Is it possible there are people in Queens who are frustrated by the sight of men looking for work?
Last week we reported that some neighbors living close to the Hart Playground at 37th Avenue and 69th Street in Woodside have taken to calling 311 about the day laborers who wait each day near the park for contractors who pull off the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway looking for workers. The neighbors have also been calling Community Board 2 to complain about the day laborers and St. John’s Bread of Life mobile soup kitchen.
Sadly, CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley has decided to side with the complainers and not with the men looking for an honest day’s work. He knows where his bread is buttered and it is not in the soup kitchen. He has asked the mayor’s office to intervene.
If day laborers are riding on the swings and going down the slide, it did not happen while our reporter was there. The truth is with the exception of the restroom, which is open to the public, the day laborers are not interested in the playground. Nor have we heard even one report that they are bothering children.
Most of the day laborers appear to be Latinos and we assume many of them are Ecuadorian who have entered this country illegally. In some cases, the workers reportedly send much of what they earn to their families in Mexico who live under extreme conditions.
We have nothing but respect for any man willing to stand for hours for the chance to work. And they must do good work because the contractors keep coming back. Aside from the immigration issue, what is there to complain about?
Some of the complaining neighbors even had harsh words for the Catholic nuns who run the soup kitchen. “We’re trying to see how we can resolve the concerns of a few neighbors,” said Sister Kathryn Byrnes, who runs the mobile soup kitchen.
Byrnes should have told these cold-hearted complainers to get a life. The work these nuns do needs no defense.
We are stunned by the lack of compassion shown by the people complaining to CB 2 and 311 operators. They are an embarrassment to the thousands of good-hearted families who live in Woodside and want only the best for the young men who come looking for work.
©2009 Community News Group
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