Stop Stop & Shop

Dear Editor
It has come to my attention that Stop & Shop in Little Neck will close on October 14.
My wife and I shopped at Stop & Shop for ten years when we lived in Little Neck. We moved to Bellerose a number of years ago, but still shop at Stop & Shop when in Little Neck.
I feel for the shoppers in Little Neck, especially senior citizens who depend on Stop & Shop. There are a number of residents who don’t have a car and depend on local supermarkets.
Many seniors will have to take buses or taxis to other supermarkets, which they might not be able to afford.
What an insult to be left without a local supermarket. My heart also goes out to all the workers of Stop & Shop in Little Neck who are losing their jobs.
This is a great loss for the people of Little Neck. People need access to healthy food, especially during this pandemic.
Stop & Shop is making a great mistake by shutting this store, I hope they change their mind.
Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.

Welcome Walmart

Dear Editor,
The pending closing of the Sears in Flatbush represents a great opportunity for Walmart to open its first store in New York City.
Polls of ordinary New Yorkers year after year show support the right of Walmart to open stores in the five borough.
Residents in the other 57 counties in 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 New York City is behind the times.
Residents continue to be denied the opportunity to shop at Walmart by politicians such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, most members of the City Council, and other Democratic elected officials and their union allies.
They feel that we should oppose Walmart because of substandard salaries and unfair competition it would create for 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.
Many students, heads of single-family households, senior citizens and others currently out of work could find employment. The city would benefit by millions in sales, payroll and real-estate tax revenue that could help fund essential municipal services everyone desires.
Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with over 1.2 million employees and growing each year. Starting pay averages several dollars above the minimum wage for new employees around the nation. They also offer health care and other benefits.
Several hundred thousand New Yorkers work off the books, full and part time, with no benefits. Many existing retailers pay minimum wage with no benefits. These same public officials opposing Walmart never talk about these abuses.
The free enterprise system made our nation great. Economic growth and the creation of wealth comes from businesses — small and large. Consumers shopping at Walmart get a bigger bang for the buck by being able to compare prices, quality and service to other stores.
It is time to allow Walmart the opportunity to compete in the New York City marketplace. For the “politically correct” don’t shop at Walmart, but give everyone else a choice.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Plant a tree

Dear Editor,
Trees are a very vital part of our ecosystem. Their root systems retain soil, they take in CO2, and give off oxygen. They also reduce outside temperatures by several degrees in the summer, helping to cool our city streets.
More trees need to be planted across our country to help stem the tide of climate change. Plant a tree on your property, you will contribute to improving the ecosystem. We must do all we can to preserve life on our planet, and planting trees is one way to do that
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Nina Fiore, Astoria Film Festival

No is more excited than Nina Fiore, executive director of Astoria Film Festival, that the event will return next month with in-person screenings.
There will be events at Kaufman Astoria Studios and Heart of Gold Bar, including screenings and panels with local and international filmmakers and film students, workshops for children and adults, a special film created with AFF Film Fellows and Mt. Sinai Queens Nurses, and prizes for winning filmmakers.
The festival will feature many films by women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and indigenous people.
“We also have a number of films by disabled filmmakers, including the documentary short Listen, which was created by non-speaking autistics, a comedy short What If? created by a deaf cast and crew, and a comedy short Swimming Through Peanut Butter’ featuring the filmmaker’s real-life experiences in coming to terms with narcolepsy,” said Fiore.
For the rest of the year, the Astoria Film Festival serves as a nonprofit organization that provides filmmaking workshops for youth and adults from ages eight to 80. Through the Film Fellows program, young people between the ages of 15 and 25 are provided with work, mentors and guidance to develop careers in media.
“As a kid born and raised in Astoria to immigrant parents who then went into the TV/film business, I know how hard it was to get a foot in the door without training or connections,” said Fiore. “So a big part of why I began this was to help local youth get training, experience, and connections in the film, television and media industry.”
The festival not only highlights the work of many filmmakers but also connects them to each other and to local youth to encourage their development in the industry.
“We are excited to share all the wonderful films in the festival and introduce people to their filmmakers,” said Fiore. “I love independent film, because you get to hear under-represented filmmakers telling their own stories, which is so important for purposes of representation and inclusion.”

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