Today’s news:

‘A Country of Hope’

TimesLedger Newspapers

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

She spoke of a country that had been in the grip of a cruel military regime and the dictators who kept her under house arrest for 15 years. The Nobel Prize winner spoke without a trace of bitterness and with optimism for Myanmar, the country once known as Burma.

“We were a country of hope in our part of the world, and we want to become that kind of country again,” she said.

During her visit to New York, she visited Queens College and Columbia University weeks before Election Day.

“You must vote. You must practice your democratic rights or they will fade away,” she said, addressing the students in Queens and the country.

Her audience included local political leaders and celebrities, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, actress Anjelica Huston and Queens College alumna and singer Carole King, who welcomed her to the city.

The afternoon was special for Crowley, who nominated Suu Kyi for the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s most notable civilian award, which she received Sept. 19.

She served as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a country committed to personal freedom and democracy.

Save the MacNeil Waterfront

MacNeil Park in College Point is one of the little known treasures of Queens. Except for the families who live nearby, few New Yorkers know about this waterfront park.

We tip our hat to marine scientist James Cervino and 20 of his Columbia University students, who spent time with volunteers trudging through the waterfront, cleaning the beach and studying what needs to be done to bring the shoreline back to life.

Compare that to the Bloomberg administration fighting to build a waste transfer station nearby that may cause greater damage.

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