WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES OCTOBER 13 – 19, 2016 13 LETTERS AND COMMENTS DISASTER ON THE RAILS: THE NEW NORMAL? Regarding the Maspeth hitand run train accident: First it’s the bad safety record for MTA Metro-North Railroad, then the commuter rail division for New Jersey Transit, and finally the MTA Long Island Rail Road and its colleague, the New York and Atlantic Railway? That is the norm for these railway industries, especially among others across the northeast. QNS user Pedro Valdez Rivera GET INVOLVED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and is a reminder for all of us to do something. Throughout the month of October, women are encouraged to make mammography appointments. I know my wife of almost 30 years goes every year for this test, and I know it scares her because breast cancer runs in her family and she has had friends who have had this disease. Yet each time she goes for the test I’m afraid to hear the worst and maybe lose the most important person in my life. I know many men have fears like myself. But we all must remember that early detection is the answer. Also, when coupled with new treatment options, mammography screenings do improve a women’s chance of survival. We all need to get involved and do what we can to help fi ght against this insidious disease, donating money to the American Cancer Society and organizations that help women cope with this disease. There are also runs and walks this month that help raise money and those who can should enlist and volunteer their eff orts in these fundraisers. Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village WHAT ARE THEY HIDING IN THE RAILROAD CRASH REPORT? So an FOIA request to see all the crossings FRA has inspected in the country results would show? This didn’t happen overnight so where are the state and Federal inspectors sleeping? What doesn’t make sense is all the crossings before and after are LIRR and this one just happens to be New York and Atlantic Railway. I’d say with 21 other collisions there with speeds over 20 mph someone is covering LIRR’s poor safety record. Some of their findings is spending taxpayer funds on private railroad property which is a naughty-naughty shameshame in the Constitution. So is the engineer sitting on a island somewhere on the railroad’s nickel or laying under a train during the cover up? QNS user rob Here’s a gem of a photo we found on Facebook through our friends at the group “You must have lived in Ridgewood if you remember...” This 1960s photo shows the storefront of Schaefer Plumbing & Heating at the corner of 60th Drive and Fresh Pond Road in Maspeth. Note the Bohack supermarket in the background; it was more recently a Staples offi ce supply store, but that shop has closed. Share your historic photos of Queens with us by emailing email@example.com or mail printed pictures to The Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you. A LOOK BACK OP-ED Too many children are dying under the watch of ACS BY PUBLIC ADVOCATE LETITIA JAMES When 6-year-old Zymere Perkins died last month, our city was awakened to the truth about the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS): ACS is failing to protect our most vulnerable children. While we were rightfully outraged by Zymere’s death, his is sadly not the only one like it. From August 2014 through September 2015, 123 children died under the watch of ACS — almost nine children a month. My offi ce recently released a report examining these deaths, investigating eight of them in-depth. Our report found that the institutional dysfunction and mismanagement of ACS led to avoidable child fatalities. In other words, these children did not have to die. Aft er Zymere’s death, I publicly criticized ACS management once again, and Mayor de Blasio said I was “dead wrong” for doing so. I say it’s dead wrong how many children are dying under the watch of ACS. For over two years, I have pushed for policy solutions to fundamentally fix ACS. For over two years, the administration has ignored these calls. I have pushed for the agency to exercise more rigorous oversight over its contract agencies and adequately train and supervise caseworkers. I have pushed for ACS to provide deeper on-going support to children exiting foster care or child preventive services to ensure these children aren’t being re-abused or neglected. Support should also be provided to families who are being reunited with their children. Lastly, I have pushed for ACS to ensure that the healthcare needs of at-risk and ill children are being met. Half of the reported fatalities in my report resulted from families not seeking timely medical attention for their children and from ACS not conducting the appropriate number of medical visits with sick children. In these cases, deaths could have been avoided had ACS provided the proper oversight. ACS and the administration have refused to make meaningful reforms, instead focusing on good sounding but ineff ective half measures and non-binding committees to study problems. If recent history is an indicator, multiple children have died since Zymere — their stories just didn’t make the front page of the paper. It’s past time to drastically reform our child welfare system. ACS and the administration must put the focus on saving our most vulnerable children’s lives. They must adopt meaningful and fundamental fi xes to ensure we have a system that eff ectively cares for our children. As public advocate for the City of New York, Letitia James is the second-highest ranking offi cial in the city and serves as a watchdog over city agencies, and investigates complaints about city services.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above