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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2003 12:00 am

Cop Killings

Dear Editor:

This is in regard to the senseless killing of Detectives Rodney “Jay” Andrews and Detective James Nemorin. Our hearts go out to their families who grieve for them so. They did their jobs well, according to all accounts in the media. They were the best on what they did. These guys were professionals. They knew what the job was all about.

They had the most dangerous job in police work—that was to take the guns off the street. They were right on the front lines. They need to be commended for their bravery and courage and, as was said at the funeral of Nemorin by his father about his son, which was a most poignant epitaph—“You have worked well James my son. I consider you a giant and giants never die. You are a big giant who is sleeping. I hope your blood has not been shed in vain. That it may contribute in the fight against crime and terrorism.”

If these fine officers are representative of the NYPD, I think we will truly take a bite out of crime, for they were truly the finest. We must support all our policemen and women for theirs is a most dangerous job in deed and to those perpetrators who committed this nefarious and egregious act, I say I hope they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law will allow.

Frederick Bedell Jr.,

Little Neck

Remember Fire

Dear Editor:

March 25th may be a day with no special meaning attached to it for most people, however, in my family, it has long been the day of tragic remembrance. We remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. On that terrible day in 1911, on Washington Place in New York City, my grandmother Caterina, 38 and two aunts; Lucia, 18 and Rosaria, 14, died. The family was cut in half. My grandfather, Serafino—who I was named after—was left alone with two young sons—my dad Paul and my uncle Vito.

Originally my grandmother was impossible to identify and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, without a name, only a number. Fortunately, she now rests with her own.

At the turn of the century, urban working conditions in the United States were appalling and no place else were these conditions more deplorable than in New York’s garment industry. In the winter of 1909, a strike was organized. The union felt that if they could get 3,000 workers to go out on strike, they would be successful. Amazingly, 20,000 women, including workers from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, joined the strike. But despite their courageous efforts, the conditions did not improve.

On March 25, 1911, as workers were getting ready to go home after a long day, the tragic fire quickly took hold, sweeping through the 8th, 9th and 10th floors. Many of the doors were locked to keep the workers from leaving early and other doors opened inward and were impossible to open in the terrified crush.

Most of the 9th floor workers were completely trapped and stood on window ledges waiting for fire ladders that only reach the sixth floor. Most jumped to their deaths, many holding hands. By the end of the day, 146 workers were dead. A memorial parade down Broadway drew over 100,000 marchers.

My brother Vincent is president of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial Society and has worked throughout these many years to ensure that those who perished are remembered. Together with my sister Paula and brother Andrew, we have sought to honor and remember not only our lost family members, but all those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

For the first time ever, a list of names of 135 of the 146 victims has been compiled. As a result, it has been determined that the tragic victims were almost entirely Italian and Yiddish immigrants.

If you or your family believe that you may have had a relative or friend who was a victim or a survivor of the Triangle Fire, I urge you to contact us.

With the terrible attack on our nation of September 11th still so painfully fresh in our hearts and minds, it is more important than ever that we reflect on the strength and heritage of our great country. We owe a debt of gratitude and remembrance to our immigrant forebearers. While the Triangle toll was a grievous wound for our Jewish and Italian grandparents and ancestors, all should join together to record, remember and memorialize the sacrifices and courage of all the immigrants who built this nation so that their children and descendants would reap the rewards of their achievements and enjoy the benefits of life and liberty in America.

Serphin Maltese,

senator, Queens County,

Glendale

Bad Decision

Dear Editor:

How dismayed and disappointed I am upon hearing that the MTA board had voted for the fare increase. I am indignant at this news because again, the budget is being balanced at the expense of the 7 million people who have to use the subways and buses to get to work, school, etc.

Why was our governor not heard from? It seems that only at election time our leaders make idle promises and after they are elected, neglect us voters. Well, at the ballot box, we can exert our power of the ballot and elect leaders of our city, state and nation who will be more mindful of our needs.

In addition, I was angered when I learned that the subway station at Union Turnpike, which is near a visually impaired rehab center, will have its token booth closed. The token booth is the eyes for these people who are learning how to travel with limited or no sight. I believe that there must be other ways of balancing the budgetary problem that the MTA had and where is the audit that was to occur concerning their books validity and accuracy?

Cynthia Groopman,

Long Island City

No SUV’s

Dear Editor:

Recent news stories concerning New York City purchasing a fleet of up to 1,500 SUV vehicles was disappointing to taxpayers. With a multibillion dollar deficit, should any of our elected officials, city commissioners, deputy commissioners, assistant deputy commissioners and public affairs staff, need new vehicles? If anyone deserves new equipment, it would be the New York City Police, Fire and Sanitation Departments.

Each day several million New Yorkers go from home to work by bus, subway, ferry or commuter vans. Many hardworking people make due with hand-me-downs to make ends meet.

Why are City Comptroller William Thompson, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and City Council Finance Committee Chairperson David Weprin so silent on this issue yet so vocal in critiquing other parts of the municipal budget? Can’t all these government officials and high level bureaucrats utilize surplus city vehicles instead of buying new? Better yet, why can’t they use mass transit like the rest of us?

Reduction of municipal agency vehicle fleets will save taxpayers millions of dollars. In addition, by forcing more public officials and management level city employees to use mass transit, environmental pollution will be reduced. Of course, all the hot air emanating from the City Council chamber will continue until EPA declares the site a toxic waste dump of political rhetoric and recommends a shut down.

Commissioners should be asked, as part of current budget cutbacks, to also reduce their existing vehicle fleets. Before any new agency budgets are adopted for the new fiscal year starting July 1st, let’s have means testing for each individual municipal agency or public official who has any vehicles left.

Let them justify one vehicle at a time continued usage or sell them off now—which could create a new revenue stream. Take the pledge during this fiscal crises—no new SUV’s or any other private passenger vehicle purchases.

Larry Penner,

Great Neck

Welcome to the discussion.