken up many a night with knots in my stomach and not able to get back to sleep. I’m one of those community residents who has to sweep my sidewalk and street to clean up the broken glass. I’m one of those community residents who has to pick up garbage every morning from my sidewalk because supposedly adult college students don’t know how to discard their garbage.

Perhaps you might want to reach out to our community and find out first hand from the residents how they feel. We have had many community meetings. Not once did I ever see any student there to listen to the complaints to try to resolve any of these issues. Perhaps there should be more communication between the students and the community.

A once quiet and peaceful street is now just a memory. How very sad. The Jamaica Estates homeowners have a similar fate in store for them if the building project goes through.

Daniel Reddington,

a resident of 170th Street

Welcome to the discussion.