Open up the streets of Astoria
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Astoria: The recovery of our restaurants, bars, cafes and small retail service businesses should be our number one economic priority in Astoria. Close streets, like Ditmars, 30th Ave. and Broadway that have a high density of restaurants and cafes to vehicular traffic temporarily in the evening so deliveries will be available during the day, and local retail will not be negatively affected.
Business owners can enforce social distancing rules, as they know ignoring them can lead to their closure. There was push back at a Community Board 1 meeting because they did not want to close a bus route. We feel a temporary route change is a small price to pay. When one weighs the positive of increased economic activity plus more effective social distancing against the inconvenience of losing parking for a few hours or having to walk a block to get a bus, we think the conclusion should be obvious. During the quarantine, we have shown a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. This is a temporary extension of that attitude.
Richard Khuzami, president, Old Astoria Neighborhood Assn.
Frank Arcabascio, president, 30th Ave. Businessman’s Assn.
Manhattan: We agree with Michael Hendrix (“Let diners spill onto the streets,” op-ed, May 18). New York City needs to start reopening and help those most devastated by the COVID shutdown. Many of our members are small retail businesses and restaurants who had to survive on crumbs. Only a small percentage of the CARES Act trillions made it back to Main Street. If the city allowed restaurants to use the streets, we could get customers back. Reducing density with other safeguards is how supermarkets and pharmacies stayed open. It’s the restaurants and small shops turn. Mark Jaffe
president and CEO, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
Forest Hills: Gov. Cuomo just talked about 750 New York State testing sites and told anyone with even the slightest of symptoms to please go and get tested. He said many of the sites are not testing near their capacity. With all the medical experts emphasizing the major importance of testing, and the fact that many people are asymptomatic, why isn’t everyone being allowed to get tested?
South Ozone Park: Okay, King Andrew, enough about social distancing at barbershops, beaches, retail stores and restaurants. What is the plan to bring thousands of office workers, students and tourists back to Manhattan every day? You keep ignoring this major blockage to restoring the economy. How do you stay six feet apart on a commuter bus or railroad or the subway at rush hour? Have you forgotten the lines at coffee shops and building lobbies as those workers go to their jobs? Or,
God forbid, the elevators at any skyscraper? What is the plan for this? Bob Carbonell
Sea Cliff, L.I.: The old saying to “stop and smell the roses” certainly rings true these days. While outside for a walk, the many colorful blooms on trees, cheerful tunes of our feathered friends, and fresh, fragrant plantings here and there caught my attention. For a few moments, instead of feeling stressed and anxious, I felt peace and appreciation for one thing that hasn’t changed during these crazy times. The calming beauty of mother nature costs nothing to enjoy and the benefits we receive are priceless.
Northport, L.I.: More than one million dogs are imported into the U.S. each year according to the CDC, yet only about 1% are screened for serious diseases. We would not tolerate this lack of oversight for cattle, poultry or swine arriving in the U.S., and we should not tolerate it for the animals who are our closest companions. The U.S. dog import system is broken! Rabies, canine flu and brucellosis, screwworm, and a host of other serious diseases, parasites, and vector-borne diseases already have been imported by dogs. Please support the Healthy Dog Importation Act - HR 6921. Protect our pets, America’s livestock, and the people who live and work with animals.
Brooklyn: Bramhall is “not clever,” according to Voicer Ron Goldman? His agenda is “denigrating the president”? Sorry, but Trump does that all by his lonesome. Like Trevor Noah said, he “has turned the presidency into an episode of ‘Jackass.’ ” Some of Bramhall’s cartoons are suitable for framing, and a future book collection would be an instant #1 bestseller.
James D. Young
Freeport, L.I. Re Voicer Ron Goldman’s letter: That major disinfectant and cleaning manufacturers need to issue a public disclaimer advising against the use of their product for medicinal purposes due to suggestions by this president is an indictment in itself. The president has done all the “denigrating” on his own, Bramhall is only illustrating what it looks like.
Every which way
Brooklyn: Voicer Joseph McCluskey: Check out the American flag’s history and you will find that flying it upside down is a part of military code, as a signal of distress. There are 13 rules for flying the flag. The first one is the use of flying it upside down. The students of the 1960s, and I was one, took up this practice because of the Vietnam War. The government was sending young Americans off to Vietnam at an astounding rate. Can you see why they flew the flag upside down? Distress. More than 50,000 soldiers died in that useless war Nixon kept going so he could win reelection. Learn the history before blaming the people for how they protested. Greg Ahl
BARRY WILLIAMS FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS May 20). That’s definitely a big step up for her given that she viciously ripped up his State of the Union speech. Of course, that sick gesture tickled the hearts of all the Trump Resistance psychos who don’t consider him their president. In their warped unpatriotic minds, I’m sure they wish he were taking a daily pinch of arsenic instead.
Beechhurst: In criticizing Trump’s preventative use of hydroxychloroquine, at least Speaker Nancy Pelosi respectfully referred to him as “our president” (“Don’s bitter pill,”
Sign of the times
Hicksville, L.I: President Trump is refusing to keep with tradition by welcoming President and Mrs. Obama to the White House for the unveiling of the official portrait of the ex-president. I understand that in this era of COVID-19, dangerous misinformation disseminated by White House officials and Fox News, more than 90,000 Americans dead from the virus, and idiotic Trump supporters clamoring to re-open states before adequate testing is in place are all more scandalous than the issue of the White House portrait. However, it does serve to illustrate, once again, that Barack Obama has more class in his little pinky finger than Trump has exhibited in his entire life.