Hard Times

On Black Friday, thousands of Queens shoppers stood in line to take advantage of holiday sales. Online, there were stories about people willing to pay $100 or more for the hottest item of the holiday.

Meanwhile, the food pantries that feed thousands of borough families are telling reporters their cupboards are nearly bare. The director of the Hour Children pantry in Long Island City said that for the first time in 22 years she did not have a turkey to give out.

It is estimated that the number of families seeking food has increased this year by 33 percent. The largest increase is in families with children, followed by senior citizens. More than 60 percent of Queens food pantries said in a survey that they did not have enough food to meet demand.

It is unthinkable that in Queens a child or senior citizen should go hungry. We are confident if the people of Queens knew the seriousness of the situation, they would help.

Shut Them Down

The city Department of Consumer Affairs is trying to revoke the license of a Richmond Hill car dealership and collect $700,000 in restitution owed to customers who have been victims of what the city calls illegal and deceptive business practices.

This time the target is the Queens Auto Mall on Atlantic Avenue. The city says the dealership charged customers illegal fees, prevented customers from filing complaints and refused to refund deposits on cancelled transactions.

DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz said, “A license to sell used cars is not a license to cheat New Yorkers looking for a fair deal. The extensive pattern of fraud we’ve seen at Queens Auto Mall is outrageous and this department is moving to shut them down — period.”

We have news for the commissioner. This “pattern of fraud” is the tip of an iceberg. We suspect that for every victim who files a formal complaint there are countless others who for whatever reason do not complain.

The time has come for the DCA to come down hard on all dishonest Queens car dealers.

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