Editorial

December, 2010

Editorial

Peace on Earth

As happens every year at this time, our thoughts turn to our readers who will spend the holidays without loved ones defending this country in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. Like them, we look forward to the holiday season when that will not be the case. Comment.
Editorial

Stop the DOE Madness

Talk about not learning fast. Once again, the city Department of Education is talking about closing Jamaica High School and three other schools in southeast Queens. The idea is as dumb now as it was a year ago. The DOE bureaucrats do not have a clue what this school means to its community. Comment.
Editorial

Queens Is Going to the Dogs

Hats off to everyone involved in creating a dog run at Little Bay Park. The new facility makes permanent a temporary dog run that was opened at the same location in 2005. This was made possible by $500,000 secured by Tony Avella when he was a city councilman. Comment.
Editorial

Let Livery Drivers Use Common Sense

The hearts of the city are with the family of Trevor Bell, which continues a bedside watch for the livery cab driver who was left in critical condition after being shot seven times. Police have accused Shawn Peace, 22, of shooting Bell before stealing $100. The robbery was caught on camera. Comment.
Editorial

Sex Trafficking in Queens

The Queens district attorney said a suspect was extradited from Virginia last week on charges that he held a 13-year-old girl as a sex slave in his Jamaica home. District Attorney Richard Brown claims that Anthony Vargas, 21, locked the 13-year-old in his apartment for weeks while he pimped her out. Comment.
Editorial

A Closer for K-Rod

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez took a plea in Queens Criminal Court last week that should allow him to keep his freedom and salvage his baseball career. K-Rod pleaded guilty to attempted assault. The misdemeanor charge resulted from his beating the father of his girlfriend at Citi Field. Comment.
Editorial

The Pat-Down Hysteria

In the age of talk radio, tweets, blogs and videos shot on cell phones, it is not surprising to see an inconvenience blown up into a national crisis. Such is the case with the pat-downs that became part of airport security. As almost everyone knows, security can now ask passengers to submit to an invasive pat-down if they refuse body scans. Comment.
Editorial

Changing Course

Although we were not happy with the way in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg selected Cathie Black to be the next city schools chancellor, we believe state Education Commissioner David Steiner has made the right decision to back Black’s nomination. The children would not have benefited from a power struggle among the mayor, the state Legislature and City Council members. Comment.

November, 2010

Editorial

Wishing Our Readers a Happy Thanksgiving

The TimesLedger Newspapers staff wishes our readers a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hopefully, this holiday will find you and your family gathered around the table safe and warm. As always, our hearts go out to those families with a member serving our country overseas and those facing hard times because of the economy. Comment.
Editorial

The Challenge Facing Cathie Black

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Ray Kelly police commissioner, he picked a man with law enforcement experience. When he appointed Salvatore Cassano the fire commissioner, the mayor picked a man who had worked his way through the ranks in the FDNY. Comment.
Editorial

Cold-hearted Cowards

Victor Mejia, 28, left Mexico and came to Corona with the hope of leading a better life with his wife Candelaria Rodriguez. He found a job as a pizza deliveryman and was willing to work hard to build a future. The two were sending some money to Mejia’s ailing mother in Mexico and saving what they could. They hoped someday to have children. Comment.
Editorial

What Tea Party?

Nationwide, if there is one story that stands out in the last election, it was the impact of the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a grassroots, loosely defined movement that sprung up primarily in opposition to what its members see as the tax-and-spend policies of the Obama administration. Topping its agenda, the Tea Party wants to overthrow the health-care reform it calls “Obamacare.” Comment.
Editorial

Hail and Farewell

An era has come to an end in northeast Queens. State Sen. Frank Padavan, the man who has represented the 11th Senate District for 38 years, was defeated by former City Councilman Tony Avella in a major upset. Comment.
Editorial

No Tea Party Here

The anti-Democrat, anti-incumbent, throw-the-bums-out mood that was reported across the nation never caught on in Queens. The Tea Party had little or no impact even in the most conservative districts of the borough. Comment.
Editorial

A Most Dangerous Drink

Queens City Councilman James Sanders called on the city last week to ban the sale of a drink called Four Loko. The beverage combines alcohol with caffeine. It is widely used by college students and health experts say it is more dangerous than any beverage legally available. Comment.
Editorial

The War Is Over

If you are reading this editorial, chances are the world did not end Tuesday. Despite the overheated election rhetoric that the people of New York City have been subjected to, the world kept spinning on Election Day when neither the Democrats nor the Republicans won all of the races they claimed were essential for the future of the nation and state. Comment.
Editorial

The Right Vote on the U.N.

In a letter published last week, James O’Neill of Middle Village criticizes U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer for their support of the funding of the United Nations with taxes collected from U.S. citizens. He believes the vote of 51 senators in favor of the U.N. was a “betrayal” and against the wishes of their constituents. Comment.

October, 2010

Editorial

Signs of the Times

Proposed legislation requiring store owners to post signs in English may appear to infringe on the owners’ First Amendment rights. The legislation was introduced by Councilman Dan Halloran, whose district covers Bayside, Whitestone and College Point. The legislation will have the greatest impact in nearby Flushing, with its large Asian business district. Comment.
Editorial

Going Backward on Election Day

On Tuesday, voters across the state will go to the polls to elect a new governor and state attorney general and new Congress members and state legislators. When they do, they will cast their votes on paper ballots. Comment.
Editorial

A Grassroots Change

On Election Day, southeast Queens voters will have the opportunity to decide whether they want to be represented on the City Council by a young woman who four years ago captured the heart of this city. Comment.
Editorial

The ‘Career Politician’ Myth

If enough people say something dumb often enough, it begins to sound intelligent — especially in politics. Comment.
Editorial

Once Again the Forgotten Borough

The “let’s hike the fares again” Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning to install countdown clocks on the subway platforms of the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 subway lines. These lines run from Brooklyn to the Bronx through Manhattan. Comment.
Editorial

‘A frum Republican’

It would be an understatement to say that we are uncomfortable with an advertisement run by a Republican congressional candidate in the 5 Towns Jewish Press attacking U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks. Comment.
Editorial

Say ‘No’ to the Nanny State

Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed this week that he and Gov. David Paterson have asked the federal government to place sugar-laden drinks on the list of foods that cannot be purchased with food stamps. The mayor, who also wants to ban smoking in outdoor public places where people gather, said he is taking this action because of the number of obese children in city public schools. Comment.
Editorial

No Joy in Mudville

Nobody in Queens should have been surprised last week when New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya and Manager Jerry Manuel got their walking papers. By the time September rolled around, even loyal Mets fans had given up hope that their team would make it to the post-season. Comment.
Editorial

Before a Hospital Closes

In an effort to help other communities in the state avoid the crisis that has confronted Jamaica and its surrounding communities, state Assemblyman Rory Lancman and state Sen. Shirley Huntley have sponsored a bill that would establish a process that must be followed before a hospital is allowed to close. Comment.
Editorial

We Were Right: Paladino Is Unfit to Govern

The ink had barely dried on a TimesLedger Newspapers editorial questioning the demeanor and language of Carl Paladino when the Republican candidate for governor went out his way to prove us right. Comment.
Editorial

Rats

If you are an elected official in New York City, you cannot go wrong siding with a union. Unions contribute campaign funds and play a major role in getting out the vote. So when the mayor announced he was cutting funds to the city Department of Health, it was not surprising Queens City Council members lined up to warn that the borough would be overrun by rats if this happens. Comment.

September, 2010

Editorial

GOP Should Be Embarrassed

If civility in the state’s political discourse is not dead, it is at least on life support. The nomination of Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino to represent the Republican Party in the state’s gubernatorial race represents a new low in state politics. We can only hope that the handful of people who voted in the primary did not know much about this candidate other than the fact that he was the choice of the Tea Party movement. Comment.
Editorial

Getting the Power Back in Queens

Even as we write this editorial, dozens of emergency crews continue to work around the clock to repair the damage left by the storm that devastated Queens and other parts of the city. In Queens alone it is estimated that 1,000 trees were uprooted by the powerful winds. Tens of thousands of residents were left without power and some still do not have it. Con Edison estimates that 45,000 customers citywide lost power during the storm. Comment.
Editorial

Another Look at Islam

When a wacko minister in Florida with a congregation of 15 members announced that he was planning to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of Sept. 11, it made headlines around the world. But on the eve of 9/11, when as many as 28,000 Muslims gathered on the football field at Jamaica High School to celebrate the holiest day in the Muslim calendar, the media did not notice. With the exception of TimesLedger Newspapers, this event was ignored by the television networks and print media. Comment.
Editorial

Judge Tramples on Dreams

Frank, not his real name, was 18 and barely out of high school when he signed up for the U.S. Army. He was shipped to Iraq, where he was nearly killed when a landmine blew up the truck he was riding in. Comment.
Editorial

No threats, no hate, no story

On the eve of the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, events at Astoria Park and Jamaica High School demonstrated the hope the thousands of Muslim families in Queens have that the nation can move beyond fear and divisiveness. Comment.
Editorial

Slater’s Jet Blue Blues

For a brief period of time, Steven Slater was a folk hero. He was a JetBlue flight attendant who vented his anger over the plane’s public address system when the plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He then grabbed two beers and slid down the plane’s emergency chute. For a brief time, he embodied the dreams of thousands who would like to tell their bosses to “take this job and shove it.” Comment.
Editorial

Close it Down

Any business that acts without regard for the safety of its patrons and neighbors forfeits the right to operate in Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Queens Will Miss Tom White

The TimesLedger Newspapers joins southeast Queens in mourning the passing of City Councilman Thomas White. White died of cancer last week at 71. Comment.
Editorial

A Happy Ending in College Point

It took more than 13 years, but the second phase of the construction at the College Point Fields has finally been completed. College Point families now have a state-of-the-art sports facility. Comment.
Editorial

Standing Against Hatred

In a week when a cabdriver from Jamaica had his throat slashed because he happens to be Muslim and a man was arrested for urinating on the floor of a Queens mosque, the leaders of a mosque in Astoria opened their doors to the community to counter growing anti-Muslim hysteria. Comment.
Editorial

The Future of St. Albans Hospital

We are surprised by the protest against plans to rebuild the St. Albans VA Hospital. We doubt anyone would argue that the rebuilding of the hospital is overdue. And we would have expected the community to trust the Rev. Edwin Reed, a former assistant to the Rev. Floyd Flake. Comment.
Editorial

Bayside’s Grinches Go to Court

It takes a special kind of group to go to court to stop a hospital from expanding to provide better service to children. As reported last week, a Bayside civic organization is suing St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on the grounds that construction currently underway would subject neighbors of the hospital to noise, truck traffic and dust. Comment.
Editorial

Monumentally Stupid

Everyone in his or her life makes a dumb decision on the spur of the moment. That is understandable, but standing by a dumb decision in the face of overwhelming criticism is not. Comment.

August, 2010

Editorial

And They’re Off …

Genting NY appears to have cleared the final hurdle in winning the contract to build and operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack. After all the bids were evaluated, the subsidiary of a Malaysian-based company was the only horse left in the race. Comment.
Editorial

Times Are Not so Tough at Borough Hall

Times may be tough in other parts of the city, but that did not stop Borough President Helen Marshall from asking the city to shell out $85,000 in taxpayer funds for publicity photographs over the coming year. The private photographer will chronicle the borough president’s daily activities. Comment.
Editorial

No Tolerance for Intolerance

The World Trade Center was destroyed Sept. 11, 2001, because the Twin Towers stood as a powerful symbol of all that makes this nation great. The Muslim extremists who steered two airliners into the WTC had no tolerance for freedom of religion. Comment.
Editorial

Not a Hero

It is a symptom of the age we live in that a JetBlue flight attendant who scolded a passenger over the plane’s intercom before grabbing two beers and sliding down the plane’s emergency chute became an overnight celebrity. Thousands of Internet bloggers and some newspaper columnists see Steven Slater, 38, as America’s new folk hero. Comment.
Editorial

In Defense of Public Service

If you torture statistics enough, they will confess to anything. Case in point: a report published last week in USA Today that carried the headline “Federal workers earning double their private counterparts.” It was accompanied by charts that showed federal, city and state workers receiving far more in salaries and benefits on average than their counterparts in the private sector. The report has fueled the fire of right-wing zealots. Comment.
Editorial

Leave It

Some fights are clearly not worth fighting. We had hoped the community, police and city would move on after the city Law Department agreed to award roughly $7 million to Nicole Paultre-Bell, whose fiance, Sean Bell, was killed in a hail of police bullets and two other men who survived the shooting. Comment.
Editorial

City Dishonors a Hero

This may come as a shock to the a-rule-is-a-rule crowd, but there are times when common sense and simple human decency trump the letter of the law. The case of fire Capt. James Corrigan is one of those times. Comment.
Editorial

Weiner’s Meltdown

Two years ago he topped the list of candidates hoping to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He dropped out of the race when the City Council allowed Bloomberg to run for a third term. Today, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is the early frontrunner in the 2013 mayoral race. Comment.
Editorial

Time for Healing

The city Law Department announced last week it would pay out slightly more than $7 million to settle the lawsuits surrounding the fatal police shooting of Sean Bell and the wounding his two friends. As part of the settlement, the city did not have to admit any wrongdoing on the part of the police officers who fired 50 rounds at Bell and his companions. Comment.
Editorial

A Better St. Mary’s

Anyone who reads this newspaper on a regular basis knows how enormously proud we are of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside. This hospital, which serves children fighting the most serious and often fatal illnesses, recently embarked on a $114 million expansion. When the work is completed, the hospital will be able to offer even better service to even more children. Comment.
Editorial

‘A Real Sad Day’

On the day when his enemies were salivating and barely able to control their excitement, U.S. Rep. Peter King spoke kindly about fellow Rep. Charles Rangel, who was hit with 13 charges by the House Ethics Committee. Comment.

July, 2010

Editorial

A Limit to Taking Names

Does it matter if the police know who you are, where you live and that you were in the neighborhood when a store was robbed or an old lady got mugged? Are your rights violated when the NYPD keeps information on people who are stopped and frisked and not arrested? Comment.
Editorial

Room for Every Child

In these tough times, schools are under pressure to cut costs. In some parts of the state, schools reportedly have been looking for ways to reduce the number of children who not have the proper immigration papers. Doing this violates a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which holds that immigration status cannot be used to refuse children equal access to a public education. Comment.
Editorial

No Place for a Squatter

A story in this newspaper last week described a woman who has been living in St. Albans Park for the last three years as a “squatter.” It would have been politically incorrect to call this lady a bum, but that is exactly what this person is — a bum who has been allowed to ruin this park for families in southeast Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Divided on the Future of Flushing

The differences between the Chinese- and Korean-American businesses in downtown Flushing are noticeable. The signs for most businesses are written in the language of the owner. These businesses have breathed new life into Flushing and made it one of the most prosperous areas in the city. Comment.
Editorial

Charter Schools Play Valuable Role

In a letter published in last week’s newspaper, Chet Szarejko raised questions about the growing number of city charter schools. Although we disagree with Szarejko’s conclusions, we recognize he speaks for many New Yorkers who believe charter schools threaten the public education system. Comment.
Editorial

Common Sense Is Winner at Ft. Totten Pool

During one of the hottest weeks on record, it was our pleasure to report last week that the city Parks Department had reconsidered its decision to close the Fort Totten pool. Much of the credit for this decision goes to City Councilman Dan Halloran, who fought to keep the city from shutting the only outdoor public pool in northeast Queens. Comment.
Editorial

A Little Common Sense in Monserrate Case

Although we supported the vote in the state Senate to expel former Sen. Hiram Monserrate, we questioned the court’s decision to issue an order of protection preventing him from having any contact with his victim, Karla Giraldo. Comment.
Editorial

Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows

A state Appellate Court has upheld a ruling by a state Supreme Court judge that will keep Jamaica High School off the chopping block. The school, which has played such an important role in the history of southeast Queens, will remain open. Comment.
Editorial

The Lame Duck Roars

In the last week, Gov. David Paterson has demonstrated a courage rarely seen in Albany. While the state’s derelict legislators headed home for vacation, the governor sat with his aides and began vetoing the state budget. Comment.
Editorial

A Fundamentally Broken System

Despite the noise from the Tea Partiers and radical right, we believe most New Yorkers will support President Barack Obama’s assertion that the nation’s immigration system is “fundamentally broken.” Comment.
Editorial

Getting Fit with Fitty

The politicians, teachers and community leaders of southeast Queens could talk until the cows come home and not have a fraction of the influence on kids rapper 50 Cent had during a few hours in Queens Saturday afternoon. Comment.
Editorial

CB 7 Deserves a ‘Well Done’

This newspaper exists to report on events and issues important to Queens residents and through letters to the editor to give readers a sounding board to express their opinions. Comment.
Editorial

Questions Abound in Haggerty Mess

The case of John Haggerty Jr. raises questions about the health of the Republican Party in New York state and its relationship with the state Independence Party. Comment.

June, 2010

Editorial

Gillibrand Goes Gunning for Gangs

Last week TimesLedger Newspapers reported that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had become alarmed by the drug problem and growing influence of gangs throughout the state — in particular in Queens. She said there are as many as 22,000 gang members in the state and as many as 670,000 New Yorkers suffer from substance abuse related to gang activity. Comment.
Editorial

Garbage

If city planners have their way, in 2013 the Sanitation Department will begin transferring 2,100 tons of waste every day from stations on the Queens border. One facility will be built in College Point, the other in Sunnyside. Comment.
Editorial

The Free Ride Continues

At the last moment common, sense prevailed at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It agreed not to eliminate free student MetroCards. Although we recognize the MTA is caught between a rock and hard place, continuing the free ride to and from school makes sense. Comment.
Editorial

Get Rid of the Gangs

Barring a successful appeal, Sherwin Thompson will spend the better part of the rest of his life behind bars. Thompson is 23 and a member of the Bloods gang. He was recently convicted of weapons possession and manslaughter in the killing of Germaine Persaud three years ago. Persaud was only 21. Comment.
Editorial

How Not to Dress for Success

First Debrahlee Lorenzana got fired from Citibank for her sexy style of dressing, but now she says she is in hot water with her bosses at JP Morgan Chase for talking to the media about her case against Citibank. Comment.
Editorial

Arizona’s Hate Draws Anger Here

It is rare that actions taken by a state on the other side of the country merit the attention of elected officials here. But two Queens City Council members had good reason to protest the anti-immigrant measures recently passed into law in Arizona. Comment.
Editorial

Common Sense in War on Drunks

The Queens courts have taken a high-tech approach in the war on crime that will cost taxpayers little or nothing and likely will save lives. The Queens Treatment Court now uses an ankle bracelet that can tell the court with a high degree of accuracy if a person is abusing alcohol. Comment.
Editorial

Queens Delegation Shows Courage

It happened quietly and almost no one noticed that the Democrat-run state Assembly voted last week to approve legislation that will more than double the number of charter schools in the state. This will hopefully help the state secure hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding. Comment.
Editorial

Bag the Sag

Two prominent African-American political leaders, state Sens. Malcolm Smith and Eric Adams, have launched a campaign to persuade youth, especially black teenagers, to stop wearing jeans that fall off their butts, exposing their boxer shorts. Comment.
Editorial

At Last, Justice

TimesLedger Newspapers has followed the campaign of Bayside community leader Mandingo Tshaka, who has fought for more than 10 years to honor the impoverished people buried beneath what became a Flushing playground. Comment.
Editorial

Spitting on Common Sense

At a time when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is trying to balance layoffs with fare increases to avoid service cuts, it is disturbing to learn that 51 MTA bus drivers took an average of two months off after passengers spat on them. Comment.

May, 2010

Editorial

New York Needs a Budget Now

State Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson is arguably the most or at least the second-most powerful political figure in New York state. As such, Sampson should be held accountable for the shameful budget impasse in Albany. Comment.
Editorial

School Nurses Aren’t a Luxury

The budget impasse in Albany has forced a number of unhappy decisions. They include the possible closing of some senior centers, the cutting back on library hours and the closing of some state parks. None of these were popular decisions, but they appeared to distribute the pain. Comment.
Editorial

Stop the Budget Blame Game

Faced with a financial crisis of monumental proportions, Gov. David Paterson has decided to play the blame game. The governor placed the responsibility for this impasse at the feet of the Democratic and Republican legislative leaders. Comment.
Editorial

Honoring Sean Bell

In a ceremony this week, one block of a street in Jamaica was renamed in honor of a man who was killed by police nearly four years ago. Sean Bell was shot down in a hail of 50 bullets hours before he was to be married. Comment.
Editorial

The City’s Broken Promise

Let’s see if we got this straight: The whole reason for the multibillion-dollar renovation of Willets Point was that the area to the east of Citi Field had become an eyesore. The scrap metal and other businesses made the area look like, well, a junkyard. Comment.
Editorial

Worth the Effort

Queens may soon have two streets renamed to honor men whose primary claim to fame is the fact they were shot to death. Comment.
Editorial

Playing the Race Card

If Farouk Samaroo has evidence that recently elected state Assemblyman Michael Miller is “insensitive” to the minority communities that make up the majority of Queens, he should make it public immediately. Comment.
Editorial

Gerrymandered to ‘Oblivion’

For as long as anyone can remember, New York’s political parties have seen redistricting as an opportunity to solidify and expand their political power. Generations of politicians have engaged in ruthless, cynical gerrymandering. But until now they pretended to have respect for the principles of democracy. Comment.
Editorial

Saying ‘No’ Is Not Enough

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is incensed the city budget will include the elimination of a CUNY scholarship fund created by his father 13 years ago. Comment.
Editorial

Shameful Cowards

How can anyone with a pulse walk by a person lying on the sidewalk who is injured or already may be dead and do nothing? Surveillance video shows at least eight people walking by a Guatemalan immigrant stretched out on the sidewalk and then doing nothing. Comment.
Editorial

Slow Down

A public hearing last month at LaGuardia Community College did little to reassure skeptics that the revision of the City Charter was being done thoughtfully. At the meeting held by the City Charter Revision Committee, members of the public were given three minutes to make statements or raise questions. This falls short of intelligent debate. Comment.
Editorial

More Reasons to Hate the Arizona Law

For weeks now the media have been filled with stories about reaction to Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. The law not only allows local police to ask for the papers of anyone they suspect may be in this country illegally, but requires them to do so. Comment.

April, 2010

Editorial

It Must Not Happen Here

“Show me your papers!” is a line heard in nearly every movie ever made about Nazi Germany. The storm trooper stops an unsuspecting passerby and demands to see proof of citizenship. And it is a line that will be heard throughout Arizona. Comment.
Editorial

The Child Abuse ‘Perfect Storm’

In the past five weeks, four children in Queens have died at the hands of caregivers. Although the city Administration for Children’s Services said the number of child abuse cases has remained stable over the last seven years, there is reason for concern. Comment.
Editorial

Lacking Horse Sense

The City Council passed a bill last week that speaks volumes about how out of touch this legislative body is with the working class. The bill mandates that the carriage horse industry give horses five weeks vacation each year. Comment.
Editorial

A Sad Justice

A Queens Islamic religious leader learned last week he will pay a terrible price for informing would-be terrorist Najibullah Zazi that he was being monitored by federal agents who had learned of his plot to set off a bomb in the city subway system. Comment.
Editorial

Stink Grows Stronger in SE Queens

The stench grows worse with each passing day in southeast Queens. Serious questions have been raised about the New Direction Development Corp., a nonprofit created by state Sen. Malcolm Smith and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks. Comment.
Editorial

Coming to Your Census

Federal officials said recently thatless than half of Queens residents have returned their census forms. That makes Queens, with only 47 percent, the second worst in the city. Only Brooklyn is worse with 42 percent. Comment.
Editorial

A Shortage of Compassion

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer deserves credit for his effort to broker an accord between neighbors who live near the Hart Playground in Woodside and the nuns from St. John’s Bread and Life who feed the day laborers who gather outside the park. The neighbors met with the people who run the soup kitchen last week. Comment.
Editorial

Delaying Tactics at Willets Point

Anyone who wants to know why it takes so long to get any public works off the ground should study the efforts being made by lobbyist Richard Lipsky to block the redevelopment of Willets Point. Comment.
Editorial

Care for All Children

Rush Limbaugh and other conservative activists can talk all they want about why illegal immigrants should not be entitled to taxpayer-funded services, but no one should question that children in the city’s foster system should be offered the care they need. Comment.
Editorial

Jumpstart the Aqueduct Casino

There is no better example of the paralysis that has stopped state government than the ongoing mess at the Aqueduct Race Track. The state had good reason to question whether the Aqueduct Entertainment Group was qualified to operate a video lottery system at the track. And it may still turn out that high-level corruption reaching all the way to the office of the governor was involved in the awarding of this contract. Comment.
Editorial

Hysteria Rules the Day

We are certain we are not alone in our frustration with the near hysteria surrounding the health-care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama. We are hopeful it will improve access to health care, but that remains to be seen. Comment.
Editorial

Saving the ‘Hometown’ Airline

Congratulations to everyone involved in keeping the headquarters of JetBlue Airways in Queens. At a time when it seemed there was nothing but bad news coming from Albany and City Hall, this was an amazing accomplishment. The decision by JetBlue executives to stay here rather than relocate to Florida will save more than 800 jobs. Comment.

March, 2010

Editorial

Save the Student Pass

Although we understand the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing tough times, we oppose its plans to eliminate free student MetroCards. There must be and there are better ways to deal with the MTA budget shortfall than by making it nearly impossible for low- and moderate-income families to send their children to school. Comment.
Editorial

Use it or Lose It

We would like nothing more than to see the RKO Keith’s Theatre on Northern Boulevard in Flushing restored to its former glory. The theater that opened in 1928 features a landmarked lobby and was in its day one of the most magnificent buildings in Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Wave Goodbye to Scandals

It has come to the point in New York City where a prosperous strip club cannot get any respect. The owners of Scandals, a strip club in Long Island City, said they are being squeezed out of their present location by new city zoning laws. Comment.
Editorial

What a Waste

Although we had reservations about the state’s plans to open a video lottery casino at Aqueduct Race Track, we conceded in this time of financial crisis it was an acceptable way to raise money for the city and state. It beats taxing soft drinks both in its fairness and potential to raise revenue. Comment.
Editorial

‘The Heartland of Unfitness’

Last Tuesday’s special election should be the nail in the coffin for the political career of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s political career. The embattled politician was convinced the people who elected him first to the state Assembly and later to the Senate had been disenfranchised by the decision of his fellow senators that he was unfit to hold office. Comment.
Editorial

Get it Done

We have a message for the men and women representing the New York City area in Washington, D.C.: The American people are weary of the partisanship and political bickering that has blocked the way to health care reform. It became clear at the presidential health summit at the Blair House in Washington last week that there are serious problems in the American health care system that need to be addressed. Comment.
Editorial

Temper Justice with Mercy

The growing problem of gang violence has led to cries for the harshest penalties for those involved in this behavior. The hope is if society punishes a select few harshly enough, the message will get out and discourage others from joining gangs and taking part in senseless violence. Comment.
Editorial

Life after Monserrate

Ousted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate will not go quietly into the night. Having been removed by his fellow senators, the embattled politician has gathered the 5,500 signatures needed to get his name on the March 16 special election ballot. Comment.

February, 2010

Editorial

Another Door Closes in Bell Case

Another Door Closes in Bell Case Comment.
Editorial

Students as Pawns

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has yet to back away from its plan to charge New York City students if they want to ride a bus to get to school. At a rally last week, members of the state Assembly, teachers and union leaders made it clear that doing away with student MetroCards is not acceptable. Comment.
Editorial

‘Very Poor Taste’

We have known Corey Bearak for a long time. He has been a dedicated community activist involved in countless civic battles. We have not always agreed with him, but we have never doubted the sincerity of his commitment to the people who live in this borough, Comment.
Editorial

A Leak in NOAH’s Arc

A scandal involving money donated to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina threatens to send a tremor through southeast Queens. The New York Post reported last week that a U.S. attorney is investigating a charity called New Yorkers Organized to Assist Hurricane Families that was created to raise funds for the people whose lives had been devastated by Katrina. Comment.
Editorial

Getting Tough on Domestic Violence

There is irony in the fact that state Sen. Frank Padavan introduced legislation in the Senate protecting the victims of domestic violence in the same week the Senate found the courage to expel Sen. Hiram Monserrate. Comment.
Editorial

Take a Hike, Governor

Gov. David Paterson, you must be kidding. Your plan to balance the MTA budget by raising the taxes on New York City businesses while reducing suburban taxes is disgraceful. Comment.
Editorial

Something Stinks at Aqueduct

The state may finally be ready to move forward at Aqueduct Race Track. The plan is to introduce casino gambling at the track using video gambling machines. It is expected the casino will raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the state and company that wins the right to run the operation. Comment.
Editorial

Who Needs a Borough President?

This year could mark the beginning of the end for the city’s five borough presidents. A commission that will be created to review the City Charter may conclude the time has come to eliminate this office. In addition, the commission will probably look at the public advocate office, term limits and the powers of the City Council. In the end, voters will get the final say. Comment.
Editorial

Another Crooked Politician

After three decades in government, former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio will spend the next six years of his life in federal prison. The once-powerful Richmond Hill politician left the courtroom dejected. Comment.
Editorial

Chancellor Klein Goes to School

Is it possible city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein attended the meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School last week, where hundreds of parents protested the city’s plan to closed 19 schools, and not have been moved? Comment.
Editorial

Not Here

We cannot find any reason why the trial of the self-described masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should be held in lower Manhattan. At a time when the mayor is searching for ways to balance the budget without firing teachers, it is ridiculous to ask the city to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hold the trial here. Comment.
Editorial

The Contingency Plan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a gloomy budget proposal last week with a matter-of-factness that made his news easier to digest. His message was clear: Tough times lie ahead. Comment.
Editorial

They Blew It

In the same week Gov. David Paterson proposed cutting aid to public schools by 5 percent, the state Legislature failed to take action that would have made it possible for the state to receive $700 million in federal “Race to the Top” education grants. Comment.
Editorial

Do the Right Thing, Hiram

Hardly a day goes by where there is not news of someone in the state Senate calling for the expulsion or censorship of Sen. Hiram Monserrate. The senator who was convicted of misdemeanor assault last October has become an embarrassment and a distraction. The Senate has more important business to worry about. Comment.
Editorial

Congress must reform immigration

On Dec. 15, 2009, U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced a bill into Congress that could open the door for millions of immigrants currently living in this country to become lawful, permanent residents. Comment.

January, 2010

Editorial

The Tragedy in Haiti

The thoughts and prayers of the TimesLedger Newspapers family are with the Haitian Americans living in Queens who are devastated by the tragedy in their homeland. We can only imagine what it must be like not to know if family members are dead, alive or maimed or if the homes they grew up in are still standing. Comment.
Editorial

The ‘Dangerous’ Sign

This is how crazy it can get in northeast Queens. Community Board 11 recently voted 32-5 in favor of forcing Bayside High School to take down an electronic LED sign in the front of the building. Comment.
Editorial

The City’s Deadly Primer

There is no safe way to slit your wrist, stand in front of a speeding No. 7 train, jump from the observation deck at the Empire State Building or inject heroin. Comment.
Editorial

Compassion and Common Sense

Hats off to the Queens legislators who led the way in creating legislation that will one day legalize millions of undocumented aliens in this country. Comment.
Editorial

Avella’s Last Hurrah - Maybe

On Dec. 31, City Councilman Tony Avella served his last day on the Council. Unlike his colleagues, he opted not to run for a third term. He would have won re-election, but was strongly opposed to the bill passed in early 2009 that allowed the mayor and other city officials to run for a third term. Comment.
Editorial

Tough Test for the State Senate

The state Senate is on the brink of a decision that will test its ability to act with courage and integrity in judging the conduct of one of its own. A Senate committee has been investigating the behavior of Sen. Hiram Monserrate on a night a year ago when his girlfriend’s face was cut open by broken glass after a fight in his apartment. Comment.
Editorial

The Sean Bell Legacy

Several things strike us about the City Council’s decision to rename a street in Jamaica. The first is that the vote by the Council to honor Sean Bell appears to have brought some measure of comfort to his fiancée, Nicole Paultre-Bell. Comment.
Editorial

Off with His Head? Maybe Not

Queens teacher Brad Ferro made two bad decisions. The first was to take part in an MTV reality show called “Jersey Shore.” The second was punching a woman in the face while cameras were rolling. Comment.
Editorial

Progress at Willets Point Comes Slowly

Even the best proposals unfold slowly in New York City. For years the city Economic Development Corp. has been attempting to redevelop Willets Point. The area that abuts the new Mets stadium is an urban disaster with regularly flooded streets and automobile salvage yards that make the area look like a dump. Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group