2013-07-03 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Enjoy Responsibly

To The Editor:

This Fourth of July, Americans will toast the country’s independence with friends, family and fireworks. Before these celebrations get underway, Anheuser-Busch reminds adults to show their patriotism by designating a driver or skipper to keep everyone safe. You’ll join the millions of American adults who have been a designated driver or designated skipper, or been driven home by one.

Here are some additional tips for safe celebrating during the holiday weekend:

1. Buckle Up. Ask everyone to wear a seat belt or a life jacket.

2. Be an Attentive Driver. Always be in control and aware of those around you.

3. Don’t Speed. Resist the urge to speed by making sure there’s plenty of time to reach your destination.

4. Drink Responsibly. Adults who choose to drink should make responsible choices about when, where and how much.

Anheuser-Busch is committed to keeping our nation’s roadways and waterways safe. We offer programs to encourage the use of designated drivers and skippers. Thanks to efforts like these and increased law enforcement, drunk-driving fatalities during the Fourth of July holiday period are down 56 percent since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

We can all do our part to make sure everyone has a fun and safe holiday. Please, Enjoy Responsibly! Sincerely,

C.A. Verdon, Consumer Social
Responsibility Coordinator, Anheuser-
Busch Sales & Service Of New York, Inc.

Speed Cam And Guard

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
June 24, 2013
Ms. Janette Sadik-Khan
Commissioner
New York City Department of
Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10041

Dear Commissioner Sadik-Khan:

As a state senate co-sponsor of the speed camera legislation that was just passed, I’m delighted that the city will finally be able to proceed with a five-year pilot program that will allow the operation of 20 speed-camera systems in school speed zones.

In light of this good news, I am writing to renew my request that the intersection of Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, near P.S. 206 in Queens, be among the locations at which speed cameras are piloted.

As you are well aware, the Horace Harding Expressway’s wide lanes are designed to quickly move a high volume of vehicles onto and off of the Long Island Expressway. While that may be ideal for the flow of vehicular traffic, it represents a danger to pedestrians, including local residents, shoppers and, most especially, elementary school children.

Recognizing this danger, you noted in your letter of April 5 that you had “considered the feasibility of installing a flashing beacon at this intersection indicating a reduced speed zone but determined that it is not feasible because the location has more than one passing lane.” You also pointed out that you had asked your Signals Unit to look into the possibility of installing Leading Pedestrian Intervals.

As you know from previous correspondence, both the principal of P.S. 206 and I have contacted the 110th and 112th Police Precincts to request the restoration of a school crossing guard at this dangerous intersection. I have been advised by these precincts that neither will be assigning a crossing guard to this location.

I believe that, as a result, it is incumbent upon the Department of Transportation to act to ensure the safety of the children of P.S. 206.

This is not to suggest the deployment of speed cameras as an alternative to a crossing guard. Rather, I propose the installation of speed cameras at this intersection as merely one way to address the threat that the heavy flow of vehicular traffic, often at high rates of speed, represents to all pedestrians, including school children.

Quite simply, there is no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard can provide to children. In the absence of a crossing guard, however, any measures you deem necessary and can have in place and fully operational by the start of the new school year in September to ensure the safety of the P.S. 206 children will be most welcome.

Thank you. I look forward to your immediate attention to this matter. Sincerely,

Jose Peralta
New York State Senator, 13th District

Big Changes Coming

To The Editor:

The 2016 race for the White House is underway. To believe otherwise is refusing to accept the obvious. Hillary and Bill are lining up the troops while Jeb Bush is formulating his platform. Governor Christie has arranged the New Jersey Senatorial election to ensure his easy reelection.

Senator Lindsey Graham is advocating immigration reform as the only means by which Republicans stand any hope of continuing as a national party. Senator Cruz of Texas opposes reform, which, if successful, will emasculate the Republicans.

The Beltway pundits seem to be blind to the political unrest that has protest marches in Brazil and Turkey battling police and the establishment. They do not foresee these popular marches against the status quo a possibility for the U.S. Nothing could be further from the realities most Americans confront daily.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is dramatically similar to the protests overseas. What began as anger over small issues ballooned into rage covering a myriad of complaints. No single leader or group has taken the lead, rather there are organizations each with their own agendas marching en masse.

Congress has infuriated Americans as ineffectual, partisan and self-serving. The acrimony towards the President is unprecedented, stoked by those who question where he was born and racial discord. The IRS has acted stupidly and the administration has permitted Snowden to define a debate that rightfully should have been the obligation of the government to begin. Unemployment, stagnant incomes and millions who deem themselves stuck in economic decline should be understood as potential protesters filling the streets of American cities.

Edward Horn
Baldwin, Long Island

All Cons, No Pros

To The Editor:

Interesting. Here in the U.S., we actually still have average citizens rooting for the Keystone XL carrying the Canadian filthy sand oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas, thinking it will, in some mysterious way, make our country oil independent and themselves able to buy gas at a lower price. In fact, the Koch brothers and fellow tar sands investors are the only ones who will benefit, as well as the oil conglomerates who will sell that refined oil overseas.

The Canadians, it seems, are more realistic concerning the environmental dangers of piping their own tar sands within their own land. They have put a kibosh on their Northern Gateway pipeline, a pipeline to cross Canada to their own refineries. The reason is the potential environmental disasters from the inevitable oil spills. They realize how damaging it would be to their country to have their own tar sands pipelined across their own land.

Is America’s land less precious than Canada’s? Are Americans more na├»ve than the Canadians; more easily manipulated by the true benefactors of this impending horror? Are we going to wake up and follow the lead of Canada or remain duped and watch as the contamination of our soil as well as the drinking water within it takes place?

Time will tell.
Nicholas Zizelis
Amagansett, Long Island

Legalized Immigration

To The Editor:

Some people feel that illegal immigrants should become citizens and that we should abolish our borders and let anyone in our country.

This would not be a wise thing to do because:

1. There can never be enough jobs for all willing immigrants due to government rules that regulate and burden businesses.

2. If we opened our borders, we would not have enough schools, hospitals, apartments, etc. for all who would come.

3. Studies have shown that illegal immigrants take more in government handouts than they pay in taxes.

4. When a country is composed of dissimilar groups who refuse to assimilate into the overriding culture, Balkanization, jealousy and violence eventually happen.

5. Without the enforcement of borders, a culture will eventually cease to exist.

We should remedy the immigration problem by guarding our borders and cut off welfare benefits. Most immigrants will then self-deport because they can’t afford to live here without government aid.

Janet McCarthy
Flushing

End Rubber Rooms

To The Editor:

I found it distressing to read about another NYC teacher that had molested and abused another innocent child. And there are more teachers that have reached tenure and are accused of violating the rules of teaching yet many are not being fired and are sent off to so-called “Rubber Rooms”, some for years. Now I have a co-worker whose wife, Amelia, was let go because of friction with a vice-principal. She had not made tenure and was pregnant at the time. She possessed a master’s degree in education and was dedicated to the children she was teaching. In my book this was not right. We are letting go of good teachers who are dedicated to the principles of education, while others couldn’t care less and commit unspeakable acts against these children. This is so sad. New York City’s 1.1 million students are the ones who are paying the price. Therefore, I say bring back the good teachers that care and kick out those who do not. Please bring back good teachers like Amelia who do care.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Send Home The Clowns

To The Editor:

As the events regarding Edward Snowden continue to unfold and develop, it seems that our government cannot seem to follow any type of procedure—everything is in a total state of chaos, and it only seems to be worsening. Congress seems to be unable to get anything substantial accomplished, our nation’s military is going to be scaled back, which it should not be, and there are scandals galore in Washington—a regular three-ring circus, with President Obama the ringmaster, and all the rest of Washington the clowns. We are in big trouble, folks! Bring on The Wizard of Oz and Toto too!

John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Good Budget News

To The Editor:

I am glad that the mayor and the City Council agreed upon a budget for the new fiscal year. This is wonderful—fire companies are saved, no layoffs and libraries are spared—it is wonderful that all worked together regardless of political persuasion. This should be true of Congress, when bipartisanship is nonexistent. They should learn from the local level of government of NYC’s performance during the past 12 years of the Bloomberg administration.

I am also glad that speed cameras will be placed in areas of schools where drivers speed and can endanger children. There will also be a $50 fine when the person is caught speeding. However, there also should be speed cameras near senior centers, since senior citizens are vulnerable also to injuries or fatalities incurred by speeding cars.

Why are senior citizens neglected?

I am also glad that the grants to help people who lived in the area of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001 will be given to those who were affected physically and should also be given for emotional issues as well, since so many were victims of PTSD.

I do want tighter border control. I do think that the immigration reform bill discriminates against those who come here as immigrants through the legal process, having to wait a long time to be sponsored by relatives and those who are undocumented take advantage of all services and should be either put at the back of the line or fined for coming illegally by taxes or even deportation or prison. It seems that Americans cannot enter other nations illegally, and if they did, they would be punished. What is true and fair and just should apply to all nations.

Also, our president is wise in controlling emissions from coal plants that pollute the air.

I also am not in favor of the IRS targeting groups and not allowing tax exempt status. That is wrong and investigations must be done in addition to the raises that were given to employees.

Lastly, I believe that there should be no inspector general for the NYPD as that would increase crime, decrease their ability to protect others and also there should not be the right to sue the NYPD. They are our army of protection.

We must not diminish their ability to protect us in all areas of life in our city.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

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