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Welcome, Fairway

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At a time when headlines are dominated by talk of a double-dip recession, record unemployment and the foreclosure crisis, the opening of the new Fairway in Douglaston is exciting news.

Customers coming from all over the city fought for parking spaces and ignored the rain to be among the first to shop in this new supermarket in the Douglaston Shopping Plaza.

The opening was so big that it created a traffic jam in surrounding streets. The new store fills a void that was created when Waldbaum’s closed, but it is doing more than giving area residents a place to shop. The store has created 450 jobs.

For that alone it was appropriate that a host of politicians — including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, state Sen. Tony Avella, state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, City Councilman Mark Weprin and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz — showed up for the opening.

Shoppers can thank Community Board 11 and its chairman, Jerry Iannece, who were determined that a supermarket should take the place of Waldbaum’s.

A Shameful Reality

If this is close to true, it is unacceptable.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a poll commissioned by the nation’s largest food bank shows that one out of every four households with a military veteran in New York City does not have enough food to put on the table.

It has been reported that men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been hit by the nation’s unemployment crisis. That is a problem that needs to be addressed. Despite the commercials, many of these men and women have not learned a marketable skill. They need and deserve help from a grateful nation.

But under no circumstances should the challenges they face in making the transition to civilian life result in their families going hungry.

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