Last Saturday was Veterans Day, a day we should have remembered our present and fallen heroes. But for some reason, when driving up and down blocks in my neighborhood, I didn’t find flags flying or banners in any windows. I wonder if we have forgotten that freedom is not free. I wonder have we forgotten that freedom came with a price.
I’m a Vietnam veteran and served my country from 1966 to 1970. I’m very proud of that service. Every Veterans Day, I remember my fallen friends and heroes and honor them in my own way. While driving around, I feel that we all take our freedom for granted. I don’t give a hoot what your views are about the war in Iraq. The men and women who are over there serving our country, your country, deserve all our respect and support.
We should not forget our veterans. Hang a flag on a pole or in a window. Don’t take your freedom for granted. It cost a lot of lives for you and your families to live in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I am responding rather vehemently to Christopher Henderson’s veterans story last week, in which he wrote that veteran organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion shunned the returning Vietnam veterans.
The only people who shunned them were the general public, who vilified these fine young men. In contrast, these organizations welcomed them as heroes—which they were—just as I and many millions of World War II veterans were.
These outfits still cater to all of the members of later wars by visiting Veterans Administration hospitals and sponsoring many social functions. You should get the VFW and American Legion magazines to see what they do to help all veterans.
I hope this letter will vindicate the use of the “shunning” because these members and all veterans fought to keep the United States of America the greatest country in the world.
Happy 28th, Chronicle
Congratulations on your Nov. 9 28th Anniversary Issue edition. It was a great guide for dining and entertainment opportunities in Queens, which my wife and I frequently patronize. Your issue reminded me of how fortunate we are living in one of the few remaining free societies with a wealth of information sources available for any citizen to access.
Today, in New York City, we have ongoing circulation battles between a number of daily newspapers. They face competition from other daily newspapers that have a strong presence in their own communities, as well as national and regional newspapers, and the new free daily papers.More people turn to all news radio, national network news, cable news stations and the Internet for late breaking news that can sometimes become stale by the time it reaches print the next day. A growing population of new immigrants support their own newspapers, radio and television stations.
In various neighborhoods all over the city, you have far better coverage of local community events than any daily newspaper can provide.In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone. I’m grateful that the Queens Chronicle has on many occasions over the years afforded me the opportunity to express my views, along with many others who may have different opinions on the issues of the day.
Thanks to you, an ordinary citizen like myself is afforded the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of various elected officials. Public officials are powerful, with easy access to taxpayers’ dollars to promote their views. This is done via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. Ordinary citizens like myself only have the limited ability, when we can find the time, to just submit a simple letter to the editor, like the one you are reading now.
MTA’s Shea Service
The Mets and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are urging fans to take public transportation to games, especially for the next two years with the loss of parking due to the new Mets stadium construction inconvenience. This is a good idea, since the Mets are playing well and have demonstrated their ability to average approximately 40,000 fans per game.However, the MTA must institute a new policy to provide the financial and logistical incentives for fans to use public transportation to Mets games and the U.S. Open.
Under current policy, railroad tickets are sold based on the LIRR’s fare structure for distance traveled, and an additional whopping $5 surcharge is imposed if a ticket is purchased on the train. Recently, I was charged the outrageous amount of $10 for a ticket to travel approximately (2) miles from Auburndale to Shea, and this was the one way fare—it cost $20 to travel round trip to the game, and this was per person.A new round trip, systemwide flat rate, game day ticket price (whether from Massapequa, Mineola, Manhasset, or Murray Hill) must be established that is affordable with no surcharge if these tickets are purchased on the train. These tickets could be blue and orange for easy identification and would be valid only at the Shea Stadium stop.
The rotunda ramp and one small staircase on each side of Roosevelt Avenue are the only access to Shea Stadium from the LIRR and the No. 7. The MTA, NYPD, NYC Parks and the Mets must devise a better plan to handle the crowds that arrive and more importantly, the huge crowds that simultaneously leave the game to enter these dangerously overcrowded points.
We ask our elected and appointed officials, and the Mets organization to use their combined efforts to have the MTA make these changes, so the trip to Shea can be a pleasant and affordable experience.
vice chairman, Community Board 7,
Religion and Science
The assumption that science and religion are in conflict is constantly being reported in the news these days, but is this assumption valid? Does such an oversimplified “war” metaphor encourage us to ignore important details? I believe that it does.
For example, the Big Bang model of the earth’s creation, proposed initially in 1927 by Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian priest, offers evidence that science and theological views can peacefully coexist. The Big Bang model in its final form upholds the Christian notion of a cosmos with a definite beginning andcreation out of nothing. This article of faith stresses that God alone is eternal and is the creator of everything. Pope Pius XII embraced the Big Bang model in 1951.
Also, while it is true that science has furnished theology with a more verifiable sense of man’s place in the world (e.g., scientific evidence showing progressive increases in the age of the earth and size of the universe has progressively undercut literalist biblical readings), it is also true that Christian theology provided significant institutional support for studies of the natural world in the last millennium; the scholastic tradition of disputation was important to the advancement of science; and many founders of modern science were devout religious believers (e.g., Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Boyle).
That theologians and scientists exist in separate camps is a relatively recent division. The movement of ideas between theological and scientific thought has been more usually the case. Historical perspective underscores this fact and can allow us to engage in potentially valuable discourse about science and religion on a more thoughtful and productive level.
Health Care Agenda
Now that the elections are behind us, my hope is that both our old and newly elected members of Congress will get on with an agenda to achieve affordable and accessible health care.
They have a good model already in place. Americas Community Health Centers. This program has a 40 year record of proven success reducing disease and keeping down health care costs. Because of this record, the program has unmatched bipartisan support and now serves nearly 16 million people in rural and urban medically underserved areas across the country, where medical providers are scarce.
I, along with many others, use the Bronx Community Health Center as my health care home. By having a regular source of care, I and others can lead healthy, productive lives and stay out of crowded hospital emergency rooms. The new Congress has a chance to put politics aside and do something concrete to confirm America’s growing health care crisis.
Supporting health centers offers every member of Congress the chance to hit the ground running and join a bipartisan consensus around a proven solution in an otherwise contentious debate around health care. All they have to do is help pass legislation that will increase funding for the program so it can reach more people. Let’s hope the new Congress doesn’t waste time in doing the right thing.
Off Leash Policy
Regarding “Off Leash Policy Raises Rancor Of Civic, Again,” by Colin Gustafson, in last week’s Queens Chronicle, it is very clear that the story was not written with the concept of “fair and unbiased” in mind.
If you are trulyinterested in informing New Yorkers about the facts of this issue, I suggestthat you research the various claims made by off leash advocates. Inparticular:the number of reported dog bites; when the “courtesy hours” actually began;crime statistics in city parks;when they are allowed to unleash in all the parks; how many summonses have been written to dog owners;the increase in rabies throughout New York City and state.
Perhaps you could even interview other park users, such as runners,cyclists, inline skaters, birdwatchers, fishermen, baseball players, soccerplayers, etc. That way you would see the entire picture of the unleashedissue in city parks.
A story in the Nov. 2 edition of Prime Times discussed It’s Never Too Late, an alcohol day treatment program for seniors at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica.
As part of the treatment, participants are reinforced for good behavior. The reinforcement is not considered an incentive.
An article in last week’s Queens Chronicle titled “Off Leash Policy Raises Rancor Of Civic, Again” incorrectly referred to a photograph of three dogs on the Juniper Park Civic Association’s Web site as “apparently doctored.” Christina Wilkinson, a member of the association’s executive board, reports that the dog’s eyes appear lit up in the photograph because of the camera’s flash.