FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 8, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 35
Here’s another gem from long ago found in the Queens Library digital archives. This 1927 photo shows Rockaway
Boulevard looking east toward the at-grade crossing for the Long Island Rail Road’s Rockaway Beach Branch. The state’s
Public Service Commission ordered the at-grade crossing eliminated that same year to make way for a bridge carrying
the tracks over the roadway. The LIRR took the Rockaway Beach branch out of service in 1962, but the MTA converted
the tracks into an extended A train servicing the Rockaways. Send us your historic photos of Queens by email to editorial@
qns.com (subject: A Look Back) or mail printed pictures to A Look Back, Schneps Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd.,
Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
Photo courtesy of Queens Library Digital Archives, http://digitalarchives.queenslibrary.org/
letters & comments
DIRECTOR IS GONE
My decision to support the
Queens Museum with a substantial
personal gift was made at the
time that Tom Finkelpearl, the
former executive director of the
museum, was in charge. Th e purpose
of my gift was to honor the
celebration of the Jewish life in
my parents’ home.
Very few current residents
knew that the Queens Museum
fi rst served as the former headquarters
of the United Nations at
the time that Resolution 181 fi rst
established the State of Israel.
I sent a letter to then-Queens
Museum Executive Director
Laura Raicovich highlighting
my gift honoring the establishment
of the State of Israel having
occurred in Queens. A stipulation
of the gift was the expectation
of planned programming by
the museum educating the public
about the important history that
the plaque represents.
I further encouraged Ms.
Raicovich to act promptly in executing
her leadership position for
this placing before the public.
Th e surprise that many would
fi nd in an announcement that the
Queens Museum did not move
forward in this direction!
I was never able to have her initiate
any action in the way of programming,
concerts, speakers and
otherwise full development for the
purposes of the community. Now
I understand why.
As the other board members
and myself were misled by her
failure to announce that she
was a leading proponent of the
BDS she told no one about her
book, which has been called by
Councilman Rory Lancman as
strongly anti-Semitic. BDS is
known for its underhand tactics
and rough actions to infi ltrate
institutions all over the
world and has engaged in trying
to use these tactics in the
United States. Th e Jewish World
of November 3 -9, 2017, outlines
in full the tactic of the
group that states that textbooks
which incite stigmatizing and
murdering Jews. Th e American
Friends of Tel Aviv University
has warned all who read its publications.
Th e evidence is overwhelming
that Laura Raicovich played
a very prominent part in the
thought and action in order to
Th e good news is that the good
work and steady hand of the
Queens Museum and its visitors
are living proof that Archie
Bunker is no longer considered
to be a synonym to describe the
life of the residents of this fi ne
borough and its educational and
Sigmund R. Balka, Board of
Trustees, Queens Museum
AIM AT SENATOR’S
In an article by Angela Matua
from Feb. 22, state Senator Jose
Peralta erroneously stated that
the Senate Democratic leadership
told him that re-introducing
the Dream Act was “going
to hurt the marginals in Long
Island.” Th at is impossible as
there were no Democrats elected
to the State Senate on Long
Island at the time.
Peralta also claimed,
“Democrats did not want it to
happen.” Th is cannot be true
either. Th ough the Dream Act
failed to pass by two votes (one
of them from a Democrat who
is no longer in offi ce), it would
not have made a diff erence.
Th ere was not one vote from the
Republican Conference in favor
Now as a Trump Democrat,
how does his partnering with the
Republican Conference help pass
the Dream Act today? It is clear
state Senator Peralta undermines
his own bill by conceding power
to the Republicans. Republicans
are in power because they have
his vote. He would rather attack
Democrats who provided support
for his bill than his new
friends who didn’t provide any.
I’m running against him to put
an end to this charade and actively
work with Democrats to stand
up for our youth.
Jessica Ramos, Candidate for
State Senate in District 13
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this publication or its staff .
School breakfast expansion can
help fi ll the Queens hunger gap
BY JOEL BERG,
CEO, HUNGER FREE AMERICA
Queens has traditionally been thought of a solidly middle class
area, so it’s easy to forget the borough has a serious poverty and
hunger problem. Yet, due to a combination of low wages and
high housing costs, nearly a quarter of a million Queens residents
live in households that can’t always aff ord enough food,
according to federal data analyzed by Hunger Free America.
Even worse, one in 10 Queens children struggle against hunger.
Statewide in New York, more than 2.5 million people, and
more than 700,000 children, live in food insecure homes.
Child hunger not only is a moral blot on our society and devastates
the physical and emotional well-being of children, it
makes it nearly impossible for children to eff ectively learn. To
be schooled, you must be fueled. To be well-read, you must be
Yet, according to the Food Research and Action Center, even
though many schools in the state provide the theoretical opportunity
for low-income children to obtain federal-subsidized
school breakfasts, only slightly more than half of the children
in the state who receive subsidized school lunches actually eat
Why do so few children who need school breakfasts in New
York get them? Breakfast it is oft en served in the cafeteria before
the school day starts. Transportation schedules and social stigma,
among other factors, prevent kids from participating – oft en
leaving them starting the school day too hungry to learn.
Breakfast Aft er the Bell – where breakfast is off ered aft er the
offi cial start of the school day – is proven to be one of the best
practices to overcome barriers tp school breakfast participation.
Schools across New York that have implemented a Breakfast
Aft er the Bell program have experienced signifi cant increases
in the number of students who eat school breakfast. Beyond
improving school breakfast participation, Breakfast Aft er the
Bell has also been linked to stronger academic performance,
improved student behavior, and reduced absenteeism among
On top of all that, the vast majority of the costs for these breakfasts
are paid for by the federal government.
It is no wonder that, for all of those reasons, Mayor Bill de
Blasio has mandated that all elementary schools in New York
City provide Breakfast Aft er the Bell. Th e mayor deserves great
credit for this huge leap forward.
Th ose are also the reasons why we strongly support Governor
Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require schools statewide with
more than 70 percent free and reduced price (F/RP) meal eligible
students to off er Breakfast Aft er the Bell, while providing
some limited state seed money to support schools as they implement
Th e governor’s proposal would be very benefi cial to children
across the state and we are grateful to him for his progressive
leadership in advancing this solution. However, we recommend
the Legislature improve upon the proposal in two ways: by
requiring all schools at the 70 percent F/RP rate to off er breakfast
free of charge to all students; and by lowering the threshold
for requiring a Breakfast Aft er the Bell model in schools from
70 percent to 60 percent. Th ese simple changes would allow the
proposal to reach a total of nearly 150,000 students statewide
and would generate approximately $53 million in federal reimbursements.
Such eff orts would ensure that many middle and
high schools in Queens serve such breakfast.
Th ese eff orts alone won’t solve the problem, because families
will still need suffi cient food during nights, weekends and
vacation. Th at’s why our society needs to create more jobs, raise
wages and ensure that other federal nutrition programs, such
as SNAP (food stamps), remain strong. Still, providing breakfasts
to every child on every school day will take a huge bite out
of child hunger.
New York state leads the nation on so many fronts, from growing
the nation’s most delicious apples to the producing the country’s
greatest theatrical performances. Th e time is long overdue
for New York to also lead the nation in ending child hunger.
A LOOK BACK