FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com AUGUST 18, 2016 • THE QUEENS COURIER 33 oped letters & comments READER WANTS A NEW LOOK FOR BRIARWOOD It was certainly exhilarating to hear of the landlord’s sale of the property at Flagship Diner in Briarwood for demolition and construction of new residential housing co-ops with commercial space. I would also like to see Pickman, realty owners of the lots on 84th Drive and Queens Boulevard, Briarwood, sell that large corner property to developers for a new residential and commercial building to replace the old, dirty, and smelly stores presently domiciled. I might also say that what would have been better at the former HSBC site on Main Street and Queens Boulevard is a TD bank, not the coming Concord Drugs which is presently on the 84th Drive strip; his baggage of drunken bums sitting outside his store is not welcome here or there. There is already Manson Drugs on the block, and their reputation for professionalism is well-known. And develop the Briarwood Mall, presently the Mall of Balls. Who designed this monstrosity? An architect wannabe selling chestnuts outside Cooper Union? Joseph Manago, Flushing PROUD OF OUR CHAMPION OLYMPIANS Our American athletes have showed their true mettle in the Rio Summer Olympics. There have A LOOK BACK been loses and winners but the many showed their love of the sports they had participated in. Examples like gymnasts Simone Biles and Ally Raisman who gave their all to Michael Phelps who swan his way to more gold. These athletes are the personifi cation of the spirit of what America is all about and that if a person strives hard that person can reach the highest mountain and be all one can be. It is in these athletes that I feel are true role models for our youth of today and that is a good thing in that this spirit will make America great. All these athletes have truly made and will continue to make America proud with their tenacious and courageous spirit . For that let me say, Kudos, for a job well done team America.’ Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village NOT WELCOMING OF SILVER BARN CHANGE Regarding the sale of Silver Barn Farms in Middle Village: A competitor bought a market that many people preferred over Met Food and we already see the physical changes. Hmmm, wonder what’s going on here. Because yes, so many of us happy Silver Barn customers who were spending less money vs Met Food were asking “if only we had higher priced organic goods here”. If Bill Fani is serious about making Silver Barn successful … we’ll see. QNS user Vic MAKING GATEWAY SAFER FOR ALL BY STACEY PHEFFER-AMATO The tragic and brutal murder of Karina Vetrano challenges all of us and has cast a shadow over our community. As we remember her and refl ect on her all-too-short life, and as our police work to bring justice for Karina, we must all ask ourselves what we can do to ensure that this never happens again. Karina was by all accounts a thoughtful, caring young woman who always found time for friends and family. She earned a master’s degree in speech pathology from Queens’ own St. John’s University, with the hope of making a difference in children’s lives. Here in Howard Beach, so many families are offering support and seeking to honor Karina’s life that it is nothing short of incredible. With every white bow hung on our streets, every candle lit in silent vigil, and every dollar raised to fi nd Karina’s killer, we show the world the true character of Howard Beach and its families. Karina loved this community and loved Gateway Park, and one of the best ways that we can honor her memory is by improving the park and making sure it is safer for all future parkgoers. For too long, Spring Creek and the entire Gateway National Recreation Area has not received attention it deserves, despite being one of the most visited national parks in the entire country. Last year, 6.3 million people came to Gateway to enjoy its beaches and parkland. That’s more than the number visitors to Mt. Rushmore, Gettysburg and the redwood forests combined, and larger crowds are expected as our community continues to recover from Sandy. Sadly, National Park Service (NPS) has not done enough to make the park safer for this infl ux of people, nor for the families that for decades have lived right next door. The NPS needs to take steps to improve safety and security in the park. First, the U.S. Park Police should increase patrols in Gateway’s 27,000 acres, especially in the park’s more remote areas. Maintaining a regular, visible presence by Park Police will increase safety for parkgoers and discourage the large and well-know vagrant populations from congregating in the park. In addition, NPS needs to enhance security for all users of the park. I urge NPS to consider installing emergency call boxes, or blue lights, at points throughout the park, similar to those in use on remote trails and long stretches of highway across the country. Lastly, NPS needs to prioritize regular maintenance of park wildlife and infrastructure. Scheduled clearing brush and cutting of weeds will help improve visibility in the park, discourage the homeless encampments and add to the sense of security for visitors. Our families should be able to enjoy the nature and have an escape from the urban environment, but they should also feel safe in the process. For my entire life, Jamaica Bay and the parklands of Gateway have been my backyard. Now, as an educator and mother of two children, I want Gateway to be a safe space for my children and all families in our community. This is the least we can do to honor Karina and ensure that Spring Creek and Gateway represent the best of our community, not the worst. Stacey Pheffer-Amato is a candidate for the 23rd Assembly District seat which covers all or parts of Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways. It’s been so oppressively hot this month that we decided to dial back to a cooler time in recent memory. This February 2001 photo was taken by a family who made a cool sculpture in the snow in front of their home on Woodbine Street in Ridgewood. It’s just a reminder that, as much as we lament the heat now, we’ll probably be longing for it in a few months when winter sets in. Send us your historic photos of Queens on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/QNS, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to The Ridgewood Times, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
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