WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES JANUARY 19, 2017 13 LETTERS AND COMMENTS PLEA TO KEEP CLEARVIEW PEDESTRIAN RAMPS OPEN Editor’s note: The following is an open letter by the author to State Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. It is with great concern that my civic association learned at the January monthly meeting of Queens Community Board 11 that the New York State Department of Transportation is planning to close down and remove two pedestrian ramps that go under the Long Island Rail Road trestle along the Clearview Expressway here in Bayside, Queens. They will not be replaced. For years, my civic association, which covers this particular part of Bayside, has been noticing the deterioration of these two ramps. Now we learn that the ramps are scheduled to be removed instead of being refurbished. This is unacceptable. These two ramps are used by the residents of the area to get from one side of Bayside to the other. The LIRR divides Bayside into two halves with very limited places for pedestrians to cross from one side to the other. There are service roads that go under the tracks on either side of the Clearview Expressway. I fear that if the two ramps are removed, pedestrians will resort to walking along these service roads to go from one side of the tracks to the other. This would be extremely dangerous since there are no sidewalks along the sections of the service roads that go underneath the trestle, and many vehicles notoriously speed along those particular sections. We call on your agency to come and discuss alternative plans with local residents that will lead to the refurbishment of the ramps so that residents can continue to use them. Henry Euler, First Vice President, Auburndale Improvement Association WOMEN SHOULD GET TESTED TO PREVENT CERVICAL CANCER January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and the Cancer Services Program of Queens (CSPQ) wants to raise awareness that cervical cancer is preventable! Regular screening is key to fi nding abnormal cells early so they can be treated before they turn into cancer. According to the latest New York State data (2014), about 8 out of 10 women age 21 to 65 years have been screened for cervical cancer in the past three years. While this is great news, the data also shows that women without health insurance are signifi cantly less likely to be screened (64 percent) compared to those with health insurance (86 percent). The CSPQ off ers free cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured women, ages 40 and older. Our program also provides free breast and colon cancer screening to eligible New York State residents. If you are insured, talk to your doctor about cervical cancer screening. It is a covered service under most health plans, including Medicaid plans and plans participating in the New York State of Health. You can prevent cervical cancer with the right test at the right time! Jacqueline Xouris, Clinical Director, CSP of Queens READER THINKS TRUMP CABINET PICK IS LOW-ENERGY Is anyone surprised that Donald Trump chose Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy? The same Rick Perry who couldn’t remember during the 2011 presidential debate that the Energy Department was one of the three government agencies he wanted to eliminate. If confi rmed, Perry will replace Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist. Moniz succeeded Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winning atomic physicist. Perry’s most recent gig? Contestant on “Dancing With The Stars.” Another “excellent” choice by Trump? Absolutely pathetic. Robert LaRosa, Whitestone OP-ED Our Strategy For Record Safety With Catholic Schools Week set to take place later this month, we dug through the Ridgewood Times archives and came across this vintage picture. Here are eighth-graders from Class 8B of St. Matthias School in Ridgewood in this photo taken during the 1953-54 school year. Send us your historic pictures of Queens by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail printed pictures to A Look Back, c/o The Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you. BY MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO This is an amazing moment for New York City. Let me give you a sense of the public safety records we broke in 2016. Overall, we had the fewest major crimes in modern history. We had the fewest shootings and for the fi rst time there were fewer than 1,000 shootings in a year. We had the fewest robberies. We had the fewest burglaries. In 1990, there were more than 2,200 murders on the streets of New York. Think about what that meant for the people of this city. One murder is one murder too many, but last year, there were 335 murders, out of a population of 8.5 million people. To sum up, 2016 was one of the safest years in the modern, recorded history of New York City. What New Yorkers and our police force have achieved together over the past two decades didn’t happen easily. It took the courage, brain power and hard work of legions of heroes, in uniform and out, many of whose names will never be known. Today, the NYPD is perfecting a strategy of precision policing in combination with neighborhood policing. Enforcement is focused on the small number of people in the small number of places who are responsible for most of the violence and the police are working in partnership with communities. That combination of the right strategy and the right partnership with New Yorkers is the cornerstone of our success. When I came into offi ce, I reached a consensus with then Commissioner Bill Bratton, our new Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill and the NYPD leadership. We believed that if we got offi cers and community members to communicate better and to foster a sense of common purpose we could make this city even safer. We call it Neighborhood Policing. A LOOK BACK Neighborhood Policing frees up cops to walk the same beat day aft er day, get to know the community and hand out cards with emails and phone numbers. This fundamentally changes the dynamic on the street. Suddenly, police and people become allies. They share information, and crimes are prevented before they even occur. And it is already working. Everywhere I go, I hear excited New Yorkers telling me about meeting their local Neighborhood Coordination Offi cers and the successes they’ve had making lives and communities better. Preliminary statistics suggest that areas with Neighborhood Policing are on average seeing greater reductions in crime than the city has a whole. The NYPD leadership and I also understood that some of the policies of the past were not working. We needed a change in Stop-and-Frisk and since I took offi ce, we have reduced Stop-and- Frisk 93 percent. We have placed a fundamental focus on training and supporting our offi cers to use proper discretion. Obviously, there are times when an arrest is the right thing to do, but there are times when other tools might be more eff ective. So, since I took offi ce, arrests are down 20 percent and crime continues to go down at the same time. Our history sends us a clear message. New York has been and continues to be the greatest city in the world because this is a place for everyone. We aren’t perfect, but over centuries we have learned to be both one of the most diverse and one of the most harmonious places on earth. So, let us honor the legacy of all the New Yorkers who fought for a safer and more respectful city. Let us show the world that in the largest, grittiest, most intense urban environment in the United States, harmony, prosperity and safety can all go together.
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