Photo brings back memories

My wife, Anne Marie, spotted your photo contest in the September 6 issue of The Queens Courier and said, “Dan, isn’t this where you used to live?”
This beautiful structure - The Long Island City Courthouse - is located at 25-10 Court Square in Long Island City, NY, 11101.
The area has undergone tremendous changes since the building went up, but thanks to the efforts of preservationists and the skill and talents of the original builders, the courthouse has remained somewhat unchanged.
I believe the picture predates a disastrous fire in 1904 and reconstruction in 1908, where it went from two stories, to four stories.
What I remember was that behind the courthouse there stood a foreboding jailhouse, which is now home to a public parking garage (the prison wall was left up for posterity).
Across the street was a hospital, which is now the massive Citicorp building.
I remember the park in front was full of small pine trees and there were benches facing in, while today there is a fountain, much granite, and benches facing traffic.
The new park was built by Citicorp as part of the agreement to put money into the neighborhood.
They prematurely took the front stairs out and re-did them in polished granite, but this turned out to violate the building’s historical code, so the stairs were pulled out along with the funding to complete the job. The courthouse remained stairless and the front was fenced-in for over a year, but in the end, it all came out very nicely.
I lived across the street from the courthouse for eight years, in the “Court Square Apartments” which still has a dumb waiter and gas fixtures in the halls.
My friends and I, who had a little folk band, found the courthouse steps an unobtrusive place to rehearse late at night. We named our band, “Court Square” and were famous in our own minds and in various Woodside/Sunnyside area pubs in the 1990’s.
I have very fond memories of the Courthouse at Long Island City and hope it stands for another hundred years, at least.
Dan & Anne Marie Maher

Editor’s Note: Even though you did not enter the “Where is This?” photo contest that week, we would like to reward you for your knowledge of the Courthouse at Long Island. Please call our Maria Romero at 718-224-5863, Ext. 226 to claim your reward.

No fan of smoking ban
City Councilmember James Gennaro has proposed a law to the City Council that will ban smoking in a car with children. While I think he is well intentioned, he may not have considered what it will cost the people of this city. Our police department is stretched to the max with fighting terrorism and criminals and stopping smokers in their cars is just ludicrous.
I think the mayor and City Council should enter into a partnership with the American Cancer Society and promote an ad campaign to warn people not to smoke with children in the car.
A slogan like, “Save the Children, don’t smoke in your cars,” would work a lot better than giving a few tickets in getting through to these smokers who are endangering children with second hand smoke.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

High blood pressure
On this sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, a much larger threat to our nation is rearing its ugly head. Researchers at Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine have just reported a rising rate of high blood pressure among America’s children. Based on surveys of nearly 30,000 children aged 8-17 by the National Center for Health Statistics, the report will be published in the September 25 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
More than 400,000 American children are developing high blood pressure, a chronic precursor to heart attack and stroke that has traditionally afflicted only adults. The leading cause is the childhood obesity epidemic brought on by a diet grounded in sugary foods and drinks and fat-laden meat and dairy products.
Parents should insist that children consume more whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fresh fruits. They should work with their PTAs to demand healthy meals, snacks, and vending machine items in schools. Helpful resources are provided at www.choiceusa.net.
Morgan Mosher

Color it red
In my opinion, it does not take a rocket scientist to solve the disappearing act of automobiles parked illegally (by unwary shopper’s) in reserved spaces designated for the employees of the Whitestone Shopping Center.
Why don’t the owners of the Whitestone Shopping Center paint the pavement parking lines for designated employee parking spots “red” (much like the color “blue” is used for parking spots reserved for the handicapped) and periodically trim the vegetation that obstructs the views of the warning signs.
Ciro Di Donna

Taking issue with ticket
On Saturday, September 8, St. Thomas the Apostle church in Woodhaven was holding a blood drive in the Auditorium on Jamaica Ave and 88th Street. The Red Cross supply truck was parked in front (at a meter) to unload all the equipment. I arrived about 10 a.m. and noticed that a traffic enforcement agent had given the truck a ticket. I was told that the back tailgate was down while equipment was still being unloaded.
I realize quotas must be met, but why don’t these people use common sense when handing out tickets, especially in a case such as this.
Joe Virgona

Letters To The Editor
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