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Correcting the record

We write to correct for the record a “check the facts” annotation in a recent mailing that accurately pointed out James Milano’s opposition to a woman’s right to choose. The mailer cited the Queens Courier as its source, when in fact the story was reported by the Queens Chronicle, Newsday and News 12. We regret that the citation was incorrect.

The Ackerman Campaign

Dangerous water meters?

It has just come to my attention that the Department of Environmental Protection has hired Constructamax to install small radio transmitters to water meters within the next three years.

These low-power transmitters will send water readings through a network of rooftop receivers to a computerized billing system up to four-times a day. If this system is hacked into, a potential thief could determine your schedule and when you are away for the weekend or on vacation just by knowing your water usage.

Is it worth the probability of this happening just so we can monitor our water usage every day? Furthermore, how many people are going to rush to the DEP web site daily to see if they have a leak?

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village


Finds fault with Commander

Based on your coverage of Lindenwood residents airing some complaints at the 106th Precinct Community Council, it would appear that Deputy Inspector Joseph G. Courtesis sounds more like a politician then the commander of our local precinct when he responds to residents’ complaints.

He tells area residents the best thing to do when you see a crime or potential crime is to call 9-1-1. Courtesis went on to say that, in effect, we should be happy here in Howard Beach and stop complaining about crime or potential crime, because compared to other areas in the 106th, our crime stats are comparatively low!

This is not the way to address area residents who are fearful and concerned enough to come to a precinct meeting and want more specific answers as to how the local precinct is going to deal with the issues that were raised.

Dave Shlakman

Howard Beach

Awesome power

The recent tornadoes and macroburst which swept through our area on Thursday, September 16, really was the most awesome display of Mother Nature’s power that I have ever witnessed.

I could not believe the extent of the damage done to so many trees.

While it was unfortunate and tragic that that young woman lost her life when her car was hit by a falling tree by the Grand Central Parkway, it was a miracle that so many more people were not killed or injured by this very severe storm as it roared through the area.

The various city agencies have done an excellent job of clearing streets of fallen trees and repairing fallen electrical, phone and cable lines.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Hate crimes on rise

During the past year, hate crimes against LGBT New Yorkers is up 16 percent, 49 hate crimes have been committed this year versus 42 hate crimes last year. This is a troubling and totally unacceptable statistic.

It seems like every time I turn on the news, you hear about another young LGBT teen committing suicide because they were bullied for being gay, you hear about New Yorkers being attacked at bars or in the streets for being gay or you hear politicians telling the public that being gay is a choice or being gay is wrong. What has happened to the New York that my Great Grandparents risked their lives to reach? What has happened to the New York that accepts everyone no matter their sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity?

New York is becoming a state where intolerance is becoming the norm and needs a comprehensive tolerance education curriculum to be taught in our city’s schools. If we educate our children to be more loving, tolerant and accepting of one another, perhaps we will have a city in which hate crimes are not committed at all.

Matthew Silverstein

Democratic State Committeemember, 26th AD


Parade for our troops

I believe the time has come for a parade for our heroes who served in Iraq. President Obama has declared an end to Operation Iraqi Freedom and now most of our brave troops are coming home.

Over 7 1/2 years, 1.5 million Americans have fought bravely during this conflict and 4,418 men and women have given their lives for freedom. Many of these veterans are returning home without arms, legs and in wheelchairs due to injuries, and some with mental problems. These brave Americans deserve a parade down the "Canyon of Heroes" in Manhattan.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village


Wasted food

In Jackson Heights, small shopkeepers/businesspeople are being forced from their livelihoods by exorbitant rents. Indeed many storefronts remain gated despite a "good" location and impressive daily pedestrian traffic. The landlord class – defined here as those who build and create nothing but feel somehow entitled to charge folks who actually do things outrageous ransom – are permitted to exist in a so-called civilized society.

Recently a Jackson Heights gourmet deli went out of business.

A statement declared:

"The Landlord has legal possession of these premises, pursuant to Warrant of Civil Court."

Sadly, perfectly edible food was left to rot. Even if it meant doing some actual work, could not some landlord type have sold it, say, at half price? Or simply set it on a table and given it away?

Peter Kropotkin

Jackson Heights


Bugged by bags of leaves

Every year during the fall, commercial gardeners go around the neighborhoods blowing and bagging leaves. They leave these large black garbage bags filled with leaves at the curbside to be picked up the Sanitation Department.

However, according to city regulations, the gardeners must take these bags and bring them to a city landfill for composting. One Sanitation supervisor I spoke to said that he would send someone over while the gardener was doing it – no one showed up.

The only way to solve this problem is for Sanitation not to pick up these bags.

Stephen Liebman

Oakland Gardens

Editors Note: Perhaps Sanitation should ticket the house the gardeners leave the bag(s) in front of and then charge the homeowner to have it removed or suffer an additional fine. Bet the commercial gardeners would do the right thing in a hurry.

Thank you Queens!

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

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a chance to celebrate survivorship and I want to applaud the many survivors who led the way. They are the reason we continue this struggle, and they remind us all of a very important message – we can defeat breast cancer if we all act as one. And it’s not too late to act.

If you were unable to join us at this year’s event and would like to make a contribution to the fight against breast cancer or have outstanding donations please visit You can also instantly donate $5 through our local Making Strides event by texting "HOPE" to 20222.

The American Cancer Society is also available anytime, day or night for cancer-related information, support and resources at 1-800-227-2345, or at

John Link, Director, Special Events

American Cancer Society

Pension age changes

I am amazed at the violent reaction to the raising of the retirement age in France where a full pension had been available at age 60, five years earlier than is now the case in Britain and the USA. The latter two are considering a smaller increase to 66 or 67 for new retirees.

All persons who are already collecting in those countries should be relieved. The machinery in every country and region needs to be lubricated with money that has to come from taxes, fees, surcharges, etc. There is no magic or new formula to replace these sources. If people want services, they have to pay for them.

Eugene Forsyth


A tip to the wise

There are a number of fine senior centers located in various sections of this borough. These centers are dedicated to satisfying and pleasing seniors in diverse ways.

If you are a curious person you will love the variety of discussion groups, yoga; Tai Chi, arts and crafts; aerobics and even free films.

Lunches are served from Monday to Friday.

In conclusion, do yourselves a "favor", seniors, and join a center. You will not regret doing so!

Leonore Brooks


Series draws praise

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and dedication in putting together such a remarkable and thorough series on domestic violence. I commend The Queens Courier for putting this issue front and center and thereby helping those who may find themselves in this situation to get the help they need.

Yolanda Jimenez

Commissioner, Mayor’s Office

to Combat Domestic Violence

Long time – no contract

Well, here it is, October, and to date, there is still no contract between the UFT and the DOE. 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. Lack of materials, overcrowded classrooms, disciplinary problems, and lack of support from school administrators are some of the very critical issues that need to be addressed with the DOE.

The teachers deserve a fair and just contract that will recognize how hard they work by paying them a decent, livable wage. Another important aspect of education is that teachers need to be always treated with respect and professionalism. That seems to be lacking.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Not a tree-hugger

During the week of October 4, I observed workers cutting tree-box impressions into the sidewalk on Austin Street, Forest Hills.

Existing rectangular cutouts which surround young trees cause pedestrians to sidestep to avoid walking on dirt, planted flowers or uneven, old cobblestones on which one could twist a foot or ankle.

Little trees growing into big ones have roots that pop through the ground to crack sidewalk and curbs. Growing tree branches also afford burglars the opportunity to climb onto fire escapes in front of the building and thereby gain access to numerous apartments.

I strongly urge the city to reconsider cutting up more of this busy sidewalk and to apply common sense and foresight in the greening of Forest Hills.

Dorothy M. Philipps

Forest Hills



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