editorial 48 THE QUEENS COURIER • MAY 26, 2016 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com SNAPS QUEENS SPRING TIME IN WHITESTONE PHOTO BY MICHELLE LONG Send us your photos of Queens and you could see them online or in our paper! Submit them to us tag @queenscourier on Instagram, Facebook page, tweeting @queenscourier or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Queens Snaps). THE QUEENS Ask the PUBLISHER & EDITOR CO-PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VP, EVENTS, WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA ART DIRECTOR ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR ARTISTS STAFF REPORTERS DIGITAL EDITOR CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS EVENTS COORDINATOR ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER CLASSIFIED MANAGER CONTROLLER PRESIDENT & CEO VICE PRESIDENT VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS BOB BRENNAN ROBERT POZARYCKI AMY AMATO-SANCHEZ NIRMAL SINGH STEPHEN REINA RON TORINA, JONATHAN RODRIGUEZ, CHERYL GALLAGHER KATRINA MEDOFF, ANTHONY GIUDICE, ANGELA MATUA BRIANNA ELLIS KATARINA HYBENOVA CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI JACLYN HERTLING DEBORAH CUSICK CELESTE ALAMIN MARIA VALENCIA VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS Schneps Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361 718-224-5863 • Fax 718-224-5441 www.qns.com editorial e-mail: email@example.com for advertising e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by The Queens Courier All letters sent to THE QUEENS COURIER should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and offi ce telephone numbers, where available, as well as affi liation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of THE QUEENS COURIER. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to THE QUEENS COURIER within fi ve days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Schneps Communications assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold THE QUEENS COURIER and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to any such advertisement. MAYOR Time for Queens to get moving The MTA rolled out a new fl eet of buses this week in the one area of our borough that could defi nitely use help in getting around. You’ll fi nd these new, 21st-century buses moving along streets in southeast Queens, long recognized as a public transit desert. The buses come equipped with free wireless Internet service and cellphone charging outlets. These amenities will undoubtedly come in handy for bus riders in their lengthy daily commutes. Let’s face it, they face a long ride to the nearest subway stations in Jamaica, plus a longer train ride to Manhattan or Brooklyn. The MTA is also planning limited bus lines and select bus service systems where it can in Queens. But these buses compete with the thousands of cars and trucks on the roads each day. Even with dedicated bus lanes, limited and select buses are slowed by the same problems drivers experience: gridlock, accidents, heavy volume, and terrible drivers who make stupid decisions behind the wheel. Queens really needs additional rail lines or, at the very least, expanded access to the rail that’s already there. New rail projects cost billions of dollars and years of time. We’re realistic; it’s highly unlikely that the city would be able to obtain the vast state and federal funding needed to expand the subway system in Queens. The solution, therefore, is to be creative. Mayor de Blasio has already championed two creative transit ideas largely for western Queens: the upcoming, revamped East River Ferry system (with stops in Astoria and Long Island City) and the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector trolley. Now it’s time for de Blasio and others in government to stand up for eastern Queens in calling for expanded and more affordable Long Island Rail Road service. Two LIRR branches run through southeast Queens serving a number of stops along the way at St. Albans, Laurelton, Hollis, Queens Village and Rosedale. In northeast Queens, the Port Washington branch makes stops from Flushing to Little Neck. The LIRR is fast and effi cient, but costly to travelers; a one-way ticket between Woodside and Bayside, for example, costs $7.25; a monthly ticket goes for $218, not counting the $116.50 unlimited 30-day MetroCard to use city buses and subways. Queens commuters need the “Freedom Ticket” plan put forth by the transit advocacy group New York City Transit Riders Council that would equalize the fare for subway rides and LIRR trips within the city. Once that’s in place, the LIRR should also invest in expanding service to and from stations in Queens perhaps by creating special trains terminating at the Queens/Nassau border stops of Little Neck, Bellerose and Rosedale. Queens commuters need more than faster Internet speeds; they need faster commutes. It’s about time they get it. The Queens Courier and the Mayor’s Offi ce are proud to present a weekly column in which Mayor Bill de Blasio answers your questions about issues that concern you the most. If you have a question about anything going on in the city, in your neighborhood or on your block, we want to hear from you! Email us at editorial@ qns.com and Mayor de Blasio will get you an answer! I’m worried about contracting the Zika virus this summer. What is the city doing to keep me safe, and what can I do to help protect myself from catching the bug? New Yorkers can rest assure that the City of New York has over two decades of experience in limiting diseases transmitted by mosquitoes! Although the mosquito breed that carries the current Zika strain has not been found in New York City, thereby limiting the risk of local transmission, as an international city, New York has taken a number of measures to protect residents and travelers. Earlier this year, the city held a roundtable with doctors and mosquito control experts. From there, we developed a plan that will reduce mosquitoes, detect the risk of disease, and deliver important information to the public. We have committed $21 million to arm the city against the Zika virus, and have targeted mosquito larvae citywide in an aggressive abatement measure, right now taking place in parts of Queens. New Yorkers can help us prevent mosquito bites by installing window screens, wearing protective clothing, using mosquito repellent, and eliminating standing water. New Yorkers traveling to the Caribbean and South America should take care to prevent potential sexual transmission of the Zika virus.
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