A Farewell To The PRESS Of Southeast Queens

A Personal Perspective

For 18 years, I have written a column for the PRESS of Southeast Queens—since its very first issue. As the founding editor/associate publisher, it has been my pleasure to express my personal perspective for all these years.

As someone who grew up with the encouragement to have an opinion and later using that as a member of my high school debating team and, later still, during political arguments with family and friends, this opportunity has been a gift.

Like anyone else, I have many interests—so having been given the opportunity to express that in this space for all these years is something that I have not taken for granted. I have written about countless topics and had the privilege to hear from countless readers who have appreciated them—and naturally, a few who have not. But all in all, it has been an honor.

I believe that I have used the space responsibly. I have used it to call out injustice—police brutality, child abuse, violence against gay people, political shenanigans, education disparity, voting, speeding motorists in school zones, domestic violence and so much more. Just last week, a colleague told me that she has admired the fact that no matter how physically distant a topic may be, I always find a way to tie it to our community.

This is because there’s no place I love more than Queens and no part of Queens I love more than good old Southeast Queens.

But the time has come to hang up my pen, so to speak. This will be my last column for now. I feel that I have run out of topics and as the PRESS and its sister paper, the Queens Tribune, go through a transition with new ownership, I believe the time has come for me to transition as well. This is not to say that I won’t miss it every time some public nut job says or does something outrageous.

I thought I would be able to write about Donald Trump leaving office; but that possibility seems ever more remote. Short of that, I have pretty much said everything there was to be said on the topic of Trump. Although, knowing him, there’s worse to come. Now, we find out that his “fixer” Michael Cohen was “selling access” to the boss.

And speaking of political shenanigans: Eric Schneiderman! Who saw that coming? The state attorney general who sold himself as Mr. #MeToo going after creepy Harvey Weinstein has been accused of abusing women.

It’s unfortunate that he (allegedly) turned out to be a hypocrite because he was doing good work fighting against the Trump administration policies regarding DACA, the Muslim ban, the environment and other progressive issues. He also protected consumers by going after Trump’s fake university and was getting ready to prosecute those whom the president might try to pardon.

Schneiderman announced his resignation just a couple of hours after The New Yorker magazine’s expose that quoted the disgusting details from two of his alleged victims. He had no choice but to resign. But before that, he had to give women one last slap in the face—this one, figuratively.

Rather than man up and apologize, he said that he was sexual role-playing. Really? Would anyone want someone (allegedly) slapping them so hard “upside the head” that they sustain eardrum damage? There’s nothing sexy about that.

But back to my goodbye. I have to thank the publishers of the Tribune for the opportunity to help develop a brand new paper—in the spring of 2000—for Southeast Queens. And best wishes to the new owners. Our local elected officials at the time were supportive in many ways, and naturally, so was my own family.

Finally, to the thousands of readers who supported the paper and my opinion pieces, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and kind words. You are the reason that I did it for this long.

Thank you and Godspeed, everyone!

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