18 THE COURIER SUN • FEBRUARY 5, 2015 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.couriersun.com editorial letters sun WWW.COURIERSUN.COM Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Bob Brennan Tom Topousis Amy Amato-Sanchez Nirmal Singh Graziella Zerilli Stephen Reina Ron Torina, Jennifer Decio, Cheryl Gallagher Liam La Guerre, Cristabelle Tumola, Angy Altamirano Katrina Medoff, Eric Jankiewicz, Salvatore Licata Cliff Kasden, Samantha Sohmer, Elizabeth Aloni Cristabelle Tumola Demetra Plagakis Warren Susman Celeste Alamin Maria Valencia Daphne Fortunate Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. 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IDENTIFY THIS PLACE Go to www.queenscourier.com and search “Identify This Place” to find out where this is Rethink road closures The new phenomenon of shutting down all roads — not just major highways — in anticipation of a snowstorm needs to be seriously reexamined. I am the president of Glen Oaks Village, a co-op of 10,000 residents. The overreaction to the “blizzard” this past week by the governor and mayor in shutting down all local roads to non-emergency vehicles at 11 p.m. created enormous problems for us and other large co-ops. We have maintenance employees working the 4 p.m. to midnight shift who have been plowing our sidewalks and driveways to keep ahead of the heavy snowfall. These individuals need to drive home after their shift has ended and return in the morning to continue plowing and shoveling the front stoops of our 3,000 families. They will now be subject to $300 fines according to the governor should they be on the road after 11 p.m. Closing all roads and issuing $300 fines has created enormous problems for our co-op. Our residents expect driveways to be plowed and walkways to be cleared, a responsibility that the board of directors of the co-op takes very seriously. Shutting down all local roads makes that virtually impossible. More thought should have been given to this. Because a few people don’t act responsibly in a snowstorm is not a reason to shut down the entire transportation grid of the city, especially when individuals are employed in jobs that require them to be at work. Asking people to exercise caution and common sense during severe weather instead of infantilizing them is a better solution than a one-sizefits all approach. I urge our elected representative to raise this issue with the mayor and governor so that we may see a more reasoned approach with the next severe storm. Bob Friedrich Glen Oaks Village Tragic toll of domestic violence Last month’s family tragedy in southeast Queens once again underscores the human toll and horror of domestic violence. Despite the progress that we have made in domestic violence prevention and prosecution, this tragic case shows that we cannot relent in our efforts to eliminate the scourge of domestic violence. The latest statistics from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence show a 41 percent reduction since 2002 in intimate partner homicides. This sorrowful incident demonstrates yet again that even one domestic violence homicide is one too many. Statistics show that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and more than three million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year. If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, I urge you to report it before it is too late. The 24-hour domestic violence hotline number is 1-800-621-HOPE. Richard A. Brown District Attorney Flushing Town Hall thanks MTA for 7 train service for Lunar New Year We at Flushing Town Hall would like to thank the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for suspending its 7 line construction work on the Feb. 21 to 22 weekend of the annual Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing. The parade is not only a culturally vital celebration, but a popular attraction that draws visitors from across the city and region. The impact on our area’s businesses and neighborhood’s cultural and historic sites cannot be overstated. It is why Flushing Town Hall has scheduled a Lunar New Year Dance Sampler and an exhibition of dynamic calligraphy, some created by 103-year-old Flushing resident Chao-Lin Ting, on that Sunday. We applaud Assembly Member Ron Kim, Councilman Peter Koo, Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, state Senator Toby Stavisky, and our Asian-American community leaders for appealing to the MTA to ensure the 7 train would keep running. The MTA’s decision has given us much to celebrate as the Lunar New Year approaches. Ellen Kodadek VISIT QueensCourier.com FOR MORE STORIES Queens is at the center of Mayor de Blasio’s housing plans It’s great to see that Queens is playing a large role in Mayor de Blasio’s vision for the city’s future. In his State of the City speech on Feb. 3, the mayor unveiled a number of proposals involving our borough, including what he called a “game changer” that would create 11,250 new units of permanently affordable housing over the Sunnyside Rail Yard. The mayor has called for the construction of 80,000 new units of affordable housing across the city by 2024, in addition to what he projects will be 160,000 units of market-rate housing to meet the almost insatiable demand for homes in a city that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. With limited space to build, it’s no wonder that the Sunnyside Yards and its nearly 200 acres would be a tempting location for new housing. But we hope our local officials hold the mayor to his pledge to work with neighboring communities as they push forward with this megaproject — a new housing development that would create as many permanently affordable units as Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town. And that’s just the affordable part of the package. Surely, there would be market-rate apartments, shops, stores and perhaps office buildings to go with it. Possibly anticipating opposition over Sunnyside, de Blasio said on Feb. 3, “We know some parts of this site can easily handle larger buildings … and others can’t. So we’ll work closely with elected officials and community leaders to determine what makes sense.” Some community leaders were skeptical, noting their neighborhoods are already over-burdened in terms of public services for a booming population now in place. They have a real cause for concern. Any effort to add tens of thousands of new residents to a neighborhood should only come after the city has laid out a plan to address the growing need for schools, public safety, recreation and transportation. The mayor is embarking on a bold initiative, that also calls for new and affordable housing in western Flushing and in Long Island City. For the transit-starved Rockaways, he is pledging new ferry service. If Mayor de Blasio lives up to his pledge to listen to our local leaders and residents before moving forward, the future of Queens can be a bright one.
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