2003-07-09 / Editorials


Notes Error
To The Editor:

A mistake was made in the Gazette June 25 article entitled "Scholarships Awarded In Firefighter’s Memory." The Santora family and the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund awarded the scholarships, not Mr. Horn or Mr. Antonopoulos


Maureen Santora

Seeks Athlete Info

To The Editor:

I’m looking for any information about Joe Lillard, an Astoria resident who was one of America’s great athletes of the 1930s. Lillard starred in football for the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals, in baseball for the Chicago American Giants and Brooklyn Brown Dodgers, and also played on the original Harlem Globetrotters.

Little is known about Lillard. He was raised in Iowa, moved to Astoria at the end of his playing days in the 1940s and remained until his death in September 1978. He apparently worked at Vim’s Television and with the police recreational league.

Any and all information that can help shed light on this remarkable athlete will be most appreciated.


Daniel Coyle

Sports Illustrated


People Lack Respect

To The Editor:

So often, the problems that our city has to solve are mainly due to people behaving badly. While I have been district manager of Community Board 5, we have had to obtain more traffic signals, all way stops, get more corners daylighted, dumping locations cleaned over and over again, corner catch basins cleaned of bottles and litter, and graffiti removed over and over again.

And, when you consider drivers speeding, drivers not giving pedestrians any rights, and pedestrians crossing without a care, lives are at stake.

I firmly believe that there is a lack of respect among too many of us.

The point is that, in my humble opinion, we will never have enough police, sanitation police, cleaning of parks and dump outs. And general enforcement to solve or clean up many of the problems we face, so let’s try to get people to have respect.


Gary Giordano

District Manager

Community Board 5

Congratulates Grads

To The Editor:

So many [students] are graduating and as we pause to celebrate [their] commencement, I would like to share some thoughts.

The word ‘commencement’ means ‘Beginning’. Today is not only about the chapter in [graduates’] lives that has just ended....today is about the chapter [they’re] set to start.

I have thought long and hard about some advice I could offer for this ‘new beginning’. I tried to remember when I was in [their] place and whose advice I would even listen to. (...Advice from my parents? My teachers? My Assemblyman?) If you’re like me, the answer is probably, ‘none of the above’!

But I do want to make a suggestion. (Let’s not officially call it ‘advice’). Here it is: Approach life like it’s an unfinished painting. Put all your heart and soul into every stroke of the brush and never be afraid of spilling some paint along the way. Plus, and most importantly: Have fun. Take pride. And, don’t worry about the critics.

All the best, to our best, the graduates of class 2003.

Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin

25th A.D., Flushing

Where Are Candidates?

To The Editor:

Being a Democrat is getting tougher and tougher. I would never vote for George W. [Bush]. Not voting would mean abdicating my rights to oppose those I consider to be at odds with the principles and ideals that were the foundation of America. The current Republican policies are not only a deviation from the American standard, they are an anathema.

Yet, the reality is that there is no Democratic candidate for president who offers me reason or hope that they would have the ability to govern effectively if they were to win. Where have all the credible candidates gone?

When JFK ran he confronted a field of contenders, including [Adlai] Stevenson, who each had a vision of where America should head. Kennedy’s voice spoke to the aspirations of a generation. His campaign concerned the present, but offered a hint of what America could achieve. He was the natural national leader to direct Americans to the moon. JFK learned from errors, his own and others, and stood before the nation as a man willing to a acknowledge failure, and as such he earned our trust and dedication.

What the nine Democratic contenders are missing is unflagging love of the country. They place their hopes of winning over the interests of the nation. Each and every one of them is campaigning instead of offering leadership. It is like a beauty contest wherein the most important concern is appearance. Not one will break from the pack, or even have a hope of winning following the present formula.

What the Democrats need is a candidate with chutzpah, heart and fortitude to speak to the future, without concern for polls, or even being dogged by the threat of losing. Unless there arises a candidate with love of issues over style, America would be be best served by foregoing the upcoming presidential election.

Edward Horn

Atlantic Beach

Restore Special Ed $

To The Editor:

I am dismayed, disappointed and outraged upon reading that the city and state funding may cut back on special education in many of our Queens schools.

To me, this is a gross miscarriage of justice. All children have the right to equality of education and according to the education law of our nation and the ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act] every child is entitled to learning.

Children with disabilities will grow up and will take their place in society. How can they become productive, self-supporting adults, if their education is compromised?

We must lobby our city officials and state powers-to-be to entitle all special education students a right to a free, equal and meaningful education.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City

Right To Fight Terror

To The Editor:

Since the U.S. is close diplomatic friends with Red China and Russia, and these countries are the prime supporters of terrorism through surrogate nations who train, finance, and equip these international criminals, where is the sense in fighting terrorism by curtailing the liberties of the American people?

A more positive outcome could be achieved by ending American aid to these gangster countries, kicking out their "diplomats", sealing our borders, re-establishing congressional committees on internal security, firing the FBI and CIA leaders who dropped the ball on September 11, and withdrawing from the United Nations, virtually a club for terrorist regimes; i.e. Cuba, which has hosted international conferences for terrorist groups from around the world, and which has just been reseated on the UN Human Rights Commission without a single opposing vote!

The real weapons of mass destruction are the assaults by our own government on our Constitutional rights and the guarantees of our God given liberties.

Save our republic,

Lawrence Burke


Better Than Tickets

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

Dear Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg:

Legalized gambling is accurately depicted as a $54 billion industry, the gross revenue reported by operators before salaries, taxes and expenses are paid.

On Apr. 25, 2003, you, Mayor Bloomberg, were quoted in New York Newsday as saying, "There are drawbacks to depending on gambling for revenue. It is regressive. People who can least afford it tend to unfortunately lose money that they really need for their families."

You were answering a caller to your weekly radio appearance on WABC (770-AM) identified as Tony from Queens who supported legalizing gambling in the city.

How does the mayor feel about parking tickets for people who can least afford it. Isn’t it better to make your money from people who voluntarily spend it on services like legalized gambling, rather than taking it away with tickets?

It’s not, "Just what you say, but what you do," that makes you popular and well liked. Let’s get on the right track and start improving the quality of life in NYC instead of trying to make everyone miserable and paranoid about coming into Manhattan.

Tourism is the game. You don’t attract people to your city by promising them a parking ticket when they arrive. We have hundreds of talented experts in the field of hospitality in New York City. They should be the source for centering the money raising process for solving the budget crisis. This way you guarantee a long-range solution that keeps the city smiling and the mayor [gets] re-elected through popularity. Go for it. New York City casinos! It’s the solution for the 2004 budget crisis.

Yours truly,

Neil Collins

via e-mail

Demean Quality Of Life

To The Editor:

Yesterday evening [June 30], on a V train from Astoria to Manhattan, Police Officer Edna Aguago issued a ticket to me for [my] having placed my pocket book on the seat next to me. There were a total of five people in my car on the train at the time. The use of the police as a tax collecting force trivializes their function and actually contributes to a worse—if not better—quality of life for New Yorkers who are trying to get into work, make a living, and pay those "legitimate taxes" that are needed to keep New York the greatest city in the world.

Marlene Brown


via e-mail

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