Letters

December, 2010

Letters

Obama underestimated the GOP

The midterm election has been called a referendum by the usual and expected detractors, the “Obstrublicans,” and indeed it was. But it was not a referendum directed at the Democratic policies which any middle-class, unduped American should cheer. It was a referendum on President Barack “Can’t we all just get along?” Obama. Comment.
Letters

CB 5 must be heard on Cross Harbor

An open letter to Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Executive Director Christopher Ward. Comment.
Letters

Value long experience in an estate attorney

It is a rare occurrence today for people to frequent their corner candy shop, neighborhood pharmacist or local vegetable stand. With the ever-increasing popularity and expansion of superstores such as Target, Wal-Mart and Costco, for example, individuals crave the convenience of “one-stop shopping,” a megastore where you can buy anything from plumbing supplies to fashion accessories, a warehouse where products too numerous to list are categorized and organized for your purchasing pleasure. Comment.
Letters

Willets Pt. invasion targeted area businesses

The well-known dialogue between Joseph Welch and then-U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the U.S. Army hearings, when Welch finally toppled McCarthy by accusing the senator of having no shame or decency in his treatment of a young Army lawyer, has been referred to on many parallel occasions when public officials have acted in an outrageous manner. Comment.
Letters

Queens principal a good host

An open letter to Hillcrest High School Principal Stephen Duch. Comment.
Letters

Padavan has done great things for constituents in his career

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

Appointment of Black proves that mayor has too much power

We cannot win for losing! And that is not to say that the fight to have Cathie Black rejected as city schools chancellor is far from being over. What is disappointing to me is the crying out, or lack thereof, by our elected officials. Comment.
Letters

Extending No. 7 train into N.J. could prove a realistic endeavor

The idea of extending the No. 7 train to New Jersey was proposed during the preliminary EIS phase of the Access to the Region’s Core project and was rejected for two reasons. Comment.
Letters

Queens residents awarded for their preservation efforts

The Queens Preservation Council, founded in 2003, is a coalition of people from historical societies and neighborhood groups from throughout Queens who work collectively to curb overdevelopment and advocate for the preservation of historical buildings and neighborhoods in our borough. Comment.
Letters

Elected bids farewell to constituents

An open letter from state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) to her constituents. Comment.
Letters

Schwartz gets Conservative votes for not being on Republican line

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspaper columnist Dee Richard. Comment.
Letters

Ackerman came through on GCP plantings

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

Padavan lost election on women’s issues

I just read the most recent Dishing with Dee column by Dee Richard (“Padavan lost due to UFT backing Avella for Senate,” Nov. 25) and must correct an error. I live in North Shore Towers and had the pleasure of welcoming state Sen.-elect Tony Avella to our community on several occasions and introducing him to many of our residents. Comment.
Letters

Expectant grandmother waiting for baby to trace family history

This past October, I had the pleasure of meeting my grandchild for the first time. From his or her first official photo, my grandchild was staring back at me. Of course, my grandchild was in utero and I was accompanying my daughter-in-law to her obstetrician. The blessed event is due sometime in early April. So our son and his wife will be first-time parents and we will be first-time grandparents! The thought is daunting, to say the least! Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a new contract

Well, here we are one year later and still the public school teachers in New York City do not have a new contract. Comment.
Letters

Despite place on state list, Francis Lewis still a top school

Francis Lewis High School is one of the best neighborhood schools in New York City. We pride ourselves on being a school of excellence for all students. We are one of the most diverse schools in the city with students from more than 66 different countries working harmoniously together. Comment.
Letters

Do not buy into phony patriotism

We now have the upcoming new U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, John Boehner (R-Ohio), spewing a similar mantra — a noun plus a verb plus “the American people” — anytime he is near a microphone. Comment.
Letters

Give Black a chance as chancellor

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) did something rare and unusual for an elected official last week. After signing on to a hastily drawn Council resolution opposing Cathleen Black as the new city schools chancellor, he realized he had made a mistake. Comment.
Letters

Pope hypocritical concerning prostitutes and use of condoms

I feel like what Alice must have felt like when she fell into the rabbit hole. Am I hearing and understanding correctly that Pope Benedict XVI, during a series of conversations with a German journalist, said that the use of condoms is acceptable in “some cases,” where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, such as that of prostitutes trying to prevent HIV infection? Condoms can be justified under Catholic ethical thinking? Comment.
Letters

Avella a breath of fresh air after Padavan’s reign

After reading the comments of the weepers and apologists regarding state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), I would like to thank those residents of our community who, like me, recognized the need for transformative change in electing former City Councilman Tony Avella. Comment.

November, 2010

Letters

Weiner, vets decry proposed health care cuts

Following big Republican gains in the midterm elections earlier this month and with President Barack Obama’s deficit commission unveiling its new proposals last week, everyone seems in agreement that a big part of the solution has to be Social Security cuts. Comment.
Letters

Teachers unions made mistake backing Avella

Well, weren’t the United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers clever! Instead of backing veteran state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), whom they have supported for many years, they backed a lightweight with no proven track record in education: Tony Avella. Comment.
Letters

Hear all facts about Black before judging

An open letter to Community District Education Council 26 President Rob Caloras. Comment.
Letters

Padavan deserves locals’ thanks

On Election Day, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was not successful in his bid for another term, completing a 38-year run as our senator. No matter if you voted for him or not, I believe this public servant is owed a huge debt of gratitude for his service and hard work. Comment.
Letters

Black doesn’t deserve chancellor post

As you know, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has appointed Cathleen Black as the new city schools chancellor to succeed Joel Klein. This selection was shrouded in secrecy and as far as known she was the only candidate. Comment.
Letters

Electeds ignore U.S. veterans who become homeless, addicts

I seethed all day last Thursday. It was Veterans Day and after seeing professional politicians march and honor our veterans, I seethed. After watching them “honor” those who gave their lives for us and those lucky enough to come home, I seethed. And, after seeing the Empire State Building light up in red, white and blue, I decided to stop seething and vent my anger in this letter. Comment.
Letters

Supporters wish Padavan a fond farewell

We would like to thank state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) for 38 years of selfless, tireless service to his constituents. We remember Padavan’s first campaign in 1972, when we just knew he was going to prevail over Murray Schwartz, and we also remember two years later when he was one of the few Republicans in that post-Watergate election to celebrate victory. Two decades later, when redistricting pit him against another incumbent senator, Jeremy Weinstein, he won easily. Comment.
Letters

Paine did more than write pamphlet ‘Common Sense’

I am the communications director and editor for The Forum, the newsletter of my organization, the Catholic-Jewish Relations Council of Northeast Queens. I am also an amateur historian emphasizing on the American Revolution. In your Oct. 21-27 issue, you published an article by Joan Brown Wettingfeld which examined the role Thomas Paine and his pamphlet “Common Sense” played in the American Revolution (“Writer Thomas Paine helped foster American independence”). I believe readers should be more aware of the role Paine played in the Revolution. Comment.
Letters

U.S. Supreme Court sold out country to business interests

The federal elections are over and there are sweeping changes in Congress. But the elections this year only proved one thing: Our government is up for sale. Undisclosed money poured in to political organizations, mostly Republican, at an unprecedented rate because big business and the wealthy see them as allies. Comment.
Letters

LIC taxi sign raises suspicious

An open letter to city Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy. Comment.
Letters

Legitimate news takes many forms

I would like to comment on the letter from Michael Seeley (“Reporters need to get better at doing their jobs,” Oct. 28-Nov. 3). Comment.
Letters

Global warming will not stop with principles of cap and trade

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

City, state alert systems give you head-start in being prepared

I knew a tornado was going to hit northeast Queens 15 minutes before it happened. Comment.
Letters

New way of voting ‘un-American’

I am furious! Who devised the ballot used on Election Day? Why was the print so small that a magnifying glass was needed to be in the “booth”? My vision is good, but I had difficulty trying to find the names of the candidates as well as the tiny oval! Comment.
Letters

One year with no teaching contract unacceptable

It is now going to be one full year since the contract for city public school teachers has expired, and there still has not been a resolution of this critical matter. The teachers who work in our public schools are hard-working, dedicated professionals who are working hard to educate thousands of our children from pre-K through 12th-grade. Comment.
Letters

Support ACS to help stop breast cancer

On behalf of the American Cancer Society, I would like to thank Queens for its generosity and support of the ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. More than 10,000 walkers and volunteers participated and we raised nearly $810,000 to fight for every birthday threatened by breast cancer. Comment.
Letters

Mayor, Klein have failed schools

After eight years in charge of New York City’s public schools, Chancellor Joel Klein might want to stop blaming other people for his failures. It is time for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Klein to stop their lecturing to the rest of the nation in promoting their vision of how to fix America’s schools. Comment.
Letters

Bayside street needs speed bump to protect residents from fast cars

On June 4 at 9 a.m., a car speeding east on 53rd Avenue and 202nd Street mowed down a young mother after she crossed her son to PS 162. As a result, she died shortly afterward. The driver said he did not see her — in spite of the crossing guard frantically waving and screaming for him to stop. This mother was crossing at the corner. Comment.
Letters

Cut salaries of MTA executives

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board has voted to raise the fares for public transportation effective Dec. 31. Comment.

October, 2010

Letters

Reporters need to get better at doing their jobs

This is in response to the editorial in the Oct. 7-13 issue of the Whitestone Times headlined “We Were Right: Paladino Is Unfit to Govern.” Comment.
Letters

Teachers are not society’s villains

I do not understand how teachers have become the villains of society and scapegoats of every politician facing a budget deficit. Teaching is one of the most important professions that exists within an advanced society. Teachers have the responsibility of preparing our youth for the challenges of daily life as American adults. Comment.
Letters

Sens. sold out constituents to U.N.

This unbelievable story concerns our two New York U.S. senators in Washington, D.C. On March 5, 2009, a meeting took place in the Senate. The topic being discussed was “Should you and your constituents have to pay taxes to the U.N.?” Comment.
Letters

Mark Weprin has new view of zoning

The proliferation of two- and four-family home construction is the often-neglected “elephant in the room” when we are talking about the overcrowding of our schools in Bayside. Comment.
Letters

‘Mama grizzlies’ threaten to reverse gains women have made over the years

As someone who has been committed for most of my personal and professional life to human rights and, particularly in recent years, to women’s rights, I feel the need to express my opinion about the current political scene and the discussion of issues affecting the lives and status of women. Comment.
Letters

Thanks to pols for attending PTA meeting at John Bowne

I am writing to say thank you to state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and City Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.
Letters

Teachers need, deserve fair wage

Well, here it is October 2010 and there is still no contract between the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education. Why? The teachers in this city are hardworking and dedicated to helping their students achieve success in the classroom. The conditions under which teachers are working are far from ideal in some instances. Comment.
Letters

Co-ops must charge flip taxes on apartments

I am opposed to the proposed rule change that the Federal Housing Finance Agency is considering for private transfer fees, commonly known as “flip taxes.” The rule change would prevent institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from investing in mortgages on properties where flip taxes are in place. Comment.
Letters

Padavan’s independence from political machines will ensure his victory

One can only wonder where former City Councilman Tony Avella will wind up after he loses the state Senate race against Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

DiNapoli stands up for New Yorkers

A good cop is decisive and active in carrying out his duties, which sometimes earns him as many pats on the back as reprimands. Most of us would rather have such passion and commitment when serving the public than a sideliner unwilling to jump into the fray. Comment.
Letters

Demapping Astoria street would create more traffic

As a lifelong Astoria resident, I am concerned about the proposed demapping of 36th Street. The proposal would close the street to both traffic and the public in order to expand Kaufman Studios. Comment.
Letters

U.S. must fix its roads, bridges

It is critical to maintain our country’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, over which millions of Americans travel each day. Many of the nation’s roads and bridges are in immediate need of emergency repairs, while many others will be in need of repairs in the coming years. Comment.
Letters

DOE school grades not consistent

The city Department of Education’s latest letter grades for city elementary and middle schools once again demonstrate how ridiculous its progress reports are. Assessing the quality of our schools is worthwhile, but any system that gives A’s and B’s to nearly all the schools one year and then curves the results to avoid giving D’s and F’s the next will baffle parents instead of inform them. Comment.
Letters

Search Capitol grounds for possible remains of African slaves

In July, I attended a ceremony honoring the contributions of the enslaved Africans who built the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in the 19th century. My congressman, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), also honored me in July by presenting me with a letter of recognition for my efforts in identifying the role the enslaved Africans had in our American history. This letter was read into the congressional record. Comment.
Letters

Padavan puts constituents first

Our grandmothers would have put it succinctly: Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. That old saying has real meaning as an electorate prepares to go to the polls in an ugly mood. Incumbents have good reason to worry. Negative ads and populist-leaning editorials are urging us to “throw the bums out.” Comment.
Letters

UFT, DOE must settle on teachers contract

As the new school year continues, city public school teachers are still working under the old contract, which expired last year on Oct. 31. To date, we still do not have a new contract in place. There is no reason for this situation. Comment.
Letters

NE Qns. needs pro-gay state senator

It is with a great sense of dismay for me to read that incumbent state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) is far ahead in the polls. My husband and I have been homeowners in Bayside since 1984, having married in Massachusetts last year after 30 years together. It is ironic for me to walk past the — thankfully few — lawn signs on my street supporting him. Comment.
Letters

Thanks to all who helped clean up after the tornado

On behalf of the Forest Hills Civic Association, thank you to all who participated in assisting our neighborhood after the storm: Community Board 6’s Community Emergency Response Team, the city Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, the city Parks Department, the NYPD, the FHVAC and especially our neighbors. Comment.
Letters

Don’t forget Muslims also died on 9/11

I would like to comment on the Sept. 23-29 letter from Bob Friedrich entitled “Candidate regrets using image of 9/11 in campaign literature.” Comment.
Letters

Be mindful of Avella’s associations

We are still months away from the November elections, but before things get heated with too many political messages and ads, it is imperative for voters to take note of former Democratic City Councilman Tony Avella, who is vying to run against state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

During fall migration, species of birds flock to Jamaica Bay

On a cloudless September Saturday, it is high tide at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. With the fall migration in full swing, my wife and I have come here not knowing what to expect. Comment.
Letters

Sale of WSTC stadium sale shows fiscal responsibility

The Sept. 23-29 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Tornado tables vote on tennis stadium” highlighted another stream of misleading statements from Christine Schott, a seemingly self-appointed spokeswoman for a small minority of West Side Tennis Club members. Anyone who may be drawn in by this barrage of unsubstantiated remarks, such as “Why would we sell to the first person who offers us something?” must be informed of the illegitimacy of these arguments in the interest of fair and honest reporting. Comment.
Letters

Group ride photo-op is self-serving

Appearing in last week’s local press was another example of self-serving political photo-ops, showing the Weprin brothers alongside city Taxi & Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky in front of a group ride van on the old Q79 bus route. Comment.
Letters

Say no to planned federal ban on co-op, condo transfer taxes

On Aug. 12, the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed a ban on co-ops, condominiums and developers from charging a transfer fee — flip tax — on sales. The FHFA is a federal agency that does not require any legislative action to implement change in banking regulations. This proposal, if enacted, would ban banks from issuing mortgages where a transfer fee exists. Comment.
Letters

Get people back to work again

As 2010 continues to move along, it seems our economy has not really improved much at all. Unemployment currently is at 9.6 percent and more people are losing their jobs and homes as well as not being able to pay other expenses. Comment.

September, 2010

Letters

Thank you, kind strangers, for help

A special thank you to the group of women who helped me when I fell in the parking lot of Key Food Sept. 14. They all advised me, especially the doctor who stopped, to get further help. Comment.
Letters

Two new schools offer great opportunities for Queens’ children

On the first day of school, I had the opportunity to tour and meet the students and faculty of both the Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens and Queens Gateway to Health Services High School. Comment.
Letters

Vote against incumbency

Standing on the stairs of City Hall a few weeks back in the blistering midday sun, I witnessed an important reminder of why change is so elusive in this great state of ours. Former Mayor Ed Koch was promoting his “NY Uprising Movement,” an endeavor to create greater transparency, fair redistricting and better governance in the quagmire that is the state Legislature. Comment.
Letters

Nonprofits must file with IRS under new law

We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because as many as 21,500 small, community-based nonprofits in the state are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The loss of this status could greatly affect the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions. Comment.
Letters

Computers must not replace teachers

While it is important for students in our schools to become familiar with computer technology, it is just as important to remember that computers must not and will not ever take the place of classroom teachers. It is important to understand that computers do not drive and formulate instruction — teachers do. Comment.
Letters

Candidate regrets using image of 9/11 in campaign literature

Reflecting on my recent run for the state Assembly and speaking at length with some of my close South Asian friends and supporters about the Sept. 11 flier I mailed during the campaign has been enlightening. When you can have a discussion with thoughtful people and avert name-calling and selective proclamations of “moral outrage,” a powerful dialogue and understanding can emerge. Comment.
Letters

New voting system easy to use

I cannot believe people are complaining about the new voting system. I voted on Primary Day Sept. 14 and there were no problems at my polling place. Comment.
Letters

St. Albans Park homeless woman misunderstood

I am writing in response to the Sept. 9-15 article entitled “St. Albans squatter taken in by shelter.” Comment.
Letters

City teachers need pay raise now

The recent awarding of nearly $700 million in education funding is a positive development for schools throughout the state, including those here in New York City. Hopefully, some portion of this money will be able to be used to help give raises to the teachers in the city public school system. Comment.
Letters

Bayside’s quality of life must remain despite good work done by St. Mary’s

I am writing in response to your Sept. 2 editorial (“Bayside’s Grinches Go to Court”), in which you take issue with my position that the upcoming two-year expansion project at St. Mary’s Hospital must be done in a manner that does not destroy the quality of life of my constituents who live in the surrounding residential community. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Bay’s bird population always amazes

At the end of July, I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with a friend who had never been there. We first walked the West Pond, seeing feeding ospreys, an oystercatcher, some immature yellow-crowned night herons and a variety of waterfowl. Then after going through the Visitors Center on the way to the East Pond on the other side of Cross Bay Boulevard, a woman at the desk made our day. She told us to go to the pond’s south end where there will be an opportunity to see shorebirds. Comment.
Letters

Parks Dept needs tree pruning funds

With thousands of trees lining the streets throughout the city, it is important that regular, consistent maintenance be sustained whenever possible. While the city is strapped financially due to the economic situation, there should not be a reduction of funds for the city Parks Department to be able to prune and maintain trees. Comment.
Letters

Voters should get familiar with new system of voting

Recently, I was joined by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), community leaders and concerned seniors who, along with all voters, must deal with a new form of voting after years of using mechanical lever machines. Comment.
Letters

Queens students’ arts education is getting cut

Budget cuts have a knack for making things disappear. With history as our guide, we know the arts will be one of the first subject areas to vanish with this year’s school budget cuts. The not-so-entertaining thing is this disappearing act was already underway during a period of historic growth in education spending. Comment.
Letters

Charter revisions not in city’s favor

Notwithstanding the fact that the public twice voted in favor of term limits and a cabal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 21 term-limited City Council members who overruled the will of the people, Bloomberg’s hand-picked City Charter Revision Commission has now given the public another slap in the face. Comment.
Letters

Fire DOE official for using n-word

An open letter to city Education and Community Development Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. Comment.
Letters

Cop should’ve prevented girl’s death

The tragic death of Brianna Ojeda should never have happened. The police officer who was on the scene was begged by her mother to help her. Why did he not do so? Comment.
Letters

To keep city safe, don’t build WTC mosque

Nine years after the attack on the World Trade Center, which resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people, we are faced with a new Sept. 11-related controversy: whether a huge mosque and cultural center should be built close to the WTC site. Comment.
Letters

Preservation group praises pols for supporting tennis stadium

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Comment.
Letters

Queens straphangers should shun the use of commuter vans

So-called commuter vans — unreliable, often unsafe and many more times than not operating illegally — fail to offer straphangers a true alternative to bus service cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The best solution remains the restoration of service cuts. The MTA needs but $8,014,000 to restore its Queens lines. Comment.
Letters

Obama right to back WTC mosque

The Jamaica Muslim Center is proud of the positive leadership shown by President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Obama vigorously defended Muslim Americans at a Ramadan dinner at the White House and supported the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Comment.
Letters

Support your local boro library

One of the most critical back-to-school needs is absolutely free: a Queens Library card. Comment.
Letters

Flushing BID should open position to anyone regardless of background

The Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District has run advertising for a new executive director that lists preferred skills for applicants, including knowledge of English and Mandarin Chinese — not Korean. Is this BID defined by geography or ethnicity? Whom does it intend to serve? Is it actually the Chinese Flushing BID? Does this mean no Koreans need apply? Comment.
Letters

People should learn responsibility when they deal with mortgages

More political, vote-getting nonsense. Comment.
Letters

Teachers need a contract, pay raise

As a new school year approaches, there is still no agreement between the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education. This is very disconcerting. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has deferred layoffs of nearly 4,000 teachers, but he still is not budging on the important issue of a salary increase, albeit a minimal one. Comment.

August, 2010

Letters

Outrage over mosque misguided by prejudice

At the outset, I should say that I am an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am opposed on constitutional grounds — i.e., the First Amendment, which establishes the freedom of religion — to any government interference with the building of a mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero. Comment.
Letters

City must hold Willets Point traffic meeting

In addition to the loss of hundreds of small businesses and the jobs of thousands of employees and their dependents, the proposed Willets Point project also involves the general public, whose daily lives will be affected by the huge increase in the volume of vehicular traffic on the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. Comment.
Letters

Save Queens Plaza millstones from onslaught of city development

A fitting home must be found for the historic millstones that have languished for decades among the traffic and pollution at Queens Plaza. These millstones are connected to the grist mill of the first European community in Queens, in what was and is today Dutch Kills. Comment.
Letters

Pesticides pose a danger to people

A notice was e-mailed to me from the city Department of Health regarding the pesticide spraying to kill mosquitoes in an effort to stop the spread of the West Nile virus. Unfortunately, the notice had an error in terms of the location of the spraying. Comment.
Letters

Unemployment must be reversed quickly

As 2010 moves along, the unemployment rate still remains high at 9.5 percent. Many people who had been looking for employment have become so frustrated that they have stopped looking. Those who are still looking for work continue to face all kinds of roadblocks — too much experience, not enough experience, too young, too old. Comment.
Letters

Halloran helps with fallen tree

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) was elected to the 19th Council District less than a year ago, but for me he has already moved mountains. Comment.
Letters

St. Mary’s administration harms the state’s budget and taxpayers

In the Aug. 5-11 edition of the Bayside Times, there appeared an editorial denouncing me (“A Better St. Mary’s”), as head of the East Bayside Homeowners Association for our opposition to any expansion of St. Mary’s Hospital, a position the EBHA has held for one-third of a century because such a commercial enterprise should never have been allowed in a one-family residential area and certainly should not be allowed to expand. Comment.
Letters

Voters must elect reformers to clean up U.S. Congress

If your car breaks down and someone recommends a mechanic to repair it, the first question you are likely to ask is: Can I trust the mechanic? Today, our nation’s economic engine has stalled and it is unclear that we can trust those in Congress responsible for getting us on the road to recovery. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Bay’s bird population always amazes

At the end of July, I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with a friend who had never been there. We first walked the West Pond, seeing feeding ospreys, an oystercatcher, some immature yellow-crowned night herons and a variety of waterfowl. Then after going through the Visitors Center on the way to the East Pond on the other side of Cross Bay Boulevard, a woman at the desk made our day. She told us to go to the pond’s south end where there will be an opportunity to see shorebirds. Comment.
Letters

Islamic center at WTC a symbol of freedom, not extremism

As an openly gay man and progressive elected official, I am weary of anything that smacks of fundamentalism or other form of extremism. That is why I thought carefully about the reasons I support the Islamic center near the World Trade Center site. Comment.
Letters

Support boro biz to stimulate economy

A survey conducted by U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) last month of 10 popular shopping hotspots in Queens has revealed that an average of 12 percent of all storefronts are either closed or closing. Comment.
Letters

Teachers trump computers

While it is important for students in our schools to become familiar with computer technology, it is just as important to remember that computers must not and will not ever take the place of classroom teachers. Comment.
Letters

Testing doesn’t equal learning

I have not lost much sleep over the news that fewer city public school students, based on their test results, met state standards this year. As a parent, I care about how our children are performing in school, but I do not worry much about scores on high-stakes tests. Up or down, above or below any particular proficiency cutoff, the test scores fail to indicate what parents really care about: Is my child learning? Comment.
Letters

GOP plays political games with lives of Sept. 11 responders

You may have seen how angry I was on the U.S. House of Representatives floor last month, but the story behind that 110-second video clip is one of years of delay and some outrageous tactics by my Republican colleagues who have denied heroic Americans important relief. Comment.
Letters

Name Warren to lead consumer protection agency

An open letter to President Barack Obama. Comment.
Letters

Residents have to stay in the loop about construction at St. Mary’s

An open letter to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children Executive Vice President Dr. Edwin Simpser. Comment.
Letters

Co-op, condo owners have to back bill creating ombudsman agency

Having lived in a co-op for the past 15 years, I cannot speak out enough on supporting bill 7958-A, introduced by state Sens. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and George Onorato (D-Astoria). This bill would create a government agency that would hear the cries of hundreds of thousands of residents who own shares in co-ops. Comment.
Letters

Make voting more democratic with non-partisan elections

The City Charter Revision Commission is considering whether to change our way of electing city officials to a non-partisan approach. This is an excellent idea and will give more people an opportunity to run for public office without having to be beholden to either major political party. Comment.
Letters

MTA must fix its problems before increasing fares for straphangers

The latest noise from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not good. It is proposing to hike fares on all public transportation and area bridges and tunnels to help close the large gap in its budget. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Ave. doesn’t suffer from big vacancy rate

As executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, I appreciate U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) concern for small Queens businesses and the desire to see them succeed (“Vacant storefronts pull down economy: Weiner,” July 22-28, Jamaica Times). Comment.
Letters

Preserve west Queens millstones

An open letter to City Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Vallone Jr.. Comment.
Letters

Crime increase in Astoria deserves NYPD’s attention

An open letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Comment.
Letters

Negotiations proceed with new Flushing grocery

On July 27, we finally had the long-awaited meeting with state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone); state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing); William Chen, general manager for New York Mart; and myself along with Barbara Rogers, Rosa Febles and Sonny Weinberg, all community activists. Comment.

July, 2010

Letters

City has to better track crimes in parks

We at New Yorkers for Parks were saddened to read your recent article on the murder of Ruben Angel Vargas in Astoria Park (“Homeless pair charged with murder in park,” Astoria Times, July 15-21). The park is heavily used and greatly loved by residents and visitors to the neighborhood with a dedicated stewardship group, the Astoria Park Alliance, and numerous year-round events. Unfortunately, this tragic incident highlights the urgent need to collect and publish data on crime in all of our parks so park users are educated about safety. Comment.
Letters

Owners of co-ops and condos need Senate ‘ombudsman bill’

Bob Friedrich wrote in his June 17-23 letter that the state Senate co-op and condo “ombudsman bill” (S7958) addresses “a problem that does not exist.” We wish he was right. Comments (1).
Letters

Sometimes exaggeration goes too far

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

City residents must always try to secure quality education for their children

Of the number of times I have written or spoken to you constructively criticizing your editorials, I thought it incumbent upon me to express my gratitude for your editorial in your July 8-14 issue. “Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows” was an appropriate title. During slavery in this country, if you did not follow “massa’s” orders, you were hanged. But since massa did not follow the law of the land, Jamaica High School, along with several other high schools, were saved, thanks to the lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP. Comment.
Letters

Saujani a worthy Maloney opponent

I am an Astoria resident and a Reshma Saujani supporter, so I feel compelled to respond to a letter published suggesting Saujani was running a “slick” and “nasty” campaign against U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) (“Don’t believe negative attacks aimed at Carolyn Maloney,” Astoria Times, July 15-21). Comment.
Letters

City more green than people think

A few years ago, Forbes magazine picked Vermont as the greenest state in the nation. But if it had truly wanted to honor an ecological paradigm, it should have selected New York City, since the average New Yorker uses only about a quarter as much gasoline as the average Vermonter. New Yorkers also use less electricity — about 4,700 kilowatt-hours per household per year compared with about 7,100 kilowatt-hours in Vermont and more than 11,000 kilowatt-hours in the United States as a whole. Comment.
Letters

Pols spend too much on races

After reading about the amount of money being raised and spent for state Assembly and state Senate races this fall, it appears that when you divide the amount of funds spent by the total votes received on primary night, the candidates — both winners and losers — will have shelled out close to approximately $30 per ballot cast in their favor. Comment.
Letters

Support, don’t cut, school funding

With all the budget cuts that are going to have to be made in these hard economic times, one place where no budget cuts should be made is in the field of education. Comment.
Letters

Only back institutions people want

I have one question for TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Ronald B. Hellman. Hellman claims in his July 8-14 column that “Queens needs a year-round theater dedicated to plays.” Comment.
Letters

Watching NYC’s checkbook

As an advocate in New York City for three decades, I have often been asked, “Where do my tax dollars go?” Now answers can be found at the Checkbook NYC website recently launched by city Comptroller John Liu. Comment.
Letters

City will still find way to close Jamaica HS

Your July 8-14 editorial “Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows” concluded with, “There are problems at the school that need to be addressed, but closing the school is no longer an option.” That misses the point, I think. Comment.
Letters

Law would force Washington electeds to disclose earmarks

As I travel the state and listen to New Yorkers, I have found that people have no faith that Congress is working to solve their problems. When they look to Washington, they see a lot of people who are more concerned about scoring political points than solving problems. Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a new contract

Another school year is over and the teachers in our city public schools still do not have a new contract. Comment.
Letters

For-profit schools do disservice to city’s schoolchildren

The United States’ policy of providing citizens the traditional, long-cherished freedom of receiving a free, public school education is being threatened. The power brokers of our New York political structure have decided, arbitrarily, that our public schools, which have faithfully served their citizens, have become a relic of antiquity and serve little or no purpose in our contemporary, profit-making social order. Comment.
Letters

Charter schools must not win out over public institutions

An open letter to parents of students in New York City. Comment.
Letters

Oppose LNG project offshore L.I.

Americans have recently been heartbroken by images of countless species in peril and the Gulf of Mexico tourism industry hanging in the balance. At the same time, New Yorkers are considering approving a 60-acre, man-made natural gas operation called Safe Harbor Energy 13 1/2 miles off the shore of Long Island and 23 miles outside the entrance to New York Harbor. We must sharply analyze the costs and benefits a liquefied natural gas project would bring to our society and environment. Comment.
Letters

Gen. Slocum, Gulf spill have much in common

On June 15, 1904, the paddle steamer General Slocum caught fire and sank off North Brother Island in the East River. Of the estimated 1,400 passengers on board the vessel, 1,021 died in the disaster, which before 9/11 was New York’s worse loss of life in a single event. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 has done much disservice to the neighborhood of Flushing

The editorial page of a newspaper is where its publisher and editors express their opinions on a wide variety of subjects, as is their right. Letters to the editor are where a responsible company, like TimesLedger Newspapers, give readers an opportunity to express their views on articles, including editorials. Comment.
Letters

Teacher layoffs will spell city’s doom

The one area where there should not be any cuts is in the area of education. Our children are entitled to a good, solid education and cutting money from education would be devastating to our students, teachers, administrators and parents. Comment.
Letters

Make commuter van lines succeed the Q75, Q79 buses

An open letter to city Taxi and Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky. Comment.
Letters

State must understand science behind the use of hydrofracking

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson, state Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Comment.
Letters

Cuomo the best candidate to serve as New York guv

The politics of Albany will never be the same again, especially with the entrance into the gubernatorial race by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He is poised to help salvage Albany from political inaction and legislative stalemate never before witnessed in the Empire State. Comment.
Letters

Be creative to avoid more cuts to MTA

An open letter to MTA Chairman Jay Walder and other MTA executives. Comment.
Letters

BP must pay for oil spill in gulf

As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico and efforts by BP to stop the leak seem not to be working, the ecological and economic damage to the gulf region continues to grow each day, which is not good at all. Comment.
Letters

Co-ops, condo boards need state agency to fight abuses

Recently, Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village, wrote a letter concerning state Senate bill S7958 (“Albany bill would cause problems for co-op and condo boards,” June 17). I can understand why he opposes it. After all, as president of the board he would prefer not having any government agency looking over his shoulder should shareholders question his board’s decisions. Comment.
Letters

MTA shouldn’t balance budget on backs of riders

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

MTA service cuts will burden people traveling to Manhattan

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

Columnist wins reader’s admiration

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

America needs help and fast

Well, 2010 is six months old and still the economic outlook, while improving ever so slightly, is far from where it should be. Comment.

June, 2010

Letters

SE Qns. homes will not receive water pumps

Regarding the article about York College that appeared in the May 27-June 2 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers, a reference was made about plans to install pumps in a number of homes in the vicinity of South Road. Comment.
Letters

Traffic cameras create accidents

As a resident of Bayside, I am disgusted by the cameras being placed all over Queens. Studies have proven that they do not reduce accidents — they actually increase rear-end collisions! Comment.
Letters

Put the breaks on MTA’s plans to cut its bus service in Queens

If things do not change, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stands poised to radically cut and eliminate bus service throughout Queens: the Q14, Q15, Q24, Q26, Q30, Q31, Q42, Q48, Q74, Q75, Q76, Q79, Q89, QM22, QM23 and X51. Residents, whether riders or not, must be united to oppose these misguided and harmful actions. Comment.
Letters

DOT must improve crosswalk safety at Union Tnpk. & Springfield Blvd.

An open letter to city Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy. Comment.
Letters

DOT takes action at fatal crossroads

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan. Comment.
Letters

Don’t trust mayor, schools chancellor over treatment of teachers

Mayor Bloomberg recently announced an imaginary deal to prevent thousands of teacher layoffs. Comment.
Letters

Arizona law proven un-American

I want to thank your newspaper for your June 17 editorial “Arizona’s Hate Draws Anger Here,” which was critical of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. Comment.
Letters

Tell mayor we need fire companies

Preserving public safety is the government’s No. 1 responsibility and it should remain our first priority even in times of economic constraint. Comment.
Letters

Students right to cut school, march and protest planned MetroCard cuts

The students who walked out of school June 11 to protest the possibility of losing their free student MetroCards due to possible budget cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did the right thing. Comment.
Letters

Keep nurses intact at public schools

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. Comment.
Letters

Baby owl’s Alley Pond appearance a nice surprise

On the third Sunday in May, I left my house just after 6 a.m. to meet a group of birders at Alley Pond Park to watch the annual spring migration. With a forecast of showers, I expected to be home in late morning. Comment.
Letters

Albany bill would cause problems for co-op and condo boards

State Sen. Liz Krueger’s (D-Manhattan) Senate Bill S7958 is an assault on the legitimate governance of co-ops and condominiums in our city. This new, unfunded mandate seeks to marginalize the powers of duly elected boards of directors by creating an ombudsman office within the state Department of Law and appointed by the state attorney general. Comment.
Letters

Gulf of Mexico oil spill leaves many questions unanswered

Am I to understand that the damaged oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers over a month ago, could be gushing a million barrels of oil per day? In better times, was this the amount that has been producing oil from this drilling location on a daily basis? Comment.
Letters

BP execs should be treated like criminals

I am writing to share two thoughts with your readership about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Comment.
Letters

Padavan should also take blame over NE Queens high schools

Your article “Bayside leaders fear influx of new HS students” (TimesLedger Newspapers, May 27-June 2) failed to include state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) among the “leaders” properly fearing this recent step in the destruction of quality education in our area. No wonder, as we have Padavan to thank for this travesty. Comment.
Letters

Community boards should work for the people

Many projects that go on in the city go through our community boards. It is their job to help limit the impact of a project on the taxpayers they represent. Comment.
Letters

Sagging pants an unpleasant sight

Young men who walk around with their pants pulled down and exposing their underwear should realize it is not appropriate and that they should have more self-respect. Comment.
Letters

Do not inflict pain upon living animals

Since the days of Ellis Island, immigrants have come to this country looking for the American Dream. Our history has changed in that we as a society fought for the rights of animals, not to harm them. Comment.
Letters

Testing can’t account for special education students’ needs, home lives

In these tough financial times, with city budgets being overhauled, there are many issues that have come up, but we must remember that our educational system must be a priority if we are to help our children achieve their best potential in these trying times. Comment.
Letters

Gulf oil spill needs quick solutions

As oil continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico from the oil rig that exploded and burned, taking 11 innocent workers’ lives, one would ask how and why did this explosion occur and what safeguards were in place at the time? Also, why is the oil still continuing to leak out, further contaminating the Gulf of Mexico? Comment.

May, 2010

Letters

Use renewable sources of energy

It came as a breath of fresh air to read that the federal government has given its green light to a huge wind turbine farm off the coast of Cape Cod. It will consist of 130 turbines, down from 170, and occupy an area of about 25 square miles in Nantucket Sound. Comment.
Letters

Enact nonpartisan redistricting

When the Census forms arrive every 10 years, it is important to fill it out because legislative district lines are based upon the population. Every decade it is a contentious process, and in the past the lines were redrawn in such a way to protect incumbent office-holders. Comment.
Letters

Assembly candidate touts state accountability plan

Albany has become the portrait of corruption and dysfunction. It seems every day a new scandal erupts onto the front pages of newspapers and, with each new story, average voters become more disenchanted and more apathetic toward their government. We must put an end to this. Comment.
Letters

Let Kelty explain Willets Pt. stand

Eugene Kelty, chairman of Community Board 7, was only “75 percent happy” with the city’s plan to relocate three large Willets Point businesses to College Point (“Willets Pt. relocation OK’d,” Flushing Times, May 13-19). Comment.
Letters

Malakov, Bell do not deserve street renamings

After reading an edition of the Forest Hill Ledger this month, I was shocked to see two violent incidents would result in the renaming of streets in Queens. The first was the murder of Daniel Malakov, a Bukharian emigre who was murdered in front of his daughter on the orders of his estranged wife. The other was the unfortunate police incident concerning Sean Bell outside a notorious after-hours bar. Comment.
Letters

Make other professions take pay cuts

Isn’t it interesting that over the last several months the crescendo has been growing for teachers to take salary freezes and cuts due to the worsening economic crisis? Comment.
Letters

Give New York bigger share of anti-terrorism funding

An open letter to President Barack Obama. Comment.
Letters

City must reform EDC or shut it down

City Comptroller John Liu is to be commended for his audit of the city Economic Development Corp. and, if he is correct, the EDC has been shortchanging the city to the tune of millions of dollars (“Liu finds EDC owes city more than $125M,” Flushing Times, May 6-12). Comment.
Letters

City must go after water thieves instead of hiking peoples’ rates

The times we live in are challenging enough. That is why the proposed 12.9 percent hike in water rates in the city is unbearable, culminating after successive annual increases. The average annual bill for a one-family home under this increase is projected to be at $911, up from $779 at the current rate. This is surely a disguised tax increase that will continue to unfairly burden us. Comment.
Letters

Senate takes measures to increase donor disclosure in campaign ads

Wealthy corporations should not be able to determine the outcome of elections by spending money on political campaigns. The misguided U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, would allow that to happen and this poses a threat to the democratic foundations of America. Comment.
Letters

City shouldn’t lay off teachers to make up $5B budget deficit

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Huntley deserves full support of community for her work

If there is anyone in the state Senate who is deserving of re-election, it is my senator, Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica). After twisting her arm, along with other stringent items of persuasion, several friends convinced her to run for Senate. I consider myself one of those friends. And am I glad we did. Comment.
Letters

Career pols can’t end water rate hikes

Year after year, I read in TimesLedger Newspapers (“Queens leaders cry foul over planned water bill hike,” April 29-May 5) how the same cast of characters, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), are angry over another round of double-digit water rate increases. Comment.
Letters

Hospital backs meditation garden

In the article about the new meditation garden in Kissena Corridor Park in the May 6-12 editions of TimesLedger Newspapers, it is stated that, “New York Hospital Queens representatives did not return a request for comment.” Comment.
Letters

U.S. leaders must get nation working again

As we are moving through 2010, many people are still asking when things will begin to improve in America. Our economy is still a huge mess, jobs are still being lost, Americans are still losing their homes due to their inability to pay ever-rising mortgage rates, the prices on everything from socks to meat, clothes to toothpaste and gas to oil continue to rise and more and more politicians are getting caught for improprieties every week. Comment.
Letters

Value added tax won’t help the poor

I would like to make a few comments about Dee Richard’s April 22 column “Flat user tax would treat the rich and the poor equally.” Comment.
Letters

Community boards keep real estate interests in check

There was a time in this city when all kinds of land use deals were being made between politicians and real estate developers without the involved community and its residents having a say in the matter — indeed, even knowing beforehand what was going on. Comment.
Letters

Station Rd. rezoning should benefit residents

They say you cannot fight City Hall and as I walked away from a meeting hosted by the Station Road Civic Association April 21, I wondered if the expression may have some truth to it. The main topic of the evening was the Auburndale rezoning. Comment.
Letters

Schools must stop bullying

I am writing regarding a serious matter, which is school bullies. It is a school’s responsibility to protect children from this type of behavior. It is every child’s right to attend classes or use a restroom without the fear of a bully looking to start a fight with that individual. Comment.
Letters

Wall St. execs, state pols share a boat

After watching the testimony by the Goldman Sachs executives on TV, I think if New York state replaced its state legislators with these men from Wall Street, we would never have the financial problems we have today. Comment.
Letters

City must not lay off teachers

As the city and state grapple with how to make financial ends meet, the debate about the potential for laying off 8,500 city public school teachers is outrageous and must not happen. Comment.

April, 2010

Letters

Health care reform will harm public

Here is the other side of the story U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) failed to mention recently in TimesLedger Newspapers on the supposed benefits of the new health care law. Comment.
Letters

Get facts straight on Albany’s Aqueduct debacle

In the April 15-21 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “Stink Grows Stronger in SE Queens,” you seem to have joined the likes of the Rag, the Rag-Mop and the White Bible — i.e., the Post, the Daily News and the New York Times. With the awards your paper recently won, I gave you more credit than that. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t must study Willets Point plan traffic effects

One will recall Borough President Helen Marshall thought it was a grand idea to build a New York Jets football stadium in the middle of Flushing Meadows Corona Park — a no-brainer if there ever was one and one that would have destroyed Flushing Meadows as a viable urban park. Comment.
Letters

Charter Revision Commission must bolster community boards

Community Boards are made up of unpaid community volunteers who consider various land use issues and other area concerns that may be occurring in neighborhoods each board covers. These issues include rezonings, variances and other requests from local businesses and developers, landmarking issues and education, transportation, parks, environmental and health issues affecting the community at large. Comment.
Letters

Make Charter revision process more accessible to city residents

An open letter to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, chairman of the City Charter Revision Commission. Comment.
Letters

Sanitation Dept. will monitor unwanted signs

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan. Comment.
Letters

Public disrespected at CB 7 hearing on Flushing Commons

An open letter to Community Board 7. Comment.
Letters

MTA should keep Q74 bus service intact

While draconian cuts in Metropolitan Transportation Authority service may be necessary, the one cut that should have preceded all others was the dismissal of the chairman of the MTA and its entire governing board because they have demonstrated year after year their ineptitude in running the system. Comment.
Letters

Birding at Alley Pond Park gives peek at nature’s bounty

The first Saturday in May last year looked like a rainout when I met some other birders to go to Alley Pond Park to see migrating spring birds. Just before 6 a.m., steel-gray rain clouds started to part. At the park, the rain had stopped. Comment.
Letters

Hate speech has political motives

Usually a Community Board 11 meeting is not spectator sport, but April’s sure could have been. The issue of the David Weprin campaign’s mailing of a swastika-laden flier at the tail end of February’s special election drew many who believed that such an act should be formally reprimanded by the board. Comment.
Letters

No free ER care for illegal aliens

I must respectfully disagree with your editorial “Care for All Children” in the April 8-14 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Letters

Article of survival an inspiring read

I just had to write to express my appreciation for the article “A Survivor’s Tale” (TimesLedger, March 15-31). True stories of this kind are the best news to read. People like Mirian Detres-Hickey inspire and lift our spirits. It is so unselfish of her to share her dark past. She shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how horrible things may be. Comment.
Letters

Candidate promises hard work

Recently, state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) has announced she would not seek re-election. People should thank her for her years of service. Whether you approve or disapprove of an elected official’s job, it can never be said it is not an extreme sacrifice of both personal and family life. Comment.
Letters

Do not tell consumers what to eat

Seems to me the people who are trying to pass a tax on sugary soft drinks have too much time on their hands. Comment.
Letters

Tabone has wrong view of people in relation to proposed salt ban

I would like to comment about the March 25-21 letter from Vince Tabone, “Banning use of salt in city eateries a dangerous and foolish proposition.” Comment.
Letters

MTA should maintain efficiency by not laying off employees

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

Resurrection of Christ the real reason for Easter celebration

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

Make parking easier in Flushing

To all the geniuses who think it is a good idea to add thousands of more people to downtown Flushing, I say try going to the municipal lot we currently have and getting a parking spot on the weekends. Comment.
Letters

City must keep after-school programs going

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Details of health reform hidden from public

On Wednesday evening I witnessed one of the most pathetic political spectacles I have ever seen. In a television interview, our own Congressman Anthony Weiner was asked a simple, straightforward question five times and refused to give a simple, straightforward answer five times. Comment.
Letters

Albany lawmakers skirt reforms

I just read in one of the local papers that state Assembly members David Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) are pushing for a bill to ban smoking in cars with children. Comment.
Letters

Flushing Commons developer must consider community needs

Flushing Commons is a huge development project proposed for Municipal Parking Lot 1 in downtown Flushing. It will affect not only the immediate area around the project, but all of the nearby communities as well. Comment.
Letters

Sen. Padavan’s earmarks pale in comparison to Smith, Dems

As a former president of a civic association for more than 25 years and someone who has been active in civics for at least 35 years, I take umbrage in the headline “Smith, Padavan lead the pack in Albany pork” in the Mar. 25-31 editions of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.

March, 2010

Letters

Do not cut senior funding from state budget

There is no doubt New York state is facing a fiscal crisis the likes of which we have not seen in decades. As a result, Gov. David Paterson has proposed a budget that includes drastic spending cuts. Comment.
Letters

Banning use of salt in city eateries a dangerous and foolish proposition

Several state Assembly members have sponsored a bill to prohibit the use of salt in the preparation of food by restaurants with fines of up to $1,000 per violation. While perhaps well-intentioned, this is incredibly ill-advised. Comment.
Letters

Columnist’s take on GOP leadership contained many errors

This is in response to Dee Richard’s recent column, in which she implied that there are two acting chairmen of the Queens Republican Party. Comment.
Letters

A subject of Dishing with Dee column refutes her claims

In her latest column, Dee Richard writes that we should “Let sleeping dogs lie,” only several paragraphs after she concocts untruthful fantasies about three members of my family. Wonderful! Toss a grenade, and then offer a peace agreement. Comment.
Letters

Night out reveals disturbing truth

On a recent Saturday night, my wife and I attended a bar mitzvah at a Long Island restaurant. Our table seating card read Table No. 2, where we were seated with a bunch of strangers including curmudgeons, merry widows and a pair of married folks who looked like they were in their late 50s — about our age. Comment.
Letters

State Legislature must pass law allowing cleaner heating oil

As citizens concerned about our environment, we urge the state Senate and state Assembly to pass their respective bills — S.1145-A and A.8642 — which will protect the public health and reduce air pollution by requiring No. 2 heating oil, the most widely used, to meet the same refining standards the federal government currently mandates for diesel oil used in vehicles. Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a better raise

It is incomprehensible that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants teachers to only get a 2 percent raise as a result of the budget crisis affecting the city. This is an insult to every teacher who teaches in the city public school system. Comment.
Letters

Let state conduct better traffic study

On behalf of the Northeast Queens Community Action Network, I am writing to join with the National Resource Defense Council as well as other concerned citizens and groups in expressing concern over discrepancies in study results that could mean greater effects on traffic mobility, noise and air pollution and congestion than anticipated. Comment.
Letters

Interstate buses must have seat belts

As legal counsel to the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association at the time, I was able to get signatures from a number of the organization’s members on a petition supporting seat belts on such buses. At a meeting of the association, Weiner said he supported such a proposal to protect people on such buses. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg, Klein must stop running schools like businesses

City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein sits as chairman on the board of directors of the Eli Broad Foundation. Eli Broad is a billionaire and philanthropist who wishes to throw a lot of money at schools — not just public schools. He believes in the privatization of schools and that schools must be run like businesses in order for them to succeed. Comment.
Letters

Do not combine two boro bus routes

This is incorrect. Did he ever study Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus maps? If so, he would know the Q76 starts at the Jamaica bus terminal, serves two Hillside Avenue subway stations and seven schools and finishes at the College Point shopping center. The MTA estimated travel time is 50 minutes for this route. Comment.
Letters

Raw data can be misleading in report on Queens’ health

As a surgeon dedicated to improving patient care here in Queens, I have taken the liberty of adding some context to the statistics used in the article in the hopes that this can help further educate the public. Comment.
Letters

Discount factory outlets offer more torture than fun for Dad

Just over an hour’s drive, with cars zipping by me at speeds approaching 100 mph, we arrived at the congested parking lots where our first stop was Coach. The line inside to purchase an exchanged purse was long. Oh, what fun it is to stand on a rigid line all day. Comment.
Letters

MTA must not eliminate the student MetroCard pass

For the sake of my constituents, I oppose these proposed cuts and funding reductions proposed by the MTA, especially eliminating the student MetroCard passes, which targets a half-million schoolchildren. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said “the MTA can no longer afford to subsidize this free service,” a reference to the 1995 agreement it made with the city and state splitting the cost, each paying $45 million. During this fiscal year, the state paid $6 million and the city $45 million. Comment.
Letters

Do not cut funding in budget to state parks

The $6.3 million saved through proposed park closures would amount to a fraction of 1 percent of the state’s $8.2 billion budget gap. Comment.
Letters

Queens GOP leadership is clear and undisputed

The TimesLedger should perhaps require some minimum amount of fact−checking before going to print, e.g., by checking with me, checking with Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, or with the state GOP. Comment.
Letters

Civic wants PS 130 to become a locally zoned school again

The kindergarten−through−third−grade school is at 200−01 42nd Ave., on the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside. Geographically, this school is in District 26. Local students are currently bused to other elementary schools, so students who are bused to PS 130 from other neighborhoods throughout District 25 in Flushing have priority placement at the school. Comment.
Letters

Make Toyota pay for faulty vehicles

This is outrageous and unacceptable to the American people. A car should and must be 100 percent safe to drive. People should not have to worry about brake and accelerator problems with their vehicles. Comment.
Letters

Mayor, stop the MTA’s planned cuts

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Albany must pass domestic abuse bill

I applaud TimesLedger Newspapers for highlighting an important bill sponsored by state Sens. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) after the recent murder of a woman allegedly by her stalker despite having an order of protection against him. Comment.
Letters

Flier informed voters of Friedrich’s views on hate

Apparently, Robert Friedrich and the Republicans feel bitter following their overwhelming rejection by the voters (“Friedrich urges CB 13 to denounce mailing,” Little Neck Ledger, Feb. 25). That may explain their complaints about a mailing aimed at exposing Friedrich’s opposition to stronger criminal penalties for hate crimes. So let me pose this question: Is a neo-Nazi who paints a swastika on a synagogue, a school or the car or home of a Jewish family the same as a child who tags a subway car? Comment.
Letters

Americans should be more patriotic

It was certainly interesting and exciting in Flushing with all the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Isn’t it wonderful that people from all over the world can come to this great country and live the American Dream? Comment.
Letters

Common saying often misquoted

Regarding Alex Berger’s Feb. 18 TimesLedger Newspapers column “Money a very useful thing, but still the root of all evil,” the correct quote is “Greed is the root of all evil,” translated from the Latin “cupiditas radix malorum est.” Comment.
Letters

Give city workers increases in pay

This really takes the cake. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said teachers must only accept a 2 percent pay raise due to budgetary problems. This from a man who gave pay raises to his staff. Comment.

February, 2010

Letters

Protest DOE for decision to close schools

A recent travesty regarding the city Department of Education is its decision to close 19 schools. This will affect students, teachers and staff at each of these places. It is incomprehensible that city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and his committee could vote to do this. Comment.
Letters

Halloran should challenge Ackerman for Congress

Recently I attended a Tea Party event focused on interviewing candidates to take on U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) in the Fifth Congressional District. Comment.
Letters

Shed light on MTA’s holdings

I read TimesLedger Newspapers’ article about Gov. David Patterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg fighting about helping the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Bloomy rips guv’s plan to help MTA,” Feb. 11), which is a sore issue with me these days mostly because I believe the MTA has been wasting money for years and is holding on to real estate that generates no income. Comment.
Letters

Klein, mayor didn’t hear public on school closings

Your Feb. 4-10 editorial was right on the money: “Chancellor Klein Goes to School.” Yes he did, but he did not learn anything. Nor has he learned anything from the students, parents and different community organizations who say he is wrong in his approach to the education of children. Comment.
Letters

Pay tribute to real heroes

The 80 returning police and fire emergency workers who worked feverishly in earthquake-ravaged Haiti to help rescue victims buried in the rubble are to be commended for their indomitable spirit and valor. Comment.
Letters

Elected leaders must not cut jobs in city and state budgets

Here we go again! As if we have not suffered enough, another brutal whammy — this time from both the city and state governments. New York City’s gloom and doom budget, released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spells tough times ahead. Comment.
Letters

Hold Weprin, Bearak accountable for controversial campaign flier

Last week, a special election was decided in the 24th State Assembly District, pitting me against David Weprin. The results of that election are now tarnished due to my opponent’s use of political hate mail tactics — specifically a disturbing flier that was timed to arrive in mailboxes four days prior to the election in which I had little or no time to respond. Comment.
Letters

State should keep close eye on lotto funds

Seems to me that every time a politician takes over, one of the first things he or she does is explain to us New Yorkers that New York has some sort of deficit. Are we to believe that with all the Lotto money and other games of chance going on for over 30 years we are still behind the eight ball? Comment.
Letters

Haiti earthquake testament to human spirit

It is wonderful to see so many nations, including our own, having responded to the massive earthquake in Haiti. While there are many ideological differences across the globe, there is one important commonality that links all of us: We are human. Comment.
Letters

Supreme Court ruling gives businesses power to decide elections

Five-four: That Supreme Court proportion sends chills down one’s spine and should down the spine of our country. Back in 2000, that sole lifetime appointment position of one of the three branches of our federal government, the judicial, decided the presidential candidate with the popular vote of the American people would not occupy the Oval Office by halting the Florida recount vote, which might have given the candidate the electoral vote as well. Comment.
Letters

Move KSM trial out of Manhattan

For many reasons, New Yorkers dread the upcoming spectacle of the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorists in the federal courthouse in Manhattan’s Foley Square. A double ring of security will turn the area into a combination of an armed camp and the airport security lines on the day before Thanksgiving. Comment.
Letters

Try to get financial aid for college early

Each winter, New Yorkers and families across the country are confronted with one of the most crucial financial concerns regarding their teenage children: how to pay for their college education. Comment.
Letters

Albany failed city’s schoolchildren

Politics as usual is still the name of the game in Albany as the state Legislature last week passed up to $700 million from the federal government in needed education funding. It was unable to get its act together and pass the federally mandated legislation on charter schools that would have made those funds available. Comment.
Letters

Federal gov’t, state must pass laws prohibiting the sale of expired foods

While grocery shopping in a local supermarket recently, I purchased a package of pepperoni I found in a display case at the end of the produce section. Upon opening the package at home and biting into one of the slices, I experienced a foul, uncharacteristic taste. In looking on the package, I saw that the expiration date had passed a while prior to my purchase. Comment.
Letters

CB 11 looks out for welfare of Bayside community

As a member of Community Board 11, I take exception to the Jan. 14 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “The ‘Dangerous’ Sign,” in which you ridiculed the vote by the board to have the illuminated sign in front of Bayside High School removed. Comment.
Letters

Come together and help Haiti

It is critical that we as a nation stand together to help the Haitian people begin the long and painful recovery from the massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck Jan. 12. Comment.
Letters

Live life in light of safety concerns

With the recent near-tragedy on Christmas Day involving that young man who came close to blowing up an airliner, I wonder if we as Americans are really safe anywhere anymore. Comment.
Letters

Protect children’s education despite state budget problems

Thanks to everyone who joined our petition to Gov. David Paterson to restore the education funding to our schools. Our collective actions have forced the governor to repay school districts and local governments the money he withheld last month. We objected to this plan because it meant balancing the budget on the backs of our children. Comment.
Letters

Health bill should cover everyone

The health care reform bill is truly historic. But if it is so necessary and crucial to our survival, why do the provisions take effect in 2014? Why have selected groups been exempted, some until 2018, in order to get them to support and vote for it? Comment.
Letters

Reserve certain space for community facilities

With the North Flushing rezoning recently completed and the Auburndale rezoning underway, one big problem continues to plague our area. It seems now more than ever community facilities continue to proliferate at an alarming rate. Comment.
Letters

City’s reasoning for wanting to close Jamaica HS based on faulty statistics

Jamaica High School is a magnificent building — a beacon on a hill that stands out in a distinctly middle-class neighborhood in Queens. It is majestic and elegant — a landmark that exudes history. Comment.

January, 2010

Letters

David Weprin campaign has wrong idea of the opposition

Last week, I announced my candidacy for the state Assembly in the 24th Assembly District in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people on the coldest day of the year (“Friedrich to run in Assembly race,” Queens Village Times, Jan. 14). Comment.
Letters

Compromise on Bayside HS sign

Shame on Community Board 11. Instead of embracing the fact that Bayside High School, which has been maligned in past years, wants to crow about its tremendous successes of late, the CB 11 picks on a petty annoyance and votes to have the school’s new sign removed (“Bayside High should remove sign: CB 11,” Bayside Times, Jan. 7). Comment.
Letters

Teachers deserve good salary for their work

Well, here we are in the new year and New York City public school teachers still do not have a new contract in place. What is going on? Certainly there should not be any doubt that us teachers deserve a decent and just salary increase that will help us keep up with everyday increases in prices from shoes to food to rent to health and auto insurance and other expenses. Comment.
Letters

Pupil allowed to take needed class

In the Dec. 10 TimesLedger Newspapers letter “Qns. College shouldn’t cancel key courses for low enrollment,” Teresa Lawrence, who is enrolled in our Continuing Education Program, cited her difficulty in registering for the last class she needs to obtain her EKG certificate. Comment.
Letters

Teachers, students at Cambria Hts. school protest MTA MetroCard cuts

On Dec. 12, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority executive board voted on its 2010 budget. In the budget was the elimination of student MetroCards starting in September with the half-fare MetroCard and the following September with the full-fare card. Comment.
Letters

City shows hypocrisy in its desire to close Jamaica HS

I oppose the closing of Jamaica High School not because I am an alumna, but because I know that thanks to dedicated teachers the school is capable of creating scholars and giving students the time and attention they need. I am confident the school can overcome its recent struggles and those knowledgeable about other large high schools slated for closure could make similar arguments to those I can make for Jamaica HS. Comment.
Letters

Resolve to make the city greener

As the giant crystal ball descended to the cheers of a million revelers in Times Square New Year’s Eve, countless New Yorkers rang in the new year with resolutions. Comment.
Letters

Reader should get his facts straight on columnist

Stewart J. Frimer of Forest Hills, a reader of TimesLedger Newspapers, took issue with William Lewis’ Dec. 17 column “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies.” He sent a letter to the editor published in the Dec. 31 issue. Comment.
Letters

MTA bigwig benefits make transit riders pay too much

Does it ever occur to state Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Glendale) and his colleagues who protest the Metropolitan Transportation Authority cuts that if they did not pay the transit workers fantastic salaries and health and retirement benefits, the people who use the subways would not have the financial problems they have now. Comment.
Letters

Protest proposed MTA transit cuts

As we begin the new year in earnest, we face a challenge to mass transit service that helps make a difference to our quality of life in eastern Queens. Certain cuts proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to address its revenue shortfall make no sense and the effects fall on our young, seniors and hard-working residents who work off-hours. Comment.
Letters

State Senate acted shamefully by not legalizing gay marriage

New York state has been given the opportunity to join the advanced civil culture of the United States, but failed. Comment.
Letters

National health care reform bill must treat New York state better

The U.S. Senate bill, as presently promulgated, would burden New York taxpayers in excess of $1 billion in extra Medicaid costs while denying critical aid to city hospitals that serve the poor. The feds would pick up almost all the initial costs states would bear by providing Medicaid coverage to everyone up to 133 percent of the poverty level. Comment.
Letters

Forecasters have poor winter track record

What is going on with this weather? Last week we had from 13 inches to 26 inches of snow and this past weekend, in one night, most of it was all washed away by a storm with temperatures into the 50s. Comment.
Letters

Reader takes issue with columnist’s views on U.S. politics

Where to start in responding to Bill Lewis’ Dec. 17 column, “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies”? Comment.
Letters

Governor, MTA don’t put our children first

The state Legislature rightly rejected Gov. David Paterson’s original plan to cut $686 million from classrooms across the state, which would have been devastating by eliminating programs and faculties in the middle of the school year. The governor is now withholding 10 percent of school funding — $146 million — in his effort to fix the state budget. Comment.
Letters

Sharpton meets match in PBA prez Palladino

I would like to comment on the Dec. 24 TimesLedger article “City Council approves street renaming for Sean Bell.” Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group