Letters

January, 2012

Letters

Koo not clear on what area he represents

In a story that ran Nov. 30 on “Fox 5 News,” Ashley Mastronardi reported on the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association’s efforts to receive New York City Landmark Historic District status for its neighborhood. Broadway-Flushing has already been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, with more than 1,300 properties within its boundaries. Comment.

December, 2011

Letters

Guv must restore funding for state child care program

Created by the state Office of Children and Family Services in 2006, the state Kinship Caregiver Program was meant to provide vital funding and services to grandparents and other familial caregivers who find themselves tasked with raising young children. It is supposed to help children stay in loving environments by maintaining a sense of stability and the familiar and preventing them from entering foster care. Comment.
Letters

Ban hydrofracking in New York state

The sneaky ways the big oil companies are using to promote the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, is enough to arouse grave suspicions that the procedure is as dangerous as the environmental scientists say it is. Comment.
Letters

City shows gall in Willets sewer plan

In its mishandling of Willets Point, the city Economic Development Corp. has qualified for the Chutzpah Award of the Year. Comments (1).
Letters

Save city after-school programs

Recently, the city after-school community celebrated the work being done in after-school programs in the area and around the country, joining in the national Lights On After-school celebration. Comment.
Letters

City must do better in how it treats nonprofits

As many in Queens will tell you, there are many nonprofits throughout the borough that have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Nonprofits have traditionally been exempt from paying property taxes on buildings they own and provide services in, like churches and nonprofit affordable housing developers. Comment.
Letters

Fight against secondhand smoking

Fresh air is a precious commodity and a right for all New Yorkers, but many multi-unit dwellings are not smoke-free environments. Comments (6).
Letters

At least some rich Americans get it

It appears that our homegrown billionaires have decided to follow the lead of their wealthy French counterparts. They want to pay more taxes to help their country. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t must do more to aid students

The decision by City University of New York board of trustees to raise student tuition is unfair. Students are already paying a hefty amount and many of them have student loans, which are going to be difficult to repay. Comment.
Letters

DOT has odd process of turning Queens streets one-way

I could not help but notice the article about Community Board 7 voting and approving the one-way street near PS 209 (“One-way street OK’d by CB 7 near PS 209,” Flushing Times Nov. 17-23). Now it goes to the city Department of Transportation. Comments (2).
Letters

Take care of seniors’ eyesight

As you are well aware, the U.S. economy is experiencing a major downturn. Often when faced with tough economic times, our senior communities on fixed incomes hurt the most when their health care falls by the wayside. During our current financial crisis, I want to make sure their eye health is not neglected. Comment.
Letters

Crowley ruined St. Saviour’s deal

The people in western Maspeth have worked hard and prayed for a park at the former site of St. Saviour’s Church for more than five years. Comment.
Letters

Pol must back St. Saviour’s park

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Middle Village) single-handed nixing of the Crowley-St. Saviour’s park project felt like a sucker punch to its long-time supporters. Comment.
Letters

New law protects against smoking

On Nov. 13, a new law went into effect that bans smoking in outdoor areas of ticketing or boarding or on platforms on stations operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This law was passed by the state Legislature with bipartisan support and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August. Comment.
Letters

Dolan fought for welfare of Queens

The sudden and tragic death of Queens Civic Congress President Patricia Dolan has left the civic community shocked and grief-stricken. Comment.
Letters

LIC, Jamaica can handle train growth: Transit group

We read with interest your Nov. 24-30 article “Hevesi wants barriers for Fresh Pond trains” and believe it is important to clarify some of the inaccuracies in the article. Comment.
Letters

SNAP growing to care for seniors

The cover story about Services Now for Adult Persons expanding transportation to northeast Queens (“CB 11 approves Little League bleachers plan,” Bayside Times, Nov. 10-16) only took into account one small aspect of the real story, which is that the SNAP of Eastern Queens Senior Center was awarded the contract to become one of eight innovative senior centers in the city. Comment.
Letters

Dolan tirelessly advocated for parks

On behalf of the city Parks Department family, we were saddened to hear of the untimely death of our friend, Pat Dolan. Comment.
Letters

Muni-Meters detrimental to economy of Bayside

I am writing to you out of frustration and anger at the installation of Muni-Meters along Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Apparently Mayor Michael Bloomberg has seen fit to wrest every last dime from our pockets, not having been satisfied with the 2 1/2 times increase in local property taxes during your tenure, nor the increase in additional fees and charges. Comments (1).
Letters

Council must appoint people to BSA

TimesLedger Newspaper reader Henry Euler is correct in his Nov. 10-16 letter to the editor “Reform BSA after it allowed second house on lot,” decrying how the city Board of Standards and Appeals operates, often in blatant disregard to the interests and desires of the local community. Comments (1).
Letters

Star Nissan must issue an apology

Perhaps if someone had held Star Nissan accountable for its conduct and lack of compliance with applicable regulations at the beginning of its tenure in Auburndale, then we would not be where we are today — contending with a business that believes that compliance with the law is a voluntary proposition subject to the whims of convenience. Comment.
Letters

ICCC cares about its community

First, we want to make it clear that we live here. We are also members of the community. Our officers and supporters live in Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks and Queens Village. We have raised our families here and lived in these communities for more than 40 years. Comments (4).

November, 2011

Letters

Halloran right standing up to dealer

I am a constituent of City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and I am glad to have an elected official who I can count on to take action. Comments (1).
Letters

Columnist wrong on facts of Haggerty case, boro GOP

I have tried to hold my tongue for a while concerning some of columnist Dee Richard’s biased and influenced comments, but one column — “John Haggerty makes promise for a Round 2 in court, published Nov. 3 — is just a bit too ridiculous to ignore. Maybe it is time she stuck to party updates and human interest stories. Comment.
Letters

Waterfront plan will harm small biz

Were one to seek an area rife with congestion and abysmal architecture, downtown Flushing would surely qualify as the winner. There seems to be no end to myopic public officials together with taxpayer-subsidized, fat-cat real estate developer friends seeking to turn Flushing into tomorrow’s overcrowded slums. Comments (1).
Letters

City wrong to remove Wall Street protesters

The more conservative elements of our city have succeeded in their efforts to obtain the forceful removal of protesters from Zuccotti Park. Comment.
Letters

Cultural Center bad for Bellerose

The Queens Civic Congress, the umbrella coalition for more than 100 Queens civic organizations, congratulates Community Board 13 on its vote to oppose construction of two multi-story apartment buildings on the Creedmoor campus adjacent to several low-density Bellerose neighborhoods. Comment.
Letters

City must tap into minority, women businesses

With the passage of Local Law 129 in 2005, the City Council created the Minority and Women-owned Businesses Enterprise Certification Program, which at its core was designed to encourage a bit more fairness for businesses owned and operated by women and people of color in their dealings with the city. It was supposed to give minority businesses a more level playing field to compete for city contracts, and in so doing promote their own businesses while contributing to the city’s economy. Comment.
Letters

Friedrich defends his political role

In a Nov. 10-16 letter to me, Barbara Leonardi asked if my letter to the editor (“E-mail disguised as birthday celebration,” Oct. 20-26), wherein I called for “truth in advertising” by elected officials who send out fund-raising letters masquerading as birthday invitations was “genuine or just another one of your tries at a political position.” In the same paper, Diane Stromfeld characterizes my letter as a “complaint from the perennial candidate, who is a perennial loser.” Comment.
Letters

Wall St. protesters are collectivist idealists

News reports about Occupy Wall Street and interviews with occupiers are reminiscent of double-speak. “Greed” means anyone with a lot of money must have stolen it, “social justice“ requires that the wealthy share since they have more than they need and “equality” and “fairness” mean redistribution to each according to his needs. Comment.
Letters

Hillcrest High School scores an A

Everyone at Hillcrest High School should be proud of our most recent accomplishment. We were officially informed that the city Department of Education has designated Hillcrest HS as an “A” school on the 2010-11 Progress Report. Comment.
Letters

Fund-raising just fine at Avella bash

I read with a chuckle the complaint from the perennial candidate, who is a perennial loser, about a party for a competent winner. Bob Friedrich complains that an invitation to a birthday celebration for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was disguised as a fund-raiser (“E-mail disguised as birthday celebration,” Oct. 20-26). Comment.
Letters

Kids should learn respect at home

As the economic recession continues unabated with no improvement in sight, another important aspect to also note is that there seems to be a lack of respect and common courtesy in this country. Comment.
Letters

Reform BSA after it allowed second house on lot

The city Board of Standards and Appeals is a city agency that hears land use requests from developers, builders and architects. Many of the cases involve variance requests which allow an applicant to develop a site by bypassing some established zoning regulations. There are conditions that must be met in order for a variance to be granted. Comment.
Letters

Impose term limits on Glen Oaks prez

I am one of those ordinary folks who received an invitation to state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) 60th birthday celebration. I was relieved to know what I could bring, as I would never dream of showing up to a party without a gift. Comment.
Letters

Beep must not back Creedmoor proposal

You are aware of the strong community opposition to the proposed plan on the grounds of Creedmoor as put forth by the Indian Cultural and Community Center. Your representatives have attended some if not all of the meetings in the Bellerose area on this subject and can confirm that the following neighboring civic associations have strongly opposed this proposal. Comment.
Letters

Don’t put bleachers in Crocheron Pk

On March 29, 1995, an illiterate letter — replete with more than a dozen errors in grammar and spelling, including “bleaches” instead of “bleachers” — was sent to Community Board 11 by a person who called himself “Commissioner of Bayside Little League,” requesting that bleachers be installed in Crocheron Park, across from the residential area that had been represented by the East Bayside Homeowners Association for two decades at that time. Comments (8).
Letters

Pol should make peace between halal market, Bellerose

I have family in Glen Oaks and they shop at Super Halal Meat in Bellerose. We enjoy the shopping experience and would have to travel farther to another specialty market that specifically caters to Muslims with halal products. Comments (9).
Letters

Middle class will pay for jobs bill

As the great recession of 2011 continues unabated, protests against the dire economic conditions continue to occur and are now spreading to other parts of the country. The president continues to press for the passage of his jobs creation bill, but Congress is balking. Comment.

October, 2011

Letters

Investigate missing park funds

In April 2004, local papers reported details of a $4.12 million federal transportation allocation that had been secured by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

‘Spreading the wealth’ is not a good idea

What better place to demand the redistribution of wealth than on Wall Street? When the occupiers were asked, most could not explain their grievances, why they were there, who will determine whose wealth requires redistributing, who will do the confiscating and who will do the equalizing. Comment.
Letters

Occupy Wall Street protesters are truly patriotic

Another day of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have spread to several major cities, and another day of disparaging remarks from the haves and those who do not get it on the right. Comments (4).
Letters

Average joes will pay for jobs bill

As 2011 continues, the state of our national economy is no better than it was two years ago. In fact, it has worsened significantly. Comment.
Letters

Expose undocumented immigrants

How much dumber can we get? Apparently, quite a lot. Regarding your Oct. 6 editorial “Alabama Rides Again,” while the point of states taking over a federal government function may be well-taken, some of the other statements made are nonsense. Comments (1).
Letters

Put an end to Occupy Wall St.

It is time for New Yorkers to stand up and demand the mayor and NYPD put an end to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Comments (3).
Letters

Demand more public input into planned fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” is a process used to extract natural gas from underground shale deposits. The problem with the process is that it uses toxic, carcinogenic chemicals combined with huge amounts of water to facilitate the removal of the gas. These chemicals can reach into wells, waterways, reservoirs and underground aquifers, thereby contaminating our water supplies. Other states that allow fracking have had instances where wells and streams have become contaminated due to fracking. Comment.
Letters

E-mail disguised as birthday celebration

Recently I and many other ordinary folks in the community received an e-mail invitation to help celebrate state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) 60th birthday. Comment.
Letters

Willets Pt. must become East Coast Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is getting ready for its biggest competitor yet. Yes, that is right: New York City. In a plan that has stirred and awed much of the tech world, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed $100 million to establishing a top-tier, applied sciences university within the five boroughs. Comments (2).
Letters

Wall St. protesters should get to work

These Wall Street protesters are a waste of time, space and money. They represent exactly what is wrong with America: the entitled masses who believe they are owed something. Comment.
Letters

Turner’s election a message to prez

Republican Bob Turner won the congressional seat in the 9th District against state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck). Comment.
Letters

Congress needs to fix economy now

As 2011 continues, the state of our nation’s economy looks no better than it was a year ago at this same time. Why has there been no significant improvement in the economy? Comment.
Letters

Residents need more West Nile info

I read with great interest the article “West Nile sickens Whitestone senior” in the Sept. 22-28 Whitestone Times. The story said that “Whitestone has been sprayed for mosquitoes five times this year, the latest taking place last week, according to the DOH.” Comment.
Letters

Racism not a role over halal market

I was disturbed that Sheraz Kahn, owner of the Super Halal meat market, said that our protest was aimed at his establishment because of his ethnicity. How ridiculous! There is a supermarket just three blocks west of his place, owned by people of his nationality which, when opened, had a community problem concerning double parking in front of his store. He quickly remedied the situation and has been a good neighbor ever since. Comments (1).
Letters

Rich must pay higher tax rates

The French, they are funny race” is a phrase from a 1955 British comedy film. U.S. Reps. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) did not think them funny when they so strongly, and now proven rightly, were against Bush taking us into Iraq. Comment.
Letters

Newly elected Turner must help out suffering people

Why is it that when former Mayor Ed Koch and state Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) endorse a woefully unqualified, radical right-wing, Tea Bag Republican for the umpteenth time, Dee Richard and the media all go gaga, but when a Republican like Flushing City Councilman Peter Koo crosses party lines to support a highly qualified and progressive candidate like Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), it is at best ignored or at worse castigated by the hopelessly biased Dee Richard? Comment.
Letters

Do not let computers replace teachers in schools

With all the focus on the importance of technology in our schools, there is another important issue that needs to be addressed. That is the fact that our students need to be able to know how to express their thoughts through oral reading and writing. Comments (2).
Letters

Avella must care about entire district

I am happy, Joseph R. Maligieri, that state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) responded to your concerns (“Avella cares about constituents,” Aug. 18-24). Comment.
Letters

Respect Paul, Bennett views on 9/11

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Tony Bennett have served honorably in the U.S. military. Bennett saw the horrors of war first-hand as he was in combat in World War II. For those who have never served their country, be careful of how you judge the patriotism of those who have. Comment.
Letters

9th District constituents made mistake with Turner

President Barack Obama inherited eight abysmal years from the Bush administration, a housing and mortgage mess and two wars that were funded without a tax increase — something without precedent. Comment.
Letters

Teachers shouldn’t be a part of budget cuts

As the recession of 2011 continues and budgetary cuts are affecting every aspect of the American way of life, one area that is going to be severely affected is our education system. Comment.

September, 2011

Letters

Support independent redistricting

Across the state this summer, a little-known entity, the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, has been conducting public hearings on redistricting reform. Comment.
Letters

Port Authority fare hikes unfair to the public

Port Authority Executive Director Chris O. Ward’s initial proposal for a $4 increase in bridge and tunnel E-ZPass tolls to $12, a PATH ticket raise by $1 and increased cash Hudson River crossing tolls to $15 a year and $17 next year was so absurd it was clear it was a cabal between Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo so they could pretend to be saviors by brokering a pre-arranged deal for a somewhat lesser rise. Comment.
Letters

Keep teachers, not computers

With all the focus on the importance of technology in our schools, there is another important issue that needs to be stressed. That is the fact that our students need to be able to know how to express their thoughts orally and through writing. Comment.
Letters

10th anniversary of Sept. 11 a day for reflection

It has been 10 years since Islamic fundamentalists attacked America and murdered more than 3,000 of our family, friends and neighbors. Comment.
Letters

‘Pastor,’ ‘priest’ different people

We read the article “Bayside pastor arrested in Conn.” in the Aug. 11-17 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers and were surprised to see the heading of the continued column. Comment.

August, 2011

Letters

Back planned science campus

The mayor’s recently announced plan to build a government-sponsored, engineering and science campus in New York challenges us to deliver training and jobs to the many talented young men and women of color that our economy has left behind. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Comment.
Letters

Boro memorial service canceled

On behalf of the Haitian American Veterans Association and Carol Blanc-Damas, beloved mother of the late U.S. Marine Cpl. Leopold Damas, we would like to apologize because on the second anniversary we will not be able to hold a memorial service this year. Comment.
Letters

Tea Partiers only care about themselves, not nation

Want a wild ride on the stock market? Here it comes! Who can we blame for the S&P downgrading of U.S. credit? S&P said the downgrade was not solely due to the amount of debt alone, but was also due to the failure of both parties coming together to create solutions going forward. So who would not come together? The Tea Party, that’s who. They refused to negotiate at every opportunity. It was their way or else. Comment.
Letters

Economy must improve at quicker pace

Even though the president and Congress were finally able to come to an agreement to prevent the country from defaulting, our economic situation is no better than before. Comment.
Letters

Queens GOP squabbling will harm party long term

William Lewis’ Aug.4-10 column “Ognibene poses threat to Queens GOP seat held by Ragusa” reminds me of two hyenas fighting over the carcass of a dead animal — in this case, remnants of the once-relevant Queens Republican Party. This is the latest chapter of a periodic civil war, the origins of which can be traced back to the 1980s. Comment.
Letters

Avella cares about constituents

As a College Point homeowner, I had written to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the hope that he would help with getting the trees on my block pruned, due to the fact that they are so overgrown that you have to crouch down when walking along the street or you will get poked in the eye. Comments (1).
Letters

Thunderstorm forces reader on odyssey

A bad thunder and hail storm hit us in the Great Neck, Little Neck, Douglaston and New Hyde Park area Aug. 1 and wreaked havoc for many of us. I was one of those caught in this storm. Comment.
Letters

Trees help us in more ways than one

With all the controversy surrounding the global warming issue, one thing that should be done is to continue to plant trees. Comment.
Letters

Boro stoplight will cause traffic

I am writing to thank state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for his efforts to get a traffic light installed in College Point at 122nd Street and 11th Avenue (“Traffic light coming to dangerous College Pt. corner,” July 21-27). Comment.
Letters

Koch’s pick is wrong for the country

In response to Ed Koch’s endorsement of Bob Turner for Congress, covered in the July 28-Aug. 3 TimesLedger Newspapers article entitled “Koch deserts Weprin by endorsing Turner,” I ask whether Koch really thought this one through. Comment.
Letters

Obama must start getting tough with Republicans

I saw the flash on television last week that we finally have a debt deal on the table that both sides will agree to. But why do I have this sinking feeling in my stomach about it, and I have not even read the details in the newspaper? Comment.
Letters

Vote pols out of office over debt fiasco

Well, after weeks of political wrangling and ballyhoo, it was possible for the elected clowns in Washington, D.C., to actually come to an agreement that prevented our nation from defaulting Aug. 2. Comment.
Letters

Say no to legalization of marijuana

I would like to comment about the July 14-20 letter from Larry Penner titled “Gov’t should legalize marijuana.” Comment.
Letters

Weiner was good despite faults

I disagree with those who believe U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner served his constituents well. I worked for his opponent in the 2010 election, but I agree with those who believe he should not have resigned over the sexting scandal. Comment.
Letters

Let constituents choose pols

One can legitimately argue either way as to whether former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner should have been forced to resign his congressional seat. There can be no argument in describing Weiner as having been disgraced. Comment.
Letters

Pol should speak to locals before making accusations

An open letter to City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens). Comment.
Letters

Gov’t needs to get people working

With the latest figures for June 2011 in, it is disappointing to see that unemployment is up to 9.2 percent and only 18,000 new jobs were created nationwide. Our country is in serious trouble and our president and Congress better start working together to come up with a plan to improve this economy and fast. Comment.

July, 2011

Letters

Weprin unfit to succeed Weiner

State Assemblyman and 9th Congressional District candidate David Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) belief that he is the best candidate to replace former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner due to his “20 years of experience in public finance, state banking and the City Council Finance Committee to replace Weiner” is contradicted by his past track record (“Weprin, Turner launch races for Weiner seat,” July 14-20). Comment.
Letters

Boro man’s bee fine undeserved

When my staff and I heard that the city was fining my constituent, Arthur “Tip” Sempliner, up to $2,000 for “failing to water his beehive,” our first reaction was to laugh. Only in New York City can a government think up such a creative way to fine someone an exorbitant amount of money. Comment.
Letters

Tshaka recognized as tireless community advocate

Congratulations to lifelong family friend Mandingo Tshaka on his recent honor of receiving the Sanford and Hines Families’ Recognition Award for Study and Research in the African Experience in New York State, the Americas and the Diaspora. Comment.
Letters

Bellerose strives to maintain quality of life

In response to the July 21-27 letter from City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) entitled “Show tolerance for South Asians in Queens,” Weprin seems to imply that because of a singular statement by an individual at a recent joint civic association meeting, the people of Bellerose are racist. Comment.
Letters

Show tolerance for South Asians in Queens

Recently, there were some disturbing comments in the press from residents of Bellerose about whether South Asian immigrants and individuals of South Asian descent, who are relative newcomers to the neighborhood, are serving our country in the armed forces. There were also some disrespectful statements about how our country deals with immigration. Comment.
Letters

Budget protects city firehouses from mayor’s cuts

This year, under enormous pressure to deliver a fiscally responsible budget in difficult financial times, we were forced to make some tough decisions. Deciding how to consolidate services while protecting core city services is never an easy task. In order to guarantee New York City’s continued success, we did just that. The City Council negotiated with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, confronted the challenges of our present economic climate head-on and presented a sensible, on-time city budget. Comment.
Letters

Swipe fee rates harm small biz

As a small business owner who can attest to the hard-hitting nature of swipe fees, I was pleased when Congress took action last year to put reasonable limits on the fees that big banks and credit card companies have used to exploit small businesses and consumers for years. Comment.
Letters

Thanks for signing 306 petition

Once again we feel safe in our community knowing FDNY Engine 306 in Bayside is open. Comment.
Letters

Voters should decide candidates

A special election has been approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for Sept. 13 for former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat. Comment.
Letters

Law gives renters more rights, raises deregulation limit

As the state’s housing commissioner and a former state legislator, I believe I can offer a unique perspective on the historic rent-regulation bill Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law. Comment.
Letters

A nanny state is necessary in some cases

I would like to respond to the letter from Bob Friedrich headlined “Nanny state must come to an end” (TimesLedger Newspapers, June 30-July 6). Friedrich seems to have problems with laws and rules that are put in place to protect children. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t should legalize marijuana

Fast forward from “Cops seize 3K whiskey cases during Prohibition in 1925” (TimesLedger Newspapers, June 23-29) to today. The city Police Department making possession of marijuana No. 1 for arrests of over 50,000 people in 2010 was a similar failure. Comment.
Letters

Animal hospital deserves praise

An open letter to the Whitestone Animal Hospital. Comment.
Letters

State needs anti-auto fraud law

The state Legislature accomplished a lot this year, but one important reform was conspicuously left out: passage of the legislation know as the Fraud Tax Bill that would crack down on crisis-level auto insurance fraud in New York state. Comment.
Letters

Boro civic mourns member’s death

On rare occasions, we have been privileged to meet someone whose life made a significant difference, who was always there to help both on a large scale and individually, a person who was dedicated to making a positive impact on his community. Tom Winberry was that person. Comment.
Letters

Pols must do more to fix economy

An open letter to U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

LIRR must stop cutting down trees

At the rate of the Long Island Rail Road decimating mature, healthy and stable trees in Forest Hills, which have not fallen since their planting a century ago, it may exceed the rate of the tornado’s destruction upon our trees last September. Comment.
Letters

Letter about conduct of CB 13 chairman not based on facts

An open letter to Virginia Salow of Bellerose. Comment.
Letters

Join your local civic group to make a difference

Local civic associations have done much to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. They have met with many successes dealing with community issues and problems and continue to work diligently on other concerns. Comment.
Letters

Preserve site of Creedmoor facility from private developers

At a packed joint meeting of the Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Association and the Queens Colony Civic Association June 9, the groups discussed recent proposals for private development on New York state property, formerly the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. Comment.
Letters

Weiner should not have resigned his office

While I do not condone former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s irrational and immature conduct, I do recognize there was no physical contact involved or crime committed and that he was otherwise well-regarded and responsive to his constituents. Comment.
Letters

Padavan deserved invite to march in Douglaston-Little Neck parade

How soon we forget! At the Douglaston-Little Neck Memorial Day Parade for the past 25 years and more, Capt. Sam Greenberg of the U.S. Navy, a U.S. Army brigadier general, another Navy captain and I, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, always marched together in the parade joined by former state Sen. Frank Padavan, a colonel in the Army. We are now all retired from the military. Comment.
Letters

Nanny state must come to an end

The nanny state marches on. If the ban on smoking in outdoor parks and plazas was not enough, now state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) has introduced a bill to prohibit smoking in cars when a minor under the age of 14 is present. Comment.
Letters

Rich have hands in public assistance

A recent picture in the newspaper relative to rent regulation showed a gentleman holding up a sign reading “New York is not just for the rich.” Is he kidding? Comment.
Letters

Time to bring the troops home

The United States needs to begin immediately withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. It seems the Afghan president is forever complaining about our forces as being more of an occupation force rather than a fighting one. Comment.

June, 2011

Letters

Stavisky backs stronger rent control laws

How does a state senator who is pro-tenant respond to a robocall made by the Republicans claiming the opposite? Comment.
Letters

Confusion on McDonald’s subway ad targeting riders

I would like to comment about the June 17 article “Sanders not lovin’ A train ad.” Comment.
Letters

Don’t be a nanny, focus on more important issues

Is state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) running for head nanny of New York (“Weprin bill aims to keep kids smoke-free in cars,” June 16)? Comment.
Letters

Racino not worth all the hoopla

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) tells us that we need more police around the soon-to-open Aqueduct racino in order to ensure the safety of his constituents and others who will come running with open wallets to the latest gambling den. Comment.
Letters

Why Mixed Martial Arts is being hit below the belt

When you hear the word jujitsu, what do you think of? I think of the agility, strength and discipline needed to study this style of martial arts, which dates back to the samurai. The same is true of other fighting arts like judo, karate and Brazilian jujitsu. To many observers, these are art forms built on honor and mastered with determination. Comment.
Letters

Take Weiner’s tears over sexting with grain of salt

One of the most stunning aspects of the Weiner affair is the arrogance of power that we saw on display and have come to expect with many of our elected officials. Weinergate is merely the latest example. Comment.
Letters

Weiner took page from Clinton book

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills). Comment.
Letters

Decrease pensions and benefits to fund the city’s institutions

The politicians are always fighting. They are fighting the closing of firehouses, libraries and high schools. Comment.
Letters

Do not lay off city workers

The mayor’s proposal to shutter some 20 firehouses throughout the city due to the budget crisis is simply unacceptable. Comment.
Letters

Maspeth parents must speak up on overcrowding in area schools

On Saturday, I took my daughter to Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village. PS 49 is across the street from the park. On the fence in front of the school on the 80th Street side are signs advertising several businesses, such as Four Ones Car Service. The signs are hung on the railings in black and white. Comment.
Letters

Take Wiener’s tears with grain of salt

One of the most stunning aspects of the Weiner affair is the arrogance of power that we saw on display and have come to expect with many of our elected officials. Weinergate is merely the latest example. Comment.
Letters

Pols should stick to N.Y. politics

One wonders about the sincerity and arrogance of state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), former City Councilwoman Melinda Katz — who are both Democratic district leaders in Forest Kills — and defeated candidate Richard Brodsky, a former Westchester County assemblyman, when they decry the vote of the people of Wisconsin over who they voted for for governor, who has legally attacked union power. Comment.
Letters

Budget cuts to Queens Library unacceptable

The attainment of knowledge is the greatest gift we can give to our children, and libraries are the gardens that nourish the intellectual bloom they need to compete and succeed. Moreover, libraries are an essential source of information, education, literacy, jobs and job readiness programs. Here in Queens, we have the highest circulation of any library in the nation, and the citywide budget battle to restore library funding across the five boroughs will inflict unnecessary pain upon the annual 14 million library users of all ages. Comment.
Letters

Obama wrong in wanting 1967 borders of Israel to return

When the president spoke recently of the opportunities presented by the Arab Spring, he got a lot right. His calling out of the Arab states was long overdue and dead-on. Comment.
Letters

Living wage bill necessary for Qns Center Mall workers

On May 21, I attended a town hall meeting at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Corona with hundreds of others to demand that the owner of the Queens Center Mall, the Macerich Co., give back to the community by transforming the publicly subsidized mall from a poverty wage center into a responsible development for Queens workers. Comment.
Letters

Stop Whitestone street conversions

An open letter to Whitestone residents. Comment.
Letters

Tell city not to close Engine 306

On May 22, I attended a rally protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to close 20 firehouses throughout New York City. The demonstration took place outside Engine 306, a firehouse at 40-18 214th Place in Bayside. Comment.
Letters

Ackerman must speak out on ‘67 borders

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), a self-proclaimed supporter of Israel, failed to criticize President Barack Obama for urging that Israel begin the negotiating process with the 1967 borders. I wrote Ackerman about this and I received a two-page letter gushing with unconditional support and praise of Obama. Unbridled party loyalty should not silence a congressman from speaking out, even against members of his own party, as others have done. Comment.
Letters

Council, be cautious with pensions

With our City Council members raiding the public treasury for all kinds of programs and benefits, they should stop, pause and think for a moment. Comment.
Letters

U.N. must establish Mid-East peace

With all of the political turmoil and upheaval in the Middle East, when, if ever, will peace come to this region, which continues to be unstable? Comment.

May, 2011

Letters

Do not use standardized test scores to evaluate teachers

What makes a good teacher? I will bet that if you think back to your school years and try to remember your best teacher, you will think of someone funny, witty, creative or inspiring. You will remember the teacher who ignited your love of literature, took you on an amazing field trip, introduced you to musical theater or helped you excel in math. You will not, in all likelihood, remember or care to remember the impact any of your teachers had on your standardized test scores. Comment.
Letters

Bloomy, Council GOP have chance to reapportion district lines in city

The May 19-25 editorial “A New Day in NY Politics” also applies to the City Council. Comment.
Letters

Do not feel shame by taking jobs in the civil service sector

The workers who took the jobs that included pensions quite often took government jobs that were passed upon by others seeking higher pay and better working conditions. Comment.
Letters

Oust rich from rent-regulated apts.

Tenant associations are complaining about the fact that there are people who want to remove the rent regulation that allows apartments to be decontrolled when the rent goes over $2,000 a month and the tenant earns $175,000 a year for two years running. Comment.
Letters

Keep Bayside’s Engine 306 open

In an effort to close its current budget gap, the Bloomberg administration announced that it was planning to close the FDNY’s Engine 306 in Bayside. This firehouse serves the Bayside and Bay Terrace areas and is vital to the safety of our communities. Comment.
Letters

Obama deserves praise for visiting WTC site

It was wonderful to see President Barack Obama visit the World Trade Center site three weeks ago to honor those lost Sept. 11, 2001. He laid a wreath at the base of the ornamental pear tree that had survived the devastating terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 people on that fateful day. Comment.
Letters

Answers needed over conversion of street

An open letter to City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.
Letters

Korean merchants in Flushing must find funds for English signs

Regarding the May 5 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Signage fix eludes leaders,” isn’t it time we stopped kidding about “poor merchants” who “cannot afford” to change their signs to conform with the state law passed in the early 1900s, which says that all signs must be prominently in English? Comment.
Letters

Keep budget by cutting pensions

Your recent story about local City Council members reacting to the mayor’s proposed budget is interesting. While all of them profess the desire to help the middle class by making cuts, none of them talk about cutting spending. Comment.
Letters

Mayor should tap into surplus, but not lay off any city teachers

Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed his budget for the city and he is still insisting that he will have to lay off nearly 6,000 teachers. Comment.
Letters

NYPD must stop profiling Queens minorities

The right of the people to be secure … against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation .... — Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution Comment.
Letters

N.Y. state must tackle redistricting

The Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization for more than 110 Queens neighborhood-based civic groups, thinks it is time to put an end to gerrymandering. Comment.
Letters

Support Avella on clean energy plan

It seems like Albany has been talking about clean energy and its potential to create jobs for a long time. Fortunately, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) is doing something about it, and we would like to thank him for real leadership on this issue. Comment.
Letters

Osama’s death was worth 10-year wait

The news about the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of special U.S. military teams is the best news we have had relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Comment.
Letters

Million-dollar donation for schools raises eyebrows

Something is drastically wrong. Comment.
Letters

Iron Triangle biz owners should make way for eminent domain

Being a resident of the Whitestone area for many years and working in Flushing, I have seen many changes. Comment.
Letters

Willets Point project will bring unneeded luxury space to city

Apart from the destruction of hundreds of small businesses and the loss of jobs by thousands of people and their dependents, as an article that appeared in The New York Times April 13 makes clear, the proposed Willets Point project is a folly. The article referred to the following projects in downtown Flushing. Comment.
Letters

N.Y. state must stand against no-fault car insurance fraud

In these uncertain economic times, the Queens small business community faces immense challenges. It becomes even more difficult for Queens business owners to make ends meet when they are forced to foot an outrageous “fraud tax” bill in the form of auto insurance premiums 167 percent higher than the national average. Comment.
Letters

Usher in spring with litter-free sidewalks

Springtime is one of the most beautiful seasons, with flowers blooming and trees starting to leaf out. It seems that everyone is looking forward to the warmer weather since the snow has melted. Comment.

April, 2011

Letters

School still good after pupil handcuffing

I had to reply to the news reports about Joseph Anderson, the boy who was handcuffed and taken from PS 153 in Maspeth to the psychiatric ward of Elmhurst Hospital after he became uncontrollable in class. Comment.
Letters

Ombudsmen are needed to protect residents from shareholder boards

One would have to ask why anyone would mind having to answer to a government agency as opposed to a lengthy civil court legal battle. Comment.
Letters

Walcott must prove worth by not following footsteps of Bloomberg, Black

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. Comments (1).
Letters

Cost of living rising under Bloomberg’s reign

I am 95 years old, have lived through two world wars and economic catastrophes, outlived most of my children and am a widow on a fixed income. Comment.
Letters

Ackerman should make presence known in his Assembly district

As a taxpayer who just paid my taxes, I sat and asked myself what I am getting for them. My first question was, “What is my congressman doing for those taxes?” Comment.
Letters

Redistricting strengthens democracy

An open letter to state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck). Comment.
Letters

EDC must tread lightly on issue of Van Wyck Expwy. ramp in suit

City Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Julie Wood’s belief that the EDC did nothing improper in initiating eminent domain proceedings, notwithstanding a prior commitment by state Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden not do so until it received state and federal approval for ramps onto the Van Wyck Expressway, is another example of the antithesis of good government in which the EDC has been operating in the matter of the Willets Point proposal (“Judge might reopen Willets suit against city,” Flushing Times, April 7-13). Comment.
Letters

Schools should never be run as if they were corporations

If your child is enrolled at a New York City public school, rest assured he or she is receiving a substandard education. This statement may sound alarming, but it is true. Teachers unions are under attack nationwide. The agenda being pushed by the wealthiest Americans via our elected officials is to destroy unions, privatize public schools and turn teaching into a low-income, low-skilled, high-turnover job. Comment.
Letters

Reform taxes for co-ops, condos

According to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors, many co-ops and condos in Queens are selling for the same amount or less than what they were selling for a few years ago. Despite this fact, the city Department of Finance, which falls under the purview of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, proposed assessed market valuations that have in many cases increased by high double-digit percentages and in some cases triple digits over last year. Comment.
Letters

Layoffs will hurt both teachers and students

I am writing in response and agreement with the letter “Pols must start supporting teachers” by John Amato in the March 24-30 issue of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Letters

Tax the rich to balance budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget refusal to support the millionaire tax surcharge on the grounds that such people would leave the state is as empty as the claim that by not fully taxing the rich, money would trickle down to the middle class and the poor. Comment.
Letters

RKO Keith’s renovation won’t be ‘Made in USA’

With each passing day, the prospect of finding products labeled “Made in USA” becomes increasingly unlikely. Clothing, electronics, houseware, tableware, the very dishes from which we eat are all made overseas, primarily in China. Comment.
Letters

DOE must keep classrooms intact at PS 111 and Voice Charter

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. Comment.
Letters

Van Wyck ramp issue an excuse for EDC to use eminent domain

There seems to be no limit to the deviousness in the manner in which the city Economic Development Corp. is proceeding with regard to the proposed Willets Point project. A current case in point is the initiation of eminent domain proceedings which will justifiably result in a lawsuit (“Willets backers want to sue city over plans,” Flushing Times, March 24-30). Comment.
Letters

Span (sort of) bears Koch’s name

When I ran for office a couple of years ago, I took the position that no structures built by taxpayer funds should be named after any politician, dead or alive. After all, politicians are paid quite well and receive great benefits for their mostly part-time service and do not need to be idolized with the naming of iconic structures. Comment.
Letters

White House upzoning plan would do more harm than good

I am writing in response to the March 31 editorial in the Bayside Times entitled “A Compromise for Whitestone” in which my position regarding the proposed White House Restaurant upzoning was mischaracterized. Comment.
Letters

Budget passage should not lead to laying off of school teachers

Now that there is a budget in place, the next question is will there still be a need to lay off nearly 6,000 New York City public school teachers? Comment.

March, 2011

Letters

Do not cut senior centers in 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. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a budget that includes drastic spending cuts. Having served as a member of the state Assembly for more than 15 years, I understand the need for the state to pass a balanced budget. But at the same time, there are some services that we cannot afford to lose and must find a way to pay for. Senior centers fall in that category. Comment.
Letters

DOT must make Bayside streets easier to travel down and safer

I cannot believe what is happening. They are at it again. Have you any idea what is happening to our beautiful Bayside as far as erecting street signs and traffic control devices? I hope someone takes notice and does something about this situation. Comment.
Letters

Pols must back English signs

An open letter to City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing), state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone). Comment.
Letters

Gov’t must improve economy faster

Well, here it is — 2011 and the state of the U.S. economy still is not promising. While unemployment did drop slightly and nearly 200,000 new jobs were created, there are still too many Americans who continue to be out of work and are losing their homes and health-care coverage. Comment.
Letters

CB 8 disapproves of school cuts

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. Comment.
Letters

Tax co-ops like single-family homes

According to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors, many co-ops and condos in Queens are selling for the same amount or less than what they were selling for a few years ago. Despite this fact, the city Department of Finance, which falls under the purview of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, proposed assessed market valuations that have in many cases increased by high double-digit percentages and in some cases triple digits over last year. Comment.
Letters

Make wearing seat belts law on buses traveling interstate

Apparently, many of the passengers in the bus that recently crashed on I-95 were hurled to the front of the bus by the sudden impact. This would not have happened had they been wearing seat belts. Comment.
Letters

Columnist wrong about mayor attending parade, education

Dee Richard proved she has no ability to objectively view either hardworking teachers nor our imperial mayor in her March 10-16 column “Union members show mayor disrespect at St. Pat’s parade.” Comment.
Letters

Save senior centers in Queens

We will be judged as a society by the way we treat our most vulnerable. The proposed closures of more than 100 senior centers in the state if the $25 million in state funding is not restored to the budget before it is approved will never be forgiven by coming generations, even in these dire economic times. Moreover, it contravenes the Older Americans Act Congress passed in 1965 in response to universal concerns about a lack of community social services for older people and flies in the face of good conscience. Comment.
Letters

Pols must start supporting teachers

President Barack Obama has said that education is one of his top priorities. Well, if that is the case, then why are there threats of massive, widespread teacher layoffs across this country? Comment.
Letters

Maspeth depot would harm residents’ health

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

Partisan politics does not solve problems of Social Security

Before David M. Quintana gives his opinion on the issue of Social Security (“Protect Social Security from GOP,” Feb. 24), it would do his position better to not rely on the same old deceptive arguments that are based on misleading emotional scenarios and focus more on real facts. Comment.
Letters

EDC skirts Van Wyck ramps issue by using eminent domain excuse

An integral part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s misguided Willets Point project is the use of ramps to and from the Van Wyck Expressway to handle the expected huge increase in vehicular traffic the project will cause. This is so that even without the project the Van Wyck Expressway and Grand Central Parkway are often clogged. Comment.
Letters

Help the middle class, not wealthy

An open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Comment.
Letters

Do not lay off city teachers

The mayor is still insisting that teacher layoffs in the city public school system are going to take place. Yet Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his budget address that it would not be necessary at all to lay off any teachers. Also, the mayor, in his Feb. 17 news conference on the city budget, said there was an additional $2 billion in funds. Comment.
Letters

School in Maspeth needs funds from DOE

An open letter to city School Chancellor Cathleen Black. Comment.
Letters

Pols must come clean on Walmart

This is in response to a letter that appeared in the Feb. 24-March 2 Bayside Times. The letter, “Bringing Walmart to city will benefit its residents,” was written by City Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) in support of Walmart opening in New York City. They painted a picture of lower prices and abundant good deals that would allow us to improve our standard of living. Comment.
Letters

Show respect to board members of CB 7 for work they do

If, as a community leader, I seem supportive of Community Board 7, I am. From its inception under Chairwoman Mary McVay and District Manager Wilhelmina Jimney through the chairmanship of Myra Herce and District Manager Regina Colletta, the chairmanship of Lynda Spielman and District Manager Marilyn Bitterman and Chairman Eugene Kelty, CB 7 has been a godsend for us. These volunteers who serve on the board without pay — all of whom work for a living — and their underpaid and under-staffed staff do yeoman’s service on our behalf. Comments (1).
Letters

CB 7’s flawed investigation of Bitterman a sham: Civic

We read the Feb. 10-16 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Tale of CB 7 and Feinstein a ‘feel-good story’: Apelian” and were a little taken aback. Comment.
Letters

Take comfort in memories of loved one lost

An open letter to the family of Cecilia Malizia. Comment.
Letters

Mayor should stand up for workers

The latest assault on the city’s public school teachers is outrageous! The mayor is still insisting that he needs to lay off 6,000 teachers, even with a $2 billion surplus. What is he trying to pull here? Comment.
Letters

Democrat’s district dominance will not last forever in Jax Hts.

The new year is well under way and the winds of political change swept across America, Queens and specifically Woodside continue on in the bosom of the Democratic Party. If 100 years have passed since a Republican was elected anywhere within our district, I would not be surprised. Comment.
Letters

City must keep experienced teachers working

Have you noticed the keepgreatteachers.org commercials on television that call for the end of the seniority system method of dismissing teachers — last one in, first one out — during financial crises? Comment.
Letters

Landmark designation for SE Qns. area covers up many problems

Addisleigh Park’s newly designated historic landmark status acknowledges its place among the greats of New York City. Addisleigh is where the iconic African Americans of the 1940s and ’50s — Lena Horne, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, W.E.B. DuBois — lived alongside the newly minted black middle class of civil servants, teachers and entrepreneurs. Comment.
Letters

Accept children into program for Queens gifted and talented

I am writing regarding an issue that was discussed at the Community District Education Council 26 meetings in January and February: the phasing out of the gifted and talented program at PS 18. This program started 13 years ago and through the hard work of school administrators and teachers has provided services and activities not ordinarily provided by general education programs. Comment.
Letters

Mayor should retract statements on funding

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Board must reinstate Italian Regents exam

An open letter to state Board of Regents Chancellor at Large Meryl Tisch. Comment.

February, 2011

Letters

Community boards must work only for the interests of locals

Kudos to Dr. Richard Lipsky, representing Willets Point United, on the letter he wrote about Community Board 7’s behind-closed-door antics (“CB 7 has much to answer for in it approval of Willets Point project,” Feb. 3). Comment.
Letters

Protect Social Security from GOP

America is a community. We look out for each other as a nation. We build schools for our children, fund police for our safety and provide a secure retirement for our seniors. We do not toss aside our most vulnerable citizens when they need our help the most. Comment.
Letters

Antennas on roofs destroy quality of life

Good work, Mandingo Tshaka, on your diligence for your community of Clear Spring. I hope you get more support from your neighbors then I got from my board. Sixteen years ago, I moved into North Shore Towers only to wake up one morning to find numerous antennas on our roofs. Comment.
Letters

City must reassure Maspeth on longevity of high school

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black. Comment.
Letters

Bringing Walmart to city will benefit its residents

Attention, job seekers and bargain hunters: Walmart is on the way to a neighborhood near you. That’s right — no more trips to Long Island or New Jersey to get those money-saving deals. The American retail giant is eyeing several possible store locations within the five boroughs. Comment.
Letters

Institution in Bayside should service neighborhood kids before any others

PS 130, on the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside, is a K-8 elementary school specializing in science and technology. The school is geographically located in District 26, but the school serves District 25 students who are bused in while local students are bused to various crowded elementary schools in District 26. Comment.
Letters

New school programs in reading, math curb boro students’ learning

As a parent of a second-grade student in District 25, I have observed some disturbing trends over the last several years in schools citywide and in the school my daughter goes to. Our wonderful, veteran teachers are being forced into early retirement by abusive administrators. Comment.
Letters

Teachers deserve better than layoffs

With the recent dire economic news from both the city and Albany, it appears again that education is one of the main areas that will take a fiscal hit. Laying off any teachers will prove a negative consequence that will severely affect how well thousands of students will be taught. Comment.
Letters

Council housing caucus calls for exemption from flip taxes

I am writing with good news for New York City’s co-ops and condos that have flip taxes to maintain the property. I received notification from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that its proposed rule on private transfer fees includes an exception for fees paid to homeowner associations, condominiums and cooperatives, which use the proceeds to benefit the property. The initial proposal would have effectively forced local co-ops and condos to eliminate their transfer fees, known as “flip taxes,” and I contacted the FHFA seeking the exception. Comment.
Letters

Clean your fire hydrants of snow and ice

I would like to thank whoever got the fire hydrant on my block cleared out. I called my daughter’s father to come over and asked him to shovel it out, and when he went across the street the fire hydrant had already been shoveled out. Comment.
Letters

Black must resign as chancellor of school system over remarks

The person masquerading as the city schools chancellor has a bad case of “hoof-in-mouth” disease. Her quip, “Could we just have some birth control for awhile? It could really help us all out a lot” is the perfect example of how unqualified she is to deal with parents in this educational system. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg admin devious over how it uses eminent domain

An integral part of the Bloomberg administration’s misguided Willets Point project is the use of ramps to and from the Van Wyck Expressway to handle the expected huge increase of vehicular traffic the project will cause. Even without the project the Van Wyck and Grand Central Parkway are currently often clogged. The traffic issue as yet has not been resolved nor approved by the Federal Highway Administration. Comment.
Letters

MTA should bring back QM22 with improved schedule

This past June, our express bus, the QM22, was discontinued by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Co. Although the QM22, from Jackson Heights to midtown Manhattan, had just two trips in each direction per weekday, the discontinuation of the QM22 shows the lack of thought put into the MTA’s service cut proposals. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica HS can be improved if kept open and treated better

I wanted to take the opportunity to voice my concerns about what has clearly been the systemic destruction of Jamaica High School by the city Department of Education. I speak not only as an elected official, but as the parent of two public school students and a proud alumnus of Jamaica High. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t must look into ways city agencies treat Clear Spring residents

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

Bring Walmart to the Shops at Atlas Park

I think Walmart should come to Atlas Park. Walmart appeals to different kinds of people, whether they are rich or working-class. It would be an asset to the surrounding communities of Atlas Park. Comment.
Letters

Out-of-state pupil needs help from TimesLedger’s readers

I am in the fifth-grade at Ripon Christian Elementary School in Ripon, Calif. I have adopted your state as a class project. I will be doing a report and making a display about New York. Toward the end of April or the beginning of May, my class will have a “state fair.” I will display and show everything that I have gotten and learned about your great state to my whole school. Comment.
Letters

Protect Social Security from GOP

America is a community. We look out for each other as a nation. We build schools for our children, fund police for our safety and provide a secure retirement for our seniors. We do not toss aside our most vulnerable citizens when they need our help the most. Comment.
Letters

Bring Walmart to city for benefit of residents

Attention, job seekers and bargain hunters: Walmart is on the way to a neighborhood near you. That’s right — no more trips to Long Island or New Jersey to get those money-saving deals. The American retail giant is eyeing several possible store locations within the five boroughs. Comment.
Letters

Keep city teachers employed

The latest from Mayor Michael Bloomberg is that he will have to lay off an additional 15,000 teachers if there is no additional help from Albany. Comment.
Letters

Do not call Halloran a liar

An open letter to Steven Stites, communications director for City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.
Letters

Mayor, Klein ruined city’s standing in science contest for high schools

Your Jan. 20 story “Jamaica teen in Intel semis for Bx Science” celebrates the terrific work of a local student, as well it should. His achievement is all the more remarkable because of the dismal record of our high-performing schools during the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 has much to answer for in its approval of Willets Point project

Community Board 7 Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian appears quite eager to publicize the assistance CB 7 recently provided to Dan Feinstein, an owner of Feinstein Iron Works, involving details of Feinstein’s future relocation from Willets Point to College Point (“Feinstein, CB 7 make amends after clashes,” Jan. 20-26). Comment.
Letters

Don’t trust educators who graduated from city’s Leadership Academies

One of the most troubling aspects of former city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s tenure was the creation of the Leadership Academy. This academy was designed to take people with little or no education experience and give them a crash course in how to be a school leader. Comment.
Letters

Apelian does not deserve apology over Willets Pt.

Under the aegis of Community Board 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty and Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian, aided and abetted by the Bloomberg administration and Borough President Helen Marshall — all beholden to fat cat real estate moguls — downtown Flushing has become a tasteless architectural nightmare. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica HS a better place than city DOE makes it out

Just over 100 years ago, Jamaica resident Elizabeth Cisco challenged the state of New York and demanded that her children be permitted to attend the Jamaica school that is now Jamaica High School. Thanks to her efforts and sacrifice, former President Theodore Roosevelt desegregated schools throughout New York state and New Yorkers were given access to free and equal education. Comment.
Letters

Teachers need a new contract

As city public school teachers continue to work under the old contract, which has been expired for more than a year, the question is when teachers will have a new contract. Comment.

January, 2011

Letters

Americans need the health-care law, and Obama must fight for it

As a political junkie, I read every newspaper — unlike Sarah Palin — and watch both Fox and MSNBC. It has become more apparent in the discussion and shameful votes the House Republicans placed on repealing the health-care law Jan. 19 is only an indication of what U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said on the floor of Congress: “We have to repeal this president.” Comment.
Letters

Prevent GOP from repealing health-care reform legislation

The GOP is gearing up for this week’s U.S. House of Representatives vote on repealing the health-care bill — and the time for us to take a stand is now. We need to be clear about what Republicans are trying to do: take away health care from 32 million uninsured Americans who have no other lifeline. These folks — our family, friends, neighbors, loved ones — need us to advocate for them, to speak out strongly and compassionately. Comment.
Letters

Halloran needs to find answers to blizzard blunder

The claims of our city councilman, Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), regarding a deliberate slowdown by the city Sanitation Department in cleaning up the accumulated snow after the Dec. 26 blizzard, ring out as no less than true. My point of view is born out by some observations in my neighborhood at that time. Comment.
Letters

Malba Gardens civic cries foul over survey review

With regards to Chuck Apelian’s comments that Feinstein Iron Works take out a full-page ad in two local newspapers apologizing to him and Community Board 7 for his honest comments (“CB 7, Feinstein make amends after Willets clashes,” Jan. 20), it is amazing he would have the audacity to make such demands. After all, he is a public official in his roles as vice chairman of CB 7 and the CB 7 land use chairman. Comment.
Letters

Halloran aide questions story on councilman’s slowdown claim

I am writing in response to your Jan. 13-19 story entitled “Officials wary of Halloran claims on snow cleanup.” Comment.
Letters

Columnist makes unfair critiques of Queens GOP

I normally enjoy Dee Richards’ weekly column, but in last week’s column (“Ackerman holds D.C. bus trip for official swearing-in,” Jan. 13-19) I found her remarks about Queens County Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa and Executive Vice Chairman Vince Tabone unwarranted and inappropriate. Comment.
Letters

Rich want to kill working poor

It’s war! The wealthiest Americans are orchestrating a war between private and public sector employees. First, our jobs are sent to China and Mexico. Whole towns are devastated and the tax base gutted. The owners and the corporations move their accounts off-shore and pay no taxes. The Republicans turn billion-dollar surpluses into trillion-dollar deficits, deregulate the banks and fund two wars with blood but not money. Comment.
Letters

Black: Visit to Hillcrest HS a learning experience

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

Joel Klein ruined city’s schools

Let’s take a took at former city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s true accomplishments. Comment.
Letters

State gov’t needs to get its act together

As New York state’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo takes over the running of the state government, let’s extend to him our best congratulations and wishes for nothing but success in his new position. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg must be better manager

Let me see if I got this right. First, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cannot seem to get the snow cleared fast enough but is quick to shout down criticism. Now he has the garbage piled so high it poses a health hazard, at the very least. Comment.
Letters

City needs more cops on streets

Looking back on 2010, it is disturbing to see that crime has risen citywide and in Queens. Vehicle theft was up 11.9 percent boroughwide compared to rates in 2009. Homicide rates rose in 2010 citywide compared to 2009 rates. A scary fact is that two police precincts in Queens make up for 20 percent of the total rise in homicide citywide last year. Overall, murder rates are also up 13 percent for 2010. Comment.
Letters

City must exert its control over invasive plant species

Bravo to City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) for proposing action on the issue of invasive exotic plants (“Gennaro’s new bill to propose invasive species board,” Fresh Meadows Times, Dec. 2-8). These plants, the Nazis of the vegetative world, were brought to our shores from foreign lands. Because their growth is unchecked here by natural controls such as disease or insects, these plants grow unfettered and quickly overwhelm whole natural ecosystems. Comment.
Letters

Sanitation doesn’t deserve an ‘A’

It is clear from anyone who lives in Queens that the city Sanitation Department failed miserably in last week’s snowstorm and did not follow its own operating procedures for snow removal, as it has done in other large snowstorms of the past. Comment.
Letters

City blizzard response cannot be repeated

The last blizzard was an unmitigated disaster, compounded by the fact that the city was so unprepared for this storm, although the administration knew for a long time that it was coming. An investigation into why so many neighborhoods were left stranded after last week’s winter storm is paramount, as a matter of public safety and health, regarding unplowed streets, abandoned vehicles, snowbound hospitals and garbage accumulation. Comment.
Letters

Plow streets despite department cuts

If it is true that there was a deliberate job slowdown by sanitation workers, as reported in the New York Post during the recent devastating blizzard because they were angry about layoffs and budget cuts to their department, there needs to be a thorough investigation as to why this was permitted. Comment.
Letters

No good will come out of extending Bush-era tax cuts

We keep hearing the same sing-song from the advocates of extending the 2001 Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. They claim repealing it would not only hinder job growth, but lead to further economic distress. Comment.
Letters

Cleaning Manhattan, not Queens was wrong

Here is a comment from me on the city’s failed effort at snow removal in eastern Queens. Glen Oaks Village, New York’s largest garden apartment co-op and home to 10,000 New Yorkers, saw no city Sanitation Department plows in our community a full day after the snowstorm. Comment.
Letters

MTA fare hikes unfair, especially after snowstorm

As the area continues to dig out from the massive blizzard, to add insult to injury for thousands of mass transit riders and commuters who must drive into the city to work, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fare hikes went into effect last Thursday. Comment.
Letters

Cuomo should not use transit funds for anything else when guv

An open letter to Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo. Comment.
Letters

Local pupils’ play proves need for arts in schools

I attended the first of two performances of “How the Grinch Stole the Holidays” at William H. Carr JHS 194 in Whitestone last Thursday. If anyone wanted to see why we need to keep our music, art, etc., programs alive and funded in our public schools, you had to have seen Dec. 17’s final performance. Comment.
Letters

Blame Councilmembers for Q79 Group Ride’s failure

By now we have all read about the demise of the Q79 Group Ride Program. As one of the civic leaders who staged rallies and protests to save the bus line and have the Group Ride Program adopted for this route, it’s a sad day for our seniors and others that have no affordable transportation alternatives. Comment.
Letters

City must back new teacher contract

It is unfair that the teachers of the New York City public school system are still without a new contract. Teachers are still working under the old contract, which expired Oct. 31, 2009. Comment.
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