Opinion

December, 2010

Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Tests and charter schools do little to help needy students

The state Regents has agreed to grant a waiver so a woman with no education experience, ties to any public school system or advanced academic degrees can become city schools chancellor. Comment.
Letters

Obama underestimated the GOP

The midterm election has been called a referendum by the usual and expected detractors, the “Obstrublicans,” and indeed it was. But it was not a referendum directed at the Democratic policies which any middle-class, unduped American should cheer. It was a referendum on President Barack “Can’t we all just get along?” Obama. Comment.
Letters

CB 5 must be heard on Cross Harbor

An open letter to Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Executive Director Christopher Ward. Comment.
Letters

Value long experience in an estate attorney

It is a rare occurrence today for people to frequent their corner candy shop, neighborhood pharmacist or local vegetable stand. With the ever-increasing popularity and expansion of superstores such as Target, Wal-Mart and Costco, for example, individuals crave the convenience of “one-stop shopping,” a megastore where you can buy anything from plumbing supplies to fashion accessories, a warehouse where products too numerous to list are categorized and organized for your purchasing pleasure. Comment.
Letters

Willets Pt. invasion targeted area businesses

The well-known dialogue between Joseph Welch and then-U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the U.S. Army hearings, when Welch finally toppled McCarthy by accusing the senator of having no shame or decency in his treatment of a young Army lawyer, has been referred to on many parallel occasions when public officials have acted in an outrageous manner. Comment.
Letters

Queens principal a good host

An open letter to Hillcrest High School Principal Stephen Duch. Comment.
Letters

Padavan has done great things for constituents in his career

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: In 1924, boro residents owned more than 34,000 radio sets

Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Columnist’s environmental work started as city employee

Half a century ago, I was editing the weekly newspaper in Forest Hills when I was offered an appointed position in the city government. It was for the post of secretary in the Department of Air Pollution Control. I was still a “wet behind the ears” kid. Comment.
Letters

Appointment of Black proves that mayor has too much power

We cannot win for losing! And that is not to say that the fight to have Cathie Black rejected as city schools chancellor is far from being over. What is disappointing to me is the crying out, or lack thereof, by our elected officials. Comment.
Letters

Extending No. 7 train into N.J. could prove a realistic endeavor

The idea of extending the No. 7 train to New Jersey was proposed during the preliminary EIS phase of the Access to the Region’s Core project and was rejected for two reasons. Comment.
Letters

Queens residents awarded for their preservation efforts

The Queens Preservation Council, founded in 2003, is a coalition of people from historical societies and neighborhood groups from throughout Queens who work collectively to curb overdevelopment and advocate for the preservation of historical buildings and neighborhoods in our borough. Comment.
Letters

Elected bids farewell to constituents

An open letter from state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) to her constituents. Comment.
Letters

Schwartz gets Conservative votes for not being on Republican line

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspaper columnist Dee Richard. Comment.
Letters

Ackerman came through on GCP plantings

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Observance of Christmas has changed greatly in U.S.

Christmas as an American holiday had a rather unhappy entree into our country’s history, for a wave of religious reform was also changing the way Christmas was celebrated across the seas in Europe. In the 17th century — about 1645 — the Puritans canceled Christmas to rid England of all things decadent. Fortunately for us today, Charles II came back to the throne and with him the popular old celebration of Christmas. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Dragging out Nassau Co. race ballot count sets bad precedent

In the 2010 election, several cliffhanger races for the state Senate have delayed the verdict on which party won a majority. In addition, the courts have been getting more involved in deciding election results as demonstrated by the court cases involving three Albany Senate contests. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Party at the Bayside Historical Society pays tribute to Padavan

The holiday party season has begun with a vengeance. If this pace keeps up, I’m going to have to find a way to clone myself if I’m half serious about attempting to cover them all. Here are some of the ones I did get to. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Blacks celebrate cultural heritage through Kwanzaa

I had a request to write a column about Kwanzaa, so I did. Thanks for asking. — A.B. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Agro-businesses put people’s personal health at great risk

This past March, I attended the Going Green in Queens event at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I wrote about the movie “Dirt,” which told how dirt is created in nature and how the cutting down of forests, paving over of land and use of pesticides and fertilizers by giant agro-businesses is destroying the ability of our dirt to produce food. Comment.
Letters

Padavan lost election on women’s issues

I just read the most recent Dishing with Dee column by Dee Richard (“Padavan lost due to UFT backing Avella for Senate,” Nov. 25) and must correct an error. I live in North Shore Towers and had the pleasure of welcoming state Sen.-elect Tony Avella to our community on several occasions and introducing him to many of our residents. Comment.
Letters

Expectant grandmother waiting for baby to trace family history

This past October, I had the pleasure of meeting my grandchild for the first time. From his or her first official photo, my grandchild was staring back at me. Of course, my grandchild was in utero and I was accompanying my daughter-in-law to her obstetrician. The blessed event is due sometime in early April. So our son and his wife will be first-time parents and we will be first-time grandparents! The thought is daunting, to say the least! Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a new contract

Well, here we are one year later and still the public school teachers in New York City do not have a new contract. Comment.
Letters

Despite place on state list, Francis Lewis still a top school

Francis Lewis High School is one of the best neighborhood schools in New York City. We pride ourselves on being a school of excellence for all students. We are one of the most diverse schools in the city with students from more than 66 different countries working harmoniously together. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Original fare for Queen-Midtown cost a quarter

In December 1937, Postmaster General James Farley suggested a fitting entry for a new stamp series honoring the World’s Fair was a portrait of Bertha Parsons, the last owner of Flushing’s historic Bowne House, sitting before the house’s ancient fireplace. Built in Flushing about 1661, it was the oldest house in the country still occupied by the same family. Parsons modestly suggested the stamp should only show the house exterior. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Most Conservative votes go to Schwartz in Stavisky seat race

The following is a perfect reason for scratching your head and saying to yourself, “What the …?” — referring of course to the latest tallies released by the county Board of Elections. I will give you the facts and you give me any logical explanation of the results. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Winter’s chill brings with it snow piled high like a hill

Winter is the king of showmen/Turning tree stumps into snow men/And houses into birthday cakes/And spreading sugar over lakes/Smooth and clean and frosty white/The world looks good enough to bite/That’s the season to be young/Catching snowflakes on your tongue. — Ogden Nash Comment.
Letters

Do not buy into phony patriotism

We now have the upcoming new U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, John Boehner (R-Ohio), spewing a similar mantra — a noun plus a verb plus “the American people” — anytime he is near a microphone. Comment.
Letters

Give Black a chance as chancellor

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) did something rare and unusual for an elected official last week. After signing on to a hastily drawn Council resolution opposing Cathleen Black as the new city schools chancellor, he realized he had made a mistake. Comment.
Letters

Pope hypocritical concerning prostitutes and use of condoms

I feel like what Alice must have felt like when she fell into the rabbit hole. Am I hearing and understanding correctly that Pope Benedict XVI, during a series of conversations with a German journalist, said that the use of condoms is acceptable in “some cases,” where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, such as that of prostitutes trying to prevent HIV infection? Condoms can be justified under Catholic ethical thinking? Comment.
Letters

Avella a breath of fresh air after Padavan’s reign

After reading the comments of the weepers and apologists regarding state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), I would like to thank those residents of our community who, like me, recognized the need for transformative change in electing former City Councilman Tony Avella. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: New changes to ballot voting create more work, problems

When voting machines first came into wide use during the 1930s and ’40s, it was considered a new beginning for the election voting process. It was believed at the time that the opportunities for fraudulent voting had finally come to an end with paper ballots. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Past kings, today’s politicians wear hair shirts for the public

It has been happening it seems, as we used to say, since time immemorial or at least since the time of the Old Testament. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens residents will lose 2 diners by the end of ‘10

Hope everyone had a happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Janet Malone, Tony Ramos, Jim Darmos and I were invited to Barry and Debbie Markell-Klinert’s house in Whitestone for a great Thanksgiving dinner. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Hanukkah food contains deep, historical symbolism

The Jewish holiday of dedication, Hanukkah, is second only to Passover among American Jews. The eight-day holiday began Dec. 1 at sundown and will end on the eve of Dec. 8. Frenzied and delirious observers of the holiday are craving to consume the many luscious comestibles to be served in abundance. Comment.

November, 2010

Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Do not develop site of the St. Albans VA hospital

At a recent meeting of the Queens Civic Congress, Rene Hill, president of the Addisleigh Park Civic Association, told why the community was against giving almost half of the land at the St. Albans Veteran’s Hospital to a private developer. Comment.
Letters

Weiner, vets decry proposed health care cuts

Following big Republican gains in the midterm elections earlier this month and with President Barack Obama’s deficit commission unveiling its new proposals last week, everyone seems in agreement that a big part of the solution has to be Social Security cuts. Comment.
Letters

Teachers unions made mistake backing Avella

Well, weren’t the United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers clever! Instead of backing veteran state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), whom they have supported for many years, they backed a lightweight with no proven track record in education: Tony Avella. Comment.
Letters

Hear all facts about Black before judging

An open letter to Community District Education Council 26 President Rob Caloras. Comment.
Letters

Padavan deserves locals’ thanks

On Election Day, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was not successful in his bid for another term, completing a 38-year run as our senator. No matter if you voted for him or not, I believe this public servant is owed a huge debt of gratitude for his service and hard work. Comment.
Letters

Black doesn’t deserve chancellor post

As you know, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has appointed Cathleen Black as the new city schools chancellor to succeed Joel Klein. This selection was shrouded in secrecy and as far as known she was the only candidate. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Controversy over Park51 project is manufactured

Defending freedom when there are no challenges is easy. Defending it against hatred, fear and paranoia takes courage and leadership. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has displayed those qualities consistently in the matter of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Padavan lost due to UFT backing Avella for Senate

There have been a number of articles and columns appearing locally blaming Carl Paladino for the dismal record of the Queens GOP. To any person capable of logical thinking, it just doesn’t add up and I will tell you why. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Columnist honored during trip to Israel for war service

I am a member of the Jewish War Veterans and, along with other non-Jewish war veterans, was invited by Israel to visit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Israeli Defense Force and symbolically salute all American war veterans for defeating the Nazis. I discussed the offer with Gloria, who began packing even before I had finished asking. Comment.
Letters

Electeds ignore U.S. veterans who become homeless, addicts

I seethed all day last Thursday. It was Veterans Day and after seeing professional politicians march and honor our veterans, I seethed. After watching them “honor” those who gave their lives for us and those lucky enough to come home, I seethed. And, after seeing the Empire State Building light up in red, white and blue, I decided to stop seething and vent my anger in this letter. Comment.
Letters

Supporters wish Padavan a fond farewell

We would like to thank state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) for 38 years of selfless, tireless service to his constituents. We remember Padavan’s first campaign in 1972, when we just knew he was going to prevail over Murray Schwartz, and we also remember two years later when he was one of the few Republicans in that post-Watergate election to celebrate victory. Two decades later, when redistricting pit him against another incumbent senator, Jeremy Weinstein, he won easily. Comment.
Letters

Paine did more than write pamphlet ‘Common Sense’

I am the communications director and editor for The Forum, the newsletter of my organization, the Catholic-Jewish Relations Council of Northeast Queens. I am also an amateur historian emphasizing on the American Revolution. In your Oct. 21-27 issue, you published an article by Joan Brown Wettingfeld which examined the role Thomas Paine and his pamphlet “Common Sense” played in the American Revolution (“Writer Thomas Paine helped foster American independence”). I believe readers should be more aware of the role Paine played in the Revolution. Comment.
Letters

U.S. Supreme Court sold out country to business interests

The federal elections are over and there are sweeping changes in Congress. But the elections this year only proved one thing: Our government is up for sale. Undisclosed money poured in to political organizations, mostly Republican, at an unprecedented rate because big business and the wealthy see them as allies. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Old West black regiment provided service

One of the most interesting stories in our military history is that of the role of the Buffalo Soldiers. These black soldiers had fought in George Washington’s army and served as well with Andrew Jackson in 1815. But later, the first black regiment in service was not organized or authorized by Congress until June 1866. They were to play an important part in the history of the West and were known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Padavan hurt by tenure, Paladino at top of ticket

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was first elected to the Senate in 1972. He won by a significant margin, which was somewhat surprising at the time since both Republican candidates for state Assembly and Congress running in the same area of northeast Queens were defeated by narrow margins. Since that time, Padavan has become a political icon in terms of the respect and support he has received from the electorate. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Padavan will be missed after losing Senate seat to Avella

They say it’s not over until the fat lady sings, and for sure the fat lady has sung as Tony Avella was announced the winner of the 11th Senate District seat. No comment! It is what it is. Frank Padavan has been my senator for more than 20 years and I will miss him. He was always there not only for me but all his other constituents. Padavan did a fantastic job and he leaves a really large pair of shoes for Avella to try and fill. Good luck, everyone! Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Columnist would be thankful for turkey-less Thanksgiving

Over the river, and through the wood/To Grandmother’s house we go;/The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh/through the white and drifted snow. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Queens civics take issue with SJU and St. Mary’s

Community facilities are places given permission to be built because they provide services to the community. They include hospitals, medical facilities, schools, houses of worship and similar institutions. The problem is that when they are built in neighborhoods filled with one- or two-family homes, they can cause problems. Comment.
Letters

LIC taxi sign raises suspicious

An open letter to city Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy. Comment.
Letters

Legitimate news takes many forms

I would like to comment on the letter from Michael Seeley (“Reporters need to get better at doing their jobs,” Oct. 28-Nov. 3). Comment.
Letters

Global warming will not stop with principles of cap and trade

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

City, state alert systems give you head-start in being prepared

I knew a tornado was going to hit northeast Queens 15 minutes before it happened. Comment.
Letters

New way of voting ‘un-American’

I am furious! Who devised the ballot used on Election Day? Why was the print so small that a magnifying glass was needed to be in the “booth”? My vision is good, but I had difficulty trying to find the names of the candidates as well as the tiny oval! Comment.
Letters

One year with no teaching contract unacceptable

It is now going to be one full year since the contract for city public school teachers has expired, and there still has not been a resolution of this critical matter. The teachers who work in our public schools are hard-working, dedicated professionals who are working hard to educate thousands of our children from pre-K through 12th-grade. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Holiday film starred Forest Hills pupils Pia Zadora

In November 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected president in one of the greatest election triumphs in recent memory. His margin of victory in Queens was 274,301 votes. The tidal wave of Democratic votes allowed Democrats to take control of both houses of the state Legislature for the first time in 29 years. Robert F. Kennedy was elected U.S. senator in his first bid for elective office. Many believed his long-range objective was the White House. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Controversy over Park51 project is manufactured

Defending freedom when there are no challenges is easy. Defending it against hatred, fear and paranoia takes courage and leadership. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has displayed those qualities consistently in the matter of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Two different cultures use similar commandments

Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect; Remain close to the Great Spirit; Show great respect for your fellow beings; Work together for the benefit of all mankind; Give assistance and kindness whenever needed; Do what you know to be right; Look after the well-being of mind and body; Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good; Be truthful and honest at all times; Take full responsibility for your actions. — native American Ten Commandments Comment.
Letters

Support ACS to help stop breast cancer

On behalf of the American Cancer Society, I would like to thank Queens for its generosity and support of the ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. More than 10,000 walkers and volunteers participated and we raised nearly $810,000 to fight for every birthday threatened by breast cancer. Comment.
Letters

Mayor, Klein have failed schools

After eight years in charge of New York City’s public schools, Chancellor Joel Klein might want to stop blaming other people for his failures. It is time for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Klein to stop their lecturing to the rest of the nation in promoting their vision of how to fix America’s schools. Comment.
Letters

Bayside street needs speed bump to protect residents from fast cars

On June 4 at 9 a.m., a car speeding east on 53rd Avenue and 202nd Street mowed down a young mother after she crossed her son to PS 162. As a result, she died shortly afterward. The driver said he did not see her — in spite of the crossing guard frantically waving and screaming for him to stop. This mother was crossing at the corner. Comment.
Letters

Cut salaries of MTA executives

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board has voted to raise the fares for public transportation effective Dec. 31. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Hillary Clinton could make run for vice president in 2012

As we look forward to 2011 in Queens, there will be few elections held next year aside from an election for county district attorney and also some judgeships. It is what could be called an “off-year election,” which occurs once every four years. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Boro Dems, GOP hold pre-election parties on same day

This is the week that was. In fact, it was a week to end all weeks. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Jews have served in U.S. military from the beginning

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. Today, thousands of Jewish men and women are in the U.S. military continuing the tradition of Jews fighting for our country. But the common perception is that Jews never served in any of our wars. In fact, they have fought in every one and suffered equally while earning many combat ribbons and medals. This column will prove it by listing the wars and some of the Jewish soldiers who fought in them. Comment.

October, 2010

Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Vote for term limits, but not to give mayor more power

On Election Day Nov. 2, in addition to the congressional and state legislative candidates we will vote for two City Charter proposals. For the past six months, a Charter Revision Commission has held hearings all over the city. Different issues were discussed in different boroughs. Different civic association leaders from the Queens Civic Congress attended the hearings. President Patricia Dolan coordinated the effort and held a civic meeting on the proposals at the Queens Colonial Farmhouse with speakers from all sides. Comment.
Letters

Reporters need to get better at doing their jobs

This is in response to the editorial in the Oct. 7-13 issue of the Whitestone Times headlined “We Were Right: Paladino Is Unfit to Govern.” Comment.
Letters

Teachers are not society’s villains

I do not understand how teachers have become the villains of society and scapegoats of every politician facing a budget deficit. Teaching is one of the most important professions that exists within an advanced society. Teachers have the responsibility of preparing our youth for the challenges of daily life as American adults. Comment.
Letters

Sens. sold out constituents to U.N.

This unbelievable story concerns our two New York U.S. senators in Washington, D.C. On March 5, 2009, a meeting took place in the Senate. The topic being discussed was “Should you and your constituents have to pay taxes to the U.N.?” Comment.
Letters

Mark Weprin has new view of zoning

The proliferation of two- and four-family home construction is the often-neglected “elephant in the room” when we are talking about the overcrowding of our schools in Bayside. Comment.
Letters

‘Mama grizzlies’ threaten to reverse gains women have made over the years

As someone who has been committed for most of my personal and professional life to human rights and, particularly in recent years, to women’s rights, I feel the need to express my opinion about the current political scene and the discussion of issues affecting the lives and status of women. Comment.
Letters

Thanks to pols for attending PTA meeting at John Bowne

I am writing to say thank you to state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and City Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.
Letters

Teachers need, deserve fair wage

Well, here it is October 2010 and there is still no contract between the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education. Why? The teachers in this city are hardworking and dedicated to helping their students achieve success in the classroom. The conditions under which teachers are working are far from ideal in some instances. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Labor unrest, transit work marked 1916

It was October 1916 and Queens’ transportation system was undergoing a renaissance. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Hofstra debate was more like a meeting of the Seven Dwarfs

It’s countdown time in only six more days. This election cycle has had so many intriguing races and interesting candidates. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner in each race and that’s too bad as several of the candidates in the various races appeared as if they would all have been excellent for their respective communities. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Keep American democracy in place by voting this Nov.

On Nov. 2, the most eagerly anticipated election in a generation will take place. The stakes are higher than ever before, so I need not tell you how important it is for your voice to be heard. Comment.
Letters

Co-ops must charge flip taxes on apartments

I am opposed to the proposed rule change that the Federal Housing Finance Agency is considering for private transfer fees, commonly known as “flip taxes.” The rule change would prevent institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from investing in mortgages on properties where flip taxes are in place. Comment.
Letters

Padavan’s independence from political machines will ensure his victory

One can only wonder where former City Councilman Tony Avella will wind up after he loses the state Senate race against Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

DiNapoli stands up for New Yorkers

A good cop is decisive and active in carrying out his duties, which sometimes earns him as many pats on the back as reprimands. Most of us would rather have such passion and commitment when serving the public than a sideliner unwilling to jump into the fray. Comment.
Letters

Demapping Astoria street would create more traffic

As a lifelong Astoria resident, I am concerned about the proposed demapping of 36th Street. The proposal would close the street to both traffic and the public in order to expand Kaufman Studios. Comment.
Letters

U.S. must fix its roads, bridges

It is critical to maintain our country’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, over which millions of Americans travel each day. Many of the nation’s roads and bridges are in immediate need of emergency repairs, while many others will be in need of repairs in the coming years. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Writer Thomas Paine helped foster American independence

Thomas Paine — or “Tom,” as he was wont to be called — should perhaps be known as the prime mover of public opinion in the late 18th century as we drew nearer to the inevitable beginning of our Revolutionary War. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Cuomo-Paladino race mirrors that of Johnson-Goldwater

In the 38th state Assembly District in western Queens, the Democratic assemblyman who represents the district, Michael Miller, had both good and bad news regarding the results of the primaries Sept. 14. In this district, which is on the Brooklyn-Queens border and includes parts of Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale and Ridgewood, he faced primaries that day in both the Democratic and Conservative parties. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Nothing does more harm than intolerance in society

In the manufactured controversy over the planned Islamic center on Park Place, certain actors deserve special mention. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: New Il Bacco in Bayside throws grand-opening bash

On Sunday night, the Wednesday Il Bacco regulars held their last food-and-drink bash. It was a bittersweet evening. We have all been hanging out there for the past 15 years. The redeeming aspect of Il Bacco’s last evening was that it had a ribbon-cutting and grand opening the next night a few doors down on Northern Boulevard off Little Neck Parkway in Little Neck. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: On Halloween, beware the greatest of evil: Politicians

Halloween falls on Oct. 31; the midterm elections fall on Nov. 2. I had been asked by the honorable fiends of Halloween to meet with them to discuss a significant concern. We met at the stroke of midnight in the darkened offices of Times Ledger Newspapers. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Queens civic associations maintain welfare of parks

Parks are green places where residents can walk, relax, play sports, picnic with friends or family or watch different types of cultural events. Civic associations support Queens parks. Comment.
Letters

DOE school grades not consistent

The city Department of Education’s latest letter grades for city elementary and middle schools once again demonstrate how ridiculous its progress reports are. Assessing the quality of our schools is worthwhile, but any system that gives A’s and B’s to nearly all the schools one year and then curves the results to avoid giving D’s and F’s the next will baffle parents instead of inform them. Comment.
Letters

Search Capitol grounds for possible remains of African slaves

In July, I attended a ceremony honoring the contributions of the enslaved Africans who built the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in the 19th century. My congressman, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), also honored me in July by presenting me with a letter of recognition for my efforts in identifying the role the enslaved Africans had in our American history. This letter was read into the congressional record. Comment.
Letters

Padavan puts constituents first

Our grandmothers would have put it succinctly: Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. That old saying has real meaning as an electorate prepares to go to the polls in an ugly mood. Incumbents have good reason to worry. Negative ads and populist-leaning editorials are urging us to “throw the bums out.” Comment.
Letters

UFT, DOE must settle on teachers contract

As the new school year continues, city public school teachers are still working under the old contract, which expired last year on Oct. 31. To date, we still do not have a new contract in place. There is no reason for this situation. Comment.
Letters

NE Qns. needs pro-gay state senator

It is with a great sense of dismay for me to read that incumbent state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) is far ahead in the polls. My husband and I have been homeowners in Bayside since 1984, having married in Massachusetts last year after 30 years together. It is ironic for me to walk past the — thankfully few — lawn signs on my street supporting him. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Flushing Civil War had WWII insights

When Flushing’s last Civil War veteran, Ringold Carman, turned 100 in October 1943, the Star Journal interviewed him. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Every political office needs to have term limits in place

The days are dwindling down to a precious few — 20 to be exact. Then we will all know what the outcome will be. Right now it’s a tough race to call. Will it be state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo or unknown maverick Carl Paladino? The race is heating up and both sides are now taking pot shots at each other. That is to be expected, as most campaigns wait till the last two weeks to get down and dirty when it’s too late for either side to due damage control. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Put your faith in traditional news, not citizen journalism

U.S. newspaper circulation is dropping. The decline is attributed to advertising and readership lost to the Web. Over the past few years, much has been made of the rise of what is called “citizen journalism,” anyone who has the initiative to pursue the same stories as the traditional media and then put that information on the Internet. This infringement, among other non-professional disseminators of the news, has contributed to the decline. Comment.
Letters

Thanks to all who helped clean up after the tornado

On behalf of the Forest Hills Civic Association, thank you to all who participated in assisting our neighborhood after the storm: Community Board 6’s Community Emergency Response Team, the city Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, the city Parks Department, the NYPD, the FHVAC and especially our neighbors. Comment.
Letters

Don’t forget Muslims also died on 9/11

I would like to comment on the Sept. 23-29 letter from Bob Friedrich entitled “Candidate regrets using image of 9/11 in campaign literature.” Comment.
Letters

Be mindful of Avella’s associations

We are still months away from the November elections, but before things get heated with too many political messages and ads, it is imperative for voters to take note of former Democratic City Councilman Tony Avella, who is vying to run against state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

During fall migration, species of birds flock to Jamaica Bay

On a cloudless September Saturday, it is high tide at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. With the fall migration in full swing, my wife and I have come here not knowing what to expect. Comment.
Letters

Sale of WSTC stadium sale shows fiscal responsibility

The Sept. 23-29 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Tornado tables vote on tennis stadium” highlighted another stream of misleading statements from Christine Schott, a seemingly self-appointed spokeswoman for a small minority of West Side Tennis Club members. Anyone who may be drawn in by this barrage of unsubstantiated remarks, such as “Why would we sell to the first person who offers us something?” must be informed of the illegitimacy of these arguments in the interest of fair and honest reporting. Comment.
Letters

Group ride photo-op is self-serving

Appearing in last week’s local press was another example of self-serving political photo-ops, showing the Weprin brothers alongside city Taxi & Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky in front of a group ride van on the old Q79 bus route. Comment.
Letters

Say no to planned federal ban on co-op, condo transfer taxes

On Aug. 12, the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed a ban on co-ops, condominiums and developers from charging a transfer fee — flip tax — on sales. The FHFA is a federal agency that does not require any legislative action to implement change in banking regulations. This proposal, if enacted, would ban banks from issuing mortgages where a transfer fee exists. Comment.
Letters

Get people back to work again

As 2010 continues to move along, it seems our economy has not really improved much at all. Unemployment currently is at 9.6 percent and more people are losing their jobs and homes as well as not being able to pay other expenses. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Conservative Party can stay alive with Lazio out of race

In the Fifth Congressional District in northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) won a primary initiated by challenger Patricia Maher. It was surprising to some political observers that Maher received about a third of the vote in that election, considering she does not live in the district and therefore has little name recognition there. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Paladino may be crazy as a fox in his run to be state’s governor

As “Hannibal” Smith from “The A-Team” used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” If you remember last week, I wrote about how concerned the Republicans and Conservatives were about Rick Lazio and whether or not he would be a double spoiler by taking votes away from Carl Paladino and not being able to guarantee he would be able to acquire at least 50,000 votes in order for the Conservative Party to retain its line. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Do not buy in to the naysayers’ views on Columbus’ discovery

You cannot blame native Americans for not getting excited about Columbus Day. More than 500 years ago, there were no taxes, national debt or foreign entanglements and the women did all the work. What they cannot understand is how anyone ever thought they could improve upon a system like that. Comment.

September, 2010

Letters

Thank you, kind strangers, for help

A special thank you to the group of women who helped me when I fell in the parking lot of Key Food Sept. 14. They all advised me, especially the doctor who stopped, to get further help. Comment.
Letters

Two new schools offer great opportunities for Queens’ children

On the first day of school, I had the opportunity to tour and meet the students and faculty of both the Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens and Queens Gateway to Health Services High School. Comment.
Letters

Vote against incumbency

Standing on the stairs of City Hall a few weeks back in the blistering midday sun, I witnessed an important reminder of why change is so elusive in this great state of ours. Former Mayor Ed Koch was promoting his “NY Uprising Movement,” an endeavor to create greater transparency, fair redistricting and better governance in the quagmire that is the state Legislature. Comment.
Letters

Nonprofits must file with IRS under new law

We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because as many as 21,500 small, community-based nonprofits in the state are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The loss of this status could greatly affect the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions. Comment.
Letters

Computers must not replace teachers

While it is important for students in our schools to become familiar with computer technology, it is just as important to remember that computers must not and will not ever take the place of classroom teachers. It is important to understand that computers do not drive and formulate instruction — teachers do. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Designation of ‘sacred ground’ at former WTC site is unclear

When I worked for the city Department of Air Pollution Control at 15 Park Row across from City Hall Park, I occasionally had lunch with Rosamund Trilling Low, a lawyer who had offices in the area. Roz lived with her husband and three sons in a corner house on 112th Street in the Old Forest Hills section, not far from Forest Hills High School. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: QTIP seeks to raise $2M in donations for the arts

The Carl Paladino/Andrew Cuomo Race is starting to heat up big time and has all the earmarks of becoming down and dirty, but what else is new and what else would you expect? Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Oktoberfest the prefect time to whet your whistle continually

After participating in an Oktoberfest celebration, several men staggered down the street. Laughing and singing, they arrived at a two-story home. One pounded on the door. A light came on in the window. The leader of the pack bowed and said, “Is this where Joseph Smith lives?” “It is. What do you want?” “Then I am speaking to Mrs. Smith?” “I am Mrs. Smith. What do you want?” “Can you please come down here and pick out Mr. Smith so the rest of us can go home?” Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Neighborhood civics work to maintain quality of life

The May newsletter of the Kissena Park Civic Association expressed concern about pigeon droppings as an aesthetic and a sanitation issue. It seems that in some areas of the community there has been a severe increase in pigeon droppings. There is also concern that some dog owners leave their dogs tied up outside barking all night. Comment.
Letters

Candidate regrets using image of 9/11 in campaign literature

Reflecting on my recent run for the state Assembly and speaking at length with some of my close South Asian friends and supporters about the Sept. 11 flier I mailed during the campaign has been enlightening. When you can have a discussion with thoughtful people and avert name-calling and selective proclamations of “moral outrage,” a powerful dialogue and understanding can emerge. Comment.
Letters

New voting system easy to use

I cannot believe people are complaining about the new voting system. I voted on Primary Day Sept. 14 and there were no problems at my polling place. Comment.
Letters

St. Albans Park homeless woman misunderstood

I am writing in response to the Sept. 9-15 article entitled “St. Albans squatter taken in by shelter.” Comment.
Letters

City teachers need pay raise now

The recent awarding of nearly $700 million in education funding is a positive development for schools throughout the state, including those here in New York City. Hopefully, some portion of this money will be able to be used to help give raises to the teachers in the city public school system. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: ‘Yellow journalism’ named for Flushing man’s comic strip

On Sept. 25, 1928, a man died of cirrhosis of the liver in Ohio at the age of 65. He was Flushing native Richard Felton Outcault, who, under the pen name “R. F. Outcault,” was known to millions. He was the genius who created the first American comic strip. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Primary elections are more important than people realize

This week we are going to start out with the most humorous quote of the week. Warren Schreiber had a question for his Conservative Party friends from Queens. His question was, “Why would you allow Robert Schwartz to run for office under your banner? He makes [Carl] Paladino look sane.” This provoked a number of responses on Facebook. The one from Michael Schenkler was the funniest: “Schwartz was the milk guy? That’s udderly ridiculous.” Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: The first crushes of pupils prove to be their teachers

School days, School days, dear old golden rule days,/Readin’ and writin’ and ’rithmetic,/Taught to the tune of a hickory stick. Comment.
Letters

Bayside’s quality of life must remain despite good work done by St. Mary’s

I am writing in response to your Sept. 2 editorial (“Bayside’s Grinches Go to Court”), in which you take issue with my position that the upcoming two-year expansion project at St. Mary’s Hospital must be done in a manner that does not destroy the quality of life of my constituents who live in the surrounding residential community. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Bay’s bird population always amazes

At the end of July, I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with a friend who had never been there. We first walked the West Pond, seeing feeding ospreys, an oystercatcher, some immature yellow-crowned night herons and a variety of waterfowl. Then after going through the Visitors Center on the way to the East Pond on the other side of Cross Bay Boulevard, a woman at the desk made our day. She told us to go to the pond’s south end where there will be an opportunity to see shorebirds. Comment.
Letters

Parks Dept needs tree pruning funds

With thousands of trees lining the streets throughout the city, it is important that regular, consistent maintenance be sustained whenever possible. While the city is strapped financially due to the economic situation, there should not be a reduction of funds for the city Parks Department to be able to prune and maintain trees. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Virginia tavern a meeting place for historical figures

The Raleigh Tavern was named for Sir Walter Raleigh, who attempted in 1585 the first colonization of Virginia. The tavern’s history goes back to 1717. Sir Walter’s bust stood above the door and under it passed famous planters, merchants and leaders during what was called “Publick Times.” Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Padavan says hard work leads to successes in political arena

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), if re-elected in November, will begin his 20th term in office and, by the time his next term is completed, will have served 40 years. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Electeds show for Valentino’s on the Green ribbon-cutting

While the days are getting shorter, the list of events to cover is getting longer. There were a number of notable events this week, but by far the most interesting one was the ribbon-cutting ceremony/cocktail party at Valentino’s on the Green in Bayside, which was formerly known as Caffé on the Green. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Evil force behind shortening of summer must be caught

If I wished to see a mountain or other scenery under the most favorable auspices, I would go to it in foul weather, so as to be there when it cleared up; we are then in the most suitable mood, and nature is most fresh and inspiring. There is no serenity so fair as that which is just established in a tearful eye. — Henry David Thoreau Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Charter revision should change BSA to help boro homeowners

The mayor’s City Charter Revision Commission has been holding hearings for the last five months. Since the charter is the city constitution, whatever the commission proposes is of importance to the civic leaders who comprise the Queens Civic Congress. The QCC even held its own forum to evaluate the revision topics June 21. Most people probably do not even know what is happening, although the civics tried to alert people during the summer. Comment.
Letters

Voters should get familiar with new system of voting

Recently, I was joined by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), community leaders and concerned seniors who, along with all voters, must deal with a new form of voting after years of using mechanical lever machines. Comment.
Letters

Queens students’ arts education is getting cut

Budget cuts have a knack for making things disappear. With history as our guide, we know the arts will be one of the first subject areas to vanish with this year’s school budget cuts. The not-so-entertaining thing is this disappearing act was already underway during a period of historic growth in education spending. Comment.
Letters

Charter revisions not in city’s favor

Notwithstanding the fact that the public twice voted in favor of term limits and a cabal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 21 term-limited City Council members who overruled the will of the people, Bloomberg’s hand-picked City Charter Revision Commission has now given the public another slap in the face. Comment.
Letters

Fire DOE official for using n-word

An open letter to city Education and Community Development Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. Comment.
Letters

Cop should’ve prevented girl’s death

The tragic death of Brianna Ojeda should never have happened. The police officer who was on the scene was begged by her mother to help her. Why did he not do so? Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: 1,000 WWI draftees from LIC march in Manhattan

On Sept. 4, 1917, nearly a thousand young men from Long Island City took part in a draft parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. These men were Long Island City’s first quota to make up the “first army of 500,000.” Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Landmark Richmond Hill school stands as building of beauty

In the decades when Elaine and I lived on Park Lane South in Richmond Hill, I took many walks in Forest Park, which despite financial problems in the city, got better over the years. Some of my longer walks were along the residential streets of Richmond Hill, when I enjoyed the varied architecture and beautiful trees that line the community’s sidewalks. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Before primary, 2 groups hold Meet the Candidates nights

The big political event this week in northeast Queens was the Bay Terrace Alliance Meet the Candidates night at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center Aug. 31. The Meet the Candidates night has always been one of my favorites. They always manage to produce an organized and all-inclusive evening featuring all the local candidates. The only elected officials they had as part of their program were U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman and state Sen. Toby Stavisky. All the others tossing their hats in the ring were hopefuls. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: To children, ‘grandpa’ is another word for ‘friend’

Children learn that the best place to be when sad is sitting on grandpa’s lap. Comment.
Letters

To keep city safe, don’t build WTC mosque

Nine years after the attack on the World Trade Center, which resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people, we are faced with a new Sept. 11-related controversy: whether a huge mosque and cultural center should be built close to the WTC site. Comment.
Letters

Preservation group praises pols for supporting tennis stadium

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Comment.
Letters

Queens straphangers should shun the use of commuter vans

So-called commuter vans — unreliable, often unsafe and many more times than not operating illegally — fail to offer straphangers a true alternative to bus service cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The best solution remains the restoration of service cuts. The MTA needs but $8,014,000 to restore its Queens lines. Comment.
Letters

Obama right to back WTC mosque

The Jamaica Muslim Center is proud of the positive leadership shown by President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Obama vigorously defended Muslim Americans at a Ramadan dinner at the White House and supported the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Comment.
Letters

Support your local boro library

One of the most critical back-to-school needs is absolutely free: a Queens Library card. Comment.
Letters

Flushing BID should open position to anyone regardless of background

The Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District has run advertising for a new executive director that lists preferred skills for applicants, including knowledge of English and Mandarin Chinese — not Korean. Is this BID defined by geography or ethnicity? Whom does it intend to serve? Is it actually the Chinese Flushing BID? Does this mean no Koreans need apply? Comment.
Letters

People should learn responsibility when they deal with mortgages

More political, vote-getting nonsense. Comment.
Letters

Teachers need a contract, pay raise

As a new school year approaches, there is still no agreement between the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education. This is very disconcerting. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has deferred layoffs of nearly 4,000 teachers, but he still is not budging on the important issue of a salary increase, albeit a minimal one. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Primaries, petition challenges dominate politics in Queens

This year has turned Queens into a political battleground during the last several weeks, with petition challenges, court confrontations and primary races taking center stage. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Paladino makes appearance at meditation garden lunch

This was another busy, fun week. I can’t believe Labor Day is just a week away and summer will be over. Then again, we still have the beautiful Indian summer days to look forward to. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Work proves more relaxing than a lot of people think

Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty. — Voltaire Comment.

August, 2010

Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Elderly should keep eye out for numerous types of scams

As the holidays approach, many scam artists try to separate us from our money. One scam has to do with lottery tickets. Scammers write to say they won a lottery in a foreign country but cannot collect the money. They promise to share the money with you if you send them some money to show your good faith. Comment.
Letters

Outrage over mosque misguided by prejudice

At the outset, I should say that I am an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am opposed on constitutional grounds — i.e., the First Amendment, which establishes the freedom of religion — to any government interference with the building of a mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero. Comment.
Letters

City must hold Willets Point traffic meeting

In addition to the loss of hundreds of small businesses and the jobs of thousands of employees and their dependents, the proposed Willets Point project also involves the general public, whose daily lives will be affected by the huge increase in the volume of vehicular traffic on the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. Comment.
Letters

Save Queens Plaza millstones from onslaught of city development

A fitting home must be found for the historic millstones that have languished for decades among the traffic and pollution at Queens Plaza. These millstones are connected to the grist mill of the first European community in Queens, in what was and is today Dutch Kills. Comment.
Letters

Pesticides pose a danger to people

A notice was e-mailed to me from the city Department of Health regarding the pesticide spraying to kill mosquitoes in an effort to stop the spread of the West Nile virus. Unfortunately, the notice had an error in terms of the location of the spraying. Comment.
Letters

Unemployment must be reversed quickly

As 2010 moves along, the unemployment rate still remains high at 9.5 percent. Many people who had been looking for employment have become so frustrated that they have stopped looking. Those who are still looking for work continue to face all kinds of roadblocks — too much experience, not enough experience, too young, too old. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Grand Avenue railroad extension connected Queens and Brooklyn

On Aug. 1, 1876, a great event was celebrated in Elmhurst. The Grand Street & Newtown Railroad opened for service between the Grand Avenue ferry in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Broadway in Elmhurst following Grand Avenue through Maspeth. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens Theatre begins work on legislative review

The sands of time in the political hourglass are rapidly shifting toward empty. There are only four-plus weeks left to Primary Day, which is Sept. 14. All the political types and their minions are scurrying around trying to squeeze four months of work into the four weeks left. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Good riddance to heavy, unnecessary phone books

A rich gentleman was briefed by the private detective on what his wife was doing. “At this very moment, she is carrying on in your bedroom.” The furious man dialed his house and the butler answered. “I want you to get my shotgun, then go into the bedroom and blast the two people in bed.” Ten minutes later, he called the house and asked the butler if he did it. “Yes, sir.” “What did you do with the gun?” “I threw it into the pool.” “I don’t have a — is this 555-0437?” Comment.
Letters

Halloran helps with fallen tree

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) was elected to the 19th Council District less than a year ago, but for me he has already moved mountains. Comment.
Letters

St. Mary’s administration harms the state’s budget and taxpayers

In the Aug. 5-11 edition of the Bayside Times, there appeared an editorial denouncing me (“A Better St. Mary’s”), as head of the East Bayside Homeowners Association for our opposition to any expansion of St. Mary’s Hospital, a position the EBHA has held for one-third of a century because such a commercial enterprise should never have been allowed in a one-family residential area and certainly should not be allowed to expand. Comment.
Letters

Voters must elect reformers to clean up U.S. Congress

If your car breaks down and someone recommends a mechanic to repair it, the first question you are likely to ask is: Can I trust the mechanic? Today, our nation’s economic engine has stalled and it is unclear that we can trust those in Congress responsible for getting us on the road to recovery. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Bay’s bird population always amazes

At the end of July, I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge with a friend who had never been there. We first walked the West Pond, seeing feeding ospreys, an oystercatcher, some immature yellow-crowned night herons and a variety of waterfowl. Then after going through the Visitors Center on the way to the East Pond on the other side of Cross Bay Boulevard, a woman at the desk made our day. She told us to go to the pond’s south end where there will be an opportunity to see shorebirds. Comment.
Letters

Islamic center at WTC a symbol of freedom, not extremism

As an openly gay man and progressive elected official, I am weary of anything that smacks of fundamentalism or other form of extremism. That is why I thought carefully about the reasons I support the Islamic center near the World Trade Center site. Comment.
Letters

Support boro biz to stimulate economy

A survey conducted by U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) last month of 10 popular shopping hotspots in Queens has revealed that an average of 12 percent of all storefronts are either closed or closing. Comment.
Letters

Teachers trump computers

While it is important for students in our schools to become familiar with computer technology, it is just as important to remember that computers must not and will not ever take the place of classroom teachers. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: ‘Invalid Corps’ created in wake of the Battle of Long Island

In August 1776, an important first test was faced by the American patriots in the Revolutionary War when they met up against the British and Hessians in the important Battle of Long Island. Outnumbered as they were by the English, they were overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and their ensuing defeat. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Miller faces primary opponents on both Dem, Conservative lines

After almost 30 years of limited political confrontation and little active election hostility, the 38th state Assembly District in southwest Queens has exploded into a three-way battle for control of that district seat. This district, located on the Brooklyn-Queens border, includes parts of Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale and Ridgewood. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Lie hinders average citizen from performing his duty

My parents and others taught me that when you see an injustice, you speak out against it. Keeping silent in the face of evil, they made clear, was not acceptable. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Turner, Messer hope to become new blood in Weiner seat race

Have you noticed all the new, non-incumbent-type of candidates cropping up all over the political landscape? I have not as yet met all the new contenders, but some of the ones I did meet were quite impressive. One who instantly comes to mind is Conservative-Republican Bob Turner, who is running for U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s 9th District seat, which covers part of Brooklyn and part of Queens. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Willpower useless against three dreaded n’s of my life

Addict: one who is addicted especially to a substance. — Merriam-Webster dictionary Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Driver improvement course an important refresher tool

Three years just passed and AAA notified me it was time to take its driver improvement course. The incentive is that I get a discount on my auto insurance. The problem is the course is seven hours with rest breaks and a lunch break, but instructors usually cut down the break times so we get out a little earlier than usual. Comment.
Letters

Testing doesn’t equal learning

I have not lost much sleep over the news that fewer city public school students, based on their test results, met state standards this year. As a parent, I care about how our children are performing in school, but I do not worry much about scores on high-stakes tests. Up or down, above or below any particular proficiency cutoff, the test scores fail to indicate what parents really care about: Is my child learning? Comment.
Letters

GOP plays political games with lives of Sept. 11 responders

You may have seen how angry I was on the U.S. House of Representatives floor last month, but the story behind that 110-second video clip is one of years of delay and some outrageous tactics by my Republican colleagues who have denied heroic Americans important relief. Comment.
Letters

Name Warren to lead consumer protection agency

An open letter to President Barack Obama. Comment.
Letters

Residents have to stay in the loop about construction at St. Mary’s

An open letter to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children Executive Vice President Dr. Edwin Simpser. Comment.
Letters

Co-op, condo owners have to back bill creating ombudsman agency

Having lived in a co-op for the past 15 years, I cannot speak out enough on supporting bill 7958-A, introduced by state Sens. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and George Onorato (D-Astoria). This bill would create a government agency that would hear the cries of hundreds of thousands of residents who own shares in co-ops. Comment.
Letters

Make voting more democratic with non-partisan elections

The City Charter Revision Commission is considering whether to change our way of electing city officials to a non-partisan approach. This is an excellent idea and will give more people an opportunity to run for public office without having to be beholden to either major political party. Comment.
Letters

MTA must fix its problems before increasing fares for straphangers

The latest noise from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not good. It is proposing to hike fares on all public transportation and area bridges and tunnels to help close the large gap in its budget. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: City subway fare increases, but JFK opens for business in ‘48

New York celebrated the 50th anniversary of consolidation in 1948 with two important milestones in transportation. Halfway through the jubilee year, the authorities struck a sour note when they announced the end of the best bargain in New York City. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Cops, residents come together for boro National Night Out

Tuesday was our National Night Out Against Crime. It was a lovely evening weather-wise. Our first stop was the 109th Precinct’s event on Barclay Avenue and Union Street in Flushing. While there, we ran into Debbie Markell, Mathew Silverstein, Mary Conratty, John Messer, Sal Bacarella with a young friend, members of the 109th Community Council as well as District Attorney Richard Brown accompanied by Jesse Sligh, his executive assistant DA. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Pickpocket almost ruined chance to see Giants in the Super Bowl

A middle-aged woman was sitting next to an unoccupied seat at Giants Stadium. “Why is that seat empty?” she was asked. “It’s my husband’s seat and he died.” “Couldn’t you have given the seat to a friend?” “Oh, no, they’re all at his funeral!” Comment.
Letters

Jamaica Ave. doesn’t suffer from big vacancy rate

As executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, I appreciate U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) concern for small Queens businesses and the desire to see them succeed (“Vacant storefronts pull down economy: Weiner,” July 22-28, Jamaica Times). Comment.
Letters

Preserve west Queens millstones

An open letter to City Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Vallone Jr.. Comment.
Letters

Crime increase in Astoria deserves NYPD’s attention

An open letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Comment.
Letters

Negotiations proceed with new Flushing grocery

On July 27, we finally had the long-awaited meeting with state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone); state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing); William Chen, general manager for New York Mart; and myself along with Barbara Rogers, Rosa Febles and Sonny Weinberg, all community activists. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Tabone has chance to succeed Carrozza in state Assembly

There is much interest in the forthcoming state Assembly race in the 26th Assembly District in northeast Queens, which includes most of Bayside, Whitestone, eastern Flushing, Douglaston and Little Neck. It is interesting to note that the four Democrats running in the Democratic primary in this district are all attorneys, as is the lead Republican candidate, Vincent Tabone, who has obtained about five times the number of signatures needed for a ballot position. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens Conservatives’ dinner brings in big-name candidates

On Monday evening, the city’s homeward-bound commuters on the Long Island Rail Road were treated to a meet-and-greet from one of the candidates for governor. Rick Lazio spent more than an hour at the Bayside station. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Writer tries to put finger on origin of left-handed people

Some left-handers are wise and some are otherwise. Comment.

July, 2010

Letters

City has to better track crimes in parks

We at New Yorkers for Parks were saddened to read your recent article on the murder of Ruben Angel Vargas in Astoria Park (“Homeless pair charged with murder in park,” Astoria Times, July 15-21). The park is heavily used and greatly loved by residents and visitors to the neighborhood with a dedicated stewardship group, the Astoria Park Alliance, and numerous year-round events. Unfortunately, this tragic incident highlights the urgent need to collect and publish data on crime in all of our parks so park users are educated about safety. Comment.
Letters

Owners of co-ops and condos need Senate ‘ombudsman bill’

Bob Friedrich wrote in his June 17-23 letter that the state Senate co-op and condo “ombudsman bill” (S7958) addresses “a problem that does not exist.” We wish he was right. Comments (1).
Letters

Sometimes exaggeration goes too far

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

City residents must always try to secure quality education for their children

Of the number of times I have written or spoken to you constructively criticizing your editorials, I thought it incumbent upon me to express my gratitude for your editorial in your July 8-14 issue. “Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows” was an appropriate title. During slavery in this country, if you did not follow “massa’s” orders, you were hanged. But since massa did not follow the law of the land, Jamaica High School, along with several other high schools, were saved, thanks to the lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP. Comment.
Letters

Saujani a worthy Maloney opponent

I am an Astoria resident and a Reshma Saujani supporter, so I feel compelled to respond to a letter published suggesting Saujani was running a “slick” and “nasty” campaign against U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) (“Don’t believe negative attacks aimed at Carolyn Maloney,” Astoria Times, July 15-21). Comment.
Letters

City more green than people think

A few years ago, Forbes magazine picked Vermont as the greenest state in the nation. But if it had truly wanted to honor an ecological paradigm, it should have selected New York City, since the average New Yorker uses only about a quarter as much gasoline as the average Vermonter. New Yorkers also use less electricity — about 4,700 kilowatt-hours per household per year compared with about 7,100 kilowatt-hours in Vermont and more than 11,000 kilowatt-hours in the United States as a whole. Comment.
Letters

Pols spend too much on races

After reading about the amount of money being raised and spent for state Assembly and state Senate races this fall, it appears that when you divide the amount of funds spent by the total votes received on primary night, the candidates — both winners and losers — will have shelled out close to approximately $30 per ballot cast in their favor. Comment.
Letters

Support, don’t cut, school funding

With all the budget cuts that are going to have to be made in these hard economic times, one place where no budget cuts should be made is in the field of education. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Political games end position of longtime public service

The members of the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct are appointed to three-year terms by the governor. In the years I served on the board, I was reappointed on schedule with never an indication that politics was a problem. The reappointment occurred without my knowing about it until I was told. It seemed to be almost automatic. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: GOP must stop backing Dems and start grooming their own

Last week, we printed Liz Berney’s assessment of her problems with the upper echelon of the Queens GOP. As we promised in last week’s column, we would contact the Queens GOP and get its rendition of the current status between Phil Ragusa and Berney. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: ‘Vacation’ not in vocabulary of the United States’ workers

On a job applicant’s résumé: “I don’t care what salary I’m offered because money has no meaning to me. I never look at the clock and will work 80 hours a week. However, I want 46 days vacation time annually. The résumé was promptly returned stamped, “Try France.” Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Man from Laurelton embodies service to nation, community

Whenever you take the opportunity to walk to a shopping district, you avoid parking problems, get exercise and have an opportunity to meet and greet neighbors. Since this is the last Neighbor to Neighbor column, I thought it appropriate to let you meet in it a wonderful Laurelton family: the Lawrence Harris family. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Do not favor charter schools or dismiss public education

In 2009, the state Legislature permitted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to keep control of city public schools, but required the city to hold public hearings and provide information on the effect of any closings. A judge in state Supreme Court said this was not done and the state Appellate Court backed the lower court decision. Comment.
Letters

Only back institutions people want

I have one question for TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Ronald B. Hellman. Hellman claims in his July 8-14 column that “Queens needs a year-round theater dedicated to plays.” Comment.
Letters

Watching NYC’s checkbook

As an advocate in New York City for three decades, I have often been asked, “Where do my tax dollars go?” Now answers can be found at the Checkbook NYC website recently launched by city Comptroller John Liu. Comment.
Letters

City will still find way to close Jamaica HS

Your July 8-14 editorial “Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows” concluded with, “There are problems at the school that need to be addressed, but closing the school is no longer an option.” That misses the point, I think. Comment.
Letters

Law would force Washington electeds to disclose earmarks

As I travel the state and listen to New Yorkers, I have found that people have no faith that Congress is working to solve their problems. When they look to Washington, they see a lot of people who are more concerned about scoring political points than solving problems. Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a new contract

Another school year is over and the teachers in our city public schools still do not have a new contract. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Garbage men went on strike in 1960 over contract dispute

In July 1960 in Flushing, a dozen members of the Religious Society of Friends held a six-hour demonstration in front of the Friends Meeting House at 137-16 Northern Blvd. to protest the manufacture of germ weapons. The demonstration’s purpose was to educate Flushingites about the weapons’ manufacture at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., where members of the Friends had been standing in line — the Quakers’ method of picketing — for more than a year. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Confusion over chairmanship of the Queens GOP continues

You know, it seems like a lot of information printed in this column is gathered by chance and circumstance rather than deliberate planning and research into the minutest of details. A case in point, on Saturday evening two friends and I stopped in the Scobee Diner for a bite to eat. On our way in we ran into Liz Berney, who was leaving. She invited us to stop by her house for coffee after we left the diner. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Americans need one diet plan to combat unhealthy overeating

Oh, I diet all day and I diet all night,/It’s enough to drive me bats./Got no gravy or potatoes/’Cause the whole refrigerator’s/Fulla polyunsaturated fats. — Allan Sherman Comment.
Letters

For-profit schools do disservice to city’s schoolchildren

The United States’ policy of providing citizens the traditional, long-cherished freedom of receiving a free, public school education is being threatened. The power brokers of our New York political structure have decided, arbitrarily, that our public schools, which have faithfully served their citizens, have become a relic of antiquity and serve little or no purpose in our contemporary, profit-making social order. Comment.
Letters

Charter schools must not win out over public institutions

An open letter to parents of students in New York City. Comment.
Letters

Oppose LNG project offshore L.I.

Americans have recently been heartbroken by images of countless species in peril and the Gulf of Mexico tourism industry hanging in the balance. At the same time, New Yorkers are considering approving a 60-acre, man-made natural gas operation called Safe Harbor Energy 13 1/2 miles off the shore of Long Island and 23 miles outside the entrance to New York Harbor. We must sharply analyze the costs and benefits a liquefied natural gas project would bring to our society and environment. Comment.
Letters

Gen. Slocum, Gulf spill have much in common

On June 15, 1904, the paddle steamer General Slocum caught fire and sank off North Brother Island in the East River. Of the estimated 1,400 passengers on board the vessel, 1,021 died in the disaster, which before 9/11 was New York’s worse loss of life in a single event. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 has done much disservice to the neighborhood of Flushing

The editorial page of a newspaper is where its publisher and editors express their opinions on a wide variety of subjects, as is their right. Letters to the editor are where a responsible company, like TimesLedger Newspapers, give readers an opportunity to express their views on articles, including editorials. Comment.
Letters

Teacher layoffs will spell city’s doom

The one area where there should not be any cuts is in the area of education. Our children are entitled to a good, solid education and cutting money from education would be devastating to our students, teachers, administrators and parents. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: 19th-century academic woman wrote lyrics to a patriotic song

Though countless women from the days of the American Revolution and earlier have affected the course of our history, it took many years for their contributions to be recognized. Today, fortunately, that is not the case and many women have reached their potential and have been equally recognized. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Sasson says he will bring trust back to Albany in Senate race

This year is bringing on some competitive races in Queens, with Democratic Party primaries against organization candidates including a challenge to state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) in the 16th Senate District, an area that includes parts of Bayside, Whitestone, Fresh Meadows and Rego Park. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Serving on medical board became a rewarding duty

Earlier this year, in my series about the chaos in the state Senate, I mentioned I had served on a mayoral commission studying the health care delivery system in New York City. I was working for a major corporation, but it was felt that my service on this commission was important to the welfare of the city in which we operated. I was permitted to take many hours out of my working schedule to devote time to the people’s business. There was no honorarium or perk related to this position. The company I worked for expected me to fulfill all my work obligations. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Duane’s run for Carrozza’s seat to focus on credit repair scams

Congratulations to John Messer, who celebrated his 40 birthday July 10 with a combination party and fund-raiser boat ride on the Cabana, a 100-foot-long yacht belonging to Marco Polo Cruises. What a great idea for a hot summer evening. The boat left the Worlds Yacht Marina from Pier 81 in New York City at 7:30 p.m. and returned around 10:30 p.m. The trip included a dinner buffet, two bars, a DJ and live music on two different levels. Everyone felt it was a pleasure to donate to your 16th Senate District race campaign. Way to go, John! Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Summer vacation no excuse for ending a child’s education

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. — George Santayana Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Always reserve hospital land in St. Albans for our veterans

Those of us who are civilians, grateful to those who have and are still serving in the military and NYPD, can only shake our heads at the risks these brave people take to protect us and the treatment they received after the fact. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Boro pupils proved themselves academically and volunteering

Our Queens high schools did many great things over the past academic year. Here are some of those activities. Comment.
Letters

Make commuter van lines succeed the Q75, Q79 buses

An open letter to city Taxi and Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky. Comment.
Letters

State must understand science behind the use of hydrofracking

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson, state Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Comment.
Letters

Cuomo the best candidate to serve as New York guv

The politics of Albany will never be the same again, especially with the entrance into the gubernatorial race by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He is poised to help salvage Albany from political inaction and legislative stalemate never before witnessed in the Empire State. Comment.
Letters

Be creative to avoid more cuts to MTA

An open letter to MTA Chairman Jay Walder and other MTA executives. Comment.
Letters

BP must pay for oil spill in gulf

As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico and efforts by BP to stop the leak seem not to be working, the ecological and economic damage to the gulf region continues to grow each day, which is not good at all. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: New Astoria train caused a lot of headaches in 1917

On July 20, 1917, the first train ran from 57th Street in Manhattan to Ditmars Boulevard in Queens. The trip over the Queensboro Bridge took eight minutes. It carried only city officials and chamber of commerce members and made no stops. Its progress was a triumph as both bridge pedestrians and track workers cheered as it made its way along the 20-minute trip. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Food and fun with friends highlight this year’s July 4

It’s hard to believe this past weekend was the Fourth of July. The general consensus is that Memorial Day is the start of summer, the Fourth is the middle and Labor Day is the end. The fact that June 21 is the official first day of summer is an inconvenient detail. It’s easier to calculate summer’s divisions by the more popular way. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Living as a nudist has unsavory consequences

A lady nudist wanted a personal tattoo where it would not show, so it was put on her face. Comment.
Letters

Co-ops, condo boards need state agency to fight abuses

Recently, Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village, wrote a letter concerning state Senate bill S7958 (“Albany bill would cause problems for co-op and condo boards,” June 17). I can understand why he opposes it. After all, as president of the board he would prefer not having any government agency looking over his shoulder should shareholders question his board’s decisions. Comment.
Letters

MTA shouldn’t balance budget on backs of riders

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

MTA service cuts will burden people traveling to Manhattan

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

Columnist wins reader’s admiration

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

America needs help and fast

Well, 2010 is six months old and still the economic outlook, while improving ever so slightly, is far from where it should be. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: MidVil memorial service held for General Slocum victims

William “Bill” Rafferty, born in Queens June 17, 1944, had an interesting résumé before his success as a comedian and game show host on television. Rafferty was a New York cab driver, butcher in California and military police officer in the U.S. Army. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Ackerman faces biggest GOP challenge yet for seat

In the Fifth Congressional District in northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County, there are intense political activities developing to challenge U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). This year started out with a Tea Party affiliate demonstrating twice in front of Ackerman’s Bayside district office on Northern Boulevard. Its main grievance was the national medical insurance plan Ackerman supports. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: K of C raises $10K for a boro Memorial Day parade

June 26 was the day of the birth of a new Queens tradition to be known as “Whitestone Family Appreciation Day.” It was a day of great fun in the sun with camaraderie involved among the many diverse groups participating in the event. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Signers of the Declaration all paid heavy prices for freedom

There are those ... who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. ... It is the American Dream. — Archibald McLeish Comment.

June, 2010

Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Political figures must put Americans’ interests first

One thing we are having is change. Where do we go from here? When Ian Bowrey told me he was afraid he would have to close his pharmacy if he could not get funding, I had hoped that the necessary money would surely be available for such a business. Though it was classified as a “small business,” it was an important part of our communities for about 20 years, employed many local citizens and was loyal here even after criminal attacks. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Electrical union gives out 45 scholarships to pupils

The Education and Cultural Trust Fund of the Electrical Industry, in the Electric Industry Center on Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue in Flushing, held a breakfast during which it gave out 45 scholarships worth $20,000 over four years to children of its members. Three hundred students applied. They had to write an essay describing what the country would be like when they are 50. Comment.
Letters

SE Qns. homes will not receive water pumps

Regarding the article about York College that appeared in the May 27-June 2 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers, a reference was made about plans to install pumps in a number of homes in the vicinity of South Road. Comment.
Letters

Traffic cameras create accidents

As a resident of Bayside, I am disgusted by the cameras being placed all over Queens. Studies have proven that they do not reduce accidents — they actually increase rear-end collisions! Comment.
Letters

Put the breaks on MTA’s plans to cut its bus service in Queens

If things do not change, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stands poised to radically cut and eliminate bus service throughout Queens: the Q14, Q15, Q24, Q26, Q30, Q31, Q42, Q48, Q74, Q75, Q76, Q79, Q89, QM22, QM23 and X51. Residents, whether riders or not, must be united to oppose these misguided and harmful actions. Comment.
Letters

DOT must improve crosswalk safety at Union Tnpk. & Springfield Blvd.

An open letter to city Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy. Comment.
Letters

DOT takes action at fatal crossroads

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan. Comment.
Letters

Don’t trust mayor, schools chancellor over treatment of teachers

Mayor Bloomberg recently announced an imaginary deal to prevent thousands of teacher layoffs. Comment.
Letters

Arizona law proven un-American

I want to thank your newspaper for your June 17 editorial “Arizona’s Hate Draws Anger Here,” which was critical of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. Comment.
Letters

Tell mayor we need fire companies

Preserving public safety is the government’s No. 1 responsibility and it should remain our first priority even in times of economic constraint. Comment.
Letters

Students right to cut school, march and protest planned MetroCard cuts

The students who walked out of school June 11 to protest the possibility of losing their free student MetroCards due to possible budget cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did the right thing. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Problem with mail delivery lead to naming of Corona

In June 1868, Thomas Waite Howard moved to West Flushing. He found the community’s name confusing to both outsiders and the postal service since a good portion of the community’s mail ended up in Flushing. He petitioned the U.S. Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., to change the area’s name to “Corona,” an original name he coined for the area. His thinking was the “crown of Queens County.” Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Green venture group opens HQ in LIC with big bash

For those of you who like to check out yournabe.com for the readers’ comments on stories and columns in the TimesLedger Newspapers, I’d like to respond to one mentioning me by name last week. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: More marriages end in divorce than eternal bliss

Dietician lecturing to audience: “The material we put in our stomachs is enough to have killed most of you years ago. But what one comestible causes the most grief and suffering after it is ingested?” Comment.
Letters

Keep nurses intact at public schools

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. Comment.
Letters

Baby owl’s Alley Pond appearance a nice surprise

On the third Sunday in May, I left my house just after 6 a.m. to meet a group of birders at Alley Pond Park to watch the annual spring migration. With a forecast of showers, I expected to be home in late morning. Comment.
Letters

Albany bill would cause problems for co-op and condo boards

State Sen. Liz Krueger’s (D-Manhattan) Senate Bill S7958 is an assault on the legitimate governance of co-ops and condominiums in our city. This new, unfunded mandate seeks to marginalize the powers of duly elected boards of directors by creating an ombudsman office within the state Department of Law and appointed by the state attorney general. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Literary Hall became Bayside’s cultural center in late 1800s

One of Bayside’s outstanding citizens during the 19th century was James W. Cain. He was born in Brooklyn, but when he was 4 his family established themselves in Bayside and it was here that he spent his life. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Miller faces primary fight for his state Assembly seat

On May 17, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) held what was called a “small business forum” to discuss the new health care insurance law. Ackerman has not had a town meeting in the recent past as some other congressional elected leaders have. This apparently was his rendition of a town hall meeting. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Universal draft would help to make fighting a war fairer

Some thoughts before Independence Day. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens fund-raiser helps with sending kids to camp

There has not been one moment of inactivity in June. Starting with the June 1 to June 3 Republican Convention at the Manhattan Sheraton Hotel, it has been non-stop up until last weekend — the dates of the political campaign seminars at the Washington Marriott in our nation’s capitol. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Pop made taking care of family his life’s main goal

As Father’s Day approaches, it is time once again to reflect upon the second parental person: our dads. Especially at this time, my thoughts race to memories of my Dad by the emotional song “Oh My Pa-Pa” written by Paul Burkhard and sung by Eddie Fisher. It was popular when my father died in 1956. Its lyrics follow intermittently. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Call cops on party guests who come by uninvited

Our police department has been busy. Almost a month ago — May 5, to be exact — Patrol Borough Queens South officers treated an appreciative audience at York College to their sixth-annual talent show. It was the result of a great deal of talent and hard work because it was professional in every way. Hats off to them and thanks. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: St. John’s dorm house lowers quality of life in Fresh Mdws.

New York University is planning to expand its campus by 40 percent over the next 20 years. These plans have concerned the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and me because what NYU can do in Manhattan St. John’s University can do in Queens. Comment.
Letters

Gulf of Mexico oil spill leaves many questions unanswered

Am I to understand that the damaged oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers over a month ago, could be gushing a million barrels of oil per day? In better times, was this the amount that has been producing oil from this drilling location on a daily basis? Comment.
Letters

BP execs should be treated like criminals

I am writing to share two thoughts with your readership about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Comment.
Letters

Padavan should also take blame over NE Queens high schools

Your article “Bayside leaders fear influx of new HS students” (TimesLedger Newspapers, May 27-June 2) failed to include state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) among the “leaders” properly fearing this recent step in the destruction of quality education in our area. No wonder, as we have Padavan to thank for this travesty. Comment.
Letters

Community boards should work for the people

Many projects that go on in the city go through our community boards. It is their job to help limit the impact of a project on the taxpayers they represent. Comment.
Letters

Sagging pants an unpleasant sight

Young men who walk around with their pants pulled down and exposing their underwear should realize it is not appropriate and that they should have more self-respect. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Gov. Jeb Bush gives keynote at state GOP’s convention

Another busy week. The GOP convention was held in the New York Sheraton for three days. It was a most informative convention as well as one of great fun. It was good seeing many old friends from all over the state. It provided a chance to get up close and personal with a number of the candidates, many of whom were not only interesting but appeared to be highly capable as well. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Graduation prepares you to face adversity as adults

It is June and graduation ceremonies are in full bloom. Graduates are breathing a sigh of relief now that they have completed their grueling schooling and are segueing into their next stage of life. Comment.
Letters

Do not inflict pain upon living animals

Since the days of Ellis Island, immigrants have come to this country looking for the American Dream. Our history has changed in that we as a society fought for the rights of animals, not to harm them. Comment.
Letters

Testing can’t account for special education students’ needs, home lives

In these tough financial times, with city budgets being overhauled, there are many issues that have come up, but we must remember that our educational system must be a priority if we are to help our children achieve their best potential in these trying times. Comment.
Letters

Gulf oil spill needs quick solutions

As oil continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico from the oil rig that exploded and burned, taking 11 innocent workers’ lives, one would ask how and why did this explosion occur and what safeguards were in place at the time? Also, why is the oil still continuing to leak out, further contaminating the Gulf of Mexico? Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Circus tiger that escaped prowled around Woodside

On May 6, 1846, the Astoria Presbyterian Church was organized. The original building on 27th Avenue in Old Astoria was dedicated June 11, 1847. In 1922, the church moved to its second location on the west side of 33rd Street between 31st Avenue and Broadway. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Community Boards 11 doesn’t have a role in politics: Iannece

There has been a continuing controversy over a campaign flier sent out by now-state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) in the closing days of the campaign against Bob Friedrich, who was running against him as a Republican in the 24th Assembly District special election held Feb. 9. The brochure included a picture of the Nazi swastika emblem, which Friedrich has charged associated his campaign with this symbol. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Boro Dems seem poised to play politics with Forcina

A few sources have confirmed that the Queens Democratic organization and state Senate candidate Tony Avella are trying to push attorney Nora Marino to run in the 26th State Assembly District — Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s seat — Democratic primary to divide the Italian-American community. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Baseball’s shining star dims for Americans as years pass

The Ball once struck off,/Away flies the Boy,/To the next destin’d Post,/And then Home with Joy! — First mention of baseball in print in 1744 Comment.

May, 2010

Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Wealth of information found at Going Green in Queens

More about what you may have missed at the Going Green in Queens event. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: City water rates will increase, but by slightly lower margin

Holloway said the water rate increase this year would be 12.9 percent instead of the 14 percent originally proposed. It seems there are plans to raise the water rates another 12 percent to 14 percent next year and perhaps for a few more years. If rates continue to rise, we will have valuable properties but may not have enough money to pay taxes and rate raises plus keep our properties in repair. Comment.
Letters

Use renewable sources of energy

It came as a breath of fresh air to read that the federal government has given its green light to a huge wind turbine farm off the coast of Cape Cod. It will consist of 130 turbines, down from 170, and occupy an area of about 25 square miles in Nantucket Sound. Comment.
Letters

Enact nonpartisan redistricting

When the Census forms arrive every 10 years, it is important to fill it out because legislative district lines are based upon the population. Every decade it is a contentious process, and in the past the lines were redrawn in such a way to protect incumbent office-holders. Comment.
Letters

Assembly candidate touts state accountability plan

Albany has become the portrait of corruption and dysfunction. It seems every day a new scandal erupts onto the front pages of newspapers and, with each new story, average voters become more disenchanted and more apathetic toward their government. We must put an end to this. Comment.
Letters

Let Kelty explain Willets Pt. stand

Eugene Kelty, chairman of Community Board 7, was only “75 percent happy” with the city’s plan to relocate three large Willets Point businesses to College Point (“Willets Pt. relocation OK’d,” Flushing Times, May 13-19). Comment.
Letters

Malakov, Bell do not deserve street renamings

After reading an edition of the Forest Hill Ledger this month, I was shocked to see two violent incidents would result in the renaming of streets in Queens. The first was the murder of Daniel Malakov, a Bukharian emigre who was murdered in front of his daughter on the orders of his estranged wife. The other was the unfortunate police incident concerning Sean Bell outside a notorious after-hours bar. Comment.
Letters

Make other professions take pay cuts

Isn’t it interesting that over the last several months the crescendo has been growing for teachers to take salary freezes and cuts due to the worsening economic crisis? Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Photographers documented evolving technology of travel

Among many forces, it can be said that the steam engine dominated the 19th century. Dependent on the horse or the sail as we were then, the steam engine led us to the age of the automobile and eventually the future ages of flight and of space. With this one invention came a revolution in the way both goods and people were transported and brought us together as a nation of travelers. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Unfaithful politicians use ‘community’ for their needs

I began this series on our malfunctioning state Senate and the Queens Three — Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), former Sen. Hiram Monserrate and Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) — who assisted in that chaos with a comment by former Mayor Ed Koch about “banana republics.” I end with a consideration of community as it applies to ethnic politics in Queens and the city. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Padavan makes the rounds with events over weekend

Did you ever notice how things seem to go in circles? For me this week it included getting caught up in a politician’s schedule. This was definitely a circle week for state Sen. Frank Padavan. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: On this Memorial Day, honor the fallen who served the U.S.

Here in the Presence of Washington and Lincoln, One the Eighteenth Century Father and the Other the Nineteenth Century Preserver of our Nation, We Honor Those Twentieth Century Americans Who Took Up the Struggle During the Second World War and Made the Sacrifices to Perpetuate the Gift Our Forefathers Entrusted to Us: A Nation Conceived in Liberty and Justice. — National World War II Memorial Announcement Stone Comment.
Letters

Give New York bigger share of anti-terrorism funding

An open letter to President Barack Obama. Comment.
Letters

City must reform EDC or shut it down

City Comptroller John Liu is to be commended for his audit of the city Economic Development Corp. and, if he is correct, the EDC has been shortchanging the city to the tune of millions of dollars (“Liu finds EDC owes city more than $125M,” Flushing Times, May 6-12). Comment.
Letters

City must go after water thieves instead of hiking peoples’ rates

The times we live in are challenging enough. That is why the proposed 12.9 percent hike in water rates in the city is unbearable, culminating after successive annual increases. The average annual bill for a one-family home under this increase is projected to be at $911, up from $779 at the current rate. This is surely a disguised tax increase that will continue to unfairly burden us. Comment.
Letters

Senate takes measures to increase donor disclosure in campaign ads

Wealthy corporations should not be able to determine the outcome of elections by spending money on political campaigns. The misguided U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, would allow that to happen and this poses a threat to the democratic foundations of America. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Woodhaven hosted historic North-South horse race

It was May 27, 1822, the last Tuesday of the month, and the eyes of the country were on Woodhaven, home of the Union Course racetrack. A contest between American Eclipse, champion race horse of the North, and Sir Henry, the fastest thoroughbred of the South, was about to begin. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Polls put Levy ahead of rivals in GOP race for N.Y. guv seat

In a recent interview I had with Republican Queens County Chairman Phil Ragusa, he discussed the reasons why his party’s executive committee voted to change its endorsement for New York state governor from Rick Lazio to Steve Levy. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Dems rev up for Carrozza race as GOP holds awards dinner

Petitioning time starts June 8 and ends July 16. The corresponding races being run are for Congress, state Senate and state Assembly. This should provide something to do for college students interested in the political process. Pick your candidate and volunteer. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Tattooing remains a form of polarizing expression

Tattoo: Of Polynesian origin. To mark or color the skin indelibly by pricking in coloring matter or by producing scars. — Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Agency runs summer camps to promote environmentalism

I was first introduced to the Electric Industry Center in Flushing many years ago, when it permitted the NYPD Patrol Borough Queens South Command to hold its talent shows in its beautiful theater. This year, on April 24, the Educational and Cultural Trust Fund of the EIC held a breakfast in its auditorium as a showcase for its 62nd-annual Scholarship Awards Program. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Boro green event full of info on the climate, composting

A young man lured me over to his table by asking me if I wanted to know if New York state owed me any money. It was the table from the state comptroller’s office. He checked my name in his computer, but the state did not owe me any money. He gave me a brochure entitled “Open Book New York,” which listed a Web site where one can check on how the state and local governments spend their money and who does business with these governments. Comment.
Letters

City shouldn’t lay off teachers to make up $5B budget deficit

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Huntley deserves full support of community for her work

If there is anyone in the state Senate who is deserving of re-election, it is my senator, Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica). After twisting her arm, along with other stringent items of persuasion, several friends convinced her to run for Senate. I consider myself one of those friends. And am I glad we did. Comment.
Letters

Career pols can’t end water rate hikes

Year after year, I read in TimesLedger Newspapers (“Queens leaders cry foul over planned water bill hike,” April 29-May 5) how the same cast of characters, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), are angry over another round of double-digit water rate increases. Comment.
Letters

Hospital backs meditation garden

In the article about the new meditation garden in Kissena Corridor Park in the May 6-12 editions of TimesLedger Newspapers, it is stated that, “New York Hospital Queens representatives did not return a request for comment.” Comment.
Letters

U.S. leaders must get nation working again

As we are moving through 2010, many people are still asking when things will begin to improve in America. Our economy is still a huge mess, jobs are still being lost, Americans are still losing their homes due to their inability to pay ever-rising mortgage rates, the prices on everything from socks to meat, clothes to toothpaste and gas to oil continue to rise and more and more politicians are getting caught for improprieties every week. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Braunstein holds fund-raiser for his run at Carrozza’s seat

I hope everyone enjoyed Mother’s Day whether it was your day as a mother or you helped your own mom celebrate her day. Remember, mothers are the greatest supporters you will ever be lucky enough to have, so make sure you treasure them. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Accept the fact that no one can escape from telling a lie

You’ve gained a lot of weight.” “That dress is hideous.” “You’re a mediocre student.” “To be perfectly honest with you, you’re a nerd.” But telling a person the truth is not necessarily the best approach for dispensing truthful comments. So you prevaricate, equivocate, exaggerate and fib to soften a true comment, but it is still lying and lying, as everyone knows, is bad. Comment.
Letters

Value added tax won’t help the poor

I would like to make a few comments about Dee Richard’s April 22 column “Flat user tax would treat the rich and the poor equally.” Comment.
Letters

Community boards keep real estate interests in check

There was a time in this city when all kinds of land use deals were being made between politicians and real estate developers without the involved community and its residents having a say in the matter — indeed, even knowing beforehand what was going on. Comment.
Letters

Station Rd. rezoning should benefit residents

They say you cannot fight City Hall and as I walked away from a meeting hosted by the Station Road Civic Association April 21, I wondered if the expression may have some truth to it. The main topic of the evening was the Auburndale rezoning. Comment.
Letters

Schools must stop bullying

I am writing regarding a serious matter, which is school bullies. It is a school’s responsibility to protect children from this type of behavior. It is every child’s right to attend classes or use a restroom without the fear of a bully looking to start a fight with that individual. Comment.
Letters

Wall St. execs, state pols share a boat

After watching the testimony by the Goldman Sachs executives on TV, I think if New York state replaced its state legislators with these men from Wall Street, we would never have the financial problems we have today. Comment.
Letters

City must not lay off teachers

As the city and state grapple with how to make financial ends meet, the debate about the potential for laying off 8,500 city public school teachers is outrageous and must not happen. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Lazio, Levy lay out agendas for their gubernatorial races

Recently, both Republican gubernatorial candidates, Rick Lazio and Steve Levy, appeared in northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County. They delivered major addresses to the assembled gatherings of people who came to hear them. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Rego Park teacher, students plant a new tree every year

Nancy Wolf, who coordinates New York City Arbor Day — observed April 30 — told me that one of the most enthusiastic regulars each year is Pat Evens, a kindergarten teacher in PS 174, the William Sidney Mount School, in the Crescents section of Rego Park. Evens and her students have created a small arboretum with the successful planting of Arbor Day trees for many years. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Boro GOP reverses decision to endorse Rick Lazio for guv

Just when you thought Queens politics couldn’t be more convoluted, guess what? It is! This time it involves the Queens GOP in its decision to endorse Steven Levy over its previous endorsement of Rick Lazio. After giving its word, how do you un-endorse someone? Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Columnist’s mother a breed that doesn’t exist anymore

Who ran to help me when I fell,/And would some pretty story tell,/Or kiss the place to make it well? My mother. — Jane Taylor Comment.

April, 2010

Letters

Health care reform will harm public

Here is the other side of the story U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) failed to mention recently in TimesLedger Newspapers on the supposed benefits of the new health care law. Comment.
Letters

Get facts straight on Albany’s Aqueduct debacle

In the April 15-21 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “Stink Grows Stronger in SE Queens,” you seem to have joined the likes of the Rag, the Rag-Mop and the White Bible — i.e., the Post, the Daily News and the New York Times. With the awards your paper recently won, I gave you more credit than that. Comment.
Letters

Gov’t must study Willets Point plan traffic effects

One will recall Borough President Helen Marshall thought it was a grand idea to build a New York Jets football stadium in the middle of Flushing Meadows Corona Park — a no-brainer if there ever was one and one that would have destroyed Flushing Meadows as a viable urban park. Comment.
Letters

Charter Revision Commission must bolster community boards

Community Boards are made up of unpaid community volunteers who consider various land use issues and other area concerns that may be occurring in neighborhoods each board covers. These issues include rezonings, variances and other requests from local businesses and developers, landmarking issues and education, transportation, parks, environmental and health issues affecting the community at large. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Flushing arts group honors ex-councilman John Liu

The Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts outdid itself again with its annual gala last Thursday in our architectural gem, Flushing Town Hall. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: As both get older, kids change their attitudes toward parents

May is Older Americans Month and an appropriate time to relate two vintage stories concerning the changing relationships between aged parents and their children. One appeared in a book written 100 years ago, the second in a movie exhibited almost 75 years ago. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Sign up for a nature workshop or volunteer at a summer camp

Many upcoming events of interest emanated from the Going Green in Queens meeting last month at the Al Oerter Recreational Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but I must first tell you about the NYPD’s sixth-annual Patrol Borough Queens South Talent Show. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Queens Civic Congress wants city to provide better services

The recent general membership meeting of the Queens Civic Congress was held in the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and featured a community and neighborhood roundtable by and for the member civic associations. Comment.
Letters

Make Charter revision process more accessible to city residents

An open letter to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, chairman of the City Charter Revision Commission. Comment.
Letters

Sanitation Dept. will monitor unwanted signs

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Maspeth man served area as barber, volunteer fireman

In April 1938, a local newspaper profiled Frank Frontera of Maspeth. He was retired by then and preferred to tend his garden and dote on his family, particularly his grandchildren. Frontera’s reflections on his past and his adopted community pleased him to no end — and for good reason. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Flat user tax would treat the rich and poor equally

Congratulations to everyone for having survived the dreaded April 15, otherwise known as the deadline for filing your income taxes. At times like these, the flat user tax program has a tremendous amount of appeal. Aside from the fact that you would eliminate the accompanying stress of getting it all together on time in order to meet the filing deadline and afterward you inevitably remember deductions you were entitled to but forgot to take. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Earth Day cannot live up to predecessor Arbor Day

The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else. — Barry Commoner Comment.
Letters

Public disrespected at CB 7 hearing on Flushing Commons

An open letter to Community Board 7. Comment.
Letters

MTA should keep Q74 bus service intact

While draconian cuts in Metropolitan Transportation Authority service may be necessary, the one cut that should have preceded all others was the dismissal of the chairman of the MTA and its entire governing board because they have demonstrated year after year their ineptitude in running the system. Comment.
Letters

Birding at Alley Pond Park gives peek at nature’s bounty

The first Saturday in May last year looked like a rainout when I met some other birders to go to Alley Pond Park to see migrating spring birds. Just before 6 a.m., steel-gray rain clouds started to part. At the park, the rain had stopped. Comment.
Letters

Hate speech has political motives

Usually a Community Board 11 meeting is not spectator sport, but April’s sure could have been. The issue of the David Weprin campaign’s mailing of a swastika-laden flier at the tail end of February’s special election drew many who believed that such an act should be formally reprimanded by the board. Comment.
Letters

No free ER care for illegal aliens

I must respectfully disagree with your editorial “Care for All Children” in the April 8-14 edition of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: April ‘23 saw payroll fraud, anti-immigrant resolutions

April 1, 1923, was the most miserably cold Easter in Queens for many years. At 6 o’clock that morning the temperature stood at 12 degrees above zero. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Two boro schools grow Arbor Day trees

Arbor Day, which New York state observes on the last Friday in April, is important at two schools in Queens: John Bowne High School in Flushing and PS 174, the William Sidney Mount School, in the Crescents section of Rego Park. The entire month of April has been dedicated to environmental projects and tree-plantings under the MillionTreesNYC initiative. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Candidates keep adding names to the race for Carrozza’s seat

The list for the 26th state Assembly seat goes on and does not seem to have any end in sight. It seems to give credence to the opinion of the more jaded among us. That is that being elected to public office beats working for a living. You would think with all the candidates clamoring to get elected we would have a better assortment than the ones we do have or why would they be known as the most dysfunctional state Legislature in the United States? Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: The tax man has no pity on those who have to pay

The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes. — Anonymous Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Lazio, Levy vie for nod from GOP in 3-way race

It is looking as if a confrontation is developing when the Republican State Committee meets in convention in May or June to decide who its statewide candidates will be. That is true of the governorship, where three candidates are competing for the Republican Party endorsement. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Hillside Ave. revamp project set for completion in 2011

In the February 2010 Community Board 8 newsletter, District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide addressed the issue of how many unrelated renters occupying a house make it an illegal occupancy. Comment.
Letters

Article of survival an inspiring read

I just had to write to express my appreciation for the article “A Survivor’s Tale” (TimesLedger, March 15-31). True stories of this kind are the best news to read. People like Mirian Detres-Hickey inspire and lift our spirits. It is so unselfish of her to share her dark past. She shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how horrible things may be. Comment.
Letters

Candidate promises hard work

Recently, state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) has announced she would not seek re-election. People should thank her for her years of service. Whether you approve or disapprove of an elected official’s job, it can never be said it is not an extreme sacrifice of both personal and family life. Comment.
Letters

Do not tell consumers what to eat

Seems to me the people who are trying to pass a tax on sugary soft drinks have too much time on their hands. Comment.
Letters

Tabone has wrong view of people in relation to proposed salt ban

I would like to comment about the March 25-21 letter from Vince Tabone, “Banning use of salt in city eateries a dangerous and foolish proposition.” Comment.
Letters

MTA should maintain efficiency by not laying off employees

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder. Comment.
Letters

Resurrection of Christ the real reason for Easter celebration

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspapers columnist Alex Berger. Comment.
Letters

Make parking easier in Flushing

To all the geniuses who think it is a good idea to add thousands of more people to downtown Flushing, I say try going to the municipal lot we currently have and getting a parking spot on the weekends. Comment.
Letters

City must keep after-school programs going

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Carrozza’s bowing out creates a crowded field of contenders

Knowing this was going to be a slow week and that the events calendar would be rather sparse, it looked like a good time to catch up on our Queens political landscape. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Time spent at a health club never for the faint of heart

There I was, singing in the shower, when Gloria suddenly and deliberately barged in, parted the shower curtain, viewed me in my altogether, glanced at my expanse and horrifically exclaimed, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing! Tomorrow you and your midriff are paying a visit to the health club.” Comment.
Letters

Details of health reform hidden from public

On Wednesday evening I witnessed one of the most pathetic political spectacles I have ever seen. In a television interview, our own Congressman Anthony Weiner was asked a simple, straightforward question five times and refused to give a simple, straightforward answer five times. Comment.
Letters

Albany lawmakers skirt reforms

I just read in one of the local papers that state Assembly members David Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) are pushing for a bill to ban smoking in cars with children. Comment.
Letters

Flushing Commons developer must consider community needs

Flushing Commons is a huge development project proposed for Municipal Parking Lot 1 in downtown Flushing. It will affect not only the immediate area around the project, but all of the nearby communities as well. Comment.
Letters

Sen. Padavan’s earmarks pale in comparison to Smith, Dems

As a former president of a civic association for more than 25 years and someone who has been active in civics for at least 35 years, I take umbrage in the headline “Smith, Padavan lead the pack in Albany pork” in the Mar. 25-31 editions of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Bill in Legislature will protect victims of domestic violence

Recently, a press conference was held at City Hall initiated by state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) in order to advance Assembly Bill No. A2599 and Bill No. 515 in the state Senate. This bill, which has been introduced and reintroduced during the last three years, is geared toward protecting victims from domestic violence. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Inner Circle rehearsal delivers rollicking funny political satire

Happy birthday to me! What could be a more apropos day — April Fool’s Day? The only question is who was playing the joke on who? Several of you have asked me how old I am. Do you like the Jack Benny answer — 39 again, of course! Or do you prefer a variation of the military: Don’t ask me, as I won’t tell! Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: This April Fool’s Day, don’t just settle for any old prank

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Comment.

March, 2010

Opinion

Dishing with Dee: State Conservative Party backs Lazio for guv

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Apparently we have survived another winter. There are unmistakable signs of our spring flowers coming back to life so we can all rejoice in that good feeling. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Tree planting in boro serves to celebrate Jewish holiday

MillionTreesNYC is working hard to plant a million trees by 2017 by planting one tree at a time. On Jan. 29 at the American-Israel Friendship Grove in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the consulate general of Israel in New York, the Queens Jewish Community Council and the city Parks Department planted a tree in celebration of the Jewish holiday of trees, Tu’ Bishvat. This new tree will be counted as part of the MillionTreesNYC program. Comment.
Letters

Do not cut senior funding from state budget

There is no doubt New York state is facing a fiscal crisis the likes of which we have not seen in decades. As a result, Gov. David Paterson has proposed a budget that includes drastic spending cuts. Comment.
Letters

Banning use of salt in city eateries a dangerous and foolish proposition

Several state Assembly members have sponsored a bill to prohibit the use of salt in the preparation of food by restaurants with fines of up to $1,000 per violation. While perhaps well-intentioned, this is incredibly ill-advised. Comment.
Letters

Columnist’s take on GOP leadership contained many errors

This is in response to Dee Richard’s recent column, in which she implied that there are two acting chairmen of the Queens Republican Party. Comment.
Letters

A subject of Dishing with Dee column refutes her claims

In her latest column, Dee Richard writes that we should “Let sleeping dogs lie,” only several paragraphs after she concocts untruthful fantasies about three members of my family. Wonderful! Toss a grenade, and then offer a peace agreement. Comment.
Letters

Night out reveals disturbing truth

On a recent Saturday night, my wife and I attended a bar mitzvah at a Long Island restaurant. Our table seating card read Table No. 2, where we were seated with a bunch of strangers including curmudgeons, merry widows and a pair of married folks who looked like they were in their late 50s — about our age. Comment.
Letters

State Legislature must pass law allowing cleaner heating oil

As citizens concerned about our environment, we urge the state Senate and state Assembly to pass their respective bills — S.1145-A and A.8642 — which will protect the public health and reduce air pollution by requiring No. 2 heating oil, the most widely used, to meet the same refining standards the federal government currently mandates for diesel oil used in vehicles. Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a better raise

It is incomprehensible that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants teachers to only get a 2 percent raise as a result of the budget crisis affecting the city. This is an insult to every teacher who teaches in the city public school system. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Going Green in Queens offers a fun time for free

Remember a few weeks ago? In one of my columns during one of those ugly weather spells, I encouraged you to hold on because spring could soon arrive. Well, here it is. Welcome, sweet springtime, and all the wonderful events that are coming along with it. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Padavan should have helped fix Senate

Stephen Sondheim has gotten a great deal of play recently for his wonderful song “Send in the Clowns” thanks to the malfunction of the state Legislature, aided by the Queens Three. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Passover and Easter share a number of similarities

Don’t be agnostic — be something. — Robert Frost Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: State Conservative Party backs Lazio for guv

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Apparently we have survived another winter. There are unmistakable signs of our spring flowers coming back to life so we can all rejoice in that good feeling. Comment.
Letters

Let state conduct better traffic study

On behalf of the Northeast Queens Community Action Network, I am writing to join with the National Resource Defense Council as well as other concerned citizens and groups in expressing concern over discrepancies in study results that could mean greater effects on traffic mobility, noise and air pollution and congestion than anticipated. Comment.
Letters

Interstate buses must have seat belts

As legal counsel to the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association at the time, I was able to get signatures from a number of the organization’s members on a petition supporting seat belts on such buses. At a meeting of the association, Weiner said he supported such a proposal to protect people on such buses. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg, Klein must stop running schools like businesses

City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein sits as chairman on the board of directors of the Eli Broad Foundation. Eli Broad is a billionaire and philanthropist who wishes to throw a lot of money at schools — not just public schools. He believes in the privatization of schools and that schools must be run like businesses in order for them to succeed. Comment.
Letters

Do not combine two boro bus routes

This is incorrect. Did he ever study Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus maps? If so, he would know the Q76 starts at the Jamaica bus terminal, serves two Hillside Avenue subway stations and seven schools and finishes at the College Point shopping center. The MTA estimated travel time is 50 minutes for this route. Comment.
Letters

Raw data can be misleading in report on Queens’ health

As a surgeon dedicated to improving patient care here in Queens, I have taken the liberty of adding some context to the statistics used in the article in the hopes that this can help further educate the public. Comment.
Letters

Discount factory outlets offer more torture than fun for Dad

Just over an hour’s drive, with cars zipping by me at speeds approaching 100 mph, we arrived at the congested parking lots where our first stop was Coach. The line inside to purchase an exchanged purse was long. Oh, what fun it is to stand on a rigid line all day. Comment.
Letters

MTA must not eliminate the student MetroCard pass

For the sake of my constituents, I oppose these proposed cuts and funding reductions proposed by the MTA, especially eliminating the student MetroCard passes, which targets a half-million schoolchildren. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said “the MTA can no longer afford to subsidize this free service,” a reference to the 1995 agreement it made with the city and state splitting the cost, each paying $45 million. During this fiscal year, the state paid $6 million and the city $45 million. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Bayside’s ‘Gentleman Jim’ left boxing for acting career

Though James John Corbett’s pugilistic history as a world champion in boxing was short, it was one full of honor and acclaim. Born in California, he later made his home in Bayside. His house, only a few blocks from my own home, is still extant. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Primaries often prove damaging to Queens Dem candidates

In the 19th Council District, Kevin Kim entered the Democratic primary against five other candidates, all of whom had more name recognition. When the final vote was spread out over six candidates, however, anything can happen and did. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Issue of boro GOP leadership continues to remain unclear

Of course, deny, deny was the mantra of the day. Unfortunately, there were numerous people who also heard the remarks, but Commissioner Judith Stupp owes her job as well as her son’s job to Phil Ragusa — the same Ragusa who almost secured the executive director’s position on the city Board of Elections for her husband, Herb Stupp, who was not selected. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Spring cleaning has nothing on having to paint the house

E.B., add painting to your list. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Going Green in Queens 2010 brims with nature workshops

The date is March 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The place will be the big, beautiful Al Oerter Recreational Center at 121−40 Fowler Ave. in Flushing, right off College Point Boulevard. It is easily accessible by the No. 7 train Willets Point station, the Q8 at the corner of College Point Boulevard and Fowler Avenue or car with free parking near the center. Admission, workshops, giveaways, food and fun will be free. Please pre−register by e−mailing herr281761@aol.com or ggiq2010@yahoo.com. Comment.
Letters

Do not cut funding in budget to state parks

The $6.3 million saved through proposed park closures would amount to a fraction of 1 percent of the state’s $8.2 billion budget gap. Comment.
Letters

Queens GOP leadership is clear and undisputed

The TimesLedger should perhaps require some minimum amount of fact−checking before going to print, e.g., by checking with me, checking with Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, or with the state GOP. Comment.
Letters

Civic wants PS 130 to become a locally zoned school again

The kindergarten−through−third−grade school is at 200−01 42nd Ave., on the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside. Geographically, this school is in District 26. Local students are currently bused to other elementary schools, so students who are bused to PS 130 from other neighborhoods throughout District 25 in Flushing have priority placement at the school. Comment.
Letters

Make Toyota pay for faulty vehicles

This is outrageous and unacceptable to the American people. A car should and must be 100 percent safe to drive. People should not have to worry about brake and accelerator problems with their vehicles. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Kew Gardens senator blew whistle on Creedmoor abuse in’ 43

District Attorney Charles F. Sullivan decided to present the attack and the circumstances surrounding it to a Queens grand jury. It would be the third time in eight years that a grand jury had looked into the affairs of Creedmoor. It was investigated in 1935 as the result of 15 violent deaths in 12 months and again in 1939 on reports that patients had been brutally beaten. Initial findings of the probe were that attendants at Creedmoor were making only $54 a month and that, out of the normal attendant staff of 500, there were 157 vacancies. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Gillibrand gives keynote speech at Dem group’s 51st luncheon

It would seem the general consensus is that there is a serious health hazard due to the presence of lead in earth samples taken from under the Throgs Neck Bridge. There were piles of rubble and debris along the shoreline also containing toxic materials. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: This St. Patrick’s Day partake of some authentic Irish cuisine

St. Patrick’s Day, with its shamrocks, leprechauns and the wearin’ of the green, river−dances in March 17. It is one of the oldest holidays observed in the United States. It began centuries ago in Ireland and was brought to this country by Irish immigrants in 1737. The fete is usually celebrated with a parade. The elaborate festivities in Dublin have become known as the “Irish Mardi Gras.” Comment.
Letters

Mayor, stop the MTA’s planned cuts

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Albany must pass domestic abuse bill

I applaud TimesLedger Newspapers for highlighting an important bill sponsored by state Sens. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) after the recent murder of a woman allegedly by her stalker despite having an order of protection against him. Comment.
Letters

Flier informed voters of Friedrich’s views on hate

Apparently, Robert Friedrich and the Republicans feel bitter following their overwhelming rejection by the voters (“Friedrich urges CB 13 to denounce mailing,” Little Neck Ledger, Feb. 25). That may explain their complaints about a mailing aimed at exposing Friedrich’s opposition to stronger criminal penalties for hate crimes. So let me pose this question: Is a neo-Nazi who paints a swastika on a synagogue, a school or the car or home of a Jewish family the same as a child who tags a subway car? Comment.
Letters

Americans should be more patriotic

It was certainly interesting and exciting in Flushing with all the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Isn’t it wonderful that people from all over the world can come to this great country and live the American Dream? Comment.
Letters

Common saying often misquoted

Regarding Alex Berger’s Feb. 18 TimesLedger Newspapers column “Money a very useful thing, but still the root of all evil,” the correct quote is “Greed is the root of all evil,” translated from the Latin “cupiditas radix malorum est.” Comment.
Letters

Give city workers increases in pay

This really takes the cake. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said teachers must only accept a 2 percent pay raise due to budgetary problems. This from a man who gave pay raises to his staff. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Negative effects on government can come from ethnic politics

John Sabini, a former City Councilman, was elected to the state Senate in 2002 and won re-election easily in 2004. In 2006, former Councilman Hiram Monserrate, better known as Senator Slash, challenged him and came within 200 votes of replacing him. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Boro GOP recognizes 2 heads of party pending court hearing

Just whose ox is being gored here and why? You must have all noticed the proliferation of items in the newspapers about Mayor Michael Bloomberg giving money to the Independence Party and John and Bart Haggerty brothers. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Public meets GOP opponents who will challenge Ackerman

In a recent discussion with Queens County Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa, he expressed an optimistic view for the immediate future. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Berger family made good use out of old bed for many years

Sleep faster, we need the pillows. — Yiddish proverb Comment.

February, 2010

Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Applaud volunteers who helped victims of earthquake in Haiti

Now that Black History Month has arrived again, the U.S. Postal Service and the Jamaica Postal Advisory Committee are hard at work preparing this year’s Black History Month stamp unveiling. This year, the stamp will honor a brave, multi-talented young man who joined the U.S. Navy to see the world. His name was Doris “Dorie” Miller. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Planned charter commission must keep powers of beep, CBs

Borough President Helen Marshall was sworn in for her third term with high hopes at York College, but civic leaders have concerns about the plans City Hall has for charter revision. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a new Charter Revision Commission, which is unnecessary unless City Hall wants to take power away from the communities of the outer boroughs and centralize it in Manhattan. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Take time out of your day to volunteer for an elected

The rites of spring, Queens-style, have officially begun. It was both my honor and pleasure to once again be asked to serve on the Queens Theater in the Park Gala Committee. Comment.
Letters

Protest DOE for decision to close schools

A recent travesty regarding the city Department of Education is its decision to close 19 schools. This will affect students, teachers and staff at each of these places. It is incomprehensible that city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and his committee could vote to do this. Comment.
Letters

Halloran should challenge Ackerman for Congress

Recently I attended a Tea Party event focused on interviewing candidates to take on U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) in the Fifth Congressional District. Comment.
Letters

Shed light on MTA’s holdings

I read TimesLedger Newspapers’ article about Gov. David Patterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg fighting about helping the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Bloomy rips guv’s plan to help MTA,” Feb. 11), which is a sore issue with me these days mostly because I believe the MTA has been wasting money for years and is holding on to real estate that generates no income. Comment.
Letters

Klein, mayor didn’t hear public on school closings

Your Feb. 4-10 editorial was right on the money: “Chancellor Klein Goes to School.” Yes he did, but he did not learn anything. Nor has he learned anything from the students, parents and different community organizations who say he is wrong in his approach to the education of children. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Winter weather lowers moods, but spring just ‘round corner

Take Winter as you find him, and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow, with no nonsense in him, and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run. — James Russell Lowell Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Boro suffered through heavy snow, rain storms in 1920s

In February 1926, former Borough Presidents Maurice Connolly of Queens and Julius Miller of Manhattan sent a letter to the city Board of Estimate proposing an East River tunnel to relieve congestion on the Queensboro Bridge, which at that time was only 17 years old. Comment.
Letters

Pay tribute to real heroes

The 80 returning police and fire emergency workers who worked feverishly in earthquake-ravaged Haiti to help rescue victims buried in the rubble are to be commended for their indomitable spirit and valor. Comment.
Letters

Elected leaders must not cut jobs in city and state budgets

Here we go again! As if we have not suffered enough, another brutal whammy — this time from both the city and state governments. New York City’s gloom and doom budget, released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spells tough times ahead. Comment.
Letters

Hold Weprin, Bearak accountable for controversial campaign flier

Last week, a special election was decided in the 24th State Assembly District, pitting me against David Weprin. The results of that election are now tarnished due to my opponent’s use of political hate mail tactics — specifically a disturbing flier that was timed to arrive in mailboxes four days prior to the election in which I had little or no time to respond. Comment.
Letters

State should keep close eye on lotto funds

Seems to me that every time a politician takes over, one of the first things he or she does is explain to us New Yorkers that New York has some sort of deficit. Are we to believe that with all the Lotto money and other games of chance going on for over 30 years we are still behind the eight ball? Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Friedrich Assembly campaign hard-fought despite losing race

The Feb. 9 special election for the 24th State Assembly District seat between Democrats David Weprin and Bob Friedrich, who was running as a Republican, ended with Weprin winning by a decisive margin. Friedrich, however, made an impressive showing getting close to 40 percent of the vote. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Money a very useful thing, but still the root of all evil

I’m a dollar bill. I’m not on speaking terms with the meat manager at the supermarket. I’m too small to buy a pint of ice cream. I can’t buy a gallon of gas. I’m hardly big enough as a tip. But on Sunday, in the collection box, I’m considered a big deal! — Milton Berle Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens Village GOP club honors Betsy McCaughey

In between Mother Nature’s flexing her winter muscles, there seems to be a glimmer of indications that spring is on the way. Be of good cheer — this winter can’t last forever and will soon be over. Comment.
Opinion

South Queens Speaks: Howard Beach Jewish center plays host to Nostalgia King

The Rockwood Park Jewish Center in Howard Beach recently had a nostalgia night featuring the King of Nostalgia Joe Franklin, who has been a television and radio personality for more than 45 years. Local residents came out to ask Franklin to talk about old-time show business personalities and hear his jokes. Comment.
Letters

Haiti earthquake testament to human spirit

It is wonderful to see so many nations, including our own, having responded to the massive earthquake in Haiti. While there are many ideological differences across the globe, there is one important commonality that links all of us: We are human. Comment.
Letters

Supreme Court ruling gives businesses power to decide elections

Five-four: That Supreme Court proportion sends chills down one’s spine and should down the spine of our country. Back in 2000, that sole lifetime appointment position of one of the three branches of our federal government, the judicial, decided the presidential candidate with the popular vote of the American people would not occupy the Oval Office by halting the Florida recount vote, which might have given the candidate the electoral vote as well. Comment.
Letters

Move KSM trial out of Manhattan

For many reasons, New Yorkers dread the upcoming spectacle of the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorists in the federal courthouse in Manhattan’s Foley Square. A double ring of security will turn the area into a combination of an armed camp and the airport security lines on the day before Thanksgiving. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens Theater in the Park plays host to award ceremony

Were you all glad or sorry that the horrendous storm predicted for our area stopped and fizzled out when it hit New Jersey? For those of you who were sorry, be of good cheer as the weather forecasters are predicting another storm of the same ferocity this week. For those of you who were glad we missed the storm, you had better think about getting your snow shovels, mittens and scarves ready for this week’s storm. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Two Elmhurst teens venture into the city

The recent reopening of the crown of the Statue of Liberty, a much-anticipated event, brought back memories of my first trip to that monument. Over the years, I have visited the Statue of Liberty several times, but only once did I go into the crown. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: In 19th century, Jax Hts. home to a college for circus training

During the 19th century, circuses played an important role in entertainment. Most of what we take for granted — be it movies, video games, television and radio — were far into the future. Entertainment opportunities were simple and homespun. More than 90 percent of the country lived on farms or small towns. Theaters or concerts, if they existed, were put on by local schools or churches. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Valentine’s Day tailor-made for kissing, the sport of lovers

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved. — George Sand Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Law must come down harder on Queens graffiti vandals

Ever since the momentous Obama election campaign, the world of politics seems to be spinning faster and faster — sometimes in unexpected ways. Some politicos, once elected, assume the position will be theirs forever. Sometimes they are forced to leave for one reason or another, including when a new face appears and makes a sensational entrance. When that happens, everyone may try to rationalize why. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Illegal conversions endanger residents due to fire hazards

The headline of an article in the December 2009 North Flushing Civic Association newsletter read “Save Lives — Report Illegal Apartments.” The article explained that our city is asking residents to report suspected illegal conversions and apartments. Comment.
Letters

Try to get financial aid for college early

Each winter, New Yorkers and families across the country are confronted with one of the most crucial financial concerns regarding their teenage children: how to pay for their college education. Comment.
Letters

Albany failed city’s schoolchildren

Politics as usual is still the name of the game in Albany as the state Legislature last week passed up to $700 million from the federal government in needed education funding. It was unable to get its act together and pass the federally mandated legislation on charter schools that would have made those funds available. Comment.
Letters

Federal gov’t, state must pass laws prohibiting the sale of expired foods

While grocery shopping in a local supermarket recently, I purchased a package of pepperoni I found in a display case at the end of the produce section. Upon opening the package at home and biting into one of the slices, I experienced a foul, uncharacteristic taste. In looking on the package, I saw that the expiration date had passed a while prior to my purchase. Comment.
Letters

CB 11 looks out for welfare of Bayside community

As a member of Community Board 11, I take exception to the Jan. 14 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “The ‘Dangerous’ Sign,” in which you ridiculed the vote by the board to have the illuminated sign in front of Bayside High School removed. Comment.
Letters

Come together and help Haiti

It is critical that we as a nation stand together to help the Haitian people begin the long and painful recovery from the massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck Jan. 12. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Weprins and Avella ready for upcoming election bids

The annual Bayside Taste of Food event was held last week at the Cue Restaurant on the corner of Northern and Bell boulevards. It’s a great place to have a food tasting. All the pool tables are covered up with plywood boards and thereby make excellent banquet tables to both display and serve the food available for tasting. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Boro love of ice skating began in the 19th century by dancer

A sight or sound can take you back to another time, especially at this time of year with cold, crisp days and the possibility of snow falling. Memories return of pastimes triggered by the sight of a small pond once nestled in a forest. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Year of the Tiger promises to bring tumultuous events

Thank God for the Chinese. Without them, what would the rest of us eat? Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: GOP could come back in 2010 Queens races

The Massachusetts miracle of 2010, in which state Sen. Scott Brown (R-Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex) defeated Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in an upset U.S. Senate race, has a precedent in the not-too-distant past. In the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race of 1952, incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. was defeated in an upset race by Democrat John F. Kennedy. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Difficult times like these call for people to do good

There has been another security breach at John F. Kennedy International Airport. A man had been fortunate enough to escape the devastation in Haiti caused by a powerful earthquake but ignored a plainly marked warning sign on a door to stay out and walked right through. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Community, alumni back keeping Jamaica HS open

On Jan. 7, a public hearing was held with city Department of Education representatives, the city School Leadership Team and the community to discuss the DOE’s proposal to close Jamaica High School. A capacity crowd of parents, students, alumni, civic association members and representatives from other schools slated for closing filled the school’s auditorium. Comment.
Letters

Live life in light of safety concerns

With the recent near-tragedy on Christmas Day involving that young man who came close to blowing up an airliner, I wonder if we as Americans are really safe anywhere anymore. Comment.
Letters

Protect children’s education despite state budget problems

Thanks to everyone who joined our petition to Gov. David Paterson to restore the education funding to our schools. Our collective actions have forced the governor to repay school districts and local governments the money he withheld last month. We objected to this plan because it meant balancing the budget on the backs of our children. Comment.
Letters

Health bill should cover everyone

The health care reform bill is truly historic. But if it is so necessary and crucial to our survival, why do the provisions take effect in 2014? Why have selected groups been exempted, some until 2018, in order to get them to support and vote for it? Comment.
Letters

Reserve certain space for community facilities

With the North Flushing rezoning recently completed and the Auburndale rezoning underway, one big problem continues to plague our area. It seems now more than ever community facilities continue to proliferate at an alarming rate. Comment.
Letters

City’s reasoning for wanting to close Jamaica HS based on faulty statistics

Jamaica High School is a magnificent building — a beacon on a hill that stands out in a distinctly middle-class neighborhood in Queens. It is majestic and elegant — a landmark that exudes history. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Qns. Republican Party backs candidates for guv, Assembly

The Queens Republican Party Executive Committee has begun 2010 with three important candidate endorsements. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Three boro pols have harmed NY Senate for selfish reasons

The Queens Three, the state senators who helped make the legislative scene in Albany one of total chaos and irresponsibility and gave rise to former Mayor Ed Koch’s comment that Albany had become a “banana republic,” are two Democrats and one Republican. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Candidates for Queens races get ready for local campaigns

This week, for the first time in a long time, seemed to be rather slow at least as far my sphere is concerned. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: This February, remember whites who fought slavery

A people without knowledge of its history is like a tree without roots. — Marcus Garvey Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: LIRR’s expansion in 1904 created the Sunnyside Yards

On Jan. 31, 1904, the Long Island Rail Road made public the largest expansion program in its history. In an era of ambitious programs that revolutionized travel in and about the city — the subway was about to open and three bridges were planned for the East River — the railroad was determined to position itself to handle traffic for the newly expanded city of New York, which sprawled over five counties. Comment.

January, 2010

Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Friedrich hopes to give Weprin run for money in Albany race

Weather often seems to like to surprise us. That has been the case in this new year. So far we have seen no hint of global warming. In fact, on a bitterly cold Jan. 9 former City Council candidate Bob Friedrich held a press conference to announce his candidacy for the upcoming state Assembly seat formerly held by current Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Hollis), who recently replaced his brother David Weprin on the Council. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Pupils, teachers must benefit from education improvements

The battle over learning in our schools rages on. As this column has said in the past, about 30 percent to 40 percent of the total number of students do not graduate yet our society must have educated students who know facts and can critically think. Comment.
Letters

David Weprin campaign has wrong idea of the opposition

Last week, I announced my candidacy for the state Assembly in the 24th Assembly District in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people on the coldest day of the year (“Friedrich to run in Assembly race,” Queens Village Times, Jan. 14). Comment.
Letters

Compromise on Bayside HS sign

Shame on Community Board 11. Instead of embracing the fact that Bayside High School, which has been maligned in past years, wants to crow about its tremendous successes of late, the CB 11 picks on a petty annoyance and votes to have the school’s new sign removed (“Bayside High should remove sign: CB 11,” Bayside Times, Jan. 7). Comment.
Letters

Teachers deserve good salary for their work

Well, here we are in the new year and New York City public school teachers still do not have a new contract in place. What is going on? Certainly there should not be any doubt that us teachers deserve a decent and just salary increase that will help us keep up with everyday increases in prices from shoes to food to rent to health and auto insurance and other expenses. Comment.
Letters

Pupil allowed to take needed class

In the Dec. 10 TimesLedger Newspapers letter “Qns. College shouldn’t cancel key courses for low enrollment,” Teresa Lawrence, who is enrolled in our Continuing Education Program, cited her difficulty in registering for the last class she needs to obtain her EKG certificate. Comment.
Letters

Teachers, students at Cambria Hts. school protest MTA MetroCard cuts

On Dec. 12, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority executive board voted on its 2010 budget. In the budget was the elimination of student MetroCards starting in September with the half-fare MetroCard and the following September with the full-fare card. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Addabbo’s role as a senator based on constituents’ views

In the 15th State Senate District in western Queens, Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) has represented the people of that area for the past year after winning a decisive victory over former Sen. Serf Maltese in 2008. Maltese had represented the district for 20 years. Addabbo does not credit President Barack Obama with his 2008 election success, but believes the voters of his district wanted change. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Boro candidates should obtain support of more than one party

There was so much going on last week there wasn’t enough room to include all of the events. The following announcement was left out, so we will make it first this week. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Columnist becomes famous for brushing celebrity elbows

Fame is a bee./It has a song—/It has a sting—/Ah, too, it has a wing. — Emily Dickinson Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Sleighing became winter sport, transportation in late 1800s

Through the years, the variety of pastimes and the popular interest in them have changed. Some sporting pastimes have all but disappeared. Among these was sleighing, which prevailed from the 1840s through the 1880s. Comment.
Opinion

Second Thoughts on Jamaica High School

When the bureaucrats at the city Department of Education were considering closing down Jamaica High School, did it ever occur to them to consult parents of currently enrolled students, alumni and the Jamaica community? Did they visit the school and speak with students and teachers? Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: High school pupils in Queens excel in many fields of study

One of the positive things taking place in Queens high schools is that two students from Francis Lewis High School and one from Stuyvesant HS in November won the team category at the Region Four Finals in the 2009 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Comment.
Letters

City shows hypocrisy in its desire to close Jamaica HS

I oppose the closing of Jamaica High School not because I am an alumna, but because I know that thanks to dedicated teachers the school is capable of creating scholars and giving students the time and attention they need. I am confident the school can overcome its recent struggles and those knowledgeable about other large high schools slated for closure could make similar arguments to those I can make for Jamaica HS. Comment.
Letters

Resolve to make the city greener

As the giant crystal ball descended to the cheers of a million revelers in Times Square New Year’s Eve, countless New Yorkers rang in the new year with resolutions. Comment.
Letters

Reader should get his facts straight on columnist

Stewart J. Frimer of Forest Hills, a reader of TimesLedger Newspapers, took issue with William Lewis’ Dec. 17 column “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies.” He sent a letter to the editor published in the Dec. 31 issue. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Qns. pols must answer for Albany debacle

Many years ago, when the world and I were younger, a New Yorker could take pride in the status of the state government. Former Govs. Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert H. Lehman and others showed the way to the rest of the nation on how to serve the citizens of a state. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Malba Market still going despite its bumpy history

There were three more inaugurations this week. The first was City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s at 6 p.m. Saturday evening at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Astoria. The second was Councilman Danny Dromm’s Sunday at 1 p.m. at Queens Theater in the Park. The third was Councilman Peter Koo’s, also on Sunday, at 2 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Seminerio’s district could produce hot races in 2010

The 38th State Assembly District in western Queens, which includes parts of Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale and Ridgewood, is on the Brooklyn-Queens border and for almost 30 years has been represented by former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who resigned last June. He will soon be sentenced in federal court for taking monetary payments through an illegal consulting firm. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of Jewish people

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. — Martin Luther King Jr. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of Jewish people

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. — Martin Luther King Jr. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Some nice surprises end ‘09 despite airplane terror fiasco

Hopefully, some nice things happened in your life before 2009 came to an end. I had my share. Comment.
Opinion

South Queens Speaks: Achievers of America holds its annual Christmas party

Sting Ray as Elvis Presley and a secret Santa Claus came bearing gifts and song last week at the 12th-annual Christmas party for the Achievers of America, which was held at the Palace Diner in Flushing. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: City must test its buildings for their structural integrity

A scandal was disclosed that Testwell Laboratories was accused of faking the results of thousands of tests of concrete and steel used in constructing buildings in the city, according to Crain’s New York Business. The tests are necessary to make sure the quality of the steel and mix of concrete were proper to hold up the structures being built, the paper reported. Comment.
Letters

MTA bigwig benefits make transit riders pay too much

Does it ever occur to state Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Glendale) and his colleagues who protest the Metropolitan Transportation Authority cuts that if they did not pay the transit workers fantastic salaries and health and retirement benefits, the people who use the subways would not have the financial problems they have now. Comment.
Letters

Protest proposed MTA transit cuts

As we begin the new year in earnest, we face a challenge to mass transit service that helps make a difference to our quality of life in eastern Queens. Certain cuts proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to address its revenue shortfall make no sense and the effects fall on our young, seniors and hard-working residents who work off-hours. Comment.
Letters

State Senate acted shamefully by not legalizing gay marriage

New York state has been given the opportunity to join the advanced civil culture of the United States, but failed. Comment.
Letters

National health care reform bill must treat New York state better

The U.S. Senate bill, as presently promulgated, would burden New York taxpayers in excess of $1 billion in extra Medicaid costs while denying critical aid to city hospitals that serve the poor. The feds would pick up almost all the initial costs states would bear by providing Medicaid coverage to everyone up to 133 percent of the poverty level. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: By dropping out, Giuliani gave up shot at presidency

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has recently announced he will not be running against appointed U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2010. This came as a surprise to some political observers, since most major polls showed him far ahead of Gillibrand. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Newly sworn-in politicians celebrate wins with parties

This was the week of inaugurations. On Dec. 30, Mayor Michael Bloomberg swore in Dan Halloran, Peter Koo, Eric Ulrich, Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo in the City Council chambers into the Council. It was a short but impressive ceremony, well-attended even though it was a workday afternoon. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Columnist finds enduring the C-Scope humiliating

Doctor, I have some dimes stuck in my ear.” “How long have they been there?” “A year.” “Why didn’t you come in sooner?” “I didn’t need the money.” Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Holiday parties held by civics help to usher out the old year

There has been so much going on I hardly know where to begin. The normal aspects of life — birth, illness or injury and death — continue in spite of massive government and holiday activities. We wish that all the sad things have been kept to a minimum and those involved have been at least somewhat uplifted by the beauty of the season — yes, including that big pile of snow that blew our way. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Special needs kids receive day of pampering at Fresh Mdws. spa

In mid-December, Larry Mottola, his staff and numerous volunteers and neighbors provided free beauty care for developmentally disabled children and young adults from the community and a couple of special schools in Queens at the LP Salon and Spa on Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows. Comment.
Letters

Forecasters have poor winter track record

What is going on with this weather? Last week we had from 13 inches to 26 inches of snow and this past weekend, in one night, most of it was all washed away by a storm with temperatures into the 50s. Comment.
Letters

Reader takes issue with columnist’s views on U.S. politics

Where to start in responding to Bill Lewis’ Dec. 17 column, “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies”? Comment.
Letters

Governor, MTA don’t put our children first

The state Legislature rightly rejected Gov. David Paterson’s original plan to cut $686 million from classrooms across the state, which would have been devastating by eliminating programs and faculties in the middle of the school year. The governor is now withholding 10 percent of school funding — $146 million — in his effort to fix the state budget. Comment.
Letters

Sharpton meets match in PBA prez Palladino

I would like to comment on the Dec. 24 TimesLedger article “City Council approves street renaming for Sean Bell.” Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Helicopter service from JFK to midtown proved a failure

For those of us of a certain age, childhood memories of the world of the future had promises fulfilled (computers, miniature television and cameras), promises yet unfulfilled (space tourism to other planets) and promises best unfulfilled (indiscriminate use of nuclear energy). Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Not all 2007 wishes have come true

Two years ago at this time, I was at the beginning of what turned out to be 51 days in the hospital and rehab. But before I went into St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, L.I., on Christmas Eve morning in 2007, I had written a column on resolutions for Jan. 3, 2008. On Dec. 26, Elaine sent off that column to the editors at TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: End-of-year bashes bring out noteworthy names from boro

This will be the last column for 2009 and thank heaven for that. This has not exactly been a blue banner year for me. If anything could have possibly gone wrong, it did. Hopefully 2010 will be better. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: GOP gears up for comeback in 2010 elections in Queens

During the recent City Council election in the 19th Council District in northeast Queens, the elected Republican candidate, Dan Halloran, stressed overdevelopment. He also strongly indicated that the city Department of Buildings is not accurately checking city Building Code violations, especially illegal conversions. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Resolve to improve your life as you ring in the new year

Resolve never to take a memory course from a man who has his pants on backward. Comment.
CNG: Community Newspaper Group