FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
PROUD OF MEMORIAL
On behalf of myself and my
family, I want to thank the Forest
Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps,
Alan Wolfe, P.J. Marcel, and the
Punishers for the outstanding job
on Sunday 9/8’s Run For Richie.
Without the team work and all the
participants, it could never have
It is truly appreciated the dedication
given to keep Richard’s name
alive, as well as all the people murdered
on Sept. 11, 2001, by a group
of cowards with one mission: to
destroy and conquer.
Th e Run for Richie is one way
among many to show how strong
and united we are. Th ere were people
of all walks of life, religious and
ethnic backgrounds showing that
we are one strong force to be reckoned
with, united for a cause. We
will never forget.
For the people who wrote or
said things on Facebook or elsewhere
about the Run for Richie,
they should look in the mirror and
thank every day they have with
their loved ones, and never have to
face what thousands of people like
myself face every day. Th ey were
upset because of the delay of traffi c.
Well, time can be made up, but a
life can not be made up. Once it’s
gone, it’s gone forever. No amount
of time, money or material things
can bring back a lost loved one.
So those complaining should get
off their high horses and thank God
for every day they have with family
Dorie Pearlman and
Family, Howard Beach
On Sept. 8, I made the unfortunate
decision to travel on Queens
Boulevard, from Rego Park to
Forest Hills in a vehicle.
I tried to get past the intersection
of Yellowstone and Queens
Boulevards, traveling east, without
much success. It seems that
“blocking the box,” at that intersection
and others, in Forest Hills, has
become a daily routine.
Where is the enforcement of that
very traffi c violation that the 112th
Precinct has promised previously?
I had to wait for three changes of
the traffi c lights before I was able
to pass that intersection!
Granted, there was a street fair,
on Austin Street that Sunday, but
the intersection in question is only
two blocks away from the stationhouse.
If traffi c law enforcement is
no longer a priority, for the NYPD,
shouldn’t they tell us that?
Th is is an ongoing problem, for
this intersection as well as for the
intersections of Queens Boulevard
and 71st-Continental Avenue,
and 71st-Continental Avenue and
As I made my way along Queens
Boulevard, I recalled being a part
of the community group that
years ago gave New York City’s
Department of Transportation recommendations
for making Queens
Boulevard safer from Yellowstone
Boulevard to Union Turnpike.
Th e group was to make traffi c
run smoother, to keep pedestrians
safer when crossing Queens
Boulevard and to help cyclists traverse
the boulevard without being
run down by fast-moving cars.
Why have none of our recommendations
been implemented by now?
Only with strenuous enforcement
of the current traffi c laws,
will traveling on Queens Boulevard
be better than it has been. When
did the NYPD decide that traffi
c enforcement, along Queens
Boulevard, is not worth their time?
S.M. Sobelsohn, Kew Gardens
WHO ARE THE REAL
In 2009, during the fi rst six
months of President Obama’s term,
he approved a bailout of failing
banks and investment fi rms on
Wall Street. He was called a “socialist”
Th is was a staggering example
of hypocrisy, because in October
2008, a month before the election,
President George W. Bush and his
Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson,
extended an $800 billion bailout
of Wall Street, in the wake of the
Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.
If President Obama were a true
“socialist,” he would have ordered
the U.S. government to take over
A few months later, President
Obama eff ectuated a bailout, in
the form of federal loan guarantees,
to the troubled auto industry
— primarily General Motors
and Chrysler. Once again, the
Republicans played the socialist
card. Mitt Romney penned an
op-ed in Th e New York Times titled,
“Let Detroit go bankrupt.” Th ey
called GM “Government Motors.”
Th ey called Obama a “used car
However, the facts are that the auto
industry has paid back every penny
of that bailout to the American taxpayers
— with interest.
Fast forward to 2018. President
Trump gave a non-returnable welfare
bailout to U.S. farmers to the
tune of $12 billion. Th e farmers
won’t have to pay the government
back. Th is was to make up
for Trump’s absurd tariff war with
Trump was not done. Th is past
month, he gave farmers another
$16 billion, although “big agriculture”
companies got a great deal of
We can only conclude from the
above facts that it is Trump and
the Republicans who are the true
Robert Vogel, Bayside
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To honor the labor movement,
secure paid personal time
for all New Yorkers
BY JUMAANE WILLIAMS
On Labor Day, we remembered and
elevated the countless ways in which
unions have fought to improve the lives
of people who work to support their
families and build our nation.
Th ese organizations have worked
across generations to secure the fi ve-day work week, paid
family and medical leave, safer working conditions, child
labor laws, and other advancements, many of which are
oft en taken for granted today.
To truly honor that legacy and obtain justice for undervalued
working New Yorkers, we must take another crucial
step by leading our nation – a nation that lags behind
dozens of countries in this area– to secure paid personal
time for all.
Th e fi ght for paid time off is not new. It spans generations,
beginning as early as the New Deal era, when President
William Howard Taft argued in 1910 that Americans need
up to three months of time off to ensure they could keep
working “with the energy and eff ectiveness.” Our labor
unions picked up the torch and in the 1930s, began negotiating
to acquire paid time off coverage as the Labor
Department investigated whether the nation should have
a federal vacation policy. By 1943, eight million unionized
employees had paid time off , up from two million in 1940.
Now, in 2019, a culture of overwork dominates our
nation, and paid time off is treated as a privilege aff orded
only to some well-off workers.
Currently, the US is the only advanced economy that
does not guarantee paid personal time for workers. By
comparison, Australia requires employers to off er at least
20 paid personal days per year, while many European
countries off er up to 30 paid personal days per year. A
recent survey found that 52 percent of low-wage workers
nationally have paid personal time as compared to 91 percent
of high-wage workers.
Th ese statistics reveal a question of equity, fairness, and
worker justice. Mandating paid personal time is the answer.
Workers who are viewed as subjects unworthy of rest
can be forced to make a decision as to whether they miss
much-needed pay or risk termination because of needed
time away from work. Th ey are forced to make an unjust
choice just to get by, paralyzed by policy and by a culture that
reprimands, rather than rewards, taking such personal time.
Ours is a culture of overwork and undervalue. But it is
also a culture of working people fi ghting for their rights
and the rights of others, standing together, and building a
movement for justice.
To advance justice and equity for 3.4 million working
New Yorkers, fi ve years ago I introduced a fi rst-of-its-kind
bill to guarantee paid personal time for most employees. It
would require employers to give workers 80 hours of paid
personal time annually, attained on an accrual basis. Some
have raised concerns about increased costs, including in
the small business community – as a former small business
owner myself, I am sensitive and receptive to their
We can work together, as we did with paid sick leave, as
we did in the Fight for 15, to enact legislation that works
for all in the workplace.
Moreover, employers will benefi t from the proven gains
that paid leave provides employees – improved mental and
physical health, lower stress, greater morale, and increased
productivity, among others.
Aft er fi ve years with this legislation, and the many
decades of work that led us to this point, we can seize the
momentum of the moment and create transformational
Williams is the public advocate of the city of New York.