One daughter’s love

Dear Dad,
On the day my little bleary eyes first opened, I raised them to the stars, and there you were.
You have always made me feel safe, even when that meant putting yourself in harm’s way.
When things don’t go quite as I’d hoped and planned, I knew I could always count on you for a comforting hand on my shoulder and words of encouragement.
You always showed me how to stand up for myself and my beliefs.
Thank you for being the FRIEND I could always turn to.
Thank you for being the HERO I could always count on.
Thank you for being my FATHER. I love you, Dad.
Rida Fatima, 13, of Queens to her father, Syed Zaidi

Smelly treatment
I have just finished my first year of living on Hazen Street in Steinway. The smells emanating from the Bowery Bay sewage treatment plant have gotten to me. Two weeks ago, I sent emails to Councilman Vallone and the DEP. I have yet to hear from either of them concerning what can and should be done to relieve these malodors so that the residents can enjoy the outdoors and not have to live indoors behind closed doors and windows.
In the year of living on Hazen Street, I have not read one article about this problem. Perhaps articles have been written before my moving to Steinway. This might be a good subject for an upcoming article for your fine newspaper. I enjoy reading about local developments and persue my copies of The Queens Courier from cover to cover.
Pierre Vautravers

Fix neglected park site
I was surprised that the N.Y. State Pavilion has made a global list of most neglected sites. The World Monuments Fund, a Manhattan-based non-profit organization, released its list of 100 of the world’s most endangered sites and the Pavilion is on this list. Quite frankly, the 43-year-old relic, which is an icon to most of us in Queens, is in serious peril.
There are other structures on this list like China’s Great Wall, Spain’s Aqueduct, and the Taj Mahal in India.
I consider the N.Y. State Pavilion, built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a piece of history and one which should not be forgotten.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he wants to make our parks beautiful and more enjoyable. Let us start with Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and restore the N.Y. State Pavilion. The city has announced it has a $4 billion budget surplus; maybe $30 million or so could be used to restore this icon.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Gays have good blood too
Alas, this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed a large pothole on the road to progress to remain without repair. The FDA renewed its ban on blood donations from homosexual men, a prohibition that dates back two-dozen years.
The prohibition was enacted in 1983; two years after the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States, the early stage of an international epidemic. The ban was created when scientific understanding of AIDS and HIV had not yet evolved.
It is widely understood today and proven scientifically that AIDS is spread through unprotected sex, intravenous drug use and blood transfusions. AIDS is not a gay issue but a human issue.
It is beyond unfortunate and simply discriminatory for the FDA to target the gay community by such a ban. All donors - regardless of their persuasion and identity - should be carefully screened through the same process, and not pigeonholed as potential AIDS carriers simply by who they wish to love.
That the FDA continues to prohibit gay men from donating blood is not only discriminatory. It also stymies a well-intentioned group from doing their part to meet the well-publicized needs of the health community to address substantial blood shortages.
Alfonso Quiroz
Jackson Heights

In praise of I.S. 25
The families of New York City schools go through a daunting time when they go through the high school selection process, filled with open houses, selections, deadlines and anticipation while they wait for the results.
The families of District 25 got a taste of this a few years early as they went through this process for middle school. January of 2007 was filled with open houses of every K-8, Middle School and New School located in District 25.
As a parent who has just gone through the process it was a blessing to know that my child’s zoned school has everything a parent could want and need and I would not have to look further than I.S. 25.
I.S. 25 is the highest-rated Middle School with the highest scores of the District. It has a District program to challenge the highest achievers, a teaching staff that is parallel to none with teachers who spark the interest of any and every student as long as they want to learn and even reaching students who did not think they wanted to learn.
A sign that I.S. 25, a zoned school, provides the academics needed for our children to enter high school is the number of students who are accepted into the Specialized High Schools surpasses the number of students in the Honors Program along with the countless students who are accepted into their first choice of high school.
There is also a guidance staff to help students and parents through the rough “Middle Years” and activities for students and families that leave everyone smiling and with memories of a great school and lifetime experience.
I am glad to know that one does not need to look further than their zoned school to get the education our children our owed. I.S. 25, you are great. Thank you for what you have given my first child, I know my second will get the same if not more.
Jane Reiff

Letters To The Editor
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