Opinion

January, 2013

Letters

Another assault gun tragedy

A devastating but too familiar horror took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in an idyllic Connecticut town, Newtown, Dec. 14. Twenty-six were killed: 20 children, 6 to 10 years of age, and six adults. The perpetrator was 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Comments (4).
Middle Village

BLOCK SHOTS: Droesch makes ‘miraculous’ move to CK assistant

Clare Droesch completed one of her life’s dreams a year after she wasn’t sure if she would live at all. Comments (1).
Letters

D.C. partisanship delays Sandy aid

President Barack Obama has announced that he is going to push for $60 billion in federal aid for the tri-state area to aid in cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Comment.

December, 2012

Whitestone

Tip of the week

Food

Tip of the week

QueensLine

Plan for Queens Boulevard first proposed back in 1923

The 1923 New Year’s celebrations promised to be a “hip-hip hooray” affair. In the past month, police estimated $10 million in contraband liquor had been smuggled into New York from ships and through Canada. More than 200,000 reservations were booked at celebrations in hotels with an additional 100,000 expected at smaller clubs. To monitor the city that evening, only 20 prohibition agents were available. Comment.
Letters

Pols care more about real estate interests than parkland

Major League Soccer has once again demonstrated its lack of transparency and legitimacy in what was supposed to be a public hearing, but was in fact rigged in an attempt to make it appear there was minimal opposition by ensuring that those opposing were kept out of the main auditorium and relegated to a basement area (“MLS pitches Queens stadium,” Dec. 6-12). Comments (1).
I Sit and Look Out

Help given to Sandy victims embodies spirit of the season

For many years, I had a habit of doing two things during December. One was to walk up Fifth Avenue, from my office near Union Square, to gawk at the wonderful holiday windows. Comments (2).
Editorial

To a Better 2013

The year 2012 is one we will not forget. Comment.
Letters

Comptroller plans to remove PCBs

Recently, I proposed that the city issue Green Apple Bonds to get the thousands of toxic PCB-carrying light fixtures out of our public schools. Comment.
Flushing

Freshman Korzevinski gets rookie honors

Queens College freshman Kristen Korzevinski was named East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week Dec. 17 for women’s basketball. The guard earned her first such award as a Knight. Comment.
Bayside

Tip of the week

Letters

Rebuild the city’s infrastructure

Hurricane Sandy struck a devastating blow to New York City. It is going to be a long time before Far Rockaway, Breezy Point and Staten Island are going to be back to the way things were before Sandy. Comment.
Editorial

Peace on Earth

Two events in the final weeks of 2012 have dampened the holiday season and will make this a year we will never forget. First was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hit our shores and destroyed communities. The second was the Newtown, Conn., shooting that has shaken a nation. Comment.
Letters

Government will help single parents

Thank you for writing. I have heard from single parents across America about the challenges they face, and I am glad you reached out to me to share your perspective. Comment.
Political Action

Conservative-Republican coalition plans future campaigns

In a recent interview with Michael Long, the state chairman of the Conservative Party, he discussed the recently concluded 2012 campaign. Comment.
Editorial

Peace on Earth

Two events in the final weeks of 2012 have dampened the holiday season and will make this a year we will never forget. First was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hit our shores and destroyed communities. The second was the Newtown, Conn., shooting that has shaken a nation. Comments (1).
Letters

Ferry service a lifesaver to city during disasters

The challenges that ground, air and public transportation faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy were unimaginable. Subway service was suspended for days, with some parts of the system experiencing damage so great they could be out of operation for months. Cars ran out of gas and the airports were closed. Even after bridges, tunnels and airports reopened, gas shortages and debilitating traffic ensued. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Briarwood’s Susil Singh, 74, worked tirelessly to help others

In Queens, Harbachan Singh is a well-known civic activist from Community Board 8, the Saul Weprin Democratic Club, the Queens Civic Congress and the Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College, but his wife Susil H. Singh was an active civil and community servant in her own right. Comment.
Editorial

Peace on Earth

Two events in the final weeks of 2012 have dampened the holiday season and will make this a year we will never forget. First was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hit our shores and destroyed communities. The second was the Newtown, Conn., shooting that has shaken a nation. Comments (1).
Letters

Jack up buildings in the Rockaways

One of the things that needs to be carefully looked at after the devastating sweep of Hurricane Sandy is how beachfront communities can protect themselves from future storms, of which there will most certainly be. Comment.
Letters

Support state Tobacco Control Program

Every year, New Yorkers spend $8.17 billion on smoking-caused health care costs. The state could help trim those costs if only it would invest more fully in the Tobacco Control Program. Comment.
Howard Beach

Tip of the week

Letters

CB 1 wants to improve response to future disasters

During this holiday season, we can be proud and thankful that there was no shortage of caring individuals and actions of selflessness through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. The true spirit and resilience of New Yorkers shone through these past weeks. What was in apparent shortage, besides gas, was a coordinated response from the various levels of government, especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response. Comment.
Editorial

Sandy Scammers

A plumber who has been working in the Rockaways and the south shore of Staten Island since Hurricane Sandy hit warns that unlicensed and poorly trained hacks posing as plumbers are incorrectly telling storm victims that it is safe to turn on their heat and hot water when any real plumber would know it is not. Comment.
Letters

Feds must pay for Sandy cleanup

The Federal Emergency Management Agency must fully reimburse New York state and city for the cost of recovery and cleanup from Hurricane Sandy. Comment.
QueensLine

Liu of ‘McBeal’ called Jax Hts. home before becoming a star

Born Dec. 2, 1968, to Chinese immigrants, Lucy Alexis Liu skyrocketed to fame in the late 1990s with a role in the TV series “Ally McBeal,” followed by starring spots in the action films “Charlie’s Angels” and “Kill Bill.” Comment.
Editorial

Checking Charities

The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has brought out the best in us. In addition to the first responders, the National Guard, a host of government organizations and hundreds of volunteers have helped their neighbors any way they could. Comment.
On Point

DOE should define ‘public purpose’ over meetings in schools

If you are a volunteer in one of New York’s many community-based organizations, a member of a civic association or a co-op resident whose meetings are held in a public school, the city Department of Education has a message for you: Drop dead. Comments (1).
Editorial

The Lessons of Sandy

Was the destruction brought by Hurricane Sandy along the Eastern Coast a freak accident that resulted because the storm happened to hit at a bad time or was it a warning about the dangers of global warming? Comments (1).
Letters

Rally against FAA’s flight path

I have read that the Federal Aviation Administration plans to implement its plan to change departure procedures from LaGuardia Airport. This means a constant stream of aircraft will continue coming over our homes in northeast Queens. The FAA has been “testing” the changes during the past six months and everyone has noticed the dramatic increase in noise and air pollution. Comment.
Letters

Sanitation workers deserve respect

As the wife of one of the city’s unsung heroes, I would like to thank you for printing an article that praises the efforts put forth by this department. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Ultra-Orthodox Jews return to Democratic fold

PAPEs — political analysts, pundits and experts — tell us that after many years of close (and sometimes publicly scrutinized, but we will get to that later) relationships with the Brooklyn Democratic Party and the Brooklyn district attorney, the ultra-Orthodox Jews in that borough were told by their leaders to vote for a Republican in the special election last year to fill a vacated congressional seat, which had been held by a Democrat in what was called “a safe district.” Comments (3).
Letters

Do not let condo, co-op taxes rise

Recent news reports indicating that the state Legislature may not reconvene this year could be bad news for Queens co-op and condo owners. At the end of the legislative session in June, leaders reached a deal to extend and enhance the co-op and condo real property tax abatement, which was due to expire. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Soccer stadium poll sounds dubious

Major League Soccer is a private, for-profit sports businesses and much hoopla was announced over a poll of people in Queens indicating 71 percent support a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 21 percent are against it and 8 percent are undecided (“Survey finds Queens wants soccer stadium,” TimesLedger Newspapers, Nov. 15-21). Comments (2).
The Civic Scene

People must learn from the lessons of Hurricane Sandy

A 19-page booklet called PlaNYC was issued in 2006 by the mayor’s Sustainable Advisory Board as a special supplement from the city. Its purpose was to alert people to the needs of 2030. It warned that by 2015 our temperatures will have risen by half a degree and that by 2020 half of our power plants will be more than 50 years old. Comment.
Editorial

Among the Best

Although three Queens high schools are on the city Department of Education’s chopping block, two in western Queens ranked among the most successful city schools based on the most recent progress report. Comment.
Letters

Implement early, mail-in voting

New York state needs to take a long, hard look at how elections are conducted. During this year’s presidential election, there were long lines of people all over the state waiting to cast their ballots. Some did not have the time to stand on a long line, and so forfeited their vote. In areas where devastation resulted from Hurricane Sandy, voting was difficult. Some people had other priorities on their minds. Comment.
Flushing

Queens College’s Rowland earns rookie honors

Queens College freshman MacKenzie Rowland (Shaker, N.Y./Cohoes) was named East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week, it was announced by the league office Monday. This is the second such award for the talented freshman basketball player. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Be thankful for people who helped you succeed through life

Toward the end of the decades-long political campaign this year, a mantra developed among some troglodytes: “No one helped me! I did it all by myself!” Comments (2).
Editorial

Under the Walk

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a decree at a meeting Friday in the Rockaways. Comment.
Letters

Sandy first responders deserve gratitude

As our area is still reeling from the savage blows from Hurricane Sandy, we need to mindful of the heroism of our first responders. Comment.
Editorial

Save Flushing High

Three Queens high schools — Law, Government and Community Service and Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship in Cambria Heights as well as Flushing — remain on a list of 24 schools the city has targeted for closure. Comments (7).
Letters

GOP ticket lost over bad message

The election is over and the losers are in post-election mortem dissecting what went wrong? They will have four years to figure it out. If they do not come to the conclusion that they had the wrong message and the wrong messengers with which to deliver it, they can look forward to the same results four years hence. Comments (1).
Political Action

Queens GOP must stop infighting if it wants to survive

Since the early, 1980s there have been disputes over leadership within the Queens Republican Party, which has led to periodic election contests in the form of district leadership primaries, in addition to contests for members of the county committee. Comments (1).
Letters

Parks must better maintain trees

As Hurricane Sandy pounded our area Oct. 30, our trees, some of which stood for many decades, began to fall due to the high winds. Comments (2).
Letters

Sandy photo has something to say

I could not believe it: A massive tree trunk, measuring 5 feet in diameter, ripped out of the ground with roots and earth dangling in the air. Smashed and suffocated in the rubble by huge branches and leaves was a little red car. Comment.
Editorial

What Now?

After Election Day, members of Clergy United for Community Empowerment gathered for a breakfast at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, who was re-elected. Comment.
Letters

Mayor has no plans to cut subsidies

The New York Times reported in its Nov. 12 issue that Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to increase school lunches to $2.50 from $1.50, slash $8.3 million from libraries and increase fees on parking meters. Comments (1).
Editorial

Like We Said …

In last week’s editorial, we criticized stores that opened on Thanksgiving. Comment.
Letters

Stop lung problems caused by Sandy

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy was felt hard in the Northeast, and the aftereffects of the storm will remain with us for some time. For people with lung disease, exposure to damp materials and mold growth can trigger asthma and allergies and cause breathing problems. Comment.

November, 2012

Editorial

Incredible Response to Sandy

We think most Queens residents will agree that, with the exception of the service delays by Consolidated Edison and the Long Island Power Authority, the government’s response was remarkable. Compare that to the bumbling that occurred when Hurricane Katrina stuck the Gulf Coast in 2005. Comments (2).
Breezy Point

Tip of the week

Letters

Boro family thankful for volunteers

Hurricane Sandy uprooted a more than 300-ton oak tree across the street, slamming it into a London plain maple tree in front of our home, causing it to crack open. These trees continued to loom over our home on live Consolidated Edison wires for 11 days before we received any physical help. Comment.
Letters

Politicians must do more to prevent another Sandy

Is it too soon to be honest? Can we continue reading about what should or could have happened? Surely there have to be reasons why things occur the way they do. Hurricane Sandy making headlines before it arrived provided warnings to all people living in its path. Comments (2).
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Time Warner should restore cable

Sections of Hollis Hills and Queens Village have passed their 15th day without Time Warner Cable service. Comment.
Editorial

Closing the Book on Alan Hevesi

Last week, ex-state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was granted parole. He had been in prison since April 2011 when he was sentenced to one to four years for taking $1 million in campaign contributions and travel expenses in exchange for pension business while comptroller. Comment.
Letters

Boro residents requests donations

Given the devastation Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter wreaked upon city residents, the community of Park Lane North in Forest Hills is contributing aid by way of rallied support and donations of clothing and food from residents and outside contributors. Comment.
Editorial

On Thanksgiving, Thanks

Since that day when Hurricane Sandy tore up homes and toppled trees and water from the tide-flooded homes, we have been in awe of the volunteers who came to help in the Rockaways and other devastated areas of Queens. Comment.
Letters

Queens store helps hurricane victims

I would like to mention that the Bayside Milk Farm donated a minimum of 20 cases of nonperishable food and water. An off-duty fireman picked the donation up and donated it to the Rockaways and Breezy Point. Comment.
QueensLine

Queens voted for Dewey in presidential election of 1944

It is November 1944 and news of the world war fills the papers. Comment.
Editorial

Turkeys Eat Thanksgiving

It was bad enough when the nation’s largest retailers turned the day after Thanksgiving into Black Friday. The stores open as early as 5 a.m. and employees have to roll out of bed at 3 a.m. to be at work an hour before the stores open. Comment.
Letters

Parks Dept. must maintain trees better

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, another important fact is evident: The maintenance of trees lining city streets needs improvement. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Pat Dolan honored for civic work with street renaming

A year ago, Pat Dolan died after being hit by a car while crossing Hillside Avenue while heading to a transportation meeting at Community Board 8. The irony is the bus stop had been moved more than a block away from CB 8 because it had been in front of stores. A traffic light now stands where the bus now stops. I call it “Pat Dolan’s traffic light.” Comment.
Letters

Romney would have privatized Sandy relief

Hurricane Sandy, “the perfect storm,” showed President Barack Obama to be the perfect president to handle it. Before the first breeze trumpeting the imminent arrival of Sandy ruffled our hair, our president was making arrangements for the emergency relief of those who would be the possible victims. Comments (9).
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Storm shows New Yorkers’ soft side

As New Yorkers, our day-to-day lives are full of honking cars, bumps on the sidewalk and a litany of curse words. It’s enough to make someone jaded. Every so often, something happens that wakes us out of our mundane routines. It shakes us to the core, threatens the fabric of our city, but we always emerge from it stronger. Comment.
Political Action

Hurricane Sandy provided boon to Obama during election

Here in New York and other areas, the election process took a heavy toll on the results. This year, more than in the past, the concept of early voting, absentee ballots, affidavit ballots and late registration played a major role in casting ballots. Comment.
Editorial

GOP Ignored Latino Vote

The re-election of President Barack Obama should serve as a wake-up call for the Republican Party, but it won’t. Comment.
Letters

Council members should be ashamed over soda law

I had written to my city councilman, Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), about my family’s experience at the AMC Bay Terrace movie theater that was doing a trial run of the law which is to go into effect next March. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Columnist hopes civil discourse will follow election

Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there is no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.” Comments (2).
Editorial

LIPA Is Accountable

As we near Thanksgiving, we are grateful for the work done by first responders and volunteers helping Queens families survive Hurricane Sandy. Nevertheless, it is taking too long to get power back in parts of Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Big Heart of Queens

Except for a day or two without electricity, the northern half of Queens suffered relatively little from Hurricane Sandy, but for two weeks people from Long Island City to Bayside have been doing what they could to help families in Belle Harbor and other communities devastated by winds, floods and fire. Comment.
Letters

MTA fare increases not helping economy

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that fares are going to increase on all mass transit lines, bridges, tunnels and commuter railroads by next year. Comment.
Letters

Fight for clean drinking water

Oct. 18 marked the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and we have a lot to celebrate. Forty years ago, corporate polluters used our waterways as their personal sewers. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Teaching to the test doesn’t help pupils

The Oct. 18 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “Encourage Good Teachers,” on the need to move away from teacher evaluations exclusively based on students’ standardized test scores, is right on target. Comments (1).
QueensLine

Jamaica-born author-composer Bowles lived in Morocco

Paul Frederick Bowles was a composer, author, poet and literary translator of multiple languages. Born in Jamaica, he spent most of his life in Tangier, Morocco, writing and composing. Comment.
Editorial

Why Vote?

The presidential election was over in Queens before it started. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t campaign here once. Comment.
Letters

Local pizzeria shares its wares

Due to the power shortage, there was a pizzeria, at 1300 Jericho Tnpk. in New Hyde Park, called Jessie’s Fireshack and Pizzeria that gave pizza and food to shelters and people in need around the neighborhood. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Flushing man honored for saving woman under attack

Frank Magri, a Flushing resident who lives in the Pomonok Houses and is a member of Community Board 8, was recently honored at a CB 8 meeting for his heroic actions in defending a woman from an attacker in a subway car. Comment.
Editorial

Was Padavan so Different?

By the time you read this, it will be after Election Day. The presidential candidates wrote off Queens before the campaign began. That’s why neither candidate was seen here except perhaps on their way to Hofstra University. Comment.
Letters

Sandy felled trees onto building

Now that Hurricane Sandy has moved away after severely battering our area and causing immense devastation, I would like to share my experience I had during the storm. Comment.
Editorial

The Best and Worst in Blue

An NYPD officer from Forest Hills was arrested last month on charges of planning a crime so gruesome that it looked like a script for a cheesy Hollywood slasher movie. Comment.
Letters

Pressure FAA to change planned LGA flight paths

Recently, I attended a news conference where state legislators expressed their opposition to the new flight patterns the Federal Aviation Administration has unleashed upon the citizens of northeast Queens. Low-flying, high-decibel, ear-piercing jets climbing over once-tranquil streets are not new to Queens, but such offensive patterns have been brief and temporary. Comments (1).
Letters

Leave Rockaway Branch alone and let city clean it up

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association announces its official position on the defunct Rockaway Branch rail line, which runs along 98th Street in Woodhaven. Comment.
Letters

Queens Library holds cancer talk

Queens Library invites everyone in Queens and around the world to learn more about prevention, detection and treatment of common cancers. An expert panel of doctors and social workers from Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York Hospital Queens, the New York University Langone Medical Center, the American Cancer Society and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society will present two free programs and answer questions. Comment.
Political Action

2013 elections will bring many new faces to City Council

The year 2013 will soon be upon us, and with it comes elections for city offices, including mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and City Council. One of the main differences between the Council and our elected state legislators is that Council members are elected to four-year terms of office while those in the state Assembly and state Senate serve two-year terms. Comment.
Letters

NE Queens needs downtown express

As you and others might be aware, I have been fighting to get downtown service on the QM20 express bus and I am upset about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fare hike plan, which hurts express bus riders more than subway riders. Comment.
On Point

Legislators must bring back tax breaks for co-ops, condos

The co-op and condominium community was hit hard in June when the state Legislature adjourned without renewing the city Tax Abatement and J51 programs. These programs were implemented decades ago and have helped equalize the disparity in taxes paid by co-ops and condominiums and have provided needed dollars through tax abatements that have helped maintain the city’s aging housing infrastructure. Comments (2).
Editorial

‘Sorrow and Resilience’

The devastation and misery brought on by Hurricane Sandy will live on in the hearts and minds of Queens residents for decades to come. In modern times, it compares only to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which left 1,836 people dead. Comments (1).

October, 2012

Douglaston

Tip of the week

Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

MTA must protect its bus drivers

The recent assaults on city bus drivers should and must be a wake-up call to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide needed protection for all MTA bus drivers. Comment.
Editorial

Fear of Basketball

Peter Massaro, the owner of Cobblestone’s Pub in Forest Hills, thought he was doing a good thing when he converted a parking lot behind his bar into a half basketball court for nighttime tournaments. Comments (4).
Letters

Lawmakers can clean up Albany in three ways

Soon voters in New York state will again head to the polls to vote in the upcoming general election. While I am not a candidate for office this year, the season brings me back to 2010, when I was a candidate for the state Assembly. It also reminds me of how dysfunctional our state government still is and how hard it will be to fix it. Comment.
Editorial

Juvenile Justice

A new boarding home for delinquent teenagers recently opened in South Ozone Park as part of an effort to keep rehabilitating youths close to their families — and already area residents are complaining. Comment.
QueensLine

Woodhaven man celebrated 50 years as a cop in 1946

In October 1946, at the Loews Triboro Theater in Astoria, Ed Sullivan, the famous Broadway columnist, appeared in person along with several acts, including dances and a comedian. Comment.
Letters

Stay out of business that doesn’t concern you

Keep your head in the sand, Benjamin Haber (“Stop complaining about aircraft noise,” Sept. 27-Oct. 3). While the Federal Aviation Administration flies overhead to challenge the quality of life for Bayside and Whitestone residents, you do not even live in the area and tell us not to complain. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Americans must come together and help one another

As a young child growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I remember riding the subway and buses. Comments (1).
Editorial

The Immigration Question

A family that until recently lived in College Point watched with special interest when the question of immigration came up in the second debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Comments (3).
Letters

NE Qns. needs downtown express

As you might be aware, I have been fighting to get downtown service on the QM20 express bus and I am angry at the fact that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Co. wastes northeast Queens residents’ taxpayer money. Comments (1).
Letters

Blame pols, not rich, for tax rate

Ever since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his tax return, the interviewers have been asking him and the media has been questioning: Is the tax rate paid by the rich fair? Comment.
Editorial

Target Gun Trafficking

While the city continues to debate the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk campaign, it is becoming clear that leaders must develop more effective and less offensive ways of getting guns off the street. Comments (13).
Letters

Pols at candidates night were a bust

In my effort to stay informed, I attended a candidates night Oct. 10 at Holy Cross High School to listen to the candidates. Comment.
Editorial

Keeping a Promise

When Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park was seeking public support to open the first casino in New York City, it promised locals would get 70 percent of the 850 jobs that would be created. With unemployment in this part of Queens at more than 10 percent, it sounded like a good bet. Comment.
Letters

Flushing Meadows must remain a park for all

In 1895, Frederick Law Olmstead, the genius who created Central and Prospect parks and other famous parks elsewhere, said, “The survival of our park system requires the exclusion from management of real estate dealers and politicians and that the first duty of our park trustees is to hand down from one generation to the next the treasure of scenery which the city placed in their care.” Comments (1).
Political Action

Senate race will be hard-fought between Addabbo, Ulrich

One of the most interesting local races in Queens is occurring in the 15th state Senate District in southwest Queens between incumbent Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and challenger City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). Comments (1).
Editorial

Encourage Good Teachers

The city needs a better way to evaluate teacher performance. Teachers don’t want to be evaluated solely by scores on standardized tests and graduation rates. Comment.
Letters

Prune tree for safety of drivers

I am writing to request that something be done as soon as possible with regard to the newly installed traffic light on the left side of Parsons Boulevard and the eastbound Long Island Expressway service road. Comments (1).
The Civic Scene

Many greenspaces in CB 8 receiving upgrades, renovations

As required, Community Board 8 representatives met with Queens officials from the city Parks Department in the overlook in Forest Park Sept. 27. There was an update on previously submitted agenda items and a report on other items concerning CB 8. Comment.
Letters

City must prune park, street trees

As the seasons transition from summer to autumn, it is important for the city Parks Department to prune many of the trees in the city’s parks and along city streets. While every tree cannot be pruned, there are those that are in serious need of pruning to reduce the risk of injury to people or damage to property. Comment.
Letters

More must be done to clean up politics

For three of the most powerful men in our state to be involved in using $103,000 to quiet several female staffers and include $32,000, supposedly provided by the accused, proves there is something wrong and that this should be looked into immediately. Comment.
Letters

Fight tobacco ads aimed at kids

It is the start of a new school year for thousands of Queens children. As children are walking to school this semester, I think it is important to think about what they are passing by on their way to school. Comment.
Editorial

Waiting for Answers

The police shooting last week of an unarmed man on the Grand Central Parkway raises questions that need to be answered. Comment.
QueensLine

Jamaica army officer maintains innocence in ‘70 triple murder

Jeffrey Robert MacDonald, a former U.S. Army doctor, is best known for allegedly murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in 1970. Comment.
Letters

Raise minimum wage to help struggling families succeed

More of today’s families need to be two-income households to make ends meet, whether they are single parents, providing homes for older and unemployed children or caring for sick or elderly loved ones. They all need and want many of the same things — especially good jobs. Comment.
Editorial

Second Thoughts about New Runway

We welcome the decision by the Port Authority to hold a public hearing on its plan to extend one of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s runways closer to protected wetlands and residential neighborhoods. Comment.
Editorial

Show the Donor List

Concerns have been raised about anonymous donors backing an organization opposed to the construction of a waste transfer facility on the waterfront in College Point. Comments (1).
I Sit and Look Out

American education is in dire need of improvement

Readers of this column know I believe I received an excellent education in the city public schools. That continued at City College. Comment.
Letters

Act on noisy LGA flight tests

In view of the arrogance and duplicity of the Federal Aviation Administration — in regard to the “Tennis Climb” departure trial run using the new RNAV navigational system at LaGuardia Airport’s Runway 13, which has environmentally affected Briarwood and other Queens communities from Feb. 13 to Aug. 13 — I recommend that plaintiffs who were medically and/or psychologically affected file a class-action lawsuit in the Eastern District of the U.S. federal court. Comments (1).
Corona

Tip of the week

Letters

Halloran needs to face facts

We know better. At the Sept. 18 Auburndale Civic Association meeting, City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) sang the inaccurate chorus some candidates keep reprising. Comments (1).
The Civic Scene

Circus arrival causes consternation in Fresh Meadows

The September 2012 Jamaica Estates Monthly Bulletin had an interesting article about vehicle booting, which began July 30. The city Department of Finance will boot a vehicle instead of towing it away if the owner owes more than $350 in parking, red-light camera or bus lane violation tickets. Comment.
Editorial

Rights

State Assemblyman Francisco Moya took a bold stand. Comment.
Letters

MTA has to double check its math

No wonder the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is cash-strapped. Seven percent of $2.25 is 16 cents, making the fare $2.09 — not $1.63, as said by Chairman Joseph Lhota. Comments (1).
On Point

Use your voting power can clean up Albany of corruption

The depth of corruption in New York politics is unfathomable, so let’s summarize and review the last few months of corruption du jour. Comment.
Editorial

‘A Country of Hope’

Speaking to the hundreds who packed the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music, Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was the embodiment of dignity, grace and courage. Comment.
Letters

Publicize poll site changes

Four years ago, in the U.S. presidential election, voter turnout was higher than usual across most of the country. This year, Americans are once again gearing up to go to the polls Nov. 6 to choose our president. Here in New York City, we must do our part to ensure that the election runs as smoothly as possible for every voter. Comment.
Political Action

Voter apathy cost Iannece victory in Assembly primary

The 25th state Assembly District, in northeast Queens, which includes East Flushing and Whitestone, was expected to have a fairly quiet Democratic Party primary this year, with community leader Jerry Iannece being successful. Such was not the case. Comments (16).
Editorial

Depends on What He Means

Depends on What He Means Comment.
Letters

GOP should dump the Tea Party

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, at a recent Values Voter Summit, made clear his values. He proudly said the conservative movement will never have the elite, smart people on its side, nor colleges and universities because the church and families are all that are necessary. Comments (4).
Editorial

Do not develop Flushing Meadows

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the centerpiece of Queens. It was the site for the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. The recent interest by several organizations to acquire land in the park for development needs to be carefully looked at before any type of major alterations to the park are done. Comment.
Editorial

City must prune trees in parks, on streets

As the seasons transition from summer to autumn, it is important for the city Parks Department to prune many of the trees in the city’s parks and along city streets. While every tree cannot be pruned, there are those that are in serious need of pruning to reduce the risk of injury to people or damage to property. Comments (2).
Health

Tip of the week

Editorial

Soccer Stadium Right for Queens

We applaud the plan to build of a 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium in Queens. Comments (2).
Letters

Theater group returns to Queens

This letter is in response to Ron Hellman’s Sept. 13-19 Astoria Times article “Queens deserves another dedicated theater space,” which called for more theater spaces in Queens. Comment.

September, 2012

Editorial

Death of the Salesman

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. has taken a feel-good position that is bound to appeal to his constituents but raises some questions. Comment.
East Elmhurst

Tip of the week

Letters

Give extra seats to Woodside school

I live in Woodside at 57th Street and Woodside Avenue. Presently there are two elementary schools in this area. One is St. Sebastian, at 57th Street and Woodside Avenue, which takes in students from three other parishes, and the other is PS 11, at 56th Street and Skillman Avenue. Comment.
QueensLine

Queens overrun by gangs of young people in September ‘59

September 1959 in Queens began with news that police had thwarted a re-engagement in a war of gangs from Jamaica and Hollis. One innocent 14-year-old bystander was shot in the chest. Twelve boys, some under 15, were arrested and an arsenal of knives, broomsticks, chains and metal whips was seized. The boys were released into their parents’ custody and were to appear in court in Jamaica. Comment.
Editorial

The Sex Offenders Next Door

A controversy is growing in South Ozone Park that shows the challenge state and city officials face when trying to find shelter for sex offenders and others coming out of prison. Comments (2).
Letters

Stop complaining about aircraft noise

Borough President Helen Marshall and other elected officials are upset about a change in flight patterns emanating from LaGuardia Airport because of noise complaints from Bayside and Whitestone residents, claiming the Federal Aviation Administration failed to inform them of the change (“Boro pols slam FAA over poor flight planning,” Flushing Times, Sept. 13-19). Comment.
Letters

Halloran takes paper to task over Meng editorial

In response to your Sept. 14-20 editorial, let me take this opportunity to clarify the record of what I said and did not say, but before I do so, let me first say that your use of “Tea Potty” as your headline belies the overt bias in your editorial piece. Comments (53).
Letters

Reader sorry to see Capitol bank close

The Capitol One Bank, at 164th Street and 69th Avenue in Fresh Meadows, will be closing its doors for good Oct. 6. Comment.
Health

Tip of the week

Letters

Big businesses must pay their fair share in taxes

It is probably pointless to write and mail this letter to you, since you will probably never receive or read it, but I felt compelled to nonetheless. Comment.
Editorial

Gutter Tactic Fails

Did this really happen in 2012? Did a candidate running in a primary for the state Senate attempt to win by accusing his opponent of having dinner with a gay colleague? Comments (2).
Letters

BOE needs to provide ballots in Bengali

I am writing to express my concern that the Board of Elections will not have Bengali-language ballots available for the general election Nov 6. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Assessing Congressman Turner’s legacy to Queens

When Robert Turner won a special election for Congress last year, the political pundits all said it was due to the ultra Orthodox Jewish voters in Brooklyn. Turner lost Queens, but won handily among those folk. This despite the fact that he was running against a Modern Orthodox Jew and Turner is Roman Catholic. Comments (3).
Editorial

Down and Dirty in Queens

We aren’t surprised to see the Obama-Romney race for the White House get dirty, but we weren’t expecting to see mudslinging in the race to represent northeast Queens in the state Senate. Comments (7).
Editorial

Playing the Race Card

It isn’t unusual in city politics for someone to play the race card when an elected official is accused of corruption, but usually the people playing the card try for subtlety. Comment.
Breezy Point

Tip of the week

Letters

Keep good teachers, pay them well

As the new school year begins, thousands of teachers will be returning to classrooms, gearing up for another busy school year. Comments (2).
QueensLine

O.J. Simpson ‘dream team’ lawyer a native of Queens

Defense attorney Barry Scheck was a member of O.J. Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers in his 1995 murder trial and is also a founder of The Innocence Project, which exonerates falsely accused criminals using DNA evidence. Comments (1).
Editorial

A Dollar and a Scheme

On the state government side alone, there is Lotto, Mega Millions, Power Ball, Take Five, Win 4 and more than 60 scratch-off games ranging from $1 to $20. They only make a profit for the state because people lose more than they win. Comment.
Letters

Reader grateful to former York president

I had taught as an adjunct lecturer of human physiology at York College from 1983-84. Surprisingly, last year — 28 years later from having written on the chalkboard at York — I received an e-mail from the York College Library informing me that the college was honoring me in its 40 Years of Faculty Scholarship display for my 2000 book “Mathematical Logic and the Philosophy of God and Man,” from 1st Books Library. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Air conditioning has brought us in from the fire escape

Readers know I was born before some of the technological wonders of today’s world, including the computer. Comment.
Editorial

Stop the Union Bashing

It could be dismissed as the kind of meaningless rhetoric that surfaces every four years at the Republican National Convention. Speaker after speaker came to the podium in Tampa to take pot shots at the nation’s labor unions. Comment.
Letters

Cable firm must get its act together

Time Warner Cable customers who experience a loss of Internet, television or phone service will now have to wait 10 days for a technician to visit their homes. Subscribers who attempt to replace defective equipment at the Time Warner Cable walk-in center, in the Queens Center Mall, are required to take a number and in some instances have been forced to endure a four-hour wait before seeing a customer service representative. Comments (3).
The Civic Scene

Public schools in the city need to overcome problems

As our public schools open, they again face the problems not faced by private and charter schools. Students are either excluded or put out when they cause trouble. Comment.
Editorial

Swimming in the Tea Potty

He may have endeared himself to the Tea Party, but City Councilman Dan Halloran called his own judgment and character into question when he referred to state Assemblywoman Grace Meng as a “Chinese national” and said he suspected her of having dual citizenship. Comments (40).
Letters

Recycling, renewables important to protecting the planet

In Bayside, I find the chore of separating garbage relatively pleasurable — relatively, compared to out east. In Amagansett, on the east end of Long Island, we pay $50 each year for the privilege of separating our garbage, glass, plastics and paper. Comment.
Political Action

Ulrich seeks to beat Reyes and unseat Addabbo for Senate

The 15th state Senate District, in western Queens, was represented by Republican Sen. Serf Maltese for more than 20 years during his 10 terms in office up to 2008, when City Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) won the seat. Comment.
Letters

Job growth not worth fracking

Lately, it seems that each day we are getting more information about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. Comment.
Letters

Queens resident worthy of award

On behalf of my friends and neighbors in Briarwood, I would like to nominate Xu Sheng Wang as the 2012 Merchant of the Year in view of her remarkable business contributions to the Briarwood community. Comment.
Letters

Believe forecasts with grain of salt

As the summer of 2012 begins to wind down, some weather forecasting firms are already predicting that this coming winter will be a cold and snowy one in the northeastern United States. Comment.
Letters

Put soccer stadium at Willets Pt.

Concerning Willets Point, wouldn’t it be easier on everyone if the city put an international soccer stadium there? Comment.
Editorial

‘Take the High Road’

Just weeks before the Democratic Party primary, state Sen. Shirley Huntley was dragged into a Nassau County court to face charges that she took part in a scam in which the state was allegedly bilked out of $30,000. Comment.
On Point

Pols have no right to say which biz should operate in city

Same-sex marriage was legalized by the state Legislature a year ago and, although controversial to many, it is now law. City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) have been leading advocates in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender movement. Comment.
Letters

Abolish the five boro presidents

As imprudent as it was to have cherry trees chopped down in the courtyard of Queens Borough Hall, it is even more imprudent to spend $17 million in difficult economic times on an atrium project (“Boro Hall stripped of woods,” TimesLedger Newspapers, Aug. 16-22). Comment.
Editorial

The Sanitation Hammer

Law-abiding Queens residents are getting slammed by the city Sanitation Department for the harmless offense of putting their trash bins on the curb too early in the day before the scheduled pickup. Comments (1).
Letters

Nonprofits need funds from lottery

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has introduced Senate Bills S.7276 and S.7335, which will create a new lottery scratch-off game, whose proceeds would be dedicated to a new community grant fund. According to the senator, this fund will benefit community groups administering educational, recreational, cultural, senior or veterans programs and those groups providing volunteer ambulance services in our state. Comment.
East Elmhurst

Tip of the week

Letters

Nation must invest in education

It would seem that all Americans would want our youth to be as highly educated as possible. The United States has fallen to “average” in international rankings, as released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as other knowledge evaluating studies, having fallen to “average” with typical scores of 500 on a scale of 1,000: 487 in math, 500 in reading and 502 in science. Comment.
Letters

Queens residents respect diversity

On Aug. 10, I was proud to be an eastern Queens resident when I participated in a candlelight vigil, organized by local civic leaders, to honor the memory of the victims of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month. Comment.
Editorial

Dromm Off Beat

In his letter that ran recently in TimesLedger Newspapers, City Councilman Daniel Dromm urged New York University to kick the Chick-fil-A eatery off its campus. He claims the business has created a “toxic environment” because of its “opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.” Comment.
Letters

Glendale needs a good cleanup

Recently I visited the CVS store at 68-02 Myrtle Ave. Comment.
Editorial

One Less Pervert

From Penn State to Rochdale Village, sexual perverts are casting a pall over sports that is having an impact on coaches, players and parents. Comment.
Letters

Sanitation must change garbage can pickup policy

I received your Aug. 9 response regarding my correspondence on behalf of Ms. Palma Pollizzi. Comment.

August, 2012

Bayside

ASPCA should have 24-hour rescue hotline for animals in need

About a month ago, a baby swan was attacked by an off-the-leash dog by the Bayside Marina. The incident took place 20 minutes prior to my arrival. By the time I got to the scene, at least 30 people were attempting to call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for help. Comments (3).
Budget Bites

Rose’s ravioli pizza is a knockout

Cheap eats in Queens can boast an international flair not found in many other places. The frugal forager can experience cuisine from around the world without leaving the borough or draining the bank account. Comment.
Editorial

Payroll Tax Axed

We’d cheer any decision that will save taxpayers a few bucks, but a decision by a Nassau County judge who ruled last week that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax was unconstitutional could have a negative impact on the entire metropolitan area. Comment.
Letters

Make train station ADA-compliant

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently constructed an auxiliary entrance/exit at the Briarwood-Van Wyck Expressway E and F subway station, with a stairway not compliant with the standards for accessibility for people with disabilities in wheelchairs. Comments (1).
Letters

Gov’t must ban people from owning assault rifles

Since I am not a gun enthusiast, my opinions on the subject of guns are personal. Studies have shown that the number of homicides in a country is in proportion to the number of guns it has. The United States has the dubious honor of being fourth in the world in the number of gun-related deaths per year (9,369), only behind such distinguished company as South Africa (31,918), Colombia (21,898) and Thailand (20,032). Comments (37).
Bayside

Tip of the week

Letters

No boon for boondocks reference

In your July 19-25 Flushing Times editorial “Rethink Willets Point,” you take issue with my reference to Aqueduct and Willets Point as the “boondocks.” Comment.
QueensLine

Boro native Roker has been giving weather since the ’70s

Known for his catchphrase “That’s what’s going on around the country; here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods,” weatherman and TV personality Al Roker was born in Queens Aug. 20, 1954. After majoring in broadcasting and journalism in college, Roker rose through the ranks of news broadcasting, eventually landing at NBC and anchoring the daily weather reports on “The Today Show” since 1996. Comment.
Editorial

‘Profoundly Humane’

It’s not often we say this, but we are proud of the state Legislature, which recently allocated $450,000 to help young, undocumented immigrants find their way through the application process that will allow them to take advantage of an amnesty announced recently by President Barack Obama. Comment.
Letters

Show support for your local nonprofits

State money has dried up to support nonprofits that educate and enlighten residents all over New York. This is the third year that state money, which is taxpayer money, has been unavailable to enable many valuable organizations to function effectively. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Parks commissioner leaves city after successful tenure

From the time I was a child when I realized there were seasons, the fall has always been my favorite time of the year. “Autumn in New York,” as the 1934 Vernon Duke song glorifies it, is true. Comment.
Editorial

Stop the Violence

There is no issue greater in southeast Queens than putting an end to street violence. Comment.
Letters

Needed change nowhere in sight

As we approach the presidential election, the state of our nation’s economy is still not good. Unemployment continues above 8 percent and prices on everything, from food and health care to gasoline and home mortgages, continue to be high. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Congress must tighten influence exerted by lobbying

A recent news article told of the U.S. Congress slightly decreasing its subsidies to the agro industry. It is sad that large agro businesses are still receiving large amounts of money although we are experiencing a $1 trillion annual federal deficit. Comment.
Letters

Group grateful for saved library

On behalf of all the Friends of Queens Library, we, the group’s presidents, would like to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council for adopting a budget this year that saves our library system and our staff. Comment.
Kew Gardens

Tip of the week

Letters

Creedmoor 911 calls unacceptable

We are writing to request your intervention to combat an upsurge of 911 emergency calls from the part of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus south of Union Turnpike in eastern Queens. Comments (1).
Editorial

Sharing the Sikh Pain

Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Queens last week to reassure the Sikh community that the city was ramping up security to safeguard their members. Comment.
Letters

NYU should sever ties with Chick-fil-A

NYU’s decision to continue to allow Chick-fil-A to operate on campus is troubling. Chick-fil-A has made opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights an integral part of its business. Comments (5).
Editorial

Jamaica High’s Slow Death

Just one month before students return to school a state report makes it clear that the city long ago abandoned Jamaica High School. Comment.
Letters

Hold EDC accountable over Willets development

Willets Point property and business owners are not surprised that Seth Pinsky, president of the city Economic Development Corp., is attempting to do damage control, now that the state attorney general has determined that EDC and Claire Shulman’s local development corporation acted illegally in pursuing the Willets Point development project (“EDC cites ’08 global crisis,” Aug. 2-8). Comments (5).
Political Action

Halloran backs small biz, Israel in bid for Congress seat

In the new 6th Congressional District in Queens, which is replacing U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) district, conservative City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) is running against state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who won the Queens Democratic Party primary. Comments (3).
Editorial

A Wealthy Man

Nino Lercara is a wealthy man. Comment.
Letters

Make skies safe for birds, airplanes

Once again, hysteria has begun. Now 700 Canada geese were rounded up and killed so they would not collide with and cause an accident with a plane. To begin with, those birds were living on federally protected land: the Jamaica Wildlife Refuge. Comment.
Letters

Republicans hypocritical on Obamacare

One would think Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, mandate would be a win-win for both parties. After all, it was the Republicans’ concept and championed by the Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Help put an end to cyberbullying

With the rapid increase in online communication, especially through social networking websites, cyberbullying is a growing problem that has gone largely unaddressed in our society today. More then 85 percent of teenagers have been a victim of cyberbullying and more than 90 percent of these victims will fail to report it. Comment.
Editorial

Funding Funny Business

Although the process often benefits worthy causes, the tradition of handing out millions of dollars in “discretionary funds” to be disbursed by City Council members calls to mind the days of Tammany Hall. Comment.
Letters

City must restart development process for Willets Point

An investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has determined that the City Council rubber stamped the Bloomberg administration’s Willets Point plan after it had been illegally lobbied by the Flushing-Willets Point-Corona Local Development Corp., led by former Borough President Claire Shulman. Comment.
QueensLine

City excavated 50-acre Middle Village peat bog in 1935

On Aug. 1, 1935, the Star reported that Gustav Lindenthal, designer of the Hell Gate Bridge, had died at the age of 85 the previous evening at his home, the Lindens, in Metuchen, N.J. Comment.
Editorial

A Better Solution

City Councilman Leroy Comrie has taken on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on soft drinks of more than 16 ounces. He’s right when he says there ought to be a more effective way to limit the amount of calories children consume. Comment.
Letters

Civic and pupils beautify blocks

On June 22, students at Flushing’s PS 242 closed out the school year by teaming up with the Mitchell-Linden Civic Association for a Love Your Block event under a grant received by the MLCA from the Citizens Committee of New York City. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Diamond honored for three decades of community service

On June 12, Bernie Diamond was honored at a dinner at Hillcrest Jewish Center for his 35 years of service as a member of Community Board 8. Comments by people at the dinner and my conversation with Bernie have developed a picture of a man who has devoted his life to community service. Comment.
Editorial

A Great Injustice

Baysider Kenneth King spent nine months in Rikers for a vicious crime that the Queens district attorney now concedes it did not have the evidence to prosecute. Comment.
Letters

Obama, Romney can’t fix economy

As 2012 moves along, our national economy is not moving at all. We continue to hear reassurances from President Barack Obama that the economy will begin to improve, but he has been telling the American people this for the last four years. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Georgetown’s president speaks out on civil discourse

(Note: This is the conclusion of my column of Aug. 2, based on “The Second Coming,” by William Butler Yeats.) Comments (1).
Letters

Citizens United a horrible decision

The U.S. Supreme Court, in all its infinite, unbiased wisdom, decided 4-3 that corporations and unions are people and, as such, have free speech and, since money talks, can contribute as much speech as they like toward the candidates of their choice, making voting and buying synonymous. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Gillibrand must oppose LGA waste transfer station

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is taking notice of a serious problem in the New York City area. The threat of bird strikes against airplanes is real and growing because bird populations around our airports are on the rise. Comments (1).
Letters

Have a say in spending city money

City residents pay the highest taxes in the country. Aside from the federal and state taxes, we pay city income, water, sewer and property taxes and more. Comment.
On Point

Queens civic groups fought hard for return of Q79

Citizens uniting and fighting for a common cause is what civic associations are about. In Queens, there is no shortage of these neighborhood stalwarts and community watchdogs. Eastern Queens contains an unprecedented number of active civics that historically have worked well together to achieve great successes. Comments (1).
Letters

Pols should not vote on their own pay

Allow me the opportunity to comment on your proposal to increase legislators’ salaries. It represents a conflict of interest for any legislator to vote on their own pay raise. In the past, legislation increasing the salaries for state Assembly members and state senators was passed in one legislative session and would take effect in the next session — in other words, the next elected class of officials. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Yeats poem not uplifting, but still offers important insight

Readers of my column and blog may realize that, sarcasm aside, I am an optimist about life. I have had a good life and am grateful for that. Comments (6).
Editorial

A Bad Week in the War on Guns

In one tragic week, a 4-year-old boy was shot to death in the Bronx while watching a basketball game and 2,000 miles away in Aurora, Col., 12 people were shot to death and 58 others were wounded by a madman while watching the new Batman movie. Comment.
Political Action

Concannon backs job growth but not regulation in Senate race

In the 11th state Senate District in northeast Queens, a battle is beginning. The incumbent, Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), is facing a challenge from Republican Joe Concannon, a retired police captain and former official in the Giuliani administration. Comment.

July, 2012

No Holds Barred

Defending an artist

As The New York Times noted a few days ago, the knives are out again to cut up Fat Boy. Comments (3).
Budget Bites

Sample delicious dumplings in Flushing for under $10

At Jie Jie Sheng, a no-frills Union Street dumpling shop, they let the food do the talking. Comment.
Kew Gardens

Tip of the week

Letters

Keep Flushing Meadows open for all

When the United States Tennis Association opted to move out of Forest Hills to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, an unprecedented usurpation of public parkland, it promised it would never seek more parkland. That promise had as much credibility as a dead tennis ball, and it thereafter demanded and was given space that almost doubled its presence in the park. Comments (1).
Editorial

GOP Drops the Ball

If there is reason to believe the microstamping of guns can save lives, why would anyone oppose it? Why should legislation requiring microstamping in New York state be controversial? Comments (3).
Letters

Astoria a resilient and caring area

In June I was lucky enough to attend events that exemplify what is best about our country and, specifically, community. Comment.
Editorial

Queens Loses a Champion

Apostle John Boyd Sr., who started the New Greater Bethel Ministries under a tent in Cambria Heights, died earlier this month of natural causes at 85. By 2012 his church was 2,000 strong and his radio ministry reached an estimated 150 million each week. Comment.
Letters

YMCA child program in Bayside was important

June 22 was a sad day in Bayside. It was almost 19 years to the day that I first entered the little blue building that housed the Bayside YMCA Early Childhood Center with my newborn son and his 2-year-old brother. Comment.
QueensLine

First lady Nancy Reagan called Elmhurst and Flushing home

Nancy Davis Reagan was born Anne Francis Robbins July 6, 1921, in New York City. She was the only child of car salesman Kenneth Robbins and actress Edith Luckett. After spending her early childhood in Elmhurst and Flushing, she decided to pursue an acting career after graduating from college, and eventually moved to Hollywood. Comment.
The Civic Scene

City should uphold zoning against Mormon church

Several decades ago, when the City Charter was revised, the city Board of Standards and Appeals was created. The old city Board of Estimate was eliminated and a five-member BSA was created. The BSA hears appeals from concerned landowners if they believe the zoning resolutions passed by the City Planning Commission and the City Council are unfair. Comments (3).
Editorial

Happy Birthday, Frank

In Queens there is no one we have disagreed with more frequently or vigorously than Bayside activist Frank Skala. Comments (1).
Letters

Take part in the city’s budget process

I invite the community to participate in an experiment in public participation in the city budget. This year, I am allocating $1 million in capital funds for the community to decide how to spend based on local priority needs. Comment.
Letters

Shulman must be investigated

In an article in the July 8 New York Post Queens Weekly section, headlined “Shulman gets slap for illegal Willets lobby,” Claire Shulman, the former borough president, once again got away with illegal shenanigans. Comment.
Health

Tip of the week

Letters

Reader calls out columnist over his views on politics

I would like to respond to the June 7-13 “On Point’ column by Bob Friedrich headlined “Politics not working right? Columnist knows five reasons why.” Comment.
Editorial

Rethink Willets Point

Does the city really need two more convention centers? If so, does it make sense to build them in Queens? Comments (1).
Letters

Ex-mayor appreciates kind words

Your June 7-13 editorial “Search for the Next Ed Koch” arrived at my desk. Thank you for your generous comments concerning my mayoralty. Comments (1).
Letters

U.S., Asian chains must coexist

With the way supermarkets are closing in this part of Queens, you wonder where we are going to shop in the future. Comment.
Budget Bites

TimesLedger announces new food blog: Budget Bites

Queens has the best restaurants in the city. There. We said it. Comment.
Budget Bites

TimesLedger announces new food blog: Budget Bites

Queens has the best restaurants in the city. There. We said it. Comment.
Our History

Sophisticated postal service existed in ancient Rome

The Romans had a postal service in the second century that might be called “letter perfect.” Nothing, or almost nothing, could keep their postal carriers from completing their rounds. Comments (3).
Editorial

Can Weiner Come Back?

Just a year after resigning in disgrace from Congress, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is reportedly considering running for mayor. Comments (1).
Letters

Ban hydrofracking in all parts of the state

A recent article in The New York Times revealed a potential plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to permit hydrofracking in five upstate counties, which would turn our fellow New Yorkers into the gas industry’s guinea pigs. Comment.
Political Action

Senate candidate Reyes champions rights of businesses

In the 15th state Senate district in western Queens, the Republican Party at the county and state levels is dedicated to recapturing that seat from state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), who won the office from conservative Republican Serf Maltese in 2008 after Maltese had held the seat for 20 years. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Patients suffer during Ozanam Hall dispute

In response to the recent news coverage about Ozanam Hall and Local 342, we wanted to share our frustration about what is happening at the home to the residents and staff. Comments (3).
Letters

Citizens United mocks the law

Wisconsin has been sold to the highest bidder: the Koch brothers and their fellow billionaire benefactors. Gov. Scott Walker’s puppeteers outspent Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 8:1 — $31 million to $4 million. Comment.
QueensLine

Queens resident experienced many vehicle accidents in 1924

The New York & Queens County Railroad Co., which operated trolleys in Queens, was in receivership and faced a shutdown of its operations. On June 4, 1924, a judge denied a motion by the receiver for the company to discontinue operations and rip up the tracks. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t should not cut services

Nonprofits that provide valuable services to the children and adults of our communities have been cut off from state money by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We all know we are in the midst of an economic crisis in our state and country, but these organizations cannot continue to operate properly unless they receive some state financial backing. Comment.
Editorial

A Victory for Teachers

For teachers in the city public school system, a long night just might be over. The principals had been directed to remove some teachers as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to close 24 schools and reopen them with new names. Only half the teachers could expect to be rehired. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Famous runner at NYU first attended Newtown HS

As readers of this column know, I spent three happy and productive years as a student at Newtown High School. I had graduated from JHS 73 and the transition was not any easy one in the first semester, but I managed to do better and was a member of Arista by the time I graduated. Comment.
Letters

Queens is no place to build a convention center

There is something missing on the part of New York city and state officials when it comes to convention centers (“Officials believe Queens has convention potential,” TimesLedger Newspapers, June 14-20). Comment.
The Civic Scene

Queens high schools educate many remarkable students

All the Queens high schools educate, encourage and nurture their students. Here are just a few things different schools accomplished this past school year. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Prez right on young immigrants

The Obama administration has announced the halting of the deportations of young undocumented immigrants and allowing some to be granted work permits. While this is far from a complete amnesty, it is a step in the right direction toward fixing a dysfunctional and broken immigration system. Comments (2).
Letters

Gianaris works hard to provide health care for residents

I write to thank state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) for his support for increased health care options in western Queens, where we are plagued with pollution-emitting power plants that have caused a high rate of asthma and emphysema throughout the community. Comment.
On Point

Co-op, condo owners will suffer due to legislators’ failure

Co-op and condominium owners were abandoned and dealt a blow by politicians when the state Legislature adjourned before midnight June 21 without enacting vitally needed legislation for these working-class communities. Comment.
Letters

It is important to display the flag

On May 28, several board members and I had the opportunity and honor to participate in the Whitestone Memorial Day Parade. Comments (107).
Political Action

Long fends off Turner to win GOP primary for Senate

The Republican statewide primary for the U.S. Senate saw attorney Wendy Long win a decisive victory over opponents U.S. Rep. Robert Turner (R-Middle Village) and Nassau County Controller George Maragos. Comment.
Editorial

New Blood for Queens

The drawing of new district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate brought a new wave of competition to Queens last week, even though turnout on Primary Day was low in many of the borough’s polling stations. Comment.
Letters

Mayor’s sugar drink ban impractical

America’s obesity crisis demands our full attention. This epidemic is affecting our way of life, making us less healthy and less productive. The good news is that we have the power to make a real difference in the years ahead. By working together — communities, nonprofits, business and government — we can solve this crisis by empowering New Yorkers and other Americans to make balanced and healthier lifestyle choices. Comments (2).
Rockaway Beach

Tip of the week

Letters

DOH must take care of Rockaways

First, I want to thank the members of our community who fought to keep Peninsula Hospital open. To those who spoke up at a recent public hearing held by the state Department of Health, I heard your concerns and share your outrage. It is unacceptable that the DOH has opted not to ensure that local families have access to the health care they need. Comment.
Editorial

Illegal Guns Are the Enemy

The debate over stop-and-frisk tends to become theoretical. Percentages show that young black men are more likely to be the targets of stop-and-frisk than white or Asian-American men of the same age. Comments (2).
Letters

Albany dysfunction hurts co-op and condo owners

The co-op and condo community were abandoned this past week as the legislative season drew to a close in Albany. Three vital bills affecting the lives of every co-op and condo owner were left on the scrap heap of an adjourned state Legislature. The working class residents and seniors living on fixed incomes who mostly live in these communities struck out by a Legislature and governor that threw them nothing but curve balls. Comment.

June, 2012

The Civic Scene

Queens students showcase hard work in and out of school

TimesLedger Newspapers prints a special feature every two weeks called “Student of Distinction.” Here are some of its features. Comments (1).
Health

Tip of the week

Editorial

Bloomberg’s Bad Serve

There he goes again. Comments (1).
Letters

Go back to voting machines with booths

This is 2012. Many years ago, we sent a man to the moon. We have developed search engines and new technologies and a computerized society that knows everything about everything. Comment.
QueensLine

United Nations called Queens home up until 1951

In 1898, New York celebrated the 50th anniversary of consolidation. Queens, Brooklyn the Bronx and Staten Island had joined with Manhattan to form an even greater city. Comment.
Letters

U.S. must increase military strength

The latest information about the national economy continues to be bleak. Only 69,000 new jobs were created in May, less than what was forecast. Comment.
Letters

Don’t belittle Asian achievements

While I find it unsettling that TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Bob Friedrich seems to have so many issues with my event in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage month (“On Point: Politics not working right? Columnist knows five reasons why,” June 7-13), but going as far as referring to it as a “cheap political stunt” disrespects and undermines the history of contributions and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our society. Comments (3).
Health

Tip of the week

Editorial

Bum Deal

Unless one believes in the benevolence, integrity and generosity of the Wilpons and Sterling Equities of the New York Mets, the city’s plan for the redevelopment of the area around Citi Field does not appear to be a good deal for the city. Comment.
Letters

DA, cops work hard to stop drugs

Thank you for your June 7-13 editorial “Ghost Busters,” in which you commend the hard work and dedicated efforts of the NYPD and district attorney’s office in taking down two drug gangs in southeast Queens last month. Comment.
Our History

Steamboats once served Queens, L.I.

In the early days of steam navigation, there was no interest from the locality of the North Shore of Long Island to navigate the waters of New York. The one exception was for sailing vessels. Comments (1).
Editorial

“A Huge Step Forward”

There is no definitive estimate of how many immigrants who entered this country as small children will be affected by President Barack Obama’s declaration Friday nor is there a way to know how many young people living in Queens will benefit from the two-year ban on deportations. Comments (2).
Letters

Do not ban drinks but restore program funds

I am writing to you regarding your proposed anti-obesity initiative, which would ban the sale of large sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and food carts. Comments (2).
Political Action

Long would champion small gov’t is elected to U.S. Senate

On June 26, a statewide primary election will occur in which registered Republican Party members will choose their candidate to oppose U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). The three candidates are attorney Wendy Long, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and U.S. Rep. Robert Turner (R-Middle Village). Comment.
Editorial

Voters must understand English

A recent press release by the always-photographed state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) indicates they want to add another language to our cumbersome paper ballot with legislation they are introducing in Albany. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Americans need to do more to fight obesity epidemic

I do not remember when I first heard the word “obesity.” It was not around when I was a fat kid. Comments (2).
Letters

Vote to preserve your individualism

Elections have become public auctions of private goods. Voters have figured out that they could vote themselves more money from the treasury by voting for people who promised to give them more money in exchange for electing them. Comment.
Editorial

An Unprovoked Assault?

The report that a Queens Supreme Court judge may have been beaten by an NYPD officer in Jackson Heights is disturbing. Comments (2).
Letters

Do not implement Secure Communities in Queens

We, as members of the New York City Council, who represent immigrant communities throughout the city, are disappointed in your decision to deploy Secure Communities in New York City. Implementation of this policy will have devastating effects on the city’s immigrant communities. You should not activate this program in New York. Comment.
QueensLine

Ex-Kew Gdns. resident Landau an Oscar, Golden Globe winner

Martin Landau is a film and television actor born in Brooklyn. Sources disagree about his date of birth, with some claiming June 20, 1928, and others the same date but in 1931. Comment.
Editorial

The Nanny State

Sitting inside one of the more popular fast food restaurants in the city, a reader watched as a young girl danced to the music playing over the eatery’s sound system. The child was happy and full of life. Comments (3).
Letters

U.S. must increase military strength

With our military budget calling for large reductions in military personnel and weaponry, our nation needs to watch two powerful nations: Russia and China. Comments (2).
No Holds Barred

History Lesson No. 3 for Mr. Turner

Before we continue with our history lesson, I would ask Mr. Turner to clear up a question for all of us. Recently, in the mail, I received a flier about the three Republicans who are vying for the right to run against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Turner is one of them. Comments (4).
The Civic Scene

Big business harms city public schools and students

Down from 33, the city now wants to close 24 city high schools and reopen them using $60 million in federal turnaround money administered by the state. Seven Queens schools are on this list. The city Department of Education wants to close the schools in the fall, bring in a new principal, fire all the staff and let 50 percent come back and then hire 50 percent new teachers. Comments (1).
Editorial

The Hero from Whitestone

When the New York Mets announced last fall that they would not be resigning popular shortstop Jose Reyes, fans entered a state of depression. Even in a mediocre season — and last season was less than that — watching Reyes was worth the price of admission. Comments (47).
Letters

Astoria, LIC need another hospital

As an Astoria resident, I have often walked along 30th Avenue, passing by Mt. Sinai Astoria Hospital. I have watched as senior citizens enter the outpatient area arriving for scheduled appointments. Often an ambulance will arrive, with flashing lights and sirens blaring. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Tip of the week

Jamaica

Tip of the week

Letters

My volunteer son was a hero of 9/11

I have sent letters to every public official I can think of, including the president of the United States, but no one has reached out to help me. Comment.
Editorial

Respect for the Dead

It is the mark of a civilized society when an organization is willing to stand up for the rights of people they have never met, whose names they don’t know and who happen to be dead. Comment.
Letters

Take fluff out of political ads

Every other day I have been getting ads in the mail encouraging me to vote for state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and that other candidate whose name escapes me. Printed on 9-by-12 stock card paper, a lot of trees must have been cut down to provide the pulp. Comment.
Political Action

Queens Republican candidates gear up for round of primaries

The year 2012 promises to be eventful politically. Nationally, we have Republican Mitt Romney challenging Democratic President Barack Obama. How this race proceeds will have an impact on New York statewide and in local campaigns. Comments (1).
Editorial

‘Ghost’ Busters

Hardly a week goes by that we don’t report on a gang-related shooting or homicide in southeast Queens. Often the victims are innocent people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Comment.
Letters

Church should’ve stopped abuse

It is interesting that we never hear about the physical and verbal abuses that took place in Catholic schools during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s by some religious people who taught in the schools. Comments (1).
On Point

Politics not working right? Columnist knows five reasons why

The legislative redistricting fiasco reminded me of many things that are wrong with politics today, so I compiled my top five list of “what is wrong with this picture.” Comments (4).
Letters

Americans need a country that works for the little guy

As the big countdown clock on the television screen counted down, the results were Hollande 52 percent and Sarkozy 48 percent. The small crowd in the 20-seat restaurant cheered. My wife and I were sitting at a window table in a French restaurant in the Latin quarter of Paris having dinner when the election results were broadcast. Comment.
Letters

More must be done to combat auto insurance fraud

Queens residents are plagued with high taxes, high home foreclosures and high auto insurance rates — all making it hard to make ends meet, whether they are hardworking middle-class folks trying to raise a family or seniors on fixed incomes. Comments (1).
Letters

Government must follow the rules

I want to thank state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for his concern and action on behalf of his constituents regarding the rules and regulations for placing refuse out for collection. Citizens may be fined if they place refuse out for collection before 5 p.m. from May to September and before 4 p.m. from October to April. Comment.
Letters

LPC must landmark Brinckerhoff

On behalf of the board of directors of the Bayside Historical Society, I am writing to express our desire that the LPC designate the historic Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows as an official city landmark. Comments (1).
I Sit and Look Out

Columnist celebrates nine years penning his thoughts

Early in 2003, TimesLedger Newspapers printed a notice that it was looking for columnists. More than 300 columns and a few blogs later, here is the story about how this flack came to be a columnist. Comment.
Letters

Show teachers in U.S. respect

After celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week May 7-11, we need to show appreciation for all teachers across the United States. Comment.
The Civic Scene

City must do more to prevent danger from sidewalk trees

The city has extended tree pruning from seven to 10 years, and now someone said it is being extended to 14 years. While this saves money, it endangers people walking under trees as well as property. Comment.
Editorial

Gossip Queen of Queens

On May 22, TimesLedger Newspapers lost a member of the family. Delores “Dee” Richard, who worked as a photographer and columnist for our newspapers for a decade, died after a brief illness. Comment.
Letters

Bill properties separately if on 2 tax lots

According to state law, property owners are required to pay property taxes whether or not they receive a bill. While it is a homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that property taxes are paid, there is something unfair about the situation I am about to explain. Comment.

May, 2012

No Holds Barred

Lesson for U.S. Rep. Robert Turner (Part II)

Richard Nixon never struck me as someone I would want to meet, let alone consider to have as a friend. I am sure the feeling would have Comment.
Long Island City

Tip of the week

Letters

People suffer while Big Oil prospers

In the May 3-9 edition of the Bayside Times, there was a letter from Joanna Livingstone relating to the March 29 vote to block legislation which would strip billions of dollars in tax breaks for the biggest U.S. oil companies (“Big oil does not deserve more money from government.”). Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Take steps to make planet greener

The May 3-9 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Boro turns out to recycle” is a great example of celebrating Earth Day every day. Besides recycling newspapers, magazines, glass, plastics, old medicines, paints and cleaning materials, there are other actions you can take which will also contribute to a cleaner environment. Comment.
Editorial

Lipstick on the DOE Pig

City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced the fancy new names for the high schools in Queens he is closing last week. Comment.
Letters

Reform BSA in favor of people living in Queens

New York is a city of neighborhoods. Whether it is the townhouses uptown, the brownstones in Brooklyn or the single-family homes of Whitestone, when you buy or rent a home here, you are getting more than a place to sleep — you are getting the surrounding neighborhood. Comments (5).
Editorial

Postal Facility Saved

The U.S. Postal Service has decided not to shut down the Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point, a move that will save more than 700 jobs. Comments (1).
Letters

Stop noise from motorcycles

Forest Hills is turning into a motordrome for motorcyclists. They seem to come from the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Comment.
QueensLine

Jax Hts. native Rickles still in limelight after 7 decades

Best known as an insult comedian and comic actor, Donald Jay Rickles was born May 8, 1926, and spent his early years in Jackson Heights. His father, Max, came to the United States from Lithuania in the early 20th century and his mother Etta was born to Austrian immigrants. Comment.
Editorial

Stop and Frisk Uproar

Ray Kelly may be one of the best police commissioners this city has ever had. He has fought tirelessly to get guns and drugs off the streets in neighborhoods that have suffered from gang violence. Because of his leadership, violent crime has declined in every borough. Comment.
Letters

City teachers need to work with a contract

Why is it that the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education still have not been able to come to terms with regard to a new contract for the city’s 74,000 public school teachers? Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Dee Richard’s last column for TimesLedger Newspapers

This week there were a number of interesting Queens events, as there usually are. Comment.
Letters

Co-name Jamaica Bay refuge after James Buckley

The Jamaica Bay area has a number of public works named for notable New Yorkers who merit our remembrance. There is the bridge named for former U.S. Rep. Joseph Addabbo Sr., the Marine Parkway Bridge named for New York Mets and Brooklyn Dodgers hero Gil Hodges and Floyd Bennett Field, which honors the famous Brooklyn aviator. And, of course, there is John F. Kennedy International Airport. Comment.
Kew Gardens

Tip of the week

Letters

Don’t abuse eminent domain use

For about 200 years since the founding of this Republic, everybody — Republicans, Democrats, independents, rich, middle class and poor — were in agreement that government could exercise eminent domain and take private property for just compensation for a public purpose, to wit: a school, a road, transportation facilities, a public building. Comment.
Editorial

Credit Repair Vultures

It takes a special kind of crook to take advantage of people when they are down and out. We saw this when the mortgage crisis hit and con artists offered to help people save their homes from foreclosure. The victims paid the crooks thousands of dollars and still lost their homes. Comment.
Letters

St. Mary’s should be source of Bayside pride

Bayside is fortunate to have St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in the community. Over the years, it has built a reputation for quality service to children and been recognized for such on a national level. Comment.
Our History

Farmers first settled Flushing

The town of Flushing was first incorporated Oct. 10, 1645, by the order of the governor of New Netherlands, William Kieft. Comment.
Editorial

Dunkin’ Dummies

Anyone old enough to drive and smart enough to know the difference between a donut and a bagel should be smart enough not to park a luxury car in a public spot with the keys in the ignition. Comments (2).
Letters

Church must allow priests to marry

The recent criticism by Pope Benedict XVI that priests should not question celibacy is typical for an institution that refuses to accept that there must be change in this area. Comments (3).
Political Action

Stark parallels exist between careers of Romney and Reagan

Both Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney began their political careers in elective office by serving as governors of large industrial states. Reagan served two terms as governor of California and Romney served one term as governor of Massachusetts. Comment.
Editorial

Starting Over in Willets Point

The city’s decision to drop its bid to use eminent domain in Willets Point to force property owners to sell brings the fight to develop this underused property back to Square 1. Comments (1).
Letters

Question boro Dems, not Lancman

I find Bob Friedrich’s column about state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) misleading (“Lancman attack on Queens Dem machine rings hollow,” May 3-9). Lancman’s criticism of the Queens Democratic Party is based upon the previous action of the party. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Bronx beep speaks at monthly meet of boro Dem club

We hope everyone fortunate enough to still have their mothers enjoyed the day by celebrating in some way with their mom. For those among us who are not that fortunate, we hope you took some time out to say a little prayer and reminisce about the good times you had with your mother while she was with us. Comment.
Letters

Religion has no place in political campaigns

I fail to understand the brouhaha over the candidacy of Jeff Gottlieb in the 6th Congressional District, claiming it is a ploy to deprive candidate state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) of the “Jewish vote” (“Lancman calls Gottlieb ‘hack’ in primary run,” Flushing Times, April 12-18). Comment.
Willets Point

Tip of the week

Letters

Nonprofit heads must give up perks

It is disappointing that City Councilmen David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), in the April 19-25 story “Proposed bill blocks trash charge for culturals,” would prevent the city from charging so-called private nonprofit groups for paying for trash and recycling. Comment.
QueensLine

Queens suffered thru blackout, gas shortage in 1942

Stateside, the war effort was beginning to ramp up. On May 5, 1942, the sixth minesweeper to be built in Whitestone in the past seven weeks slid into the East River. The boat was christened at the Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp.’s yard at the foot of 154th Street. Comment.
Editorial

Sad Demise of Monserrate

It was with no pleasure that we watched last week as former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate pleaded guilty to misusing money to fund his unsuccessful 2006 campaign. Comment.
Letters

Primary will cost voters pretty penny

The local press is awash with statements that the upcoming Democratic primary for the nomination in the 6th Congressional District is a short time for the candidates to get themselves known. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Teachers should be up to the challenge of educating

From my first day of school, when my mother brought me to the building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I had drilled into me by my parents that teachers were supreme. You did not question or show disrespect to them. Comment.
Editorial

Punishment Should Fit the Crime

Under standards imposed during the Bloomberg administration, the city can boot or tow cars of owners who owe as little as $350 or have five unpaid parking tickets in the course of one year, even if the tickets have not gone to judgment. Comment.
Letters

Garbage station does not belong near LGA runway

Queens is in the midst of an incredible period of economic growth, with billions of dollars in proposed construction and thousands of new residents expected in the next 20 years. The borough is home to two airports and they are the lifeblood of our local business community. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Eminent domain easily abused in the hands of developers

Two expansion proposals are slowly wending their way forward. New York University wants to expand in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The city also wants developers to demolish the Iron Triangle in Willets Point and build giant, mixed-use buildings and other properties. Comments (3).
Editorial

Stop the Closings

At the moment it appears the only hope for stopping the city Department of Education from closing August Martin High School and 23 other schools is intervention by the courts. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Silverstein to campaign for Halloran’s Council seat

The weeks keep flying by. It just doesn’t seem possible that in less than three weeks we will be celebrating Memorial Day and all the fun parades Queens is famous for. Fortunately, they are spread out over the Memorial Day weekend, making it possible to view more than one. Aside from the fun and festivities of the parades, it’s a good time to reflect on how lucky we are to be living in such a wonderful country. Comment.
Letters

Big Oil does not deserve more money from gov’t

On March 29, Republicans in the U.S. Senate calling the bill a political stunt, blocked legislation to strip billions of dollars in tax breaks for the biggest U.S. oil companies. A last-minute entreaty by President Barack Obama was not enough to convince senators to strip the oil and gas industry of tax incentives. Comment.
Editorial

How to Kill a High School

The city Department of Education’s agenda to shutter schools has drawn fierce oppositions from communities throughout the borough. Comment.
Letters

Everyone should unite to prevent youth suicide

There is much to be addressed when our youth demonstrate behavior patterns that are red flags and warning signs as a cry for help. As a nurse practitioner with more than 24 years of nursing experience, I have cared for individuals and family members who have acknowledged, “If only I had done this or that.” Comment.
Political Action

Party power comes from voter turnout, not enrollment

The latest political party enrollment figures as of April show the Democratic Party with a considerably higher number of registered voters than the Republican Party in New York state. Comment.
Editorial

Beware of Easy Answers

In the wake of recent incidents where bird strikes forced two airliners to make emergency landings in the new York area, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation that would force federal officials to speed up the removal of Canada geese coming from a wildlife refuge near John F. Kennedy International Airport. Comment.
Letters

Fund Bayside groups

I am writing to you in regards to your recent budget line item vetoes that eliminated certain discretionary funding. Comment.
On Point

Lancman attack on Queens Dem machine rings hollow

For me, civic involvement is about accountability, transparency, honesty and integrity in the political process. Elected officials are not royalty and need not be revered. They are paid handsomely for their services, have the best medical insurance available and receive generous pensions — all provided by taxpayers. Comment.
Editorial

Play Ball!

In every corner of Queens, there is no rite of spring more wonderful than the Opening Day of Little League. Comment.
Letters

Boro Board should reject Willets plan

Apart from the destruction of more than 200 small businesses with the loss of employment by thousands and even more so by the burdens placed upon their dependents, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Willets Point plan is replete with a lack of transparency ill befitting an elected official whose constituents should not be limited to large real estate interests. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Queens Chamber take boro issues to legislators in Albany

Last week I had one of the most interesting days I’ve had in quite some time. It was the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s annual Albany Legislative Lobby Day. It is its annual bus trip where it transports all interested chamber members to Albany to petition the legislators for help in solving Queens problems. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Lesson from the past for Bob Turner

As with John C. Liu, I do not know Representative Robert Turner. He is not my congressman (mine wears a fresh flower in his lapel every day and has decided to retire after 15 terms). I followed Mr. Turner’s special election win from a distance, with some degree of concentration. Comment.
Letters

Supreme Court needs term limits

On March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court started listening to arguments relative to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, passed by Congress. Let us hope our lifetime-appointed judges will offer their unbiased consideration with their ruling in June. Comment.

April, 2012

Long Island City

Tip of the week

Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Overturn Citizens United to protect elections

Your Feb. 23-29 paper contained the letter “Fight to keep big money out of political campaigns.” It expresses the feeling of the vast majority of Americans. Comment.
Editorial

Killer Taxes

Two taxes that have been slamming the average New Yorker need to be reined in. Both taxes make consumers pay a heavy, unreasonable price for what have become routine activities in modern life. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Library grateful for funds

On behalf of Queens Library, I want to thank the voters on the Rockaway peninsula and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (D-Ozone Park) for allocating $700,000 in capital funding for improvements to Queens Library at Peninsula and for an automated library vender in Breezy Point. Comment.
QueensLine

Dancer Ginger Rogers once called Douglaston home

Born Virginia Katherine McMath July 16, 1911, in Independence, Mo., Ginger Rogers was a star of stage, screen and television for five decades from the 1930s to the late 1980s. She made a total of 73 films and is still remembered by fans as Fred Astaire’s dancing partner in many productions. Rogers overcame an unhappy childhood to find an outlet for her talent and attain success through changing times. Comment.
Letters

Fracking raises too many questions on safety

There has been much discussion about the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, when drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale areas in New York state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have the final say as to whether to allow this controversial technology to be used. Please contact him with your thoughts about this issue. Comment.
The Civic Scene

DOE must show better treatment toward special-needs pupils

Regretfully, the city Department of Education has been making sudden changes every few months for the past 10 years. In the past there was stability in city schools, but these days there is confusing change after change. Comment.
Editorial

‘Turnaround’ Bloomberg

The people living in western Queens are rightly angry. Following its unpopular “turnaround” model, the city Department of Education is planning to close Long Island City High School and put another high school with some fancy name in its place. Comment.
Letters

Give teachers respect, good salaries

With all the talk that education is so important in this country, it is time that teachers who teach in schools throughout America be treated with the courtesy and professionalism they deserve. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Bill Thompson throws his hat into 2013 race for mayor

On Sunday evening, the Eastern Military Academy held its Queens Chapter Alumni Association’s annual dinner at the Riviera Restaurant in Whitestone. It had a good attendance, allowing for the fact that some members were on vacation, some were still in their winter homes and some have moved away and have other interests. Unfortunately, some have died and some just didn’t feel up to it. Comment.
North Shore Towers

Tip of the week

Letters

Boro athletic club should receive commemorative plaque

As the great-grandson of Irish immigrants to Dutch Kills, who once enjoyed the spectacle and competition that was Celtic Park, I take great pride in preserving the history of the times and places in which my ancestors and their neighbors lived. Comment.
Editorial

Shut the Parlors Down

There is a difference between legitimate health spas and whore houses posing as massage parlors. The residents of Dutch Kills and Long Island City have every right to be angry that two alleged houses of prostitution are operating in their neighborhoods pretending to be massage parlors. Comments (1).
Letters

City must restore Beacon funding

The city recently announced devastating plans to cut funds to Beacon programs, school-based community centers serving children, youth and adults. There are 80 Beacons throughout New York City and they operate in the afternoons and evenings, on weekends, during school holidays and vacation periods and during the summer. Comment.
Editorial

Prevailing Wage Won’t Prevail

A College Point construction business was ordered to cough up more than $1 million after admitting it failed to pay its workers the “prevailing wage” mandated for any company with a public works contract doing business with the city. Comment.
Letters

Republicans want to destroy Medicare

Can you believe that the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., wants to end Medicare as we know it? Medicare was signed into law in reaction to seniors’ numbers having grown to 9.4 percent of the total population. Today, that percentage is much larger — 13 percent — making this a bad time to try to end Medicare, which our seniors depend on. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Margaret Mitchell backed black civil rights secretly

Recently, Elaine and I watched an “American Masters” program on Channel 13. It was about Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind.” Comments (1).
Editorial

Friendship Center Needs a Friend

In tough times, city agencies have to make difficult decisions. When budgets are slashed they have to make the best possible use of the money left. Nonetheless, we think the decision by the city Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to eliminate funding for the Friendship Center in Jamaica cannot be justified. Comment.
Letters

Improve conditions of senior driving

A pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by an 89-year-old driver in Oakland Gardens, as was recently reported. The driver remained at the scene and no criminality was suspected. Comments (1).
Dishing with Dee

Boro Dems face three-way primary for Ackerman’s seat

Like they used to say on the old TV program, there are many different stories in the naked city. We will have to amend that to say every day there are many different stories in the political arena. Comment.
Letters

City must show respect for the dead at Old Towne

As the co-chairman of the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground Conservancy, I am writing to you to ask for your assistance with a crucial issue facing the 19th-century cemetery. Comment.
Glen Oaks

Tip of the week

Letters

Allow Avella to speak on ICCC

I am in agreement with state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and other community leaders calling for a thorough investigation of the deliberate attempt to muzzle him from sounding off over a disputed land deal — concerning the Indian Community and Cultural Center— over what we all suspect might be foul play. Comment.
Sunnyside

‘Daddy’s Little Sunshine’

In most cases U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t send a warning because the people it deals with are inclined to run. The officers show up at a person’s home or place of work and within minutes the individual is handcuffed and taken away. Once they are taken to an ICE facility, it might be days before they can make a phone call to family or friends. Comment.
Letters

Work to make America better

As 2012 continues and the presidential election campaign begins to really ratchet up, is our nation’s economy really beginning to improve? Comment.
QueensLine

Titanic failed to claim any Queens residents in 1912

The newspapers were filled with progress and development. It was a confident age, but midway through the month a jarring note burst upon the world. It has remained seared in our collective memory to this day. Comment.
Editorial

Trees Bite the Dust

Trees Bite the Dust Comment.
Letters

St. Mary’s more a matter of big business

I would like to address your March 22-28 Bayside Times editorial “Skala Rides Again.” I have lived in the immediate neighborhood of St. Mary’s Hospital for the better part of 60 years. I remember when the original building was erected. It was run by Episcopal nuns, who lovingly tended to the chronically ill children in their care. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Civics fight Mormon church variance for 33rd Ave. chapel

A member of the Jamaica Estates Safety and Security Task Force, Bill Murray, has reached out to neighborhood civic associations to ascertain techniques which can be used to better protect the community from criminal activities. Comment.
Editorial

Stop-and-Frisk Furor

Whether or not the aggressive stop-and-frisk policy in the 103rd Precinct is sound policing depends on what statistics you look at and whose child is being frisked. Comment.
Letters

No seniority hurts Queens in D.C.

With all the hoopla concerning the decision of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) to not run for another term, people often forget that the power in Washington, D.C., is based on seniority. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Political season heats up with U.S. Senate, House races

The political races are beginning to gel. The campaigns are starting to form their strategies that they hope will result in a winner for their respective candidates. What would normally be a mild campaign season is turning out to be a rather riveting winner-take-all contest. Comment.
Letters

Pols shouldn’t jump at chance to run

It is interesting how politicians vying to be elected to an office and promising to protect and serve us are jumping quite fast to leave office. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Country needs change

As 2012 moves along, there has been an improvement, ever so slight, in the unemployment figure. Comment.
Editorial

Fairness for Victims

In a show of fairness, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office is offering a helping hand to women who have been brought into America by human traffickers. Comment.
Letters

United States has surplus of oil at disposal

Those with the “drill, baby, drill” mentality are either ignorant to the fact that we do not need more oil or are being manipulated and used as shills by the big oil conglomerates in order to increase their unprecedented profits. Comment.
Editorial

Yelling the Loudest

At a protest outside the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, demonstrators said they were angry about the congressman’s support for the federal mandate that all insurance plans cover the cost of birth control. Comment.
Letters

Make CUNY credit transfers easier

The issue of ease of transferring credits within the City University of New York has long been a vexing problem for faculty and students, especially for community colleges, such as LaGuardia or Queensborough, to senior colleges, such as York or Queens. Comment.
Political Action

Long to face Gillibrand in race for U.S. Senate seat

We will be having an active U.S. Senate race this year in New York state. The seat in question is held by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was appointed to that office by former Gov. David Patterson in 2009. She took the place of Hillary Clinton, who became U.S. secretary of state. Comment.
Editorial

Just Another Death

Theodore Thomas, 26, was shot multiple times in the chest outside the Unforgettable Lounge in South Jamaica at 3:45 on a Sunday morning. Comment.
Letters

Boro Board must deny Willets Point to developers

The board is responsible for evaluating developer firms’ responses to the city Economic Development Corp.’s request for proposals pertaining to Phase 1 of the proposed Willets Point development and for approving or disapproving a choice of developer, as well as the disposition of Willets Point property to a chosen developer. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Race for Ackerman seat brings out four contenders so far

This is the week that was and what a week it was indeed. On Monday, Dan Halloran announced his candidacy for Gary Ackerman’s congressional seat in Flushing’s Bowne Park. Comment.
Letters

Bring back Glass-Steagall Act

Where is the Glass-Steagall Act when we need it? In 1933, U.S. Sens. Carter Glass (D-Vt.) and Henry Steagall (D-Ala.) introduced the legislation which bears their name. Due largely to unregulated bank market speculation, we suffered the Great Crash of 1929. Comment.
Editorial

Leader Calls it Quits

Two weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman caught Queens by surprise when he announced that he would not seek re-election. Comment.
Letters

Queens Library needs more funds

For 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes to slash $26.7 million from the Queens Public Library budget. This dramatic reduction in funding is disheartening and borders on outrageous. Comment.

March, 2012

No Holds Barred

Liu’s support from Asians is the American Way

This is my second blog about John C. Liu and again I shall try to stay away from fund-raising investigations. That’s not easy to do. We seem to be reminded about such things on a regular basis. More to come, I am sure. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

I Sit and Look Out

Always take what political saviors say with a grain of salt

At some time in my education in city public schools, either at JHS 73 in Maspeth or Newtown High School, I heard the phrase “the Man on the White Horse.” Comment.
Editorial

RKO Grief

The RKO Keith’s Theatre was once the pride of Flushing. Comment.
Letters

Council program puts people to work in 8 weeks

New York is not a big city. We are a patchwork of small towns woven into neighborhoods, stitched together to form boroughs, creating the fabric of what we call the city of New York. Comment.
On Point

New redistricting lines reflect Albany’s sham reform

The pattern emerging has become transparently clear. The governor pushes for reform, in this case the once-a-decade redistricting of legislative lines, and threatens a veto if the state Legislature fails to act. The Legislature’s public face supports the governor’s call for reform and avoids publicly challenging him. Comment.
Editorial

Final Chapter in Bell Case

Hopefully, this will be the final chapter in the saga of Sean Bell, who was fatally shot by the police. Comment.
Letters

Find solution to LaGuardia’s geese

As we all remember, back on Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, N.C., was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. About three minutes into the flight, the aircraft encountered a flight of Canada geese, which were sucked into both engines, resulting in a total loss of thrust. Comments (1).
Dishing with Dee

Northeast GOP Club holds mock presidential panel

Another anything-but-dull week. Last week, the Northeast Queens Republican Club held its March monthly meeting at its new place, the Clearview Golf Club House in Bayside. That is a great location for any group needing a meeting place and is convenient as well. Comment.
Letters

Do not close down Key Food

I am writing to voice my concerns regarding the possibility that Key Food and the stationery store next to it, at 69th Avenue and 164th Street, are going to be forced out by their landlord. We do not need a CVS store here. There are enough large drugstores within our neighborhood. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 board correct in denying variances to church

The Auburndale Improvement Association Inc., which represents more than 600 families in the Auburndale, Flushing and western Bayside communities, and five other civic associations testified at the January Community Board 7 public hearing against the request by Mormon church officials for three variances in order to construct a church at 145-15 33rd Ave. Comment.
Cartoon

Tip of the week

Letters

Do not deport Sunnyside man

Mohammad A. Islam, of Sunnyside, was picked up by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Feb. 10, having lived in America for 21 years as an undocumented foreign resident. Comments (4).
Editorial

Kelly on Shaky Ground

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly did his best at a breakfast earlier this month to explain and justify his department’s undercover surveillance in mosques and Muslim student associations within and outside the city. Comment.
QueensLine

Astronaut Glenn thrown parade through boro in 1962

It was the dawn of the Space Age, and the man of the hour was Col. John Glenn. On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn had piloted Friendship 7 on the first manned orbit around the Earth and landed safely despite worries that the capsule’s heat shield might not hold. Comment.
Letters

Stop dumbing down students’ education

Let me start by saying I was a high school mathematics teacher for 37 years, so I speak from experience. Comments (1).
Editorial

Senseless Violence

The shooting of a 21-year-old man in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in Jamaica is further proof that southeast Queens is not winning the war on gun violence. Many parents take their children to that restaurant. Their children could just have easily been hit by a stray bullet. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Bloomberg’s legacy concerning education looks bleak

As Michael Bloomberg reaches his 10th year as mayor, he continues in his well-meaning but flawed policy of closing most of our high schools. It seems he wants to close most of the high schools in Queens in spite of their traditions and histories. Comments (1).
Letters

Pol praised for helping constituent

To anyone and everyone who is not aware, this letter is to let them know of the work City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and his staff do. Comments (1).
Editorial

Skala Rides Again

The criticism of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside has gotten to the point where it is ridiculous. Comments (4).
Dishing with Dee

Ackerman and Turner surprise Queens political scene

Can you believe all the dramatic political changes this week? The biggest surprise was Gary Ackerman’s decision not to run for re-election. As my husband said, “I guess that means no Acker-Bus trip for you down to Washington this coming January 2013.” Comment.
Editorial

Community Ignored in School Closure Plan

Despite criticism, the city Department of Education is moving forward with its plan to close “struggling” neighborhood schools and reopen them in the same building with new names. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 did right voting against Mormon church

I am writing in response to your Feb. 9-15 editorial “Fairness a Stranger at CB 7.” Comment.
Editorial

Lessons from Times Square

A picture on the Jamaica Times’ front page says all you need to know. Shanta Merritt is hugging a friend after learning her son, Darryl Adams, 18, has been shot to death two days before. Comments (2).
Letters

Pols destroy Flushing

Merchants leaving Union Street because Flushing Commons will be bad for business is just the tip of the iceberg (“Merchants leaving Union Street,” Flushing Times, Feb. 23-29). Comments (1).
Editorial

Community Ignored in School Closure Plan

Despite criticism, the city Department of Education is moving forward with its plan to close “struggling” neighborhood schools and reopen them in the same building with new names. Comment.
Letters

Standardized tests hamper pupil learning

In Bob Friedrich’s March 1-7 On Point column “Underperforming Queens schools should be shuttered,” the author misses the point about the objections to the extreme emphasis on standardized test preparation in our local public schools. Comments (1).
Political Action

Too much emphasis put on evaluating teachers’ performance

In 2001, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made it known he was going to take steps to abolish the city Board of Education and take it over himself and run it with the assistance of an appointed city schools chancellor. Comment.
Letters

New Yorkers deserve non-political, redistricted lines

On Feb. 7, I testified at the state Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment hearing at Queens Borough Hall regarding the proposed state Assembly and state Senate districts. After waiting more than four hours to testify, I gave my testimony to a commission that seemed uninterested in my thoughts. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Planned changes in district lines create interesting races

When you were a child, did anyone give you a kaleidoscope as a gift? For those of you who are not familiar with kaleidoscopes, they are similar to a small telescope, but when you twist the rim on the top, you get variations of many different colorful designs formed into intricate geometrical patterns. Each twist forms a different pattern and no two are alike. The possibilities are endless. Comment.
Letters

TimesLedger reporter will be greatly missed

The media depends on good reporters and a fair, just democracy requires journalism that is vigilant, honest and objective. Comment.
QueensLine

Beat Generation writer Kerouac called Ozone Park home

Born in 1922, Jack Kerouac is considered the father of Beat Generation literature. His iconoclastic works, such as “On the Road,” “The Dharma Bums” and “Vanity of Duluoz,” were the mouthpiece of a 1950s counterculture. Comments (1).
Editorial

The Pot Bust Trick

City Councilman Daniel Dromm is locking horns with the mayor over the NYPD’s handling of marijuana arrests. Comment.
Letters

Gerrymandering destroys communities

On Feb. 7, the state Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment held a public hearing at Queens Borough Hall to gather comments from the public regarding proposed state Senate and state Assembly district boundary lines. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Columnist’s friend thinks people behave irrationally

The last of the five friends who read my columns in manuscript came up with a good many gripes, following my own column about my concerns. The other four have had their say and I invite you to make your gripes known through TimesLedger Newspapers. Solutions are most welcome, too. Comment.
Editorial

Kelly on Shaky Ground

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly did his best at a breakfast Saturday to explain and justify his department’s undercover surveillance in mosques and Muslim student associations within and outside the city. Comment.
Letters

Crowley has fought closure of boro facility

I was disappointed to read your March 2 editorial “Save the College Point Mail Center,” as you incorrectly characterized my role in fighting the closure of the U.S. Postal Service’s College Point mail facility. Comment.
Editorial

Your Move, Liu

For city Comptroller John Liu, the news only got worse last week when the U.S. attorney’s office arrested a young campaign staffer for alleged illegal fund-raising on behalf of Liu’s mayoral campaign. The question for Liu is no longer can he continue to campaign for mayor, but if he can weather the storm and finish his term. Comments (1).
Editorial

Mormons should build church in different zoning area

The Feb. 9-15 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “Fairness a Stranger at CB 7” was off the mark and an unfair assessment of Community Board 7 and what happened at its monthly meeting. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Taking stock of Comptroller Liu’s curious practice

Once upon a time, quite a few years ago, I was what you might call “active” in politics. Enough, in any case, to snag an appointment to a job in a city department, which permitted me to have a gold badge, get my name in the Green Book every year and be able to have correspondence addressed to me as “Hon.” No, not honey. Was I honorable? Legally, of course. Morally, I hope so. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Lancman announces run for Congress seat held by Turner

Another busy week has gone by. You know, Queens is becoming a fun place to both live and work in. Long gone are the days when Queens was only a bedroom community for Manhattan. Comment.
Letters

People at community meetings care

I was at the 109th Precinct Community Council meeting Feb. 8 and I was appalled when you spoke from the podium and told members of the community to stop complaining about Flushing. Comment.
Letters

LATFOR increases Albany dysfunction

In article “New lines lambasted for state office seats,” in the Feb. 9-15 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers, Elmer Backburne unfortunately chose to view the redistricting commission’s skin color rather than the content of its character as the reason for its brazen gerrymandering of the districts. Comment.
Political Action

Conservative convention ends differently for Romney in 2012

There was quite a difference in the outcome of the conclusion of last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. — the same conference held four years ago. Comment.
Editorial

Teacher Ratings Just a Part of the Story

How do you measure the value of a teacher? Comments (1).
Letters

Conservative meeting reprehensible

Just when you think you have seen them at their lowest, the white-wing conservatives drop the bar even further. Comments (1).
The Civic Scene

Beep honors local heroes at State of the Boro address

After telling of all the accomplishments that took place this past year in Queens, Borough President Helen Marshall honored a number of residents and government workers who performed great achievements and improved the quality of life in the borough. Comment.
Editorial

CHSAA Drops the Ball

Sometimes common sense is not common enough. In January, the coaches of the Christ the King and Bishop Ford girls’ basketball teams decided not to play in games against Nazareth High School in the days following the death of Nazareth Coach Apache Paschall. Comment.
Letters

Do not build convention center in southern Qns.

There is something amiss with New York state and city officials when it comes to convention centers (“Guv bets on conventions,” TimesLedger Newspapers, Jan. 12-18, and “Nix Aqueduct convention center idea: Poll,” TimesLedger, Jan. 19-25). Comments (1).
Editorial

Save the College Point Mail Center

In three months, the U.S. Postal Service plans to close its College Point facility, which employs 1,000 people. The USPS has decided to move the operation to a facility in Brooklyn. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Koo fund-raiser draws large crowd at Flushing hotel

We only attended two events this week, but they were two good ones. The first one was a fund-raising party hosted by the Friends of Peter Koo for his re-election campaign. Comments (1).

February, 2012

Letters

Pension system must be overhauled

The Feb. 2-8 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Fewer pensions costly: Study,” about people not having enough money to retire, raises an interesting question: Whose responsibility is it to make sure you have enough money to retire — you or your employer? Comment.
Breezy Point

Tip of the week

QueensLine

Astorian Bracken landed roles on radio, TV and in film

Born Feb. 7, 1915, to Catherine and Joseph Bracken, Astoria native Eddie Bracken enjoyed a career that spanned seven decades as a movie, television and stage actor. Comment.
Editorial

‘A Victory for All New Yorkers’

A deal has been reached that will create a fair process for evaluating teachers in state public schools. The deal, to be an amendment in the state budget, will ensure that New York receives more than $1 billion in federal funding that was contingent upon an agreement. Comments (1).
Letters

Aqueduct convention center not good for Queens

It would create a good feeling if once in a while taxpayer dollars produce a legislator who takes the time to seriously look at an important issue that will affect the residents of this city. Comment.
The Play’s the Thing

The origins of leap year go back a few thousand years

When people sometimes tell me that I look good for my age — and is that really a compliment? — they probably don’t realize that I’m still a teenager. Forget the wrinkles and gray hair and focus on the fact that I have a birthday only once every four years — Feb. 29 to be exact. Comment.
Editorial

No More Gerrymandering

If the redrawn state Senate district lines are adopted, two of Queens’ most powerful voices in Albany will have to run against each other in a primary if they want to stay in office. For this and other reasons, the lines should not be approved. Comment.
Letters

Fight to keep big money out of political campaigns

As we watch the numbers of Occupy Wall Street protesters dwindle, understandably so with the advent of the winter months and cold weather, many may think or even wish that they have gone away, but the 99 percent movement is far from dead. Comment.
Editorial

New Lines Mock Democracy

It seemed impossible, but the Republicans who control the state Senate have found a way to redraw Senate district lines in a manner that is more bizarre than the lines that exist. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Support just one candidate if you want your party to win

Another busy week, but nothing spectacular — just regular Queens local stuff. Comment.
Letters

Don’t fingerprint over food stamps

In New York state, more than 3 million people are living beneath the federal poverty line. From 2007 to the present, that number has increased by 11 percent, according to federal census data. Comments (9).
Editorial

Thanks, Governor, Sort Of

The good news is Fresh Direct has decided to relocate to the Bronx. The bad news is Queens will lose 2,000 jobs. Comments (1).
Letters

Club is not seeking new president

With all due respect, Dee Richards’ Feb. 9-15 headline is incorrect. Comment.
Political Action

Romney wins Florida, Maine but faces Santorum surge

Florida has just proven to be a key state in the presidential race. Mitt Romney has established himself as a lead contender for the Republican nomination. Newt Gingrich, after doing well in the South Carolina primary, could not maintain his momentum. Gingrich is a good public speaker and knows the issues well, but it was not enough. Comments (1).
Editorial

‘Don’t Close the Schools, Fix Them’

A crowd of 2,000 angry people packed the Brooklyn Tech High School auditorium to send a message to the city Panel for Education Policy that the people are opposed to the mayor’s plan to close 23 schools. Comment.
Letters

Politics not behind Lions Club elections

Generally I look forward to reading your articles, but found your Feb. 9-15 article entitled “Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club looking for new president” misrepresentative of the club and its procedures. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Columnist’s friend finds much to gripe about over politics

Here are the comments of my fourth friend, responding to my recent column about my gripes about our society. Comment.
Editorial

DOE Expels God

By the time this newspaper reaches your hands, religious services will be banned by the city Department of Education in public schools. The DOE set Sunday as the final day when the doors would be open to religious services. Comment.
Letters

Everyday errand leads to meeting with music great

It was a windy, cold January afternoon, and after battling Steinway Street traffic I finally found a parking spot. I had to remind myself that this challenge is always worth the effort when I am visiting my friend Zafar from Humza Studio to have my old 8 mm tapes transferred over to DVDs. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Annual cocktail party draws Dems from boro and beyond

Let me start this week’s column on a rather sad note. I wish to extend my deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the family of Marissa Roslyn Feldman. Comment.
Letters

This fall vote for change favoring you

Finally, our troops are out of Iraq but without the oil which precipitated the phony invasion and without the lives of our 4,000 soldiers unknowingly fighting and dying for it. Comment.
Editorial

No Need for Kelly to Resign

It is a sad reality that more than 10 years after Sept. 11, the NYPD still finds it necessary to conduct undercover surveillance in city mosques. It is understandable that this infuriates city Islamic leaders. Comments (1).
Letters

Proper spelling of boro place names never conventional

The article “Queensborough Bridge accident driver sues city” (Astoria Times, Dec. 15-21) contained excellent reporting, but I wish to bring up a few points. Comments (1).
QueensLine

Slain activist Malcolm X called East Elmhurst home in ‘65

The World’s Fair was in Queens, attracting visitors from far and wide. On Feb. 3, 1965, the Star-Journal reported that the fair “made news internationally as well as locally yesterday. The city will bring the fair into court if it fails to heed the subpoena served yesterday.” Comments (1).
Editorial

Dumb and Dumber

In a crime taken right from a cop show, Kwame Hamilton, 19, and Antwione Nabnet, 20, both of Jamaica, allegedly stole a cell phone from a victim walking down a Jamaica street and then attempted to sell the phone back to their victim. Comments (1).
Letters

Move to put all power lines underground

Over the last few years, we have experienced tornados, snow and ice storms, hurricanes and major rain storms. During these events, power is often lost and power lines are down, making roads impassable and walking treacherous. Comment.
The Civic Scene

BSA should be on side of Queens neighborhoods

In 1991, when the new City Charter was written, civic leaders warned that the creation of a city Board of Standards and Appeals would lower the quality of life, and it is happening as predicted. Comment.
Editorial

Fairness a Stranger at CB7

Hiding behind the letter of the law, Community Board 7 has unanimously refused to grant a waiver to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a two-story church in Queens. Comments (2).
Letters

State must change condo, co-op assessments

For co-op and condo residents, the real property tax assessment rolls have become a tax roller coaster. Some eastern Queens co-ops are facing 50 percent increases in assessed value this year, at a time when market values are essentially flat. Comment.
Letters

Plaza will help boro biz

I read the reports that there is opposition from merchants to the Jackson Heights pedestrian plaza that was established last fall on 37th Road between 73rd and 74th streets. Some of the opposition claims that the loss of parking spaces has hurt business in the area. Comment.
No Holds Barred

Citi Field: an ideal spot for public executions

Okay. So you have not heard from your elected officials, if you wrote to them or called them or e-mailed them about having public executionism in New York state. Don’t despair. It happens to the best — or worst — of us. Comments (6).
Dishing with Dee

Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club looking for new president

This was a rather slow week, or at least for me it was. Last Thursday, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held a business card exchange mixer. Those events are always a fun way to network. Comments (2).
Letters

Beware of Smart Meter installation

Across the United States and Canada, utility companies are forcing the installation of the Smart Meter, a digital device to monitor electric, gas and water consumption, upon a seriously uninformed public. In areas where the meters are located outside the house, they are installed without the owner’s knowledge. Comments (1).
Letters

Intersection needs left-turn signal

In the Jan. 12-18 TimesLedger Newspapers article “DOT says safety measures cut traffic fatalities in Queens,” city Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy said “there were 67 traffic deaths in Queens last year, ‘which is quite an accomplishment.’” Comment.
Editorial

Get Out of the Way

TimesLedger Newspapers letter writer Anne, of College Point, makes the case that the spa proposed for the College Point Corporate Park has a good chance of succeeding. Comments (2).
Letters

Qns. Center Mall gives workers living wage

I read the letter to the editor “Queens Center Mall owner must help neighboring area” (Jan. 19-25) with interest. We are proud of the fact that Queens Center Mall is a generator of tax dollars for the city and state and we try to do as much as we can to be a positive force for the Queens community and a fair employer. Comment.
Political Action

Pols should start promoting vocational schools once again

During the last few weeks, we have heard a lot about instituting a public school teacher evaluation system in New York state and especially in New York City. Comments (1).
Letters

No one is fit to properly run country

The state of our government is chaos. The idiots who represent the American people in Congress in Washington, D.C., are all overpaid, underworked windbags and total disgraces. Comments (1).
Glen Oaks

Boro co-ops and condos must fight high city valuations

Many of you will remember the battle between co-op and condo owners and the city Department of Finance last year, after DOF Commissioner Frankel announced double- and triple-digit, single-year property valuation increases in eastern Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Senators Right to Back Off

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have backed off their support for a piece of legislation that would have greatly restricted user access to the Internet. Comment.
Letters

Boro residents must show support for local diners

It is a sad day for all Queens residents with the closing of both the Gold Star Diner in Bayside and the Palace Diner in Flushing (“Gold Star Diner shuts its doors after being sold,” Bayside Times, Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 4, 2012). Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Boro GOP schools potential candidates in running for office

How the weeks fly by! Would you believe it’s now February? This past week was both fun and productive and informative. Comments (3).

January, 2012

Letters

New prez needed despite unemployment drop

As January 2012 progresses, the fact that 200,000 new jobs were created in December and that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5 percent still does not indicate a trend toward the end of this very long and devastating economic recession. Comments (2).
Pet Photo of the Week

Have a great photo of your pet? Submit it to our Queens Critter Contest!

Send your picture to our Queens Critter Contest! Comment.
Flushing

Tip of the week

QueensLine

Astoria native Merman made her name singing on stage

Born Jan. 16, 1908, as Ethel Agnes Zimmermann, Astoria native Ethel Merman is perhaps best remembered for her mezzo-soprano voice in numerous Broadway musicals and Hollywood films. Her musical numbers include “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “There’s no Business Like Show Business.” Comment.
Editorial

Trash These Fines

The punishment should fit the crime. Fining law-abiding citizens up to $300 because they put their trash cans out too early in the day is nuts. Comment.
Letters

To prevent the suffering of horses, do not make them pull carriages

I am writing in response to an article which was published in the Dec. 15-21 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers about carriage horses. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Seniors lament youths’ poor grammar, lack of courtesy

What follows are the gripes of three of my friends, based on my most recent column of my own gripes. Comment.
Editorial

Vultures

Immigrants hoping to a build a new life in America can easily fall prey to vultures who are willing to exploit their situation. Last week, a Queens judge sentenced three members of a Trinidadian family to 78 to 235 years for taking advantage of their countrymen. Comment.
Letters

Rockaways rail line must reopen and not become another highline

There has been much discussion regarding a proposal to convert abandoned areas of the old Rockaway Beach rail line into a “highline” park space. While I am an advocate for increased park space in Queens, I believe southern Queens and the Rockaways would be better served if this forgotten track once again fulfilled its original purpose as a railroad. Comments (8).
Letters

Convention center in Queens will create needed jobs

In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, a group of retired policemen came together to organize one of the largest international expositions the world had ever seen. The end goal: to lift the city out of an economic depression. Comment.
Editorial

An Act of War

Can someone tell the New Jersey governor that stealing Fresh Direct would be the economic equivalent of an act of war? Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Imposter tries to take credit for columnist’s writing

After giving it long and hard thought on whether or not to print the following information, I decided it was better to print it and thereby kill the tiger cub before it had a chance to grow into a fully grown man-eater. Comment.
Letters

Horse carriages are not glamorous

In response to your Dec. 22-28 editorial “Avella: Pull on the Reins,” I must agree with you for calling state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) “a fighter for the people.” Comments (36).
Long Island City

Tip of the week

Letters

Voters’ mandate? Support Obama

The world “mandate” may be one of the most intentionally or unconsciously abused directives. There are mandates and then there are mandates. In the 2010 election, the U.S. House of Representatives was decimated with the influx of the clueless freshman and gained a Republican majority. The Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate was sadly diluted and many Republican governors were voted into office. Comment.
Editorial

Do Not Blame the Teachers

In his State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made education reform the cornerstone of his administration’s final two years. The 12th-richest person in the United States continues to believe the take-no-prisoners approach that made him a success on Wall Street will work well in the public school system. Comment.
Letters

U.S. must stop stationing troops abroad

Bring our troops home now. The United States is in a state of perpetual war. American troops are stationed in almost every country around the globe. Comments (1).
Editorial

Mazel Tov, Jacob

A son of Forest Hills has been appointed to one of the most important positions in the Obama administration. Comment.
Letters

Value human and animal life

Since this issue has gone viral — as you can see, I am from Virginia — I wish to join with those protesting this abuse of horses and ask that horse-drawn carriages be discontinued as soon as possible. Comments (48).
Political Action

Paper ballots in Iowa more efficient than voting machines

Here in New York state, we have been using voting machines for at least the last 70 years. When these machines came into use, it was heralded as an end to voting fraud, since votes would now be counted by the voting machines instead of by hand. There seemed to be little possibility of mistakes in counting the ballots. Comments (1).
Editorial

Do Not Blame the Teachers

In his State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made education reform the cornerstone of his administration’s final two years. The 12th-richest person in the United States continues to believe the take-no-prisoners approach that made him a success on Wall Street will work well in the public school system. Comments (1).
Letters

Queens Center Mall owner must help neighboring area

As clergy leaders from Queens Congregations United for Action, we minister to families from all walks of life struggling to make ends meet. It is not just that we are living through hard economic times. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

Romney a better candidate than most people think

By now I’m sure you are aware that Eric Ulrich has been appointed as the New York City campaign chairman for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. After Romney won in both Iowa and New Hampshire, hopefully for Eric he will do equally well in South Carolina and Florida. Comments (1).
No Holds Barred

Write to elected officials in favor of money-making execution plan

Some of you may have noticed that I did not emphasize in my last blog what public executions could do for the economy of Queens. Let me rectify that immediately, lest you think this is a matter of no concern to your pocketbook and mine. Comments (6).
Flushing

Tip of the week

Letters

Tell your elected officials to fight drug lobbyists

Are you as startled as I every time a commercial on TV from an attorney’s office informs us that if we took a certain medication to contact their office because the medication causes all kinds of problems, including death? Comment.
QueensLine

Communist sympathizers disrupted Newtown HS in 1935

Two Yale students on the final leg of a 29,000-mile world tour land in College Point in early January 1935. They take more than 600 pictures of places and people with an aerial camera and plan to donate the images to the Geographical Society of America. Their last hop, a four-hour trip from Morehead City, N.C., was one of the most brutal. Facing a 45 mph headwind, the ice-covered plane lands in an ice-caked Flushing Bay. Comment.
Editorial

Jamaica High’s Slow Death

The carcass of what once was a proud high school should serve as a monument to the incompetence and arrogance of the city Department of Education. Comment.
Letters

Wild turkey majestic, patriotic bird

This is a very important letter. My name is Maxie Hom. I think the wild turkey should be our national bird. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Students face many obstacles just trying to do well in school

New York City is starting a new round of witch trials in our schools, just like the ones conducted last year. The witches are the schools accused of being failures. City education officials just announced that they want to close 19 failing schools while state education officials claim 104 Queens schools were in need of improvement under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Comment.
Editorial

Prescription Benefits in Danger

Imagine that one day you head to a local pharmacy to pick up a prescription and find out the store no longer accepts your employer’s pharmacy plan. This could happen soon consumers in New York state if the Federal Trade Commission signs off on a plan to merge two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers. Comment.
Letters

Mind the use of certain words

The headline of a story in the Dec. 22-28 edition of the Bayside Times read, “Bayside priest jailed for 5 years.” Comments (1).
Editorial

Prescription Benefits in Danger

Imagine that one day you head to a local pharmacy to pick up a prescription and find out the store no longer accepts your employer’s pharmacy plan. This could happen soon to New York state consumers if the Federal Trade Commission signs off on a plan to merge two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers. Comments (3).
Letters

CUNY still remains affordable for pupils

Regarding the Dec. 1-7 TimesLedger Newspaper article “Students protest as CUNY hikes tuition,” I am pleased to share several unreported data points on the value and affordability of a City University of New York education and its benefits for our students. Comment.
Dishing with Dee

New Year’s brunch attracts who’s who of boro leaders

Hopefully, the holiday party season is finally beginning to wind down. I don’t mind feeling dead tired, but when you look in the mirror and you look dead tired, that’s where you have to draw the line. Comments (1).
Health

Tip of the week

Letters

Gov’t must cut spending for sake of next generation

As I have made clear from Day 1, the main reason I got into politics is out of concern for the future of our nation. As a grandfather of 13, my priority is to improve our economy by helping foster an environment where businesses can create lasting jobs and address our national debt crisis so our children and grandchildren can prosper in this country. Comment.
On Point

Cultural differences should not trump residents’ concerns

A few weeks ago, I attended an event at the Gurdwara Sant Sagar, a Sikh house of worship in Bellerose. The event was organized by the Creedmoor Civic Association for community residents to learn more about the gurdwara and the Sikh community. Comments (2).
Editorial

Spa Gets a Thumbs Down

We are curious about Borough President Helen Marshall’s decision to reject a proposal to build a second spa in College Point. It took Marshall several weeks to decide that that spa would create a parking and traffic problem in the Corporate Park. Comment.
Letters

City must clean up Flushing housing site now

As the first vice president of the Auburndale Improvement Association Inc., it is part of my responsibility to address community problems. Comments (1).
I Sit and Look Out

Civility is a forgotten and missed art in public places

This started out to be one column to be sent out into the world at anytime. It has turned into more than that and I think the comments in these columns may be something to think about in the new year. They represent my thinking and those of a group of five younger friends who see my columns on a regular basis. Comment.
Editorial

Welcome City Harvest

Every day tons of food are wasted in the city. Fortunately, there is an organization that wants to do something about that. Comment.
Letters

City better be prepared for winter storms

I was happy to hear that there will be no snowfall snafus this winter and during future winters. Comment.
Political Action

Romney, Gingrich campaigns echo contest in 1976

We are watching a contest between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for the Republican Party 2012 presidential nomination. Although there are other candidates competing, these two candidates seem to be leading. Comments (1).
Editorial

The Adoption Scam

A lawsuit on behalf of 10 disabled children who were fraudulently adopted by an ex-Laurelton woman who used their adoptions to make more than a million dollars raises questions about the justice system. The children’s lawyers are looking for a $68 million settlement. Comment.
Letters

Support the bald eagle

My name is Joseph Ciciliato. I am in third-grade at PS 94. I am writing to tell you that I have a special bird in mind to represent our country. The bald eagle, instead of the wild turkey, should be our national bird. Comments (4).
Dishing with Dee

Old year ends on sad note with closing of Palace Diner

Happy New Year to everyone! We hope 2012 is one of the best-ever new years for you. Don’t make too many resolutions, as we all know that even with the best of intentions they are hard to keep after the first few weeks. Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group