FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 • THE COURIER SUN 19 oped letters & comments WHY IS NYC STILL WAITING FOR ITS FIRST WALMART? School will soon be open, but once again out of work, single income, poor, working and middleclass parents looking for reasonably priced clothing and educational supplies will have to pay more. This is thanks to elected offi cials who believe they know what is best for you. Residents in the other 57 counties outside of New York City within New York State have had the option of shopping or not shopping at Walmart for decades. The same is true for virtually every other city and state. Only NYC is behind the times. Many elected city offi cials feel that we should oppose Walmart because of substandard salaries and unfair competition they would provide against smaller stores. Construction of a new Walmart can provide work for construction contractors and their employees. Once opened, there are employment opportunities for many workers. The city would benefi t by millions in sales, payroll and real estate tax revenue which could help fund essential municipal services everyone desires. Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with more than 1,200,000 employees and growing each year. Tens of millions of Americans including many fellow New Yorkers own stock in Walmart. The same is true for the various retirement and pension plans many people participate in. Starting pay averages several dollars above the minimum wage for new employees around the nation. Several hundred thousand New Yorkers work off the books, full- and part-time with no benefi ts. Many existing retailers pay minimum wage with no benefi ts. These same public offi cials opposing Walmart never talk about these abuses. Larry Penner, Great Neck CITY SHOWS TOTAL APATHY WHEN IT COMES TO HOMELESS The awful system of this city and administration in their dealing with the homeless such as warehousing them in sub-par places, hotel rooms, shelters without the proper security, sticking people from the Bronx all the way out in Jamaica, shows just how little they care. Yet, when hard-working residents who do not want to see their communities go down the tubes, quality-of-life issues rise and property values go down because of constant dumping of sub-par homeless shelters, they are then called racists or have no heart. But it is the city and this administration who are racists and have no heart the way they are handing this situation while making big money off of this. New York City should also not be a “right to shelter” city, which then allows people from other states to come here with no money, no job and then the city has to house them courtesy of us taxpayers. QNS user Joe PROUD THAT MOTHER TERESA IS NOW A SAINT Mother Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis on Sept. 4. She is sainted due to her tireless dedication and her courageous spirit in caring for the children and the poor. As reported by the Catholic News Service, she was born in Macedonia. Mother Teresa helped India’s destitute for more than 50 years and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. In answering a call to serve the poorest of the poor, she became known as “the saint of the gutters.” The former Loreto sister founded the Missionaries of Charity, which now has more than 4,500 nuns worldwide, and co-founded the Missionary Brothers of Charity. Since 1952, her Nirmal Hriday Pure Heart home for the dying has cared for thousands of people abandoned on Calcutta’s streets. Her long life should be an example for all of us to care for all those in need by volunteering to those charitable organizations that aid in that effort. As a Catholic and as grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911 in Douglaston, I applaud the canonization of Mother Teresa. Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village Help your child A LOOK BACK succeed in the new school year BY ELSIE MCCABE THOMPSON As the new school year resumes this month, my thoughts turn to those students who have the will to succeed, but not always the resources. Too often we hear about dreams extinguished by a lack of opportunity across our nation. Inadequate education is perhaps the most signifi cant of the factors perpetuating intergenerational poverty. The New York City Department of Education has ranked many schools in our city’s poorest neighborhoods as “failing.” The consequences are disastrous: in East Harlem, only 31 percent of children perform at or above grade level in reading, and just 27 percent do so in math. In the Bronx, just 24 percent perform at or above grade level in reading and 21 percent do so in math. Accordingly, the high school graduation rates in these communities are distressingly low, too. Consequently, few children that the New York City Mission Society serves have any immediate family members who have graduated college, and so do not view educational achievement as a viable pathway to socioeconomic security. As a parent, I recognize that it takes more than any one person, but rather a collaborative community effort to help our students become successful. Our schools cannot shoulder the burden alone. At the Mission Society, we have developed after-school academic programming to enhance our students’ skills. These extra resources strengthen their critical thinking and communication skills, and expose them to new careers. This fall, I encourage parents and guardians to take steps to help their children. Join a local community education council or a Parent Teacher Association, and attend after-school events to learn about your child’s day — showing them that their schoolwork is important and valued. Parents of English Language Learners can have their children translate what they’ve learned each day. But parents should also get to know one another — and identify ways to collaborate with schools and communities. Meet with school leadership and staff, and parent coordinators, to encourage feedback about their child’s strengths and weaknesses. We regularly hold after-school parent workshops to help adults better support their students, and welcome any newcomers. When we work together, we can yield even greater change and open doors to new possibilities, new opportunities and new student successes. Elsie McCabe Thompson is president of the New York City Mission Society, a human services organization serving New York City since 1812. Here’s a gem we found on the Facebook page, “You must have lived in Ridgewood if you remember...” even though it has little to do with Ridgewood. This 1944 photo shows Main Street looking north at Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Flushing. As it is today, there are plenty of people walking about doing their shopping. The spire of St. George Church towers over the area at left. Send us your historic photos of Queens on our Facebook page, www. facebook.com/QNS, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail printed pictures to The Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
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