editorial 26 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 3, 2016 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com SNAPS QUEENS HELL GATE BRIDGE/ PHOTO BY ANGELA MATUA Send us your photos of Queens and you could see them online or in our paper! Submit them to us via our Instagram @queenscourier, Facebook page, tweeting @queenscourier or by emailing email@example.com (subject: Queens Snaps). letters & comments ‘ILL-ADVISED’ COUNTERTERRORISM FUNDING CUT I’m appalled and fi nd it greatly disturbing that the Obama administration has thought it fi t to cut $90 million from federal funds to fi ght terrorism in New York City. New York City is the number one target in the country and needs protection from these evildoers. There have be many spoiled attempts thanks to our law enforcement who are out there protecting all our lives. The Obama administration seems to have forgotten all those killed on 9/11 on the World Trade Center. As reported in Queens alone we lost more than 200 fi refi ghters, police and offi ce workers on that day of infamy that is forever on our minds. I would at this time like to applaud Senator Chuck Schumer who has fought for us and said, “The plan is ill-advised and ill-timed.” He further warned that the rolled back could make the city more vulnerable. He is absolutely right, and Washington ought to reconsider and give back the funds they want to deny our great city and state of ours. We also must remind our leaders that our men, women and children whose lives are in jeopardy by terrorists who which seek to harm the innocents. Remember this too: Evil thrives when good people do nothing! Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village KEEPING PREJUDICE AWAY FROM THE BALLOT BOX When ever there is an election of any kind the result is almost always fl awed, as people rarely vote for something without being infl uenced by their prejudices. It is very diffi cult for people to detach themselves from there prejudices, and analyze the problem from as many ways that are necessary, and then vote intelligently. One example is the presidential election. The hope is that we will elect the most qualifi ed person in the country to be our president. There are no other qualifi cations that should be considered. Now all that we are talking about seems to be the most important attributes necessary: gender, religion, wealth, appearance, sex appeal, a city or a country person, Northerner or Southerner, and all of the other divisions that politicians try to appeal to. When picking a president, one should consider defending the constitution and the economy fi rst, as every thing else is a subdivision of these two. Defending our country is only possible if we have the money to support our military. We can only build and maintain our infrastructure if we have the money to pay for it. Sustainable social programs again depend on our ability to pay for them. A nation where all the able-bodied people are working is a strong and happy nation. And most of all we must be free of debt, as a nation in debt is a house of cards. These are the things every intelligent person must base their vote on as everything else is only possible with freedom and money. Yes, all elections are fl awed, and when things work out it is only because of luck. John Procida, Flushing Step up efforts to stop predatory landlords There’s an ongoing landlord-tenant showdown at a Ridgewood building that everyone in Queens should be watching. The tenants at the building on Summerfi eld Street, many of whom are low-income residents Section 8 federal housing benefi ts, claim that the building’s new owners, Silverstone Properties, are failing to properly maintain their residences in the apparent hope that the tenants will have no choice but to leave. An inspection confi rmed the tenants’ claims, as more than 100 serious structural violations were found, including rodent infestation, water leaks and mold growth. Why would the building owners neglect their investment in such a fashion? It seems that the owners are taking advantage of a loophole in federal law in which Section 8 stops paying its portion of the rent if the building recently failed a Section 8 inspection. If the tenants can’t pay the full rent, the landlord will have no choice but to evict them — clearing the way for wealthier tenants willing to pay the market-rate rent and more for renovated apartments in one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods. Affordable housing and new development are both critical to the city’s success; one cannot be sacrifi ced for the other. As the city works with the state to extend tax exemptions to encourage more development, it must also strive to protect those Section 8 tenants as well as others living in rentcontrolled or rent-regulated apartments. The city cannot afford for these folks to be priced out of the market and forced to move to the suburbs or elsewhere. We also encourage the city to start cracking down on any unscrupulous landlord who resorts to sabotaging their own buildings and endangering the health of their tenants in an attempt to drive out their tenants for the sake of higher rents. Fines aren’t enough — these landlords should also be prosecuted for such egregious and hazardous behavior. City must use imagination on public transit Last month, the website Gothamist published a map of one transit expert’s “subway fantasy,” featuring myriad extensions and new subway lines criss-crossing the fi ve boroughs of New York City. Imagine, as the map described, a train line running along the Long Island Expressway as far east as Oakland Gardens; a W train extended from the Astoria Line to LaGuardia Airport; a super-express train running on Long Island Rail Road tracks between the Rockaways and midtown Manhattan; and an extended E train running to Laurelton. It’s a commuter’s fantasy, alright, one that would cost billions upon billions of dollars to make a reality. But the dream of improved mass transit in Queens doesn’t need to be deferred over costs; the city, state and federal governments just need to be creative. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the city to invest in a $2.5 billion streetcar line along the waterfront between Brooklyn and Queens. This is a tremendous start. Not only do we support this plan, but we also encourage the mayor and the city to consider similar streetcar projects to better connect the “World’s Borough” to homes and businesses citywide. THE QUEENS PUBLISHER & EDITOR CO-PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VP, EVENTS, WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA ART DIRECTOR ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR ARTISTS STAFF REPORTERS WEB EDITOR CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS EVENTS MANAGER CLASSIFIED MANAGER CONTROLLER PRESIDENT & CEO VICE PRESIDENT VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS BOB BRENNAN ROBERT POZARYCKI AMY AMATO-SANCHEZ NIRMAL SINGH ALAN SELTZER STEPHEN REINA RON TORINA, JENNIFER DECIO, CHERYL GALLAGHER KATRINA MEDOFF, ANTHONY GIUDICE, ANGELA MATUA, ALINA SURIEL KATARINA HYBENOVA CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI DEMETRA PLAGAKIS CELESTE ALAMIN MARIA VALENCIA VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. 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