42 The QUEE NS Courier • SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com editorial letters THE QUEENS Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Bob Brennan Tonia N. Cimino Amy Amato-Sanchez Nirmal Singh Graziella Zerilli Stephen Reina Ron Torina, Jennifer Decio, Cheryl Gallagher Melisa Chan, Liam La Guerre, Cristabelle Tumola Maggie Hayes, Angy Altamirano Cliff Kasden, Samantha Sohmer, Elizabeth Aloni Cristabelle Tumola Bill Krese Jan DiGeronimo Maria Romero Louise Cavaliere Celeste Alamin Maria Valencia Daphne Fortunate Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Publisher & E ditor Co-Publisher Associate Publisher Editor-In-Chief VP, Events, Web & Social Media Art Director Assistant to Publisher Assistant Art Director Artists Staff Reporters Contributing Reporters Web Editor Editorial Cartoonist Director, Business Developm ent Events Manager Senior Acc ount Executive Classified Manager Controller Office Manager President & CEO Vice President Schneps Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361 718-224-5863 • Fax 718-224-5441 website: www.queenscourier.com e-mail:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Entire Contents Copyright 2013 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 office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, 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 five 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 Quens 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. Unsafe safety standards According to the lead story in a recent edition of the Washington Post, the meat inspection program that USDA plans to roll out in meat and poultry plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop production of contaminated meat. The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines and replace USDA safety inspectors with their own employees. But plants operating under this program have experienced some of the worst health and safety violations that include failure to remove fecal matter and partly digested food, according to USDA inspector general. These contaminants may contain complex strains of deadly E. coli and listeria. Traditionally, the USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than health and safety concerns of American consumers. Consumer interests come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house. The Obama administration must reallocate responsibility for consumer safety to the Food and Drug administration. In the meantime, each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of plantbased meats offered in local supermarkets. Felix Britt Fresh Meadows Blood supplies critically low Multiple calendar hurdles, lower than normal donor turnout, plus high demand from area hospitals have reduced our community blood supply to critical levels – notably less than a one-day supply of O-negative “universal donor” blood, which can be transfused into anyone in trauma situations when there is no time for blood typing. In addition, types B-negative and A-negative are also very low. “Our 200 hospital partners have been great about working with us to manage the tight supplies following the holidays,” said New York Blood Center (NYBC) Vice President Rob Purvis. “But, when patients need blood, they need blood, and our hospitals have requested more than our community has been able to supply over Labor Day and last week’s holidays.” On top of that, many schools, which provide at least a quarter of the blood IDENTIFY THIS PLACE supply, have late starts this year. To make up for the shortfall as quickly as possible, NYBC has a wide variety of donor centers and blood drives open this week. See NYBC’s website for a list of available locations: www.nybloodcenter.org. Operators are standing by to help donors with appointments at 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566). New York Blood Center Support programs Joe Lhota has won the GOP nomination for mayor. As a result, tons of stray kittens and cats have let out a collective meow of horror. Recently, two adorable stray kittens became New York City celebrities when they became stranded on the subway tracks of a Brooklyn station and train service was halted as a result. Luckily for the cats, they were rescued by altruistic cops and MTA workers, who in compassionate fashion, made great efforts to capture the frightened felines. Most New Yorkers breathed a sigh of relief and commended those involved for their lifesaving work. Several mayoral candidates lauded the efforts and spouted their love for helpless kittens throughout the city. But not everyone was so pleased by the incident. Sadly, and shamefully mayoral candidate Joe Lhota coldheartedly remarked he would not have stopped subway service to save the cats. Times like these demonstrate that yes, all humans share the same basic genetic makeup, but not all of us have the same heart. The number of stray cats is an epidemic in this city. There must be laws requiring all cats acquired from shelters and other venues be spayed or neutered. And more importantly, the city must give more support financially and advertise spay neuter programs like the one the ASPCA runs. The ASPCA runs a trap neuter return workshop and a brief online class for those that can’t make the workshop. Both options result in a person becoming a If this program was supported more wholeheartedly, the homeless stray cat population would be greatly reduced and those two kittens never would have wound up on the train tracks shutting down train service. In places where this trap neuter return program is instituted aggressively, stray cat populations have plummeted. Richmond Hill Go to www.queenscourier.com and search “Identify This Place” to find out where this is SENSELESS TRAGEDY Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the shooting victims at the Washington Navy Yard. Reports say alleged gunman, now deceased, Aaron Alexis, used to live in Flushing. This really brings the tragedy home for us. But what we want to know is why – and how – Alexis, reportedly a Navy reservist from May 2007 until January 2011, when he was kicked out following a gun arrest, was armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and possibly a rifle when he walked into the building. And reports say that Alexis suffered paranoia, had a sleeping disorder and heard voices. Why was he not being treated? How did he get the guns? When will the madness end? How much blood has to be shed, how many lives have to be lost before we do something about gun control? Obviously, in the coming weeks more will be known about the incident – and about the alleged suspect. But we must not wait to enact tougher gun control legislation. Thorough background checks must be done, and any permit applicant must be thoroughly vetted before being approved. We are urging our elected officials on the city, state, even federal levels to do something before another senseless tragedy hits home. PROTECT OUR CHILDREN Luckily, last week tragedy was averted when heroes helped rescue one of the five students injured when an SUV mounted the sidewalk on Grand Avenue, only about a block from the students’ school, I.S. 73. The corner is usually filled with children in the morning during school time, and many students go into the store to get breakfast, say workers at the deli. Additionally, Grand Avenue is a busy, narrow commercial strip with many trucks, buses and cars. Besides I.S. 73, about a block from the scene is P.S. 58 and Maspeth High School. Residents have been highlighting the need for safety measures to protect students for some time. So why is nothing being done? We need to do traffic studies around all city schools to figure out what safety measures need to be enacted to keep our kids safe. There needs to be speed enforcement, better signage, the “Safe Routes to School” program – whatever it takes to make sure the students get to class in one piece. We need to be the students at this point and learn from this so that it never happens to our kids again.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above