FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JULY 12, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 27
letters & comments
A LOOK BACK
Don’t adjust your eyes; this isn’t an optical illusion! This is actually how the Cooper Avenue underpass on the Glendale/Middle Village border looked
on the morning of Aug. 8, 2007, following a torrential rainstorm. An early morning thunderstorm dumped such a heavy amount of rain in the area
that it caused sewers near the underpass to fail, fl ooding the entire roadway out for much of the day. It was one of several areas of western Queens
that experienced fl ooding problems that day, and the fl ash fl oods led to numerous sewer upgrade projects in the community, including renovations
to the underpass itself. Send us your historic photos of Queens by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: A Look Back) or mail printed pictures to A Look
Back, Ridgewood Times and Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
PAVING THE WAY
Th e following letter is a comment on
the project you covered last week in the
article titled, “Lottery opens up for scores
of aff ordable housing units in the heart of
downtown Flushing” (July 5).
Th e Flushing Willets Point Corona
Local Development Corporation’s initial
transit oriented development presentation
made to the city, MTA and DOT in
2008 presented a bold approach for the
roughly one-acre of Municipal Lot 3 and
Long Island Rail Road. Th e LDC spearheaded
the eff ort for new aff ordable housing,
new commercial opportunities and
the rehabilitation of the LIRR station.
Th e purpose of the transit oriented
development is to create public transportation
and housing within walking distance
of one another, and to reduce the
need for use of cars.
Th e Tristate Transportation Campaign
and One Region Funders Group awarded
us a grant to help refi ne our initial proposal
on aff ordable and senior housing
as part of the mixed-use development on
city lot number 3. In addition to the housing,
this proposal also included an overhaul
to the LIRR station.
As a result, the MTA’s planned $8.5
million budget to make the station handicapped
accessible was further increased
to $24 million to rehabilitate the station.
Aft er the LDC completed its study,
the Department of Transportation transferred
the project to Housing Preservation
and Development. In April 2015, AAFE,
HANAC and Monadnock Development
were awarded construction rights to the
Today, these two exciting projects are
under construction and will play a vital
role in the future of Downtown Flushing.
I thank Congresswoman Grace Meng,
state Senator Toby Stavisky and Council
member Peter Koo for their valuable
assistance along the way.
Applications for the aff ordable housing
are now available. To apply online,
go to nyc.gov/housingconnect or request
an application by sending a self-addressed
stamped envelope to One
Flushing Owner LLC, P.O. Box 705,
Knickerbocker Station, New York, NY
10002. Applications must be postmarked
by Aug. 28.
Claire Shulman, President and CEO,
Flushing Willets Point Corona LDC
STOP THE PRIMARY
INSANITY IN NEW YORK
Th is year, there was a federal primary
in New York on June 26. Th ere were no
contested races for the statewide Senate
seat currently held by Senator Kirsten
Gillibrand and few Congressional primaries.
However, there will be another primary
on Sept. 13 for state offi cers.
Governor Cuomo is being challenged
by fellow Democrat Cynthia Nixon, and
there will be a Democratic Party primary
for Attorney General with probable
candidates Letitia James and Zephyr
Teachout. Th ere will no doubt be a smattering
of other races as well, including
contests for state Senate and Assembly.
Why do we have two primary dates?
Why can’t the primaries be combined to
save the taxpayers millions of dollars?
In New York in 2016, there was a presidential
primary in April, a Congressional
primary in June and a state primary in
September. Th ree primaries! Does this
make sense? Doesn’t this separation of
primaries encourage lower voter turnout?
And again, the cost to the taxpayers
We need to have reform of our voting
system here in New York state and I was
pleased to read that reforms are being
proposed in Albany to encourage voter
participation. We also need to make running
for offi ce less onerous and easier for
would-be candidates of any party. Th ere
is also the issue of campaign fi nance
reform to ensure that elections can’t be
controlled by wealthy contributors.
However, to me, the most obvious
reform and probably the easiest to implement
is to schedule all primaries in our
state on one day.
Henry Euler, Bayside
YOU CAN’T PROTEST
ON LIBERTY ISLAND
As was reported, the Statue of Liberty
on July 4 was used as a place to protest
President Trump’s policy on immigration
and wanted ICE to be abolished.
Th erese Patricia Okoumou, a 44-yearold
immigrant from the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, was part of a
group protesting and who later climbed
the base of the Statue of Liberty with her
own protest. She kept fi rst responders at
bay for three hours and ruined the day
for the many who wanted to enjoy the
day. Many on the Island were also forced
Th is protest act had endangered the
fi rst responders and had cost thousands
of taxpayer dollars. I guess the bottom
line is, stupid is what stupid does.
Let me also point out that protesting is
allowed as stated in the Constitution and
as part of free speech but not where you
endanger the lives of others.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
Editor’s note: To clarify the author’s
concluding statement, the First
Amendment of the Constitution reads,
“Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.” Th ere is no
clause which indicates that protesting
isn’t allowed if it “endangers the lives of
others.” However, climbing the Statue of
Liberty is an illegal off ense, and the organizers
of the larger protest on Liberty
Island had stated publicly that Okoumou
alone had made the decision to climb the
STOP BLAMING TRUMP
Th at woman who climbed the Statue of
Liberty and sat there for nearly 2 ½ hours
had absolutely no business doing that.
If she wanted to express her views, she
should have done it on the ground like
others who are protesting.
Congratulations are in order to our fi rst
responders who immediately were on the
scene and for the orderly evacuation of
4,000 tourists who were on Liberty Island
when this incident began to unfold.
Our nation needs to be unifi ed, not disunifi
ed, and while there are those who
do not like and disagree with President
Trump, there are just as many, this writer
included who like him and think he is
doing a good job running our country.
People need to stop degrading him for
every single thing that he is trying to do!
Now, if only our diff use and unorganized
Congress would work together
bipartisanly and with the president on
such issues as immigration and the economy,
perhaps everything would begin to
fall into place and settle down.
John Amato, Fresh Meadows
Editor’s note: Four immigration bills,
three of which were draft ed in a bipartisan
manner, failed to pass the Senate
earlier this year. Last month, the House
failed to pass two immigration bills draft -
ed by the House Republican majority.
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