2009-10-14 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Who’s A Pagan? To The Editor:

The word pagan is usually misused. Webster’s Dictionary says a pagan is someone that is not Christian, Jewish, or Moslem. So any one that believes in Bhuddism, Shinto[ism], Confu[cianism], Hindu[ism], [is a] Sikh, [follows] Asatru (Norse Heathenism), [is a] Mormon, [worships] Roman or Greek Gods or any other of the hundreds of other religions in this world is in fact a pagan.

[The word] pagan is frequently and incorrectly used to describe someone of a religion other than [that of] the person that is using the word. It is also frequently and again incorrectly, understood to mean something evil or no belief in God at all.

Now it is being used incorrectly for political purposes. If you call someone a pagan with the intention of meaning he or she is a bad person, you are only showing your ignorance and practicing religious persecution.

Unfortunately, few people know that Flushing is the birthplace of religious freedom. The first settlers that came to America, it is said, came for religious freedom. Well, that is a half truth, as they came to escape religious persecution, but when they landed here, they themselves practiced religious persecution on others of different faiths. Religious freedom was not practiced until John Bowne (Bowne Park, Bowne Street, Bowne House) in Flushing allowed Quakers to use his [home] for their religious meetings. For his act of kindness and open mindedness he was put in chains and sent to Holland for trial and punishment. But in a fair trial he was found innocent of blasphemy and returned home to Flushing (Vlissingen). [The declaration that led to] this great event was called “The Flushing Remonstrance”.

We in Flushing should be proud of our important contribution to the world and respect the right of others to practice their religion as long as it does not harm any one or living thing. John Procida Flushing

Let Pavilion Take Off To The Editor:

I read [Thomas Cogan’s] article about the World's Fair NYS Pavilion going to wrack and ruin with great dismay.

First, let me introduce myself. I am a lifetime Queens resident and attended the 1964-65 World's Fair as a young kid. I will tell you that my profession as a military aviation historian/researcher began with the Hall of Science and the X-15. I have published three books and [am] working on a fourth. All three books had to do with 60's era Mach 3 aircraft. (The books are: XB-70 Valkyrie The Ride to Valhalla; A-12 Declassified- The Lockheed A-1 Blackbird; The Archangel and the Oxcart: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbird and the Dawn of Mach 3 Reconnaissance.)

I was online one day looking for World's Fair stuff. I'm a bit of a nostalgia buff for the ’64-’65 fair that I saw. I found an article which blew me away. There was a concept [to] turn the NYS pavilion into an aerospace museum. [I] can’t tell you my joy when I saw that. I tried to contact the people involved but got no one, No one seemed to know anything about it. It was 2008 and I saw the proposal was 2006.

It would have been an awesome project and something that Queens and New York would have been proud of [and] could certainly get behind it. With my background, they would have had my services for free!

I was the aircraft historian for the Intrepid for six years back in 1994 and have worked with the Navy, USAF and Smithsonian on exhibits and acquiring aircraft.

It would have been heaven.

Could you imagine the site? All those aircraft [and] a gorgeous museum would replace the eyesore. Damn! I was mad that it was dropped [and] was hoping that maybe you might be able to find something out or maybe write an article and stir the juices again. I would be on board to help.

Well, I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed [Cogan’s] article and hope that this info might stir you to write something about the NYS Pavilion again. I would enjoy it. Best wishes, Jeannette Remak Phoenix Aviation Research Sunnyside

Treasures Found And Lost To The Editor:

I came across [a Liz Goff] article while searching for directions to the Astoria Mansion, and I just wanted to contact you. Me and a few close friends found ourselves on 47th Street many nights last summer. We were in love with the house. One night we respectfully invited ourselves over the fence, and without the intention of actually “breaking in” we found that the basement door easily pushed open. With shirts over mouth and flashlight in hand we went in but we were horrified and left. Of course the only reason we were afraid was the fact that our imaginations led us to believe the iceman would be waiting for us on the other end.

We came back. In daylight. We walked around the house, in the basement first. We found old furniture, empty picture frames and such. When we walked up the decrepit staircase, one by one, in fear of falling through, we got to the main floor of the house. There we found a living room, the evidence (sleeping bags and bottled urine) that we were not the first ones who thought to explore the house, and a bedroom. In the bedroom was a closet. We opened it and found a box that held on to life by a thread. We carefully took it out of the closet, dusted it off and opened it. Inside we found folders upon folders of pictures. Undated of course, which left us curious, but we left the house and took the pictures back to a friend’s house on 46th Street, in between 25th and 28th Avenue[s]. Looking through them, we found wedding photos, family portraits, and so much more. There had to be at least 250 pictures in the box. But about three days later, we felt pretty bad about taking them. We decided that we shouldn’t steal the history from the house that has apparently been sitting there since 1830 (which I find amazing!) and so we put the pictures back in the box and right into the same place they were on the shelf. We know it was the same place because under it there was a discoloration where the box was. It had been sitting there for 178 years afterall.

But we went back. The house is gone. And so is the history. And so are the [photographs]. We'll always remember them, but I wish we would have kept them. I, as would the rest of my friends, would have been glad to meet you and show you what we found. Thanks for taking that picture, though. We never thought to do so. Sincerely yours, Steven Rodriguez Via e-mail Where’s Decency? To The Editor:

What in the world has happened to American Patriotism? When a hatred for our President outweighs our love of our country, our political society has indeed become sick. Cheers when our country loses its bid for the Olympics and sneers when the President of the United States of America receives the Nobel Peace prize; it’s disgusting. To those rabid dissenters, as Boston lawyer Joseph Welch in 1954 admonished Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency?” Arlene Philomena Bayside

Keep Summer Break To The Editor:

As a teacher for nearly 18 years, I take exception to President [Barack] Obama’s suggestion that the school year for our students be lengthened. We work hard enough already, and also, our students need a summer break to be able to enjoy a well deserved break[sic]. Families need to have vacation time together--as it is[,] many do not get to spend quality time together due to this worsening recession. Summer camps and resorts depend on families for much of their summer business. There is enough learning going on during the September to June school year. I need my vacation as do all of my colleagues, and so do our children and their parents. John Amato Fresh Meadows

Win In NYC, Lose In U.S. To The Editor:

October 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of our then underdog Amazing Mets winning the World Series. Mayor John Lindsay basked in the cameras and newspapers covering the Mets’ locker room celebration. He subsequently parlayed their victory into a second term in City Hall. In the 1969 Republican Mayoral Primary, Staten Island State Senator John Marchi narrowly defeated incumbent Mayor John Lindsay. Previously, in 1965, Lindsay won running as a good government fusion candidate on both the Republican and Liberal Party lines with significant support from crossover Democrats. He beat both Democrat Abe Beame and Conservative William F. Buckley. Fast forward to 1969 with Marchi and Democratic Party mayoral candidate NYC Comptroller Mario A. Procaccino splitting both the Italian ethnic along with moderate to conservative vote. Mayor Lindsay as a registered Republican went on to win, running on the Liberal Party ballot line with large defections of Democrats. Mayor Lindsay subsequently changed his registration to Democrat and went on to lose the 1972 Democratic Presidential Primary. In a[n] ironic twist, NYC mayors perform poorly on the national stage, as Rudy Guiliani also lost badly in the 2008 GOP Presidential Primary. Sincerely, Larry Penner Great Neck

Eyes On The Prize...

...Why The Prize? To The Editor: Congratulations to President Barack Obama for being awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Just curious…why? Ed Konecnik

Flushing ...Prez Deserves Prize

To The Editor:

President Barack Obama has just won the Nobel Peace Prize and I found that rather odd since he has been President for a short time. The Nobel Committee gave for its reason and that is for [sic] his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples and also for his efforts to promote nuclear


I have disagreed with the president on his

health and economic agenda. But I have to praise him for attempting to bring peace to the world. I hope this award helps him to achieve this goal for our country and the world. For as Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” I think President Obama fits that Bible verse. Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Glen Oaks Village

...Reagan Deserved Prize To The Editor:

How can one person nominate this president after only six days in office? That’s what happened here, what was the [Nobel] Peace prize for? Maybe it’s for the group Obama worked with at Acorn to bring the housing market to its knees, or the fact that it appears he's trying to make our country into a socialized nation, whatever it’s for it’s a joke, if anyone deserved the prize, it should have been Ronald Reagan. J. Graham Astoria

Cod Liver Oil Cures To The Editor:

I go back to the early 1970s, when both my knees were diagnosed as osteoarthritis. The doctor prescribed medication, which only helped temporarily.

At this exact time, my next door neighbor had been suffering with the same condition, but only in one knee that had prevented him from taking long walks and even thinking of jogging.

When he told this to his family dentist, the doctor suggested what one of his patients was taking with the same discomfort, one tablespoon of cod liver oil daily. And in about three or so weeks, the patient’s stiffness and pain were tolerable and then went away.

In my neighbor’s case, he took the cod liver oil for about one month and was able to take long walks and even started jogging short distances. Apparently, the oil was working.

Since my neighbor’s story had a happy ending, what harm would there be if I tried it? At the worst nothing would happen, for there is no side effect to the cod liver oil.

First off, my short walks were not without some pain. But in about three weeks time—yes, it seemed we all got good signs at about that time— I noticed that the discomfort had almost disappeared. And when I started jogging short runs, one mile at a 12-minute pace, there was only a minimum of pain.

Thrilled over what this orange-flavored cod oil was doing—there are other flavors but I like orange—to my knees, it made me increase my distance to two miles and averaging the same 12- minute pace.

The critics were quick to say that the cod liver oil was only a lubricant and obviously nothing else. Well, I can vouch for several people that cod liver oil was the only additional thing included in our diet. Since I had started taking the oil, my original condition seems to have gone to Mars on a one-way trip.

We know there are many “doubting Thomases” out there and rightfully claim that the story I’m telling is anecdotal and has no scientific evidence supporting it. We never even hinted that there was anything scientific about it. It was a story told by one of our neighbors and then proven by me and others who agreed to try it. So far, there has not been one negative report.

I had stopped jogging after my 80 birthday for no apparent reason, other than I had lost interest. With both knees still in good shape, I had gone as high as five miles. I just didn’t have the stamina or desire to go any further. To this day (almost 40 years), I’ve not stopped taking the “miracle” cod liver oil.

You see, we have 12 steps going to our basement and I go down there quite often. That’s where I use my computer, and I want to keep my joints well oiled.

Oh, before I end this short piece, you’d be interested to know that at one time I ran out of the liquid cod and used the capsules my wife had. Would you believe it, in a very short time the stiffness and pain returned, which made me run to the store and purchase a bottle of the liquid cod liver oil. And as I expected, in about a couple of weeks the discomfort left me just as fast as it had returned. I suspect there must be something more powerful in liquid than in capsules. So you skeptics out there, and they’re found everywhere, if something works whether it’s scientific or not, wouldn’t you support and promote it? That’s exactly what I’m doing. John Favicchio Flushing

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