Opinion

April, 2014

Flushing

Tip of the week

Remember the Date

Earth Day founded to teach importance of environmental protection

Many of you may have noticed Google’s doodle April 22, which marked the 44th Earth Day, a holiday celebrated in more than 192 countries around the globe. Comment.
Letters

Response times of EMS must be improved´╗┐

On April 11, a neighbor of mine collapsed on Burden Crescent, a short distance from Jamaica Hospital, and 911 was called by an eyewitness of the fall at 4:45 p.m. I witnessed a Wyckoff Hospital ambulance arriving at the scene at 4:55 p.m., 10 minutes later. Comments (2).
Letters

Base taxes on regional income

Brian and Amy are your typical middle-class New Yorkers. They have worked hard to build a comfortable life for their three children in Hicksville, L.I., and hoped to remain there to be near family. Comment.
Political Action

Third parties play important roles in city elections

New York state has an almost unique system of third parties that appear on the ballot in addition to the two major parties. Comments (1).
New Voices

Boro test prep center chain reaches out to Queens minorities

A month after the results of the Specialized High School Admission Test, the momentum to reform the examination continues to build. As only marginal numbers of African Americans and Hispanics gain admission to the city’s most selective high schools, a lawsuit headed by the NAACP, as well as comments from elected officials, have cast a spotlight on the test and test prep centers, many of which serve Queens neighborhoods. Comments (2).
Letters

Gets facts straight on horse carriage industry

In response to the editorial published in the April 4-10 edition of the Bayside Times, we feel it is imperative to rebut some of the points made regarding horse-drawn carriages in New York City. Comments (2).
Letters

Horses shouldn’t breathe pollution

In response to your April 4-10 editorial “Horse Sense,” back in the 19th century, the horse carriages were not competing with cars, buses and taxis on city streets. The horses were confined to Central Park. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Queen Civic Congress wages battle against illegal apts.

The Queens Civic Congress is an umbrella organization of approximately 100 civic and co-op associations in Queens. The goal of the QCC is to maintain the quality of life for Queens residents. While it supports the general idea of providing more affordable housing, it opposes the proposals which would legalize the currently illegal basement/cellar apartments which some people build. Comment.
Editorial

Punctuality Problem

We may have missed the deadline for evaluating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first 100 days in office, but we know he’ll forgive us as the champion of fashionable lateness. Comment.
Remember the Date

As Jews celebrate Passover, Christians prepare for Easter

This week, those of the Jewish and Christian faiths celebrate some important dates in their religions. Comments (2).
Bayside

Tip of the week

Letters

Horses belong in natural locales

In reply to the April 4-10 editorial, with all the media hype showing the carriage trade as something it is not, the reasons why so many people want this trade shut down have been overlooked. It is inhumane and dangerous. Comment.
Letters

Kudos to Queens Quiet Skies

It is with pleasure that I read of the accomplishments of Queens Quiet Skies and other entities in convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to advocate for mitigation of the noise and pollution problems of aircraft flying over our communities. Comment.
Letters

City must find better way of treating the mentally ill

This past February, a perfect storm of New York City’s failed policies on mental illness, homelessness, veterans services, criminal justice and corrections killed Jerome Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former U.S. marine who was arrested and sent to Rikers Island for trespassing when he sought shelter from the winter cold in a city housing project stairwell. Comments (2).
Letters

Pressure PA to do something about noise

Thank you for covering the airplane noise issue in our area. I live in Jackson Heights and have been enduring the loud airplane noise that blasts over our house on certain days and nights since we moved to our block a year ago. Sometimes it is truly unbearable. Comment.
QueensLine

Emergency G.I. housing built in Queens in 1946

It is April 1946. A few weeks before, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave an address at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he sounded the warning that an “iron curtain” of Soviet domination had descended across Eastern Europe. Comment.
Mayoral Spin Cycle

Small donors still have major role in New York City elections

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the right of large donors to pour even more money into political campaigns. The opinion by the highest court equated the right to donate with the right to free speech. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Ban city horse-drawn carriages

Leave it to the always-sensible and intelligent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to dismiss the most recent Quinnipiac University poll showing support for keeping the carriage horses on Manhattan’s dangerous streets (“Poll shows New Yorkers support horse carriages,” March 21-27). Comments (2).
I Sit and Look Out

Queens should lead the city on being green-friendly

There is a tendency among too many public officials these days to ignore or denigrate the good work their predecessors may have done. I fear our new mayor is an example of that. That does not make for effective governing. Comments (2).
Letters

Blacks need to understand politics

I watched your “Morning Joe” show March 12 from around 6 a.m. to 6:25 a.m. as it reported on the win of David Jolly in the special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district. Comment.
New Voices

Group looks out for voting rights of Asians in Queens

Queens’ political nature has changed dramatically from a decade ago. A year after a round of redistricting has been completed, immigrant communities in the borough continue to flourish and old City Council districts have grown or shifted with new residents. Comments (4).
Letters

Keep Rockaway Beach branch closed

The subject of the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach branch of the Long Island Rail Road has been debated and discussed ever since the discontinuance of service in 1961. Comments (35).
On Point

Drivers must fight city’s plan for congestion pricing

The highway robber barons are at it again. “Congestion pricing” has now morphed into the euphemistic “Fair Tolling and Transportation Reinvestment Plan.” Comments (1).
Letters

Columnist spot-on over religion

I want to thank you for the Feb. 21-27 column “Religious holidays should not be recognized by gov’t.” Your type of article is rare, and I appreciate the principle on which it stands. Comments (1).
The Civic Scene

Queens Civic Congress opposes development on parkland

The Queens Civic Congress is an umbrella organization of approximately 100 civic associations, co-ops and other groups. The aim of QCC is to protect the quality of life for Queens residents. When necessary, it works with other groups in other counties in New York City and state. Richard Hellenbrecht is the its president. Comment.
Editorial

Horse Sense

As the battle rages over whether the Central Park horse-drawn carriages should be banned, the politics involved confound the debate. Add to the mix a recent poll which shows that nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers want the horses to keep their jobs ferrying tourists around midtown Manhattan. Comments (2).
Letters

Congress must raise the minimum wage to $10.10

It has been more than four years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage. Hardworking families are doing all they can to make ends meet during the worst economy of our lifetime — through no fault of their own — and feel like they are slipping further behind. Comment.
Political Action

Ex-mayoral hopeful Catsimatidis hosts radio show

On March 16, a new radio show began featuring John Catsimatidis as the moderator. Catsimatidis ran for mayor last year in the Republican primary. The program is on station WNYM 970 AM at 9 a.m. and runs for one hour. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Reader confused about tax dodgers

Letter writer Ed Konecnik complains about the delusions of the left. It is obvious to knowledgeable readers that his flawed bullet points come from right-wing media and talking heads. Comments (6).
Remember the Date

Spring postponed for possible return in ‘15 (April Fool’s!)

If you are the office prankster, then it’s almost time to bring out the best you have to offer, as Tuesday is April 1, commonly known as April Fool’s Day or All Fools Day. Comment.
Letters

Mayor must not follow in Bloomberg’s steps

The Bloomberg administration ignored small businesses and the needs of the little people, pursuing instead a long romance with real estate moguls. It also did not take the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure seriously nor the public trust doctrine, which requires approval of the state Legislature before any parkland is given over to non-park use. Comments (1).

March, 2014

Letters

WWII vet finally honored for his service

I am writing to inform your readers about a true local hero. Comments (1).
Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio faces uphill battle over charter schools treatment

In his first 100 days in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has quickly and successfully started to push much of his progressive agenda in education, housing and paid sick leave. Comment.
Letters

Back universal free school lunch

There is simply nothing more important than the health of our children and families. Comments (3).
QueensLine

Despite the Depression, boro public works boomed in ‘31

It was called the Great Depression, a time that undoubtedly was the worst financial crisis in our country’s history. Nearly a third of the workforce was unemployed. A decade wiped off the map, nearly a generation would pass before the country reached the same level of economic activity as the 1920s. Comments (1).
Editorial

Don’t Stiff the MTA

We have a message for our governor: Andrew, remember your Queens roots and keep your hands off the MTA’s $40 million public transit funds that could make travel for city straphangers a whole lot easier. Comments (2).
Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio’s key to success should be compromising

It is often said that good politics involves the “art of the compromise.” To get things done and make progress, which should be the goal of every elected leader, there needs to be give and take. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Get involved with community boards

I think most of us are aware of our elected officials and the jobs they do on behalf of our communities, but we should also recognize the contribution our community boards and civic associations make in affecting conditions in our neighborhoods. Comments (6).
Letters

P-Tech will be good for Martin Van Buren HS

Recently, a number of elected officials have lamented the city Department of Education’s decision not to withdraw the co-location plans at Martin Van Buren High School. Comments (1).
New Voices

Hookah use increases among boro teens as pastime

Hookah, an Arabian water pipe used to smoke tobacco, is a time-honored tradition and social activity spanning the Middle East and South Asia. Even limited use of this water pipe to smoke the tobacco, known as sheesha, produces a pleasant, light-headed sensation. Comments (3).
Letters

Get tax credit when caring for elderly

When I travel through our communities, I often meet families caring for elderly parents or relatives. Comment.
Letters

Ulrich should back renaming

Let me first introduce myself as a former constituent within Queens Community Board 9 from Richmond Hill, with relatives who had resided in Ozone Park and Howard Beach over the years within your district constituency. Comment.
The Civic Scene

City should be tougher when punishing urban developers

A few weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Michelle Manzione, after a city Environmental Control Board hearing, found the tenant of Klein Farm guilty of having several trees cut down and the 100-year-old circular driveway paved over. Comments (4).
Editorial

A Dream Deferred

As New Yorkers celebrated their Irish heritage during the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade, senators in Albany ignored their immigrant roots and defeated a bill to give tuition assistance to undocumented college students. Comments (3).
Political Action

Labate, Lally set for GOP primary to unseat Israel

New York state’s 3rd Congressional District, which runs along the north shore of Long Island, is in three counties: Nassau, Suffolk and Queens. It contains, within its Queens part, Douglaston, Little Neck and parts of Whitestone and Bayside. Comments (1).
Bayside

Tip of the week

Letters

Students should learn trades

William Lewis’ opinion that the mayor and the city schools chancellor should concentrate on trade school courses for high schools in the city is right on. Comments (1).
Letters

SE Queens opposes co-location

I am proud of the work we have begun to do in order to establish a fair and equitable education system for our city’s children. The recent decision to withdraw nine space-sharing, co-located charter schools is a step in the right direction. Comments (2).
Remember the Date

Life of Irish St. Patrick shrouded in myth and legend

May the luck of the Irish be with you — particularly this coming March 17, when the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, more commonly known to the Irish as St. Paddy’s Day. (Not “St. Patty’s Day,” as it is often mistakenly called in the United States). Comment.
Letters

Writer has much to learn about U.S.

I had to chuckle upon reading a letter in which the writer cautions the ever self-congratulating Ed Konecnik to be careful not to dislocate his shoulder while constantly patting himself on the back. Comments (1).
QueensLine

Singer, activist Belafonte once lived in E. Elmhurst

Born March 1, 1927, at the Lying-in Hospital in Harlem, Harold George Bellafanti Jr. is a singer, actor and political and civil rights activist whose unforgettable presence on the American stage has spanned seven decades. Comment.
Letters

Queens Taste to celebrate boro’s small biz

As I watched the Sochi Olympics last month, it occurred to me that instead of trying to promote New York City as a site for the Summer Games, as we did 10 years ago, we should go after the Winter Games. We certainly had more snow than Sochi over the last few weeks, and we have the venues: ice hockey in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, cross-country skiing in Forest Park and luge along the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

De Blasio must do more to promote a greener agenda

As my readers know, I have been active in environmental and educational matters for many years. I have served on boards of nonprofits in those areas, including some in Queens. I have waved the flag for them and hope to continue to do so for a long time. Comments (3).
Editorial

Fair Relocations

One group of auto repair shop owners who took the city’s offer to move out of Willets Point finally got a break. After weeks of uncertainty and tense negotiations, more than 40 businesses that belong to the Sunrise Co-op signed a deal to relocate as a group to a building in the South Bronx. Comments (2).
Sunnyside

Tip of the week

Letters

Teacher needs answers over treatment by DOE

This letter is in regard to my investigations with the Office of Special Investigations in the city Department of Education and my still pending investigation and charges from a school-based investigation. Comments (3).
New Voices

Indo-Caribbean elderly, youth need venues to spend time

Recent disputes between the management of the Burger King, at 120th Street and Liberty Avenue, and the senior citizens who occupy the limited seating space at the restaurant has led to the enforcement of a 20-minute seating policy. Comments (7).
Letters

Dems back high minimum wage

In response to a Jan. 31-Feb. 6 Bayside Times letter by Bob Friedrich (“Don’t give political parties labels”), about the “bad” Republicans and the “good” Democrats, the Democrats want to extend unemployment, the Republicans do not. They want to pay for it. Comment.
Letters

People should want to pay taxes

Frequent letter writer Ed Konecnik wants to know how much of the money he earns belongs to me in the name of social justice and why, but that is not the right question to ask. Comments (4).
The Civic Scene

DOE reverses course on District 26’s valued G&T program

People buy a house or a co-op or rent in a neighborhood for several reasons, one of which is the quality of the education system. District 26 has a fine gifted and talented program, which attracts many middle-class families and makes it the top district in the city. To enter the program, young children at age 4 have to pass a test and be evaluated. Comments (6).
Editorial

Swan Song

A few weeks after Hurricane Sandy pulverized the Rockaways, one of the superstorm’s survivors planted himself in the road next to Jamaica Bay in the eastern part of the peninsula. The large and elegant creature stopped a passing car and demanded attention. He was hungry and wanted a ride, even if that meant hopping into the vehicle with another species. Comments (2).
Letters

City should assume Qns. Library building

As you know, the recent issues surrounding the capital construction process at Queens Library and the lack of transparency into the process are cause for great concern. Comment.
Political Action

Astorino poised to run for governor as a Republican

The statewide race for governor this year seems to be taking shape. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who threw his hat into the ring Wednesday on the Republican side, seems to be gaining support. Comment.
Maspeth

Tip of the week

Letters

Horse carriages just like child labor

In response to the Feb. 14-20 letter “Horse carriage drivers need to upgrade,” Elizabeth Forel makes some good points. Comments (8).
Remember the Date

Mardi Gras fun precedes Ash Wednesday, season of penance

This Tuesday and Wednesday welcome a double holiday celebration. Shrove Tuesday is commonly known as the day prior to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. It is also widely known as the festive celebration of Mardi Gras. Comment.
Letters

Mayor should consider Rockaway line reactivation

I am writing to you as a citizen, a lifelong resident of the Rockaway Peninsula and president of the Queens Public Transit Committee, whose goal is to improve transportation options throughout the borough. Comments (3).
Letters

Replace the Pavilion with grassy parkland

I am old enough to remember visiting the 1964-65 New York City World’s Fair and was of the opinion architect Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion was one of the least interesting structures and not up to his usual high standards. Comments (5).
Letters

Reader is correct over inequality

I agree with Tyler Cassell regarding Ed Konecnik. It has been said that we pay taxes to buy civilization. Along with making money, there should also be social responsibility. Comments (3).
On Point

‘Tale of Two Cities’ reveals hypocrisy of new mayor

It has become clear what Mayor Bill de Blasio had in mind with his Tale of Two Cities parable. He presented it as an allegory of the haves and have-nots, but neglected to tell us who they are. Comments (6).
Editorial

Mayor’s Shaky Start

Our new mayor has had a bumpy ride in his first few weeks on the job. Even though Bill de Blasio has been a public figure in his roles as a city councilman and city public advocate, the rules of the road change when you’re the top dog in City Hall. Comment.

February, 2014

Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio drivers have more of a reason to speed

Now that we’ve mostly resolved the city’s vexing stop-and-frisk crime policy, the media has now invented a new frivolous issue to focus on: stop and speed. Comments (2).
Sunnyside

Tip of the week

Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Wealth redistribution even worse

If reader Ed Konecnik is not careful, he will dislocate his shoulder due to his non-stop personal backslapping. Somehow his description of what to him is freedom is more akin to “greedom.” It is particularly ugly in our advanced, socially civilized country to approach life with a Neanderthal, every man for himself mentality. Lady Liberty’s green face would turn red with embarrassment. Comments (2).
Letters

New York City must set its own minimum wage

As New York City’s economy recovers from the recession, thousands of working families in Queens and the other boroughs face a grim reality: Although one of their members might have a full-time job, the weekly wages they earn are not nearly enough to make ends meet. Comment.
The Civic Scene

CB 8 will decide on how to properly hold farmers markets

A few weeks ago, the Community Board 8 Parks Committee held a meeting to evaluate a proposal to have a farmers market in Cunningham Park. The proposal grew from a meeting of the Holliswood Civic Association, where a Jon Klar, recycling outreach coordinator associated with GrowNYC, spoke about farmers markets. The civic, on the south border of Cunningham Park, brought the idea to the committee. Comment.
Letters

Do not fall for anti-union talk but respect role labor has played

All the articles about Mayor Bill de Blasio not caving to unions are disgraceful. Comments (1).
QueensLine

First female lawyer argued case in boro during 1906

Queens in February 1906 found itself a bustling community of rapidly disappearing farms and booming residential and industrial developments. Comment.
Letters

City must respect all its wild animals

It seems that there has been an increasingly growing threat to start killing wildlife that lives in our region for various reasons. Comments (1).
I Sit and Look Out

Religious holidays should not be recognized by gov’t

Christmas Day has been a national holiday since President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill to that effect June 6, 1870. The same law made July 4 and Thanksgiving national holidays. Comments (2).
Editorial

Questionable Income

The Queens Library system is one of the borough’s greatest treasures, but its president and CEO apparently doesn’t fall into the same category. Comments (1).
Political Action

King, possible ‘16 contender, speaks at boro GOP club

The Queens Village Republican Club recently held its annual club dinner. It is estimated it had more than 200 guests, which is a lot for a club function. Comment.
Flushing

Tip of the week

Letters

Horse carriage drivers need to upgrade

Anyone facing layoffs or job closings would be concerned for their future livelihood, but the situation with the carriage trade is different. The drivers are not only concerned but they want it their way or no way at all. Comments (9).
New Voices

Queens’ West Indian charity plans more foreign trips

West Indians Serving Humanity, a charitable group partly based in Queens’ West Indian community, returned from a successful trip to the Caribbean with new ideas for this coming year. Comment.
Letters

GOP wrong on how wages work

Republicans do not agree with raising the minimum wage. They believe in trickle-down economics. Comments (3).
Remember the Date

Presidents Day established to celebrate all U.S. leaders

In 1885, the Presidents Day holiday was established in honor of the birthday of America’s first president, George Washington. The observance is still officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government and only became popularly known as Presidents Day in 1971 after it fell under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Comments (2).
Letters

Avonte death should teach schools

Our grief over Avonte Oquendo’s death is compounded by the knowledge that it might have been prevented. The danger of kids running out of school cannot be eliminated but must be minimized. Comments (1).
Letters

Queens leaders devise plan for patients at Creedmoor

The recent escape of a convicted killer from the state-run Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility in Bellerose is a serious concern to the civic leaders of this community and other nearby community organizations. Comments (1).
Editorial

A Fair Shot

The political climate has changed dramatically since Bill de Blasio was swept into office as a progressive mayor on the strength of his Tale of Two Cities campaign, which struck a deep chord in Queens and other outerboroughs. Comment.
Letters

Teachers need new contract now

The teachers who teach in city public schools have been without a new contract for more than four years. Comments (2).
Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio sticks to his guns on taxing rich for pre-K

You have to give credit to new Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has presented a clear progressive vision during the campaign and in his first 40 days in office he has hit the ground running, doggedly pursuing his bold agenda. Comment.
Remember the Date

The year’s most romantic day had start in paganism

Remember the date or sleep in the dog house. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Don’t believe right-wing lies about the left

TimesLedger Newspapers reader Ed Konecnik finds it perturbing that some folks do not believe in his philosophical world. Since he refers to the U.S. Constitution all the time, he is either a constitutional lawyer or one of those laughable right-wingers who carry around a pocket Constitution and flash it at every progressive they see as if it was a cross to vanquish a vampire. Comments (2).
Letters

Do not legalize illegal housing

Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials are floating the idea of legalizing illegal basement apartments and other units as a way of dealing with the need for more affordable housing in our city. The outgoing chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, Amanda Burden, has said we must accept an increase in density and height in our neighborhoods if we are to accommodate all those needing housing. She admitted this would be a hard sell in most areas of the city. Comments (9).
Letters

Monied interests demonize unions

Radio ads and billboards will proclaim just about any message that has been paid for. The placement, whether in a public square or on the airwaves, is like a rented body from an escort service. Industrial psychologists are hired by the ad’s bank rollers and function like wardrobe provocateurs. They calculate how to appeal to fantasy and what will work. Comment.
Letters

City does not need horse carriages

I commend state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for his continued common sense support for New York City to join other congested cities, such as London and Paris, in ending the antiquated horse-drawn carriage industry (“Borough carriage drivers fear for jobs,” Jan 31-Feb. 6). Comments (4).
QueensLine

Acting legend John Barrymore once called Bayside home

Known to the world as John Barrymore, stage and screen star John Sidney Blyth was born in Philadelphia Feb. 15, 1882. His English father, Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blyth, was a dashing leading man on the late 19th century stage, and his mother, Georgie Drew, was also an accomplished actress. Comment.
Editorial

LGA Makeover

LaGuardia is taking a lot of heat for being the worst airport in America, and now the governor has joined the chorus of critics who trash the Queens gateway as dingy, obsolete and low tech. Comments (2).
Letters

More action needed to stop Star Nissan violations

Again it has happened. I come down the sidewalk along the Clearview Expressway service road on my motorized scooter and vehicles from Star Nissan block my way because they are parked on the sidewalk. I, as a handicapped person in my 80s, have to risk my life and go out into the service road, where vehicles are speeding off the expressway trying to make the light at Northern Boulevard. Comments (4).
Political Action

Bridgegate raises questions over Christie as president

The recent situation involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the slowdown on the George Washington Bridge that lasted for several days raises a significant number of questions. Comments (1).
Letters

Reader right about obstruction

In response to a letter in the Jan. 10-16 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers, Robert La Rosa is right on. Comments (3).
Letters

GOP not as extreme as Cuomo claims it is

On behalf of the Queens Village Republican Club, I would like to thank the media outlets which covered our “Cuomo Outrage” press conference at Queens Borough Hall Jan. 21. Thanks for helping to make our voices heard in protest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s intolerant remarks directed against a large swath of New Yorkers with politically different opinions than himself, that they should leave New York state. Comments (2).
Letters

Time is now for workers to make stand

For many years, the middle class has been forced into full, often humiliating retreat. Our standard of living and quality of life has taken a crippling hit. Comment.
Remember the Date

City’s groundhog has 80% accuracy rate in weather forecasts

What do Punxsutawney Phil (Pennsylvania), General Beauregard Lee (Georgia) and Staten Island Chuck (New York) have in common? They are all famous American groundhogs. Comment.
Letters

Gennaro has to do soul searching

As a member of the City Council, James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) tarnished his reputation as an environmentalist by supporting a 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lot, which is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, without requiring permission to alienate parkland and replace that which will be taken. Comment.
Editorial

Justice for Avonte

The city Department of Education must be held accountable for the death of Avonte Oquendo, who vanished from a special ed program at a Long Island City school without a trace in October until his remains washed up on College Point shores last week. Comments (7).
I Sit and Look Out

Act professional even when customer is wrong

If the word had been in use when I was a child, the phrase “The customer is always right” would have been called a mantra. Comment.
Letters

Don’t give political parties labels

I have been reading a lot about the “bad” Republicans not wanting to extend unemployment benefits and how the “good” Democrats want them extended to help the unemployed. Comment.

January, 2014

Mayoral Spin Cycle

Mayor should take pre-K offer, seek higher taxes later

Mayor Bill de Blasio has already had a few impressive successes in implementing his agenda during his first 30 days in office. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Store in Bayside spays and neuters cats

In the Jan. 17-23 edition, the Flushing Times printed an editorial expressing concern about the missing cats in the Astoria area as well as pointing out that the spaying and/or neutering of both outdoor stray cats as well as indoor cats that are allowed outside would go a long way toward solving the feral cat problem. Comment.
New Voices

Proposal would legalize some basement apartments

A dearth of affordable housing, as well as a proliferation of converted — and “unapproved” — basement apartments, has led a coalition of Queens community groups and professionals to pursue changes to the way city government defines a legal rental unit. Comments (8).
Letters

No more banks, offices needed

The Jan. 17-23 article “BSA greenlights changes to Scobee Diner lot plan” may be a losing bet for those considering opening up a new Citi Bank and dentist’s office. Comments (2).
Remember the Date

Kupferberg center to open Holocaust exhibit at U.N.

On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated more than 7,000 prisoners from the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Poland. It is estimated that around 1.3 million people were deported to this camp between 1940 and 1945 and at least 1.1 million perished at the hands of Nazi guards. Comment.
Letters

Fellow writer has it all wrong

Last week a letter writer used five paragraphs to defend his defense of inequality by saying he defends his defense of inequality (“Some people blind to truth about the poor,” Jan. 17-23). Comments (4).
QueensLine

Silent film star Francis X. Bushman once lived in Little Neck

Francis Xavier Bushman was a film and television actor whose career flourished during the silent film era. Born in Baltimore in 1883, he was perhaps best known for the role of Romeo in the 1916 Metro Pictures production of “Romeo and Juliet” as well as that of Messala in the 1925 silent epic “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” Comment.
Editorial

Unhappy New Year

The new year has gotten off to a somber start in Queens with homicides and pedestrian fatalities grabbing the headlines. Comment.
Letters

DOE should comply with FOIL

The Freedom of Information Law is an instrument of democracy and sometimes, therefore, a pain, and that is the way it should be. Whether or not it is exercised in a particular situation depends on who may be gored by public disclosure. Comment.
Political Action

De Blasio and Farina should consider trade schools

Public education has always been an important issue in New York City political campaigns. That is especially true in mayoral races. Comments (1).
No Holds Barred

We Can Dream, Can’t We?

This is not a list of New Year’s Resolutions or commitments or anything like that. It is a compendium of the things I suggest we all might think about as we get into 2014 Comment.
Letters

People always make things out to be bigger than they really are

So many letter writers continually want to bring up the Benghazi “scandal” instead of admitting that the puff of smoke they see in front of their eyes is actually New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s chances of ever living in the White House going up in smoke. Comments (5).
Letters

New library site will circulate books

Many thanks to TimesLedger Newspapers for issuing a correction to Tom Allon’s Jan. 3-9 column and clarifying that books are central to the design and programming of the New York Public Library’s new branch on 53rd Street in Manhattan. Comment.
Letters

Some people blind to truth about the poor

My letters seem to have perturbed and provoked some readers into a mean-spirited frenzy of ad hominem attacks. Comment.
Letters

Charter schools take public money

Charter schools cannot have it both ways. They should either stop their false claim that they are public schools or stop their false claim that as private entities they are beyond judicial reach. They should step up to the plate and stop dodging state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s financial audit of charters. Comments (1).
The Civic Scene

Developers ruin neighborhoods’ inherent nature

Four years ago, a developer bought a lot on Union Turnpike near the old St. Joseph’s Hospital with a zoning of R3-2, which permits houses or low-rise attached houses. Wanting to make more money by building higher, the builder proposed a zoning change so a four-floor building as tall as 40 feet with apartments above and stores below could be built. Civic association leaders, always wary of zoning changes, higher buildings and increased traffic and congestion, opposed this proposal. Comment.
Editorial

Caring for Cats

No matter what you may think of cats, the disappearance of dozens of strays in Astoria over the last few weeks should be cause for concern. Comment.
Letters

New mayor develops blemish with Mark-Viverito as speaker

The people are best served when government operates with checks and balances. Comment.
Mayoral Spin Cycle

De Blasio joins ranks with Clinton as master tactician

Once upon a time, not too long ago, politics was considered an honorable profession where high-minded people toiled to serve the public. Comment.
Letters

Realtor wrong to remove trees from the landmark Klein Farm

The reporting of the blatant cutting and removal of several veteran shade trees by Audrey Realty on the landmarked Klein Farm is troubling. Comments (1).
Douglas Manor

Tip of the week

Letters

CEOs have a lot to answer for

I need letter writer Ed Konecnik to explain how the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are being nullified by trying to put American workers on an equal playing field with CEOs. Comments (2).
QueensLine

Queens was still independent of New York City in 1888

When 1888 dawned, most locals were out for good, innocent, holiday fun. A local paper wrote, “Carriages commenced to flit hither and thither shortly after noon and towards evening the houses commenced to light up and the sounds of merry music and joyous songs reached far out into the starry night and told of the happiness and enjoyment within.” Comments (2).
Letters

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg

Thank you for using your position and, at times, money to walk the talk regarding your desire to make our lives better. Comments (5).
New Voices

Ozone Park group holds charity ball to usher in ‘14

The Ozone Park-based Indo-Caribbean Alliance kicked off the new year as a beneficiary of a charity ball hosted by two area business owners. The group has worked on initiatives, such as youth mentoring and voter registration plans, to continue its advocacy work though providing spaces for the community to come together, voter registration and serving in an advisory role for local youth. Comments (2).
Letters

Schools needed but not on Keil land

City Councilman Paul Vallone’s (D-Whitestone) response (“Inform people of school hearing,” Dec. 27-Jan. 2) to my Dec. 6-12 letter “Community deserved say in planned school” was that he has been opposed to the approved primary school on the Keil Bros. property in my section of Bayside all along. I had heard differently. Comments (1).
Letters

The time has come for DOE to finally shape up

Which is the biggest number: the total count of stars in the solar system, the sum of grains of sand on all Atlantic Ocean beaches, the dollar deficit of the U.S. economy or the tally of useless re-organizations of the city’s school system since the mayor seized it a dozen years ago? Comments (3).
I Sit and Look Out

Fraternity death of boro pupil was cruel and inhumane

The death from the alleged hazing of an Oakland Gardens student of Baruch College raises many questions. Comments (1).
Letters

Legislation must protect houses

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) will be introducing legislation in the Senate that would allow neighborhood and other civic organizations, as well as individual homeowners, to register restrictive covenants and other types of deed restrictions with the city Department of Buildings. Comment.
On Point

Columnist hopes his dreams for the new year come true

As the new year begins, I like to create a civic-themed “wish list” in the hope that lawmakers may have an epiphany and aspire to fulfill these wishes. I have kept the list brief this year, hoping to improve my chances of success. Comment.
Editorial

New Year’s Wish List

The new year is the time when many people welcome the future with good intentions, but making resolutions taxes our moral fiber because they are easily broken. Comment.
Letters

Mayor, unions must work together

As we begin 2014, we also begin under the administration of a new mayor. Comments (2).
Political Action

State should readopt June primary election schedule

With the 2014 New York state legislative session about to begin, the issue of moving the state political party primary from September to June will be one of the important matters considered by our state Legislature. Comment.
Letters

Treat all animals with respect

Between the Port Authority killing birds to avoid collisions with planes, the hunting of bears in New Jersey and the decision to kill up to 3,000 deer on eastern Long Island due to an overpopulation, it seems wildlife is being targeted unjustly and inhumanely. Comments (1).
Shopping

Tip of the week

Letters

Mayor did more harm than good

As departing Mayor Michael Bloomberg skirts the city saying his farewells and touts his accomplishments, I reflect on his mayoralty from my Flushing digs. Comments (4).
Letters

Northern Boulevard needs signs back

I am upset that the city Department of Transportation, Community Board 7 and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) approved removing the rush hour/no standing signs from the eastbound lanes of Northern Boulevard in Flushing from Prince Street to Utopia Parkway. Comment.
Letters

Bloomy’s minuses outweigh pluses

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s current citywide visit is ostensibly to emphasize leaving office with a favorable legacy. While there may be some aspects of Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor that may warrant a laudable legacy, including his private philanthropic activities, his cabal with 21 term-limited City Council members to overturn twice public-supported term limits, will not be among them. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Boro salon treats youth to makeovers at holiday season

Larry Mattola, owner of LP & Co. Hair Design in Fresh Meadows, has been opening his salon on a Sunday prior to the holiday season to provide beauty treatments to developmentally disabled children and young adults for 30 years. Now, additional establishments such as Concept E Salon, LULU’S Bakery, Salon Visentin and Chazzam Entertainment are involved in doing something nice for others during the holidays. Comment.
Editorial

Safety Nets Tossed

Two months after food stamps for Queens residents were cut for the first time in 80 years, Congress ended long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans across the country. Comment.
Letters

‘Education reformers’ is a misnomer

So-called reformers and certain daily tabloid editorial boards should admit it. They would trust the “wolf of Wall Street” to be the new city schools chancellor rather than accept anyone who has the blessing of the “tainted” teachers union. Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group