FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 35
oped letters & comments
Why solar power is
viable option for NY
Th e election of real Democrats
in the primaries earlier this
month is proof voters across in
the Empire State want real, progressive
change when it comes
to issues like the environment.
Th at’s why committing to 1
million solar-powered homes
across the state over the next fi ve years — along with
implementing supportive policy mechanisms — is a
bold, essential, and attainable step we should take.
For the fi rst time in years, New York could have a
Democrat-led state Senate that should recognize the
dangers of a rising global temperature. We know too
well that climate change is more than a looming threat;
it is extreme weather that has pummeled our region in
the last decade. Just ask the Rockaway residents still
rebuilding six years aft er Sandy, or commuters bracing
for the lengthy L train shutdown over storm damage.
New York City has sought to reduce its reliance on
dirty fossil fuels with various forms of cleaner, renewable
energy. It’s paramount here in western Queens,
where adult asthma hospitalization rates are higher
than the boroughwide average as our residents deal
with high density and cramped streets.
Soot from the Ravenswood Power Plant fi nds its way
into the lungs of public housing residents who live
downwind of its smokestacks. Th at just shouldn’t be.
Plummeting prices are making solar a cost-eff ective,
signifi cantly cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Th at’s why,
in February 2016, the City Council passed my bill to promote
solar panels on city-owned buildings wherever possible,
because government should lead by example.
In my native Astoria, we have allocated funds to install
panels on two schools as well as one of the busiest branches
of the Queens Library system. Our next generation of
leaders will come of age seeing fi rst-hand how renewable
energy can directly aff ect their lives on a daily basis.
Consumers have taken note, too, and the Empire
State now boasts 700 solar companies who employ a
combined 9,000 workers. Nearly 100,000 installations
have generated enough power for 225,000 homes –
making us the 11th-best state for solar energy. Th at
600% increase of installations since 2011 has catapulted
New York into the top ten for growth potential.
We cannot rest on our laurels, however, because
there’s always more to be done. Th e right solar policies
could equal 20,000 employees in the industry over the
next three years, according to a recent jobs study. And
there’s no reason why New York City shouldn’t carry a
large swath of those jobs, be it in engineering, design,
construction, or installation.
Th at’s why I believe committing to 1 million
solar-powered homes by 2023, including for 100,000
low-income households, will be a watershed moment
for New York State. Indeed, it would make costs cheaper,
especially for families struggling to make ends meet.
More importantly, solar can keep the air cleaner in
working-class communities like Queens – such as those
living in the shadow of Ravenswood.
Community solar ensures that the nearly half of New
Yorkers who rent or live in multi-family buildings get
the same bill-saving benefi ts.
I look forward to working our partners in state government
and our stakeholders in fi rst making this commitment,
then following through to make this a greener
state, a greener city, and a greener Queens.
Constantinides represents the City Council’s 22nd
District and is chair of the Committee on Environmental
TED CRUZ’S LINGUINE,
AND THE FALL OF
More than a thousand immigrant
children, many of whom came with
parents seeking refugee status fl eeing
murderous gangs funded by the
drug addiction of suburban teenagers
in America, are still missing,
some likely traffi cked as sex slaves.
Puerto Rico is still struggling to
put the lights back on aft er a hurricane
that killed 3,000 people, which
the president still denies even happened.
Cancer patients may lose their
life-sustaining health care and special
education students may lose
their IEPs, but only if they’re poor
and black or brown.
Th ree times in two decades the
party that got the most votes in an
election didn’t actually win. Th e
political party that did, conspired
to leave open a Supreme Court
seat for almost a year in order to
allow their guy to appoint someone
of their own liking, then they
openly bragged about it and got
away with it. Now they’re trying
to force through an alleged sexual
assaulter into a lifetime appointment
on the highest court in the
land, regardless of whether or not
he tried to rape a girl, while they
openly admit it.
Th e president, meanwhile, is regularly
threatening to obstruct justice
by trying to interfere with an independent
investigation into whether
or not he conspired with a foreign
government to undermine the
integrity of our political campaigns.
A Neo-Nazi ran a woman over
with a car at a protest.
Men, angry that women won’t satisfy
their sexual desires at will, are
going on killing sprees.
A gay couple was beaten in
Brooklyn by a bigot; a black man
was stabbed by a racist in Times
Square; a woman in Nassau County
carries a whistle everywhere
she goes because she was sexually
assaulted by a group of teenagers;
and immigrants right here
in Queens are afraid to leave their
homes because their neighbors are
intimidating them by threatening
to call ICE.
But Ted Cruz couldn’t eat his linguine
at a fancy Washington, D.C.,
restaurant because of protesters —
and that is what’s going to destroy
Domenick Raft er, Ozone Park
STOP DETENTION OF
Th e plight of immigrant children
is fading from the news as many
of them, although not all, have
been reunited with their parents.
Since 1997, the Flores settlement
has prohibited detention of minors
for more than 20 days. However,
proposed new regulations from the
Department of Homeland Security
as of Sept. 6, 2018, would allow
immigrant children to be detained
Some of these children are with
their families, while others have
sought asylum in the United States
on their own, without their families.
If these new rules take eff ect, children
and families may be held in
long term detention.
Detention has devastating longterm
eff ects on children. It is unnecessary
since there are proven alternatives
to mass detention that are
eff ective, more humane and less
expensive. With a greater number
of detentions is possible that even
more detention centers will be created
across the U.S., without any
oversight from state inspections and
no time limit on child detention.
We, the public, can raise our voices
in support of immigrant children
and asylum seekers by commenting
on this proposed regulation before
it is fi nalized. Th e deadline for comment
is Nov. 6, 2018.
To add your voice, go to
Regulations.gov (the Federal
Register’s website) and click on
“Apprehension, Processing, Care
and Custody of Alien Minors and
Unaccompanied Alien Children.”
You will be able to read more about
the proposal and to see the comments
of others. Click on the blue
“Comment Now” button, write
your comment and “Submit” to
leave your own statement. It only
takes a few minutes to take action
on this disastrous policy. Please take
the time to try and help these children!
Anne Bjornson, Bayside
YOU CALL THAT A
Governor Andrew Cuomo
shouldn’t be proud of his 2018
Democratic Party Primary win.
Out of 5,621,822 registered active
potential Democrats statewide,
only 975,552 voted him, while
511,585 voted for Cynthia Nixon.
Th at means 4,134,685 who voted
for “none of the above” by staying
In reality, when you add up the
combined votes of Nixon with those
who stayed home, less than 18 percent
of registered Democrats supported
He had the benefi ts and perks of
eight years being governor, including
daily free media coverage, and
periodic mailings from state agencies
and authorities at taxpayers’
expense promoting his accomplishments.
Virtually every state Democratic
Party city, state and federal elected
offi cial, district and county leader,
local club house along with most
labor unions endorsed him. Th is
included mailings, phone banks and
get out the vote drives. He raised
over $32 million, and Cuomo spent
over $25 million on the primary
campaign. Th is included a media
buy in the millions; his campaign
commercials ran 24/7 on most
channels for weeks. His primary
opponent Cynthia Nixon raised
Ms. Nixon was vastly outspent
and could aff ord a very limited
media buy to get her message out.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
Email your letters to editorial@
qns.com (Subject: Letter to the
Editor) or leave a comment to any
of our stories at QNS.com. You can
also send a letter by regular mail
to Letters to the Editor, 38-15 Bell
Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All letters
are subject to editing. Names will be
withheld upon request, but anonymous
letters will not be considered
for publication. Th e views expressed
in all letters and comments are not
necessarily those of this newspaper
or its staff .