Crushing debt

Dear Editor,
President Joe Biden and Congress raising our national debt ceiling by $480 billion is nothing to be proud of.
Both continue to ignore our national debt, which will now exceed $29 trillion by December 2021. This averages out to $86,710 per citizen, or $228,999 per taxpayer.
Our legal debt limit will officially run out in early December, due to our excessive current rate of spending. This doesn’t include the $1.2 trillion proposed Infrastructure or $3.5 trillion Build Back America package.
There are thousands of employees who are familiar with the details of our federal budget. How difficult can it be to find billions in savings?
Millions of Americans cut their household budgets to make ends meet. It is time for Washington to live within its available existing revenues without excessive borrowing, just like millions of ordinary citizens.
Return to pay-as-you-go budgeting, means testing for all government assistance programs, sunset provisions for agencies and programs that have outlived their original purpose, and real balanced budgets without smoke and mirrors.
Everything needs to be on the table, including military spending, agricultural subsidies, corporate welfare bailouts and foreign aid to other nations.
Have the IRS accelerate the collection of several hundred billion in uncollected back taxes owed by deadbeat individuals and corporations, along with suspending billions in future tax refunds to those who are gainfully employed, yet continue failing to pay long overdue taxes or student loans.
The President and Congress have forgotten the old saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Americans should send both a penny to remind them that it is not a sin to save.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

Beam me up

Dear Editor,
William Shatner finally had the opportunity to blast off into space, and at 90 years old becoming the oldest to have done so.
As a senior citizen myself of 72 years old, I am proud of his achievement. In the 1970s, I attended a Star Trek Convention and got to meet William Shatner.
There is much trouble in our world, and I think if the character Captain Kirk came to visit earth from the 24th century, he might say, “Scotty beam me up, there’s no intelligent life here. ”
Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.

Where’s the money?

Dear Editor,
Regarding a recent Dispatch by Frederick Bedell saying the mayor should return the money it cost to guard him and his family during his run for president, what about the money he gave his wife for Thrive (Thieves) NY?
Where is that money, as well as how has she earned her pay?
Sherri Rosen
Forest Hills

Facts & fiction

Dear Editor,
Most people don’t agree with FOX News, they just enjoy watching a fantasy program.
Why else would a judge defend a sexual harassment lawsuit against President Donald Trump by saying no reasonable person expects Tucker Carlson to report the truth. In February 2004, FOX “News” won a legal appeal that said it has no legal obligation to be truthful in it’s reporting.
FOX argued that the FCC’s policy that the intentional falsification of the news is not a legal mandate, requirement or regulation, and that FOX may falsify news reports.
Sorry about all these troublesome “facts.”
Robert LaRosa, Sr.

Ed Jaram, King Street Properties

Boston-based King Street Properties may be new to New York City, but the company made a splash with Innolabs, its first project in Queens.
Innolabs offers state-of-the-art lab and office space in the heart of Long Island City, just a few blocks away from the Court Square Subway Station. Ed Jaram, senior director at King Street Properties, discussed the process of finding a home in Western Queens and bringing a massive new life science building to the borough.
“We were agnostic as to where to build a lab in New York City when we first started looking at the project,” Jaram said. “Queens and Long Island City ended up making sense to us for a few different reasons. The proximity to major New York institutions, like hospitals, universities, and good transport is extremely good.”
Innolabs is within walking distance of seven different subway lines, which supply easy access to Manhattan and JFK Airport. Jaram explained how easy access to these amenities is especially important for a lab building.
“The ability to easily work throughout the city and world is very attractive and helps retain life science staff,” he said. “Long Island City is also a really excellent mixture of a work/play environment. It’s a place where people want to be and live, but also has great access to other spaces and amenities.”

More on that statue of Claire Shulman

Last week in passing, we mentioned that a statue of former Queens borough president Claire Shulman was unveiled at Crystal Windows & Door Systems, a private company in Flushing.
We didn’t really dwell on it, but we were very curious as to why a private company would install a statue of the former borough president on its property. After the column was published, we learned more about the story behind the statue.
Thomas Chen, the founder of Crystal Windows, apparently considered Shulman a mentor and friend who helped him expand and grow his business while she was borough president. Even after she left office in 2001, the two remained in close contact.
“When I was starting my window manufacturing company in Queens, Claire helped me avoid many of the typical setbacks immigrant entrepreneurs face,” Chen said in a statement. “She encouraged me to take executive business courses, engage reputable service providers and suppliers, and make Crystal Windows a good corporate citizen.”
To show his gratitude, Chen decided to commission award-winning sculptor Yutien Chang to create the statue of Shulman. In fact, Shulman had a hand in designing the statue before she passed away in August of 2020, even meeting with the artist in 2019 to discuss concepts.
The statue is made of bronze and stands six feet tall. According to a press release, the statue depicts “Shulman in motion, as was characteristic of the former Queens borough president.”
The statue will be on display at Crystal Windows at 31-10 Whitestone Expressway until October 22. The public is welcome to visit if you would like to get an up close and personal look at the piece of work.
After October 22, it will be moved to Crystal Park, Chen’s private 200-acre art park and nature preserve in Dutchess County. (What, you don’t also have a private art park and nature preserve?!)
The statue will stand on an 18-foot by 8-foot metal pathway base in the shape of an infinity sign, “symbolizing Shulman’s continuous drive forward and her boundless energy,” according to the release.
“I was thrilled Claire was able to visit Crystal Park in October 2019 to see the location selected for her statue along a wooded path overlooking the lake,” said Chen. “Sadly, Claire did not get to see the completed work, but we are glad to share it with her many friends in Queens.”
And apparently Shulman won’t be alone. This is just the first in a series of statues that Chen intends to have created honoring people who have contributed to his personal and business success.
We guess Chen will be able to stroll among people from his past as he wanders his private nature preserve. We’ll be waiting for word on when we should come in for our sitting!

Lost dog reunited with her owners

It was a Forest Hills miracle 15 hours in the making.
On Wednesday evening, Sherry, a 14-year-old dog, was rescued after she went missing a night earlier. On Thursday afternoon, she was reunited with her owners, a young couple named Robert Norbeck and Jessica Almonacid.
Michael Conigliaro, Fred Darowitsch, and this columnist were driving through the neighborhood when Conigliaro observed a dog running by his car.
He ran after the dog for five blocks along Jewel Avenue, stopping oncoming traffic. Two passersby helped escort her to the sidewalk on 113th Street.
Meir Malakov brought the dog some turkey breast and water, which was speedily consumed. The group began reaching out via social media, including posting videos made by Michael Vostok, looking for the dog’s owner.
Heddy Schmidt met the group in front of the 112th Precinct, and brought along her friend Josh, who takes care of dogs.
“When I asked if he could hold her overnight if needed, he did not hesitate,” Schmidt said.
The posts in Facebook groups went viral, and her owners were eventually found. Fourteen years ago, Sherry was adopted from North Shore Animal League America in Long Island.
“Sherry has always been very calm, docile, and friendly,” said Norbeck. “Some of our best memories with her occur on holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and birthday parties.”
Norbeck explained how Sherry escaped.
“Last Tuesday, Jessica was taking out the garbage and it was very dark,” he said. “Sherry walked out of the driveway. We walked around Forest Hills, asking people for hours.
“I feel very grateful and happy to see that there are still good people around who care about animals,” he said of her rescuers.
According to the ASPCA, the chances of finding a lost pet after 24 hours drops below 50 percent, and even lower after two days.
“I felt like my favorite football team won the Super Bowl when my wife and her friend found the owner,” said Vostek. “Tough times unfortunately bring us closer, but in those times, we can actually see how beautiful we really are.”
Schmidt has been involved in several rescues of dogs and cats.
“The more people that help spread the word, the more people that offer to help, the better the outcome for the animal in need,” she said.
Schmidt explained how she felt after finding Sherry’s owners.
“It was a beautiful series of coincidences, good hearted people, and social media that helped this sweet girl,” she said. “We all were very lucky in this rescue, but it also brings home the importance of microchipping your animal in the event something like this happens.”

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