OF SOUTHEAST QUEENS 174-15 Horace Harding Expwy.

Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 (voice) (718) 357-7400 fax (718) 357-9417 email news@queenspress.com The PRESS of Southeast Queens Associate Publisher

Editorial Business As Usual
This week the New York State Senate expelled Sen. Hiram Monserrate under the guise of keeping the “august body” clean and reputable. This could not be farther from the truth. For years, members of the Senate and Assembly have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors, most often pleading down to lesser crimes, and have been allowed to remain in office. Monserrate’s predecessor pleaded guilty to the lesser driving while ability impaired charge when he had faced DWI, and nobody kicked him out. Ada Smith nearly ran over a security guard, was arrested for reckless driving and had to be subdued by police with mace, and threw hot coffee in an aide’s face for which she was convicted of a misdemeanor. Did she get kicked out by the Senate? No. Are we to believe that the Senate has suddenly decided to mete out justice on all its members who violate the law? Though that would be a welcome change, we know that the action against Hiram Monserrate is simply revenge for his involvement in last year’s summer coup. The members may say that they helped clean up the system this week, but all they did was dole out the purest form of revenge they could. We’d like to think this was done for the right reasons, and although we are torn over the idea of whether the Senate should have sought Monserrate’s expulsion, we are clear that this gang of ne’er-do-wells in Albany is just up to business as usual.

Keep The Focus On Community
BY REV. FLOYD FLAKE Large-scale development efforts usually do not benefit the communities where they are planned because of haphazard planning, lack of imagination, surface-level community engagement, unqualified participants or limited subject matter expertise among its leaders. The selected Aqueduct project and associated development will benefit Queens because it possesses these indispensable elements at an unrivalled level. A team of eminently qualified professionals with development, construction, entertainment, gaming and community development expertise will replace the old failing Aqueduct. What was once a lackluster effort with little vision toward Aqueduct playing a role larger than racing will be replaced by a first-class enterprise that has an eye toward larger community and employment possibilities by people fully vested in their community. A rare blend of leaders in multiple fields has synthesized their best-in-class experiences to form a partnership that will significantly benefit Queens. By marrying one of the world’s largest construction and development companies with homegrown developers and gaming industry professionals, a project is certain to emerge with a genetic predisposition toward excellence and integrity. In part, the team that was chosen to lead this project is committed to Queens because they were born here, lived here or led institutions that are drivers of the local religious and social service sectors. While much media attention has been appropriated to the personalities around the development and its attendant politics, a greater amount is due the incredible specter of moving beyond the stagnation of a dying Aqueduct toward the creation of another employment and development engine for Queens. To a great extent, this project, like most successful developments, is not really even about brick and mortar. Instead, Aqueduct is a question of whether lives will be changed for the better, jobs created, an industry resuscitated or opportunities lost. If the media frenzy drives the development process, then all of the good that could be borne out of this possibility will be precipitously lost. From my 30-plus years as a developer in this community, I can tell you that media innuendo does not build projects; strong leaders and solid, well-financed ideas build projects. For too long, a foundering horse racing industry and a fragmented economic development environment has undermined Queens. Today, the threat comes from those who would use straw men arguments to delay or unwind a reality that could serve as force of economic benefit to average, hard working New Yorkers. This project will create another reason for people to come to Queens or to keep more of their resources here where they live. Aqueduct has the potential to use racing as a Trojan horse – if you will – to deliver on a long-elusive and sustainable goal of a new private sector driver of the local economy. To a great extent this reality is part of the rationale for my involvement. On its own, the merits of Aqueduct can and will stand up to tests of public and financial scrutiny. But coupled with the prospect of serious community development, Aqueduct as it is envisioned is a winner for the entire community and its loftier and more long-term goals. Communities do not rise or fall on racing; they rise or fall on the ability of communities to see a larger picture that often gets intentionally distorted by people focusing on minor issues rather than the quality of a team leading an effort.

Op-Ed

In Our Opinion: Arnold Thibou
Brian Rafferty
Contributing Editor: Executive Editor:

Marcia Moxam Comrie
Production Manager:

Shiek Mohamed
Queens Today Editor

Regina Vogel
Photo Editor: Ira Cohen

Reporters: Harley Benson Sasha Austrie Joseph Orovic Lori Gross Kaitlyn Kilmetis Domenick Rafter

Tania Y. Betancourt Sara Gold Rhonda Leefoon Candice Lolier Barbara Townsend

Art Dept:

A Personal Perspective BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE
Major Account Representative Howard Swengler Sr. Account Executive Shelly Cookson Advertising Executives Merlene Carnegie

Give The Governor A Break…Please
to declare intentions to run. Let's get this clear: in a democracy any citizen is free to declare a candidacy. It doesn't mean you'll be taken seriously or that you'll win. Sometimes you're just a pain in the neck. But the option is there and no one needs to manufacture salacious stories to stop the incumbent. We do not need to discredit one in order for another to run or to succeed. Whoever wants to run for governor of New York is free to man-up (or "woman-up" as the case may be) and do it. New Yorkers deserve better than this game-playing bender. It is simply ridiculous to mislead us by besmirching the incumbent's reputation. Whatever anyone feels about Paterson's performance, it is disgusting to do this to him. Being governor of the greatest state in the union is a difficult job in good times. But in this economy it is virtually impossible to get it all right. Whoever else had the job right now would be struggling with the budget. And if there's someone out there who knows where to find free money to make the state's fiscal woes go away then let him or her stand up and say, "I." Paterson was appointed to the job and it is okay for good, viable candidates to challenge him for it. But let it be a good, clean fight without newspaper and talk show innuendo. New Yorkers deser ve to have the choice to choose their leaders. An appointment is not supposed to be permanent and that is why there is always going to be an election where it can be decided; and every would-be candidate has the right to a fair fight. Let Gov. Paterson do his job on behalf of the state and if he thinks he has a shot at beating his opponents then he should say, "Bring it on." Gov. Paterson should not spend his time trying to discourage challengers and he has said that he is ready to take it to the ballot. So what's the problem? Politics has always been dogeat-dog, but this is a new low. The governor is being sidetracked by all this foolishness. The man is besieged. How despicable is that? For as long as he is governor

A Queens Tribune Publication. © Copyright 2010 Tribco, LLC

Michael Schenkler, President & Publisher

Michael Nussbaum, Vice President, Associate Publisher

What a week it's been for Gov. David Paterson. There have been so many reports of affairs swirling around him that if half of 'em were true, he'd be unable to hold a pen to sign a bill into law. And if the whispers about money were true then he'd have been gone a long time ago. It is disingenuous to keep misleading New Yorkers about their governor's intentions. Rumors that he's about to resign due to a simmering scandal persisted all of last week and into this one. Rumors that he's about to announce that he's not running for election have also been rampant. All of this seems designed to truncate the governor. It is a devious plot to render him incapable of being taken seriously as a candidate, or worse, incapable of continuing until the end of the term Dec. 31. Whoever is behind the latest rumor is obviously trying to clear the path for another candidate

then he deserves to be treated with a modicum of respect. And until he willingly steps down or loses a re-election bid, then get over it. He's the governor. There is a way to challenge an incumbent and this is not it at all. Gov. Paterson has been trying to play the hand he's been given. He has had moments that could have been handled better verbally; there have also been things that might've gone unsaid and policy he's tried to introduce - like ethics reform and term-limits - which may need tweaking in order to pass, but he has been fiscally responsible and that is not unimportant. So those who don't want to see him in the race for election to his own term need to back off and let it play out organically. Trying to force the governor from office or from the race usurps democracy. You don't have to like the governor. You don't have to want him to run for election. But you do have to treat him with the respect the person and the office deserve. It's the right thing to do.

Page 6 PRESS of Southeast Queens Feb. 12-18, 2010

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