24 THE QUEENS COURIER • FEBRUARY 9, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM editorial Justice for Karina at last The brutal murder of Howard Beach resident Karina Vetrano last summer shocked the entire nation, but the circumstances of the crime itself — committed in a desolate park with no witnesses or security cameras — made many wonder if her killer would ever be found. Thanks to the unwavering efforts of the New York Police Department and others in the law enforcement community, the alleged culprit is finally behind bars and on the road to prosecution. Chanel Lewis of Brooklyn allegedly gave detectives a very detailed confession that he killed Vetrano on that hot August day in Spring Creek Park; his DNA matched evidence found on Vetrano and at the crime scene. If convicted, he will probably face the rest of his life in prison, a deserving sentence for anyone who would be found guilty of committing such a heinous and violent crime. The NYPD’s investigation took six long months, but by all accounts, they left no proverbial stone unturned. Detectives combed the crime scene, made public appeals for witnesses, waded through hundreds of tips from the public. Hopefully this arrest brings a sense of justice to the beautiful young woman’s family, and eases a neighborhood after months of anxiety and tension. Kudos to the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office on a job well done. Time for food carts to make the grade Mobile food stands, whether by truck or a pushcart, have become one of the biggest popular purveyors of fine cuisine in all of Queens. From souvlaki to gourmet sandwiches, hot dogs to halal chicken over rice, food trucks and carts are a reflection of the borough’s diverse appetite and a testament to entrepreneurship. But some Queens residents may feel a little anxious about ordering from a mobile food stand because there’s no way to determine whether the operators are abiding by sanitary and health guidelines. One local lawmaker wants to change all that. Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz introduced a bill last week that would create a letter-grading system similar to that which the Health Department currently has to rate brick-and-mortar restaurants. The system allows inspectors to rate an operator to ensure that proper food safety guidelines are being met, and the grades themselves enable diners to make smart choices when buying a meal. To us, this seems like a no-brainer. Any company large or small producing food and drink for the masses should be held to high food safety standards at all times. The City Council should pass Koslowitz’s bill, and the mayor should sign it into law shortly thereafter. LONELY GULL OVER LITTLE NECK BAY // PHOTO BY JEFFREY PFLAUM Send us your photos of Queens and you could see them online or in our paper! To submit them to us tag @queenscourier on Instagram, visit our Facebook page, tweet @QNS or email firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Queens Snaps). PUBLISHER & EDITOR CO-PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VP, EVENTS, WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA ART DIRECTOR ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR ARTISTS SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER STAFF REPORTERS CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS EVENTS COORDINATOR ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER CLASSIFIED MANAGER CONTROLLER PRESIDENT & CEO VICE PRESIDENT THE QUEENS VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS BOB BRENNAN ROBERT POZARYCKI AMY AMATO-SANCHEZ NIRMAL SINGH CHERYL GALLGHER RON TORINA, JONATHAN RODRIGUEZ EMILY DAVENPORT KATRINA MEDOFF, ANTHONY GIUDICE, ANGELA MATUA SUZANNE MONTEVERDI CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI JACLYN HERTLING DEBORAH CUSICK CELESTE ALAMIN MARIA VALENCIA VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS Schneps Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361 718-224-5863 • Fax 718-224-5441 www.qns.com editorial e-mail: email@example.com for advertising e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Entire Contents Copyright 2017 by The Queens Courier All letters sent to THE QUEENS COURIER should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of THE QUEENS COURIER. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to THE QUEENS COURIER within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Schneps Communications assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold THE QUEENS COURIER and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to any such advertisement. STORY: BREAKING: Police arrest suspect in murder of Howard Beach’s Karina Vetrano, report says SUMMARY: Six months later, a suspect has been taken into custody in connection to the brutal rape and murder of Karina Vetrano. REACH: 42,974 (as of Feb. 6, 2017).
FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 9, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 25 Leadership isn’t just at the microphone oped BY COUNCILMAN RORY LANCMAN I always say that talk is cheap. Leadership requires more than just talk – it requires action. What we are seeing now from our president is a harrowing new low: where talk is not just cheap, but devoid of credibility, and therefore cheapened to the point of meaninglessness. Donald Trump’s administration is just weeks old, but seemingly on a daily basis Americans have been flooded with misinformation and distorted realities – or as Trump’s team calls them, “alternative facts.” The mendacity of Trump’s claims seemingly has no limit: whether it is touting the size of the crowd at his inauguration – despite widespread evidence to the contrary, or claiming extensive voter fraud occurred in the 2016 presidential election, when no such evidence actually exists. Trump even claims that anyone coming into the country from several majority-Muslim countries, along with refugees from any country, who’ve been thoroughly vetted for many months, is somehow a severe danger to our national security. These insinuations are based in fear-mongering and discrimination, rather than facts and evidence. These alternative facts force the American people to choose between what the president is saying and what they are seeing with their own eyes. Here in New York City, we are proud to stand with immigrant families. But it is not good enough for us to talk about standing up for immigrant families; we need action. Yet for all his talk, Mayor de Blasio is not doing enough to defend immigrant families from possible deportation at the hands of Donald Trump. That is because many minor, nonviolent offenses in New York City are treated as criminal offenses, even as more humane options for holding people accountable are readily available. For example, in 2015 there were nearly 30,000 New Yorkers arrested for subway fare evasion and charged under a section of the New York state penal law that qualifies as a deportable offense under federal immigration law. This is preposterous, and must be changed. Ultimately, it is up to the mayor to tell the NYPD to process cases like these as civil violations, instead of criminal violations, which do not trigger deportation. However, the mayor has not taken this critical action to curtail overzealous policing and protect immigrant New Yorkers. Once again, people are left to differentiate between what a leader is saying and what we can see to be the truth. The m ayor tells us to believe his promises to protect immigrants, while our eyes tell us that he is leaving innocent people at Donald Trump’s mercy. I trust my eyes over cheap words, and the American people should, too. Mr. Mayor, it is time to take action. This 1940s photo shows the exterior of what was once the Oasis movie theater at the corner of Fresh Pond Road and Grove Street in Ridgewood. In its heyday, the 1,700-seat moviehouse was one of the largest in Ridgewood. The 1976 Academy Award-winning “Rocky” was the last film to play at the Oasis before it was transformed into a roller rink. The rink later closed, and it was transformed into a pharmacy. Send us your historic photos of Queens by email to email@example.com, or mail printed pictures to A Look Back, c/o Queens Courier, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. letters & comments MATH DOESN’T ADD UP ON STRINGER DRIVER PLAN According to a recent study by City Controller Scott Stringer, allowing unauthorized immigrants in NYC to get driver’s licenses would generate $9.6 million dollars in fees for the state, boost car sales and lower insurance premiums. The assumption is that it would add 150,000 drivers in the city. I view these statements very skeptically. First of all, as most car owners in Queens (and throughout the five boroughs) would attest, parking spaces are getting harder and harder to find especially when many spaces are taken away by more and more No Standing, No Parking signs, and Citibike racks and such. Where does Stringer expect these cars to be parked? Secondly, our Mayor Bill DeBlasio is trying to eliminate pedestrian deaths from car accidents under his “Vision Zero” initiative. More cars = more accidents = more deaths: basic math there, Scott. I would like for Mr. Stringer to tell us drivers who’ve never had an accident or a moving violation exactly how our insurance rates will be lowered. Thomas Murawski, Glendale NO TOLERANCE FOR INTOLERANCE IN NYC In his first days in office, President Trump has signed orders attacking women’s rights and environmental protections, and is now moving to restrict entry to the United States from majority Muslim countries and ban Syrian refugees. He also is swiftly acting to expand the Mexican border wall and target sanctuary cities like New York City. The Workmen’s Circle was founded by immigrants who arrived in the early 1900s in a United States that was not always welcoming to them. They had to fight for fair paying jobs, safe working conditions, decent housing, education and adequate healthcare, and the Workmen’s Circle responded by organizing activist communities to successfully work for a better world for all. Many of these same rights are now under attack, and we again pledge to organize and empower communities to fight back. The landscape ahead will be one of A LOOK BACK rollbacks to civil liberties and human rights. Here in New York, we can continue to show the country — and world — that we will stand strong against such hate and intolerance. Ann Toback, Executive Director, The Workmen’s Circle PRO-LIFE COLLEGE CLUB DESERVES DESIGNATION The New York Post recently reported that a Queens College student filed a federal lawsuit against her school for refusing to give her pro-life group official club status. A Queens College rep said the school is reviewing its decision-making process. If the student’s charge is true, this is another example of academic institutions sacrificing free speech on the altar of political correctness. Queens College alums like me (B.A. 1962) & N.Y. taxpayers who fund one-third of CUNY’s budget should voice their concern to our elected officials. College must be an open forum for all views, not just those that meet acceptable speech codes. No one is free unless everyone is. Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills