Save the trees
In the March 31 issue of the Queens Chronicle, it was reported that the Association for Neurologically Impaired Brain Injured Children is planning to create a new complex for the elderly that includes a senior center and 10, two bed cottages on the property known as Iris Hill in Bellerose (“ANIBIC plans housing for disable seniors,” Northeast Queens edition). The 7.5-acre property is actually beautiful wooded land that includes one exiting building. The land is being given to ANIBIC by the state, according to the article.
This sounds like a wonderful project, however, it was disturbing to read ANIBIC Associate Executive Director John DeBiase’s statement in the article that most of the trees are going to be cut down to construct this project. This land is like a small forest, and it is a shame that most of the trees will have to be destroyed. Even though Mr. DeBiase says that some trees will be kept as a buffer, one wonders why the project design can not be more sensitive to preserving as many existing trees as possible.
Environmentalists agree that the more trees that we have, the better the quality of our air and general surroundings. Asthma and other pulmonary disease rates are higher in areas with fewer trees.
Trees are like outdoor air conditioners in the warm weather. They keep us cool. They also provide shelter and, in some cases, food for birds and small animals. Since this was state land, meaning that it belonged to all of the people of New York, it should behoove the developers to be as skillful as possible to keep as many trees as possible, espeically mature ones. This will benefit not only the new residents who will live on the property, but all the rest of us as well.
Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s Million Trees Initiative, we are still losing tree canopy coverage each year in our city. Mature trees on private property are being removed at alarming rates. Storms and disease are taking their toll as well. People must be enlightened with regards to the importance of trees and the need to keep planting, caring for and preserving them, so that not only will we reap the benefits that trees can bring, furture generations will as well.
Ignore the renamings
To all the readers complaining about the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge and the cost to replace the signs, worry no more.
Since the Triborough Bridge was renamed the RFK two years ago, 99 percent of the signs, including those on the Grand Central Parkway, Cross Bronx Expressway, BQE, Long Island Expressway and Major Deagan still read “Triborough Bridge.”
No one except the traffic reporters call it the RFK, and the same will be true for the Queensboro. These true New York City landmarkers will retain their names forever.
I am 95 years old and have lived through two world wars and economic catastrophes, have outlived most of my children and am a widow on a fixed income.
I ask why it is necessary for an 18-times billionaire like Mayor Bloomberg to raise every cost in the city. Since Bloomberg, my house tax has doubled, my water bill has doubled, my sales tax has gone up, my transportation cost has gone up. I understand tickets have doubled and the police don’t take reports anymore on vandalism or break-ins.
Bloomberg does not really know anything about real suffering, otherwise he wouldn’t be so arrogant. I have less to survive on while he has more money than ever. The city doesn’t really do anything better than before; the response to the Christmas snowstorm shows it does less. There is no more bang for the buck, just a fizzle.
We don’t know anything about Mayor Bloomberg’s private life, and I believe we ought to know as much as possible about a public figure. A public figure makes decisions which affect us all.
I’m not pleased with our mayor for the reasons listed. I just think he’s out of touch!
The rich shop outside too
Re “Doug Bay Manor group opposes farmers market,” March 24, multiple editions:
In response to Ann Jawin’s comment about farmers markets being in poor areas: You need to get out more, Ms. Jawin.
Farmers markets are all over the wealthiest parts of the city, and people enjoy the fresh produce and surroundings. They give everyone a sense of the outdoors and bring the country a little closer to us. They bring communities together. You might have them mixed up with food banks where the underprivileged need to go to get food to survive.
Cut salaries, not centers
Council member Mark Weprin decries the plight of the loss of senior citizen centers. Of course he’s correct. However, but and nevertheless, there are solutions that he and other council members turn their backs on.
How about cutting the salaries of some of our elected officials? How about firing 10 percent of the people who work for the city and do very little to earn their salary? How about making pensioners pay for more of their pensions? How about making pensioners and future pensioners pay for more of the health benefits that they, their spouses and children get?
Talking about giving to the community is great, but the bottom line is the money must come from somewhere. Significantly, elected officials never discuss that.
Kenneth Lloyd Brown
No teacher layoffs
Now that the state Legislature has passed the budget, the next question is, will there still be teacher layoffs in the New York City public school system?
There should not be any reason to lay off any teachers, according to both Gov. Cuomo and the UFT president, Michael Mulgrew. According to Mr. Mulgrew, the city has a $2 billion dollar surplus; thus there should not be any teacher layoffs.
However, Mayor Bloomberg insists that that money cannot be used to plug the gap that would prevent layoffs. If the mayor lays off nearly 6,000 teachers, the city public school system will most certainly be even more overburdened — it could virtually implode, causing a lot of unnecessary chaos.
It is time for the people of this city to demand that there will not be any layoffs of teachers. Our children deserve the very best quality education, and 99 percent of the teachers in our school systemand school systemsthroughout the state are hardworking, professional and totally dedicated— and want to and dohelp their students realize their full potential.
The politicians of this city and state should also express their outrage at the possibility of layoffs of teachers, not only here but statewide.
The mayor and the chancellor still have not sat down and bargained in serious good faithfor a workable and fair new teacher contract with the UFT. When will they be serious about this? It seems that they have their own agenda, as do all of the politicians of this city. They are all a bunch of ego-inflated windbags.
Remember, actions speak louder than political rhetoric.
The writer is a city schoolteacher.
The burning of a Koran in Florida by a pastor is defamatory, degrading, insulting and deserving of rebuke and outrage. Yet Muslims responding by rioting and killing deserves nothing more than our total rejection, disdain and questioning of any religion that advocates murder.
Americans accept the right of free speech, including the burning of our flag. The multiracial diverse ethnicities and various religions that populate America have all been ridiculed or mocked at one time or another. Angry responses are expected within the confines of the law.
Fatwas authorizing the murder of Salman Rushdie for writing a book some found disrespectful to the prophet have forced him to live in hiding. Muslims rioted over a Danish cartoon which they considered defaming of the prophet. Honor killings, stoning and abusing women while promising virgins for blowing oneself up mocks what a civilized people accept as a religion.
The outrages committed by Muslims who define all nonbelievers as “infidels” are pushing European voters to empower nationalist parties. These parties reject immigration while demanding the deportation of Muslims.
The refusal by Islamic leaders to clearly reject acts committed in the name of the prophet which are repugnant deserves our anger, outrage and examination. Until leaders of the Islamic community stand up to the hatemongers and Neanderthals that seem dominant, they deserve the consequences of a non-violent backlash.