Turn on your radio or television and the odds are you will hear or see a commercial. In recent years there has been an erosion of program content at the expense of advertisements.
Commercial breaks frequently last more than five minutes in a seamless stream woven together without a pause between messages. At times it’s hard to know when one ends and the next begins.
Sports events have many breaks programmed to allow for these announcements. If one is tempted to switch stations, the odds are that you will encounter more of the same. The major stations have their breaks at the same time slot, foiling those who switch.
The air wave frequencies used by radio and television theoretically “belong to the people.” Licenses are granted for a fee to companies for their use. Little seems to be done to control this over-commercialization as well as seeing that the networks provide a “public service.”
What can the listener/viewer do?
The usual response is write/call your Congressman or complain to the FCC. This will probably do little good since the broadcasting lobby is very influential.
Tape your TV shows and replay them later, fast-forwarding past commercials.
Patronize the less commercial stations although they also seem to be succumbing to advertising creep.
Read a good book and/or get some fresh air.
Go to the movies but lately they have also resorted to overkill, subjecting their paying audiences to about 20 minutes of loud, blaring commercials.
Meadowlark Gardens is a cooperative of 288 residential units. We have worked diligently with the Greater Fresh Meadows Community Coalition (consisting of eight civics, co-ops, tenants & historical societies) to protect this neighborhood’s “Special Preservation District.” Our property is adjacent to the previously proposed Pathmark Box Store located on 69th Avenue and 195th Lane. This site was formerly occupied at different times by Dollar Express and Waldbaums.
We are elated at the recent announcement that Pathmark has chosen not to renew the ground lease with the landlord, Federal Realty, thus eliminating their threat. Pathmark has publicly stated their decision was based on the fact that the community did not support their project’s size.
Our community was faced with many challenges concerning this project, including losing our local grocery store, Key Food, which lost its lease during this process. We believe this action was a premeditated attempt by Federal Realty to force our community into accepting its Box Store. Although the community was and still is in dire need of a grocery store, we refused to be forced into accepting a market of such great magnitude.
I am personally very thankful to everyone who participated in our accomplishment that resulted in this victory. We have achieved our purpose in preserving our community’s quality of life. I would like to take this opportunity to also extend my appreciation to Councilman David Weprin, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, State Senator Toby Stavisky, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Borough President Helen Marshall, Community Board 8, this newspaper and Council Speaker Gifford Miller for supporting our cause. Each of you contributed by way of letters, endless conversations, meetings and/or attending our rally which gained much attention.
We may have won the war against Pathmark, however, we will continue to take an active part in expressing our need for a grocery store that would be willing to occupy the existing building structure. Meadowlark Gardens shall remain determined in achieving our goals in serving the needs of the community and all future affairs. It’s a wonderful thing when the community pulls together in times like this.
Tamara Osherov, chairperson of
Meadowlark Gardens Community Awareness Committee,
Readers of the article about Dianetics and Scientology in the recent Western Queens edition of the Queens Chronicle (February 3rd).
Published in 1950, L. Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health,” describes a method anyone can use to eliminate the source of insecurity, negative thoughts, and irrational behavior that have plagued the individual. Since its publication, it has sold more than 20 million copies and been translated into 51 languages.
Dianetics became the basis for Scientology, an applied religious philosophy, and in the following years its unique ability to improve lives has resulted in the formation of 4,300 churches, centers and groups in 160 countries, including three Churches of Scientology in Manhattan and another on Long Island.
Dianetics and Scientology have been effectively applied to the problems that face society at large, from drug abuse to illiteracy. Its application to helping rescue workers and victims of disasters by the Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers resulted in the VMs being commended by the chief of the New York City Police Department. Each year, Scientology’s work in fighting crime in Hollywood, California, is acknowledged by the police there with a formation motorcycle salute during the Christmas parade in front of the church’s headquarters.
You were correct that the “Stress Tests,” available at malls, subways and rail stations have been extremely popular. Not correct were the quotes about the E-meter, relying on people who have no credentials in this area, and on a quote from an attorney who lost the very case being referred to.
Actually, most of the falsehoods in the Queens Chronicle article come from a researcher into the workings of rats’ brains. His hatred of the spiritual and his contempt for minorities are typical of those who push the lie that man is an animal. The idea that Dianetics and Scientology makes individuals free and puts them in control of their own lives obviously drives him mad.
But hatred does not give him credentials to speak about religion, including Scientology, any more than his racist comments make him an expert on African-American culture. Nor does it give him the right to lie about effective help.
I have no doubt Queens residents will continue to examine Dianetics for themselves. Millions of people around the world have done so, and been happy they did.
Rev. John Carmichael, president,
Church of Scientology of New York,
It has come to our attention the insertion in your prestigious newspaper (February 3rd edition) against a religious group that is actually well-known to religious folks in Astoria and to the entire ecclesiastic community, as well as to the people their social programs have touched around the world.
My church has worked for the last two years with the Church of Scientology to help underprivileged Hispanic children here and I have enough friends in the Scientology Church to personally vouch for their good character.
David Touretzky, on the other hand, has made no secret of his racist and anti-feminist views. Hiding behind the wall of “academic freedom,” he has crusaded against values most Queens residents would hold sacred.
As for the book “Dianetics,” I say let people see for themselves if it fits their world view or not. Everyone has the right to choose ideas for themselves.
Rev. Pedro Bravo-Guzman,
presiding bishop of the
Association of Independent
Evangelical Lutheran Churches,
Nick Berrios’ opposition to a bill requiring school notices to be printed in multiple languages (Queens Chronicle, February 3rd) is based on unjustifiable statements.
It is not true that “past generations of immigrants bent over backwards to learn English and adjust to American culture.” Unless they hailed from the British Isles or were highly educated, most adult immigrants in the past tended to retain their home language and culture and leave acculturation up to their children.
The process is much the same now. What is different is that few of today’s immigrants hail from English-speaking lands, and their children now spend many more years in school than during the previous eras of large-scale immigration. In short, the schools’ role in informing parents about the regulations affecting their children has become a much larger task than it was in the past.
There are defensible reasons for opposing the multilingual translation bill (cost, feasibility of producing literate translations in a timely manner) but making false comparisons between the linguistic accomplishments of different generations of immigrants is not one of them.
Moreover, it is hard to ignore the lack of evidence behind Berrios’ accusation that “these people have a secret agenda…to destroy America’s cultural norms, (and) make Spanish the official language of America.”
Expressing opinions is one thing, falsehoods veiled as facts another.
Cunning and the money of a few billionaires established a Republican media machine unrivaled in its ability to spread ideology and spin facts into falsehoods. Now, even as the network of bribed journalists and softball-lobbing GOP operatives among the White House press corps is coming to light, Howard Dean is poised to build a DNC counter-spin machine for the reality-based community.
Dean will direct his message toward the Democratic Party’s base, a group of working, ethical, independent thinkers and herding these cats is what Dean does best. Just take a look at the countless volunteers and donations that trickled in $25 at a time through MoveOn in 2004 as a result of Dean’s leadership. Dean did a great service to his party by cementing such groups to the Democratic Party.
In contrast, a policy of lock-step conformity may have won Republicans the House and Senate, but has also linked their party’s future to an administration marred by propaganda, secrecy, torture, and financial mismanagement. The price of uncritical loyalty may well be the loss of the Republican reputation as the “party of responsibility.”
Watching the Republican machine take aim against Dean showed just how much they fear the honest and passionate expression of Democratic values. Fighter that he is and better-positioned to fire back, Dean won’t wait for Republicans to “bring it on.”
Robert Bussell Jr.,