Tag Archives: letters

Control guns


| letters@queenscourier.com

The Second Amendment calls for regulation, not a blanket absence, of common sense. We have more regulation and keep better track of our cars than we do our guns. It’s time for strict national gun control and an end to the ludicrous grip of the gun lobby.

Michael Chimenti

Oakland Gardens

 

Senseless tragedy


| letters@queenscourier.com

The school shooting in Connecticut is a very horrible and senseless tragedy.

Why would anyone want to shoot innocent children and adults? Our schools are supposed to be places of learning, respect, discipline and safety. When parents send their children off to school, they certainly expect that they are going to be in a safe, caring learning environment.

The last thing that they should have to worry about is that some deranged maniac will shoot their children in school. It seems that there is no longer any sense of respect for life, morals or values in our society today.

Congress needs to toughen up the existing gun laws and also needs to enact newer ones to severely restrict the sale of guns in this country. Far too many people who should not have guns have them.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those children and adults who were wounded. We hope that they will recover speedily, and we also pray for their families, friends, classmates, teachers and administrators who were also affected by this senseless act of horror.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

 

Why did he know how to shoot?


| letters@queenscourier.com

It has been revealed that Nancy Lanza regularly took her son Adam with her whenever she went to the firing range to practice shooting her guns. She even taught him how to shoot. If her son had emotional problems, why in the name of God would she have been teaching him how to use guns? This does not make any sense at all, especially if he was emotionally and mentally unstable. She may very well have contributed to him becoming a mass murderer. This is yet another disturbing fact regarding this senseless and wanton slaughter of 27 innocent people, 20 of which were beautiful, loving children who had their whole lives ahead of them . . . until 9:40 a.m. on Friday, December14, when Newtown, Connecticut — and the entire nation — was plunged into unimaginable horror, shock and grief because of the demonic rage of a madman.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

 

Something must be done


| letters@queenscourier.com

A nation mourns after Adam Lanza shot and killed 27 people, 20 of them children. Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut has experience horror that they could not believe would happen in their town.

In my opinion I feel this was a most senseless killing by a deranged young man who was the personification of pure evil. And yet I wonder — didn’t anyone see this coming? Those interviewed said he was a most trouble individual. The question many of us are asking is “how do guns capable of killing 27 people get into the hands of demented individuals?”

Parents should not have to worry about sending their children to school. President Barack Obama has said after this event both political parties must address this issue.

I grieve today with the families of those killed and pray they will be comforted and find the strength to go on.

Remember this: evil thrives when good people do nothing.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village

 

Kudos on concert


| letters@queenscourier.com

The 12-12-12 concert was a great event that brought all our favorite bands and musicians together in one place to be broadcast all over the world. It was a charitable event that was unequaled, with people giving what they could to help our neighbors so hurt by Sandy.

I saw a woman before the show who was in tears, who said she only wanted to go home but had no home to go to. I hope this concert raised enough money to help such people like this poor woman.

May God bless all those who helped.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village

Thank teachers


| letters@queenscourier.com

Don’t believe the lies about teacher unions being selfish. Hundreds of UFT members have donated their time, energy and expertise around the clock for weeks to help victims of Sandy’s devastation. It’s a large operation with big logistical challenges and it is being coordinated with the efficiency of a carefully planned military operation. They’re doing manual labor in hazmat suits, ripping up floorboards and ruined insulation and removing debris. They’re delivering desperately needed supplies to housebound victims. They helped manage evacuation centers and staffed shelters. Recently they stuffed 30,000 backpacks for students who had lost everything. These initiatives culminated in a many-fronted Day of Action.

The teachers’ union has no reason to apologize for pursuing the best deal for their members through collective bargaining. Most people and some newspaper editors know that. But what deserves to be known as well is that the union is defined by its social and humanitarian efforts also, and these achievements deserve equally to be common knowledge.

Ron Isaac

Fresh Meadows

 

Thanking constituents


| letters@queenscourier.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a letter from Congressmember Steve Israel, who now also represents Bay Terrace, Beechhurst, Whitestone, Douglaston and Little Neck

I am writing to express my gratitude to the Queens community for re-electing me to serve in the 113th Congress. As I return to the House of Representatives to represent the people of New York’s new 3rd Congressional District, please know that I am grateful for your support, and I am honored to stand up for the values we share.

As we approach the start of a new year, we face many challenges. I am eager to get back to work, fighting harder than ever to protect our veterans and seniors, New York’s middle class families and small businesses who want to create jobs here at home. Thanks to your support, I’ll be able to continue working to reform our tax code to recognize the high cost of living in New York, while leading the charge to make college more affordable for students. I am committed to New York’s middle class families – and I’m looking forward to fighting on your behalf in the halls of Congress.

Finally, please know that my door is always open. I am proud of the record I have built, not only on Capitol Hill, but here at home as a problem solver for my constituents. I’ve gone to bat for families battling insurance companies, small businesses trying to stay afloat, and veterans caught up in the VA’s red tape –and I’d be proud to go to work for you too. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office and we’ll get right to work.

I look forward to working with you and growing our partnership in the years to come. Thank you again for allowing me the privilege of representing you in Congress.

Overhaul 9-1-1 system


| letters@queenscourier.com

After reading the story in the New York Post regarding the problems that many people had when trying to call 9-1-1 the night of Sandy, one thing is very clear: 9-1-1 needs a complete overhaul.

The operators need to be able to take the calls as quickly as possible and need to be trained to be able to give accurate and concise information to callers. Some people were put on hold, others were told that they needed to call 3-1-1, not 9-1-1, which caused costly, and potentially fatal results.

What is going on?

Someone needs to be held accountable for terrible miscommunication. We depend on 9-1-1 for serious emergencies. Sandy was a very serious emergency and 9-1-1 needs to be able to better handle the calls when they come in.

The winter storm season will be starting soon; 9-1-1 needs to be ready to be able to handle however many emergency calls they might receive and not delay or put callers on hold.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

 

Thank teachers


| letters@queenscourier.com

Don’t believe the lies about teacher unions being selfish. Hundreds of UFT members have donated their time, energy and expertise around the clock for weeks to help victims of Sandy’s devastation. It’s a large operation with big logistical challenges and it is being coordinated with the efficiency of a carefully planned military operation. They’re doing manual labor in hazmat suits, ripping up floorboards and ruined insulation and removing debris. They’re delivering desperately needed supplies to housebound victims. They helped manage evacuation centers and staffed shelters. Recently they stuffed 30,000 backpacks for students who had lost everything. These initiatives culminated in a many-fronted Day of Action.

The teachers’ union has no reason to apologize for pursuing the best deal for their members through collective bargaining. Most people and some newspaper editors know that. But what deserves to be known as well is that the union is defined by its social and humanitarian efforts also, and these achievements deserve equally to be common knowledge.

Ron Isaac

Fresh Meadows

 

Need to be proactive


| letters@queenscourier.com

As the Tri-state area continues the long and difficult task of cleaning up and begins the very long job of rebuilding, it is very important for the federal government to work with our state and local governments on how our very vulnerable coastline can be better protected against potential future storms.

We can no longer act as if this issue is not a priority; it most certainly must be. The awesome images of flood waters surging into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the South Ferry Subway Station and the streets of lower Manhattan certainly would reinforce this.

Tropical Storm Irene was the dress rehearsal; Hurricane Sandy was the real show. Now it is time for the powers that be to work on some type of flood control system that can protect lower Manhattan, its subway and traffic tunnels, Staten Island, Coney Island, the Rockaway Peninsula and the Jersey Shore from devastating flooding as a result of storm tides and surges.

We know that this type of flood control system could take years to develop, but the pace must be quickened. There will still be damage from hurricanes and Nor’easters, but at least the damage from the ocean can and must be lessened.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Pets were victims too


| letters@queenscourier.com

There were many animals who were trapped in the evacuation zones as Sandy roared ashore, and thanks to the tireless efforts of the ASPCA, PETA and the Humane Society, as well as many other individual volunteers, most of them were rescued and continue to be reunited with their owners.

It is so important for pet owners to have a plan for their pets when they have to evacuate during any type of emergency. Pets should be taken with you, since many shelters now will accept them. Also, there are many more pet friendly hotels that will accept Fido or Fifi. Another possibility is that if you can, you should bring your pet to a kennel that can board them, or bring them to a friend’s home who is outside of the evacuation zone. Our pets are a very important part of our families; they need to be safe from harm’s way as we need to be.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Streamline voting process


| letters@queenscourier.com

The State of New York needs to take a long hard look at how elections are conducted. During this year’s presidential election, there were long lines of people all over the state waiting to cast their ballots. Some did not have the time to stand on a long line and forfeited their vote. In areas where devastation resulted from Sandy, voting was difficult. People had other priorities on their minds.

A 15 hour window for voting during a single day is insufficient in an election where millions are to decide who our country’s leader will be for the next four years. Why doesn’t New York have early voting like other states do, or even voting by mail? This would increase the participation, allow for emergencies that develop and be a convenience to people who have busy lives and many responsibilities. Bad weather on Election Day would not impact as greatly if voting was spread out over time or impact at all if voting was done through the mail.

If the state employs early voting or voting by mail, it may impact positively on the problem of low voter turnout and apathy. If people had more opportunity to cast a ballot, it would seem logical that more voters would take advantage of such a system and be involved in the election process. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?

Perhaps the Board of Elections should try early voting and/or mail in voting first during off year elections where there is little to vote for or where there are few competitive races. The election of 2011 is a prime example. I understand that in Queens County, fewer than 10 percent of registered voters participated that year. Instead of wasting millions of dollars to hire poll workers to sit waiting for relatively few voter participants, wouldn’t it just make more sense to mail ballots to registered voters for those elections? Primaries, which are infamous for low turnout, should be handled by mail as well. If this method proves successful and cost effective, the Board of Elections should consider having all elections conducted by mail. There would be no need to purchase expensive voting machines for every election district or employ poll workers, little chance for voter suppression and no excuse for the electorate to not take advantage of their right to choose their leaders.

I believe that early voting or even voting by mail would be a vast improvement over the antiquated system we have in place now and bring more people into the election process.

Henry Euler

Bayside

 

Coming together to help


| letters@queenscourier.com

If Sandy can be said to have had any silver lining, it is that it shows us once again how New Yorkers pull together during times of crisis.

I am so grateful to Sunnyside Community Services’ staff and volunteers for working so hard under such difficult conditions to ensure the safety of the thousands of homebound seniors and others entrusted to our care. Our staff made telephone and cell calls throughout the storm and after to ensure that homebound seniors had enough food, water and medical supplies to make it through. Although western Queens was not badly hit, many of the staff live in areas where the damage was more severe, and though some had no power in their own homes and no access to transportation, they walked for miles each day to be where they were needed by the people who depend on them.

In the middle of heartbreak, it is heartening to receive calls from neighbors looking to volunteer and local businesses asking if they can help. From local officers prioritizing gas for our senior transportation vans to getting calls from foundations asking if we need emergency support, these examples of how a community comes together to care for those most vulnerable and in need make me feel grateful and proud to be a part of it.

Sandy has thrown many challenges our way, but with so many people showing such selflessness and commitment to helping others, there are many reasons to be grateful as well.

Judith Zangwill

Executive Director

Sunnyside Community Services

 

How Sandy affected libraries


| letters@queenscourier.com

I want to update you and everyone in Queens about how Queens Library has responded to community needs following the recent devastating storm, and what our plans are to serve the affected communities in the immediate future.

More than 50 libraries opened for public service right after the storm. They provided important information, places to re-charge personal cell phones and laptops, as well as a community space for people to just come in and share their experiences. With children out of school and many homes without power, a warm place with books and friendly faces was welcome. A handful of libraries sustained only minor damage but were without power. They were brought up as quickly as possible, most within a week.

Four libraries in the southern part of Queens are badly damaged. They will need extensive repairs that are likely to take several months. But the community still needs us. The Book Bus was parked in front of the closed library at the foot of the Cross Bay Boulevard Bridge as soon as we were permitted to do so. Library staff was swamped with requests for information on everything from how to apply for FEMA grants, to how to get a prescription filled. The Book Bus will be there several days a week until the library re-opens. In Far Rockaway, the library at Central Avenue and Mott Avenue opened to distribute emergency supplies. They were without power, then were glad to have an emergency generator to provide some computer and online access for people who need it.

The libraries at Seaside, Arverne, Peninsula and Broad Channel need extensive repair. They were flooded with several feet of water. Perhaps more damaging, the wind got in through broken glass and blew the books and library materials into the water and sand, and they are a total loss. The library is exploring several options for providing temporary service while we rebuild. Libraries in Far Rockaway and Howard Beach will have expanded hours after re-opening so users in neighboring communities will have easier access to everything their community library provides.

We will be starting repairs as quickly as possible. Staff will be relocated to temporary library spaces. But more than 100,000 library books, magazines and movies will have to be replaced. You can help. Please go to www.queenslibraryfoundation.org or phone 718-480-4273 to find out how you can make a real impact.

Thomas W. Galante,

President and CEO, Queens Library

 

Hoping system works


| letters@queenscourier.com

I hope the new rules for getting gas by Mayor Michael Bloomberg work. My wife Eva was on line trying to get gas for three hours the other day in Bayside. She was almost about to get gas with only a few cars in front of her — and they ran out. She had to drive away on almost empty. Now I remember back in 1979 with the same system and I remember being on line an average of two hours and more. Well I hope this time it works. God help us!

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village