FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM AUGUST 30, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
This 1970s picture from the Ridgewood Times archives shows the shops at the corner of Dry Harbor Road and Penelope Avenue in Middle
Village. The pharmacy in the foreground is now occupied by an Allstate insurance agency, while an adjacent storefront is the home of
Coldwell Banker Phillips Realty. Send us your historic photos of Queens by email to email@example.com (subject: A Look Back) or mail printed
pictures to A Look Back, Schneps Publications, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
letters & comments
TAKING ON TRUMP
AND THE ELECTION
Your editorial “Hey Trump, stop
attacking the press!” (Aug. 16) is
right on target. I agree completely
Our democracy is in peril. We have
an autocrat who acts like a spoiled
3-year-old. His recent blunder
resulted in stripping security clearance
from a diplomat who dared to
criticize the emperor.
For those of us who read Th e New
York Times, our local weeklies and
listen to NPR and watch PBS, we
know that the media that scrupulously
checks for accuracy and fairness.
I urge all Democrats to vote in
the primary for governor. I favor
Cynthia Nixon for her ideas. Not
only do we need more women in
politics, we need a fresh approach
to the critical dearth of 21st-century
training and good jobs. Money
must come from the wealthiest citizens
to boost the plight of workers
who make the lowest wages, many
working two jobs and double shift s
and are still struggling.
What happened to rebuilding the
infrastructure? Where are the funds
for schools? Why are our prisons
overcrowded with people who use
marijuana for themselves? Legalize,
purify it, make it safe and cheap.
Tax it as we do cigarettes, alcohol
(far more dangerous in excess) and
Barbara K. Brumberg,
NYC Transit President Andy
Byford’s proposed $37 billion,
10-year “Fast Forward Plan” to create
a world-class subway and bus system
within fi ve years is little more than a
fundraising prospectus for potential
transportation investors. Here’s why.
Let us assume the next MTA Five-
Year 2020 - 2024 Capital Program
Plan starts out at $30 billion. First
they need $2.265 billion, bringing
the total local share of funding for
Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 (96th
to 125th Streets) up to $4 billion. Th is
is necessary to leverage $2 billion in
Federal Transit Administration New
Starts dollars to support the total $6
billion project cost.
Another $1 billion each will be
needed to complete fully funding the
$11.2 billion LIRR East Side Access
to Grand Central Terminal and $2.6
billion Main Line Th ird Track projects.
Th e backlog of unfunded NYC
Transit, LIRR and Metro North safety
and state of good repair projects
not included under “Fast Forward”
combined far exceed $30 billion.
How will the MTA fi nd $19 billion
more on top of $30 billion toward
funding NYC Transit President
Andy Byford’s proposed 10-year, $37
billion subway system recovery plan?
Will Cuomo and de Blasio come
up with $2 billion each per year over
the next 10 years? Th e odds are slim
If NYC Transit President Andy
Byford is so confi dent in creation of
a “World-Class Transit System” in
fi ve years, let him put up his generous
future severance package as collateral.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
NYC’s Sept. 13 primary election
is two weeks away, but many
Kew Gardens Hills residents will be
unable to vote because they don’t
have an accessible poll site.
Blame that disgrace on a trifecta
of failure by City Councilman Rory
Lancman, the School Construction
Authority and the city’s Board of
Elections (BOE). Th eir indiff erence,
ineptitude and inexcusable neglect
caused voter suppression for people
they’re obligated to serve.
Here’s what happened. Th e BOE
closed our regular poll site at
P.S. 164 in 2012 because it didn’t
have a wheelchair ramp that complied
with the Americans With
Disabilities Act. Since then, we’ve
had to vote at P.S. 165, located
more than a mile away from our
neighborhood. Th is
makes voting diffi cult for seniors
like me and others who don’t drive
and can’t aff ord bus fare. Getting an
absentee ballot is diffi cult.
Council Lancman obtained
a $375,000 grant for an ADAcompliant
ramp and chairlift to be
built by the Board of Education’s
School Construction Authority. In
February, his offi ce stated that the
ramp/lift would be in place by April
30. Th at didn’t happen.
Th e next announced deadline
was June 30, also unmet. Mayor de
Blasio’s administration recently said
that the SCA’s ramp and chair lift
passed inspection and will be installed
by Sept. 13. But the BOE notifi ed all
Kew Gardens Hills registered voters
by mail last week that P.S. 165 will be
our poll site on Sept. 13.
What went wrong? Our City
Councilman and two NYC agencies
failed to do their jobs.
A Philadelphia contractor built
the Pentagon from scratch in 14
months during World War II. Why
does the SCA take nearly a year
to build a chair ramp and lift ?
Did they hire the Th ree Stooges
or Abbott and Costello as a contractor?
Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills
Email your letters to editorial@qns.
com (Subject: Letter to the Editor) or
leave a comment to any of our stories
at QNS.com. You can also send
a letter by regular mail to Letters to
the Editor, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside,
NY 11361. All letters are subject to
editing. Names will be withheld upon
request, but anonymous letters will
not be considered for publication.
Th e views expressed in all letters and
comments are not necessarily those of
this newspaper or its staff .
FAST AND FLEXIBLE
BY SCOTT STEWART
You opened a takeout
counter shop in Bayside three
years ago, and it’s been quietly
humming along. But aft er
some local food blogs mention
your signature smoked
Cuban sandwich, people are
starting to line up down the
block. You can’t aff ord to lose
this kind of momentum.
You’ll need to fi nd enough capital to hire two more
employees and buy a bigger oven. Last time you
went to the bank for a loan, it took a week to fi ll out
the application and three months to get approved.
Luckily, you have alternate funding options – like an
We know small businesses – your grocers, laundromats
and landscapers – are vital to New York’s economy,
but they face a widening credit gap. Consider the
hurdle every small business faces: access to timely and
aff ordable credit. According to a 2016 Federal Reserve
report, 67 percent of businesses with annual revenues
below $1 million experienced credit shortfalls. Smallbusiness
lending by traditional banks has declined 20
percent over the last 10 years, costing New York an
estimated $8 billion in gross domestic product. With
3.9 million New Yorkers employed by small businesses,
this aff ects you or someone you know.
Online lenders have stepped up. From 2015 to
2017, fi ve major online lenders funded $758 million
to 11,490 small businesses in New York, according
to a recent study by NDP Analytics. Th at capital
then created over 20,000 jobs and almost $800 million
in wages. And online lenders are making a big
impact in oft en overlooked communities: almost a
third of those loans fueled businesses in ZIP codes
with below-median incomes.
It’s no surprise why small businesses are turning
to online lenders. Online lending is fast and fl exible,
off ering an alternative to savvy business owners
seeking smaller, shorter-term loans. Technology
enables online lenders to gather information about
an applicant’s creditworthiness more effi ciently,
meaning they can approve borrowers and provide
funding when it matters.
But New York’s Department of Financial Services
recently recommended new regulations that would
drive out online lenders. By imposing burdensome
requirements and arbitrary rate caps to block online
lenders from bringing aff ordable credit to the small
business market, these regulations would choke off
capital to businesses and entrepreneurs across the
state. It’s clear who’s on the losing end of these recommendations:
New York’s hard-working small-business
owners and their employees.
What New Yorkers need is thoughtful regulation
that promotes responsible innovation and recognizes
the value of online lending. Online lenders
empower small businesses and their local economies
Just because your sandwiches are old school
doesn’t mean your lender should be. Meanwhile,
you can turn your focus back to the eager New
Yorkers waiting around the corner. Th ose Cubanos
aren’t going to grill themselves.
Scott Stewart is the CEO of the Innovative Lending
Platform Association, the nation’s leading trade
organization for online lending companies serving
small businesses, including OnDeck, Kabbage,
Lendio, Th e Business Backer, Breakout Capital,
PayNet, 6th Avenue Capital and Orion First.
A LOOK BACK