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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2007 12:00 am

Mass Spraying?

Dear Editor:

I am deeply troubled by NYC’s announcement that it will begin mass-spraying toxic pesticides in Queens to kill mosquitoes, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 8 p.m.

Last April, NYC signed a settlement agreement in a lawsuit brought by the No Spray Coalition admitting that “pesticides may remain in the environment beyond their intended purpose, cause adverse health effects, kill mosquitoes’ natural predators, increase mosquito resistance to the sprays and are not presently approved for direct application to waterways.”

The DOHMH contravenes that settlement by now stating that “there are no significant risks of adverse impact to human health associated with the proper use of this product,” Anvil 10 + 10. This is not true.

“Anvil” belongs to a class of pesticides known as pyrethroids, which are endocrine disruptors. They mimic hormones such as estrogen, and may cause cancer. Anvil also contains the cancer-causing chemical piperonyl butoxide as well as benzene-related ingredients.

Spraying of pesticides is extremely dangerous to people’s health as well as to the natural environment, and has long-term consequences. The city should reconsider this spraying immediately, and seek alternative, safe means to control mosquitoes.

Thousands of New Yorkers were severely sickened by the spraying in 1999 and 2000. A number of members of our coalition, including several of the plaintiffs, died from pesticide-related illnesses. Many suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities or asthma caused or exacerbated by the spraying. The city administration must understand that pesticides are extremely dangerous to human health.

The DOHMH also tells parents to avoid using eucalyptus oil on small children, but says nothing about the common and extremely dangerous use of insect repellents containing DEET, especially on children. There are natural, safe ways for each person to ward off mosquitoes.

Mitchel Cohen,

coordinator, No Spray Coalition,


We Applaud You

Dear Editor:

(An open letter to Capt. Joseph G. Courtesis, commander of the 106th Precinct)

Dear Capt. Courtesis:

We would like to take this opportunity to complement the officers under your command at the 106th Precinct.

During the period of Aug. 1 to Aug. 5, Our Lady of Grace Parish and School ran its annual Family Festival. During the preparation of our event, Officers Zorn and Bratcher were extremely helpful in providing us with materials and personnel planning. Just as impressive were the officers present during our event. Their pleasant and professional manner was a reminder of how lucky the community of Howard Beach is to have such fine men and women at the 106th Precinct.

The officers were an excellent reflection of the NYPD and your command. Their presence helped make the Family Festival another great success.

OLG Festival Committee,

Howard Beach

New Graffiti Law

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Councilman Peter Vallone and all of the council members, including David Weprin, who signed onto his latest graffiti legislation. Because one graffiti admirer, Marc Ecko, decided to challenge the old version of the law, our legislators devised a new version that should defy all new objections.

As someone who is constantly fighting graffiti in my neighborhood (along with several others who despise it as much as I do), I realized that my 18-year-old son can now be considered in violation of this law when he borrows my car. You see, in my car, I tend to carry spray paint and other items that are used to cover up this vandalism that Ecko finds so wonderful. But I will purchase a new lockable box to be in compliance with the law.

Here’s to the day when I no longer have to worry about these punks who destroy our neighborhoods. To those who care about our homes and neighbors, graffiti is certainly not art, it’s vandalism, pure and simple, and it’s even more disgusting when a “designer” makes money off of it.

Rick Duskiewicz, member,

Citizens Against Graffiti Everywhere,

president, Creedmoor Civic Association,

Bellerose Manor

The Future Of New York

Dear Editor:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has outlined the future of New York City in a press conference on Dec. 12. He depicted a population growth from the present 8,000,000 to 9,000,000 in the very near future. We have recently witnessed floods, trees falling and even a tornado. Our sewers and infrastructure are obsolete to a point where millions of dollars of damage is inflicted on New York City properties, not to mention a danger to lives.We’ve outgrown our infrastructure, our schools and hospitals are overflowing and our quality of life is depreciating rapidly.

Yet developers are encouraged to build affordable housing and offered abatement incentives. The new 421-A Property Tax Abatement program would destroy a borough like Queens. Developers are replacing one- and two-family homes with 10-story and higher buildings. Our new aggressive developers would not respect the criteria for these incentives because enforcement does not exist. Developers would take full advantage of this lack of enforcement and abuse the program. They would reap the tax abatement rewards of the program and build massive apartments wherever a vacant lot exists. One- and two-family homes would be torn down and replaced with larger buildings. This already is happening in Queens, in neighborhoods like Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona and Sunnyside.

To further exacerbate the destruction of Queens our roads are in disrepair, our subways are inadequate, traffic is burdened with taxis, legal and gypsies, school buses, airport traffic and commuter automobiles carrying non-city dwellers to work and back home daily by the thousands.

We support three airports, thousands of trucks in our streets supplying 8,000,000 people with the necessities of daily life. We learned this summer that our power plants couldn’t furnish the necessary requirements for our present population. Before new building permits are issued, a thorough study should be completed to insure that the antiquated infrastructure could support the proposed development. Presently along Queens Boulevard dozens of high-rise buildings are in development without taking into account infrastructure or traffic problems. Instead of encouraging additional building in New York City, outlying cities and communities should absorb the population growth currently being attracted to New York City.

A 1-mile stretch along Queens Boulevard, from Broadway to 63rd Drive, is the most overdeveloped and congested in New York City. At present, this mile long area consists of Queens Center Mall including Rockaway Bedding and Target and approximately 15 other stores, Queens Center Mall with JC Penney, Macy’s, and many other smaller stores. On this street are six banks, a Sears Auto Center, St. John’s Hospital. Rego Park Mall consisting of Sears, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond, Circuit City, Old Navy and other smaller stores. A large P.C. Richards and Levitz are also in this area. In addition to the many retail stores and 12 multistoried apartment buildings, there are five, 6-story garages at Macy’s, St. John’s Hospital, Queens Center Mall. These garages attract thousands of cars daily for customer parking and commuter parking.

Presently, there are proposed plans to build two 17-story apartment buildings at the intersection of Broadway and Queens Boulevard.Also planned are two 18-story apartment buildings including retail and commercial stores at a site on Queens Boulevard and 60th Avenue. This overdevelopment of a 1-mile stretch is short sighted and will have a negative impact on traffic, infrastructure, schools and public transportation. At present the Grand Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard subway stations are overburdened to capacity. The communities of Elmhurst and Rego Park will be impacted to limits with all this additional proposed construction.

Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, City Planning and the Buildings Department must thoroughly study this area and take the necessary steps to rezone and remedy this overly congested area before any additional construction takes place. Automobile traffic is deplorable. Our subway and bus transportation is overwhelmed and the problem is continually getting worse.

Bloomberg’s prediction of future 12-hour rush hours is not an acceptable option for an overpopulated New York City.

Nick Pennachio,

member of Community Board 4,



Dear Editor:

In 1968 a close and dear relative of mine emigrated from Hungary to the United States and settled with her father, my first cousin, in California. Soviet communism had been the order of the day for many years prior but finally she was in the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave. She ends her correspondence with “Hungarian by Birth, American by the Grace of God;” a truly lovely sentiment. I’m concerned however that being faithful to and loving our country has made out of her a loyal supporter of whatever our country is doing even if it is obvious to the entire world as well as recognized by the majority of free thinking Americans that our present administration has lost its way. Even if it is at times reminiscent of the communist Soviet Union’s “My way or the highway” approach to government … regardless of common sense. It appears that she sees this as the mark of a patriotic citizen.

It is astonishing that there are still some who will stick by an administration regardless of how it has broken our laws, trampled over the U.S. Constitution and violated our civil liberties; the very tenets which once made our country not only great, but the envy and the epitome of what a democratic free country should be. This administration has transformed our once proud country into what we had at one time described as the values (or lack off them) of the enemy. That was why people from all over the world came to America to share in that glory. That was the glory then and the shame now. This administration has figured out the devious formula for makingpeople afraid and once scared they are your slaves. It is an old formula.

In the1930s inMunich (Beer Hall Putsch) and then other parts of Germany, there was a painter/wallpaper hanger, Adolph Schicklgruber, a little man with a little stubby mustache. In a relatively short time he managed to get the German people to back him no matter how onerous his deeds because they should be afraid of … Jews. Jews were blamed for having brought aboutthe country’s economic woes. Healso kept them scared and they were his slaves allowing him to invade countries at will, all the while transforming Germany’s civilized government into Nazi Germany. Today the German people will admit to the fact that they were duped or at best, they didn’t realize.

I wonder how long it will take for the craven Americans who are so ready to forfeit the very basic foundation of our great county to realize that they have been programmed to be scared and brainwashed into thinking that the only ones who can save them are the very ones who instilled the fear; how long to realize that they have allowed themselves to be manipulatedno less than the 1930s German citizens. As Bush broadcasted on Dec. 18, 2000, “If this were a dictatorship it’d be a lot easier, just as long as I am the dictator”;sounds a bit like a precursor to a Munich, USA.

Patriotism; what is it? At an 1816 naval victory glowing with a recent accomplishment, a toast stating “My Country Right or Wrong” was patriotically saluted. In 1872 it was wisely amended by Wisconsin Sen. Carl Schurz to include, “If Right to be Kept Right and if Wrong to be Set Right.” That indeed is patriotism.

Nicholas Zizelis,



In the Aug. 9 article, “Education Forum Draws Large Crowd,” the Deputy Mayor of Education and Community Development was misidentified. Dennis Walcott took part in the St. Albans education forum on Aug. 2, not Dan Doctoroff, as the article stated.

Welcome to the discussion.