Queens Gazette

Queens Gazette A weekly community publication dedicated to bringing our readers a vital locally-oriented view of the news. Open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri
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A weekly community publication dedicated to bringing our readers a vital locally-oriented view of the news. Covering over 50 neighborhoods in the borough of Queens.

#tbt 32-46 Steinway Street
02/20/2020

#tbt 32-46 Steinway Street

Ash Wednesday is next week (2-26-20).
02/19/2020

Ash Wednesday is next week (2-26-20).

This weeks review is: Patrizia’s69-35 Grand AvenueMaspeth  |  718.779.2083www.patrizias.com • Instagram • FacebookPatriz...
02/19/2020

This weeks review is: Patrizia’s
69-35 Grand Avenue
Maspeth | 718.779.2083
www.patrizias.com • Instagram • Facebook

Patrizia’s Italian restaurant is proud to celebrate its First Anniversary in Maspeth, the newest location in the dynasty of Patrizia’s restaurants run by the Alaio Family. With 13 popular locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, and New Jersey, Patrizia’s restaurants buzz with the joy of family, friends, and gustatory delights. What a great place this is to celebrate a birthday or any happy occasion where the whole restaurant erupts in song as the staff and patrons join in the fun by swinging white napkins and offering good wishes.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/patrizias-2/

Statement from Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris on Passing of Luke Gasparre Gianaris Inducted Lifelong Astoria Resi...
02/14/2020

Statement from Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris on Passing of Luke Gasparre

Gianaris Inducted Lifelong Astoria Resident Gasparre in the Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2016
ASTORIA, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris issued the following statement upon hearing of the passing of lifelong Astorian and civic activist Luke Gasparre.

“Luke Gasparre was a friend to everyone in Astoria. He shared his love of the Mets, public service, and his community with every person he encountered. We will all miss Luke’s warm presence and constant smile. As Luke’s State Senator, I was proud to induct him into the Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2016 and was even prouder to call him my friend.”
Luke Gasparre was a member of the United States Army who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He was a longtime employee of the United States Postal Service and among the longest-serving ushers in the history of the New York Mets organization. Senator Gianaris inducted Gasparre into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2016.

This weeks review is: Homemade Taqueria45-09 34th AvenueAstoria  |  718.255.1349The first, original Homemade Taqueria op...
02/12/2020

This weeks review is: Homemade Taqueria
45-09 34th Avenue
Astoria | 718.255.1349

The first, original Homemade Taqueria opened right here in Astoria nine years ago and has grown into a taco dynasty with six locations throughout Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The secret to their success is the fresh ingredients including tortillas, steak, pork, chicken, shrimp, guacamole, salsa, and more. Owners Hilario Morales and Joaquin Portillo welcome all their guests to enjoy some of their fabulous Mexican fare in a casual setting.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/homemade-taqueria/

02/06/2020
#tbt 1975  31st Street & Broadwayphoto courtesy of Parisi BakeryIf you would like to submit a photo for our tbt please e...
02/06/2020

#tbt 1975 31st Street & Broadway
photo courtesy of Parisi Bakery
If you would like to submit a photo for our tbt please email us at [email protected]

This weeks review is: La VignaItalian Restaurant100-11 Metropolitan AvenueForest Hills • 718.268.4264www.lavignany.comFo...
02/05/2020

This weeks review is: La Vigna
Italian Restaurant
100-11 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills • 718.268.4264
www.lavignany.com
Follow La Vigna on Facebook

Dine on fabulous Italian cuisine and be treated like family at La Vigna Italian Restaurant where Chef Giuseppe Vitale works his magic in the kitchen making everything from scratch, including pasta, bread desserts, and his famous mozzarella. His son Anthony welcomes his loyal guests and manages the front of the house with an expert team of well-dressed waiters. La Vigna is an outstanding choice to celebrate Valentine’s week with someone you love, friends, or family.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/la-vigna-italian-restaurant-6/

ATM ripped out of Auto Showrooms outside wall. 35th Ave. between 42nd and 43rd street was closed during the investigatio...
02/05/2020

ATM ripped out of Auto Showrooms outside wall. 35th Ave. between 42nd and 43rd street was closed during the investigation.

#tbt 1980s Yogi Lala Steinway StreetIf you would like to submit a photo for our tbt please email us at Qgazetteadv@aol.c...
01/30/2020

#tbt 1980s Yogi Lala Steinway Street
If you would like to submit a photo for our tbt please email us at [email protected]

The Gazette's review of the week is: Sugar Freak37-11 30th AvenueAstoria  |  718.606.1900www.sugarfreak.comSugar Freak i...
01/29/2020

The Gazette's review of the week is: Sugar Freak
37-11 30th Avenue
Astoria | 718.606.1900
www.sugarfreak.com

Sugar Freak is Astoria’s one and only hot spot for Creole cookin’ and drinkin’ Louisiana style. With its culinary roots in New Orleans, this unique cuisine is as diverse, delicious, and raucous as New Orleans itself. Sugar Freak promises a memorable and enjoyable meal for dinner seven days a week and weekend Creole style brunch.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/sugar-freak-2/

St. Michael’s To Present Free Beatles ConcertMusicians Philipp Petkov and Olga Tourkina bring the sounds of the Fab Four...
01/23/2020

St. Michael’s To Present Free Beatles Concert
Musicians Philipp Petkov and Olga Tourkina bring the sounds of the Fab Four back to St. Michael’s Cemetery on February 22. This year Olga and Philipp will be accompanied by four musical counterparts to complete a Fab 4 – and more.
The free annual symphonic tribute to The Beatles is now in its sixth year and keeps growing more and more popular.
Past musical selections have included Michelle, Yesterday, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, She’s Leaving Home, The End, Hello Goodbye, Here Comes The Sun, All You Need Is Love, In My Life, Eight Days A Week, Because, and Eleanor Rigby.
The Beatles tribute is one of two highly anticipated annual musical homages presented by St. Michael’s Cemetery, the other one being the annual live musical tribute to Scott Joplin, the creator of ragtime music who is interred at St. Michael’s Cemetery.
The concert will be held at St. Michael’s Cemetery located at 72-02 Astoria Boulevard at 3 pm. Refreshments will be served and a “splendid time is guaranteed for all.”
For more information call St. Michael’s Community Relations Director Ed Horn at 718-278-3240

#tbt late 40s possibly 1950 Sent into us by Maureen Smith BergaminiPosing in Astoria Park are her parents John and Marga...
01/23/2020

#tbt late 40s possibly 1950
Sent into us by Maureen Smith Bergamini
Posing in Astoria Park are her parents John and Margaret (Margie) they were lifelong Astorians.
If you would like to submit a photo for our tbt please email us at [email protected]

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Brewery Bar & Kitchen49-18 30th Avenue, Astoria/Woodside | 718.777.8007www.theb...
01/22/2020

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Brewery Bar & Kitchen
49-18 30th Avenue, Astoria/Woodside | 718.777.8007
www.thebrewery.nyc | Facebook • Instagram

Follow the cool, friendly vibe down to the “east end” of 30th Avenue and discover the chill, relaxed, neighborhood pub called The Brewery Bar & Kitchen. Celebrating its fifth year on the avenue, Brewery Bar & Kitchen has restored and built a real community here at the precipice of Astoria. Cheerful owner Padraic Sheridan welcomes neighbors and friends seven days and nights a week to his gastro pub, where locals gather to watch the games, shoot the breeze, and enjoy a diverse menu of astonishingly delicious food offered at low prices. Sheridan is grateful for his wonderful staff, most of whom have been with him since the beginning. Indeed, there is a definite sense of family here and so you’ll find many families dining here to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/the-brewery-bar-kitchen-2/

Sokolata...Chocolate For Valentine’s DayPick up some Sokolata chocolate for Valentine’s Day now. Don’t wait – or it coul...
01/22/2020

Sokolata...Chocolate For Valentine’s Day
Pick up some Sokolata chocolate for Valentine’s Day now. Don’t wait – or it could be too late! Get it at Euromarket, where you can find a wide variety of fine European foods. Euromarket International Food Market is open until midnight, seven days a week. It is located at 30-42 31st Street, Astoria, 718-545-5569 (right next door to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church).

01/22/2020
Romano's Famous Pizza  located at 32-21 Broadway, Astoria is reportedly closing. This local establishment famous as thei...
01/21/2020

Romano's Famous Pizza located at 32-21 Broadway, Astoria is reportedly closing. This local establishment famous as their name indicates for their Pizza as well as their other food dishes including their gyro has been an institution on Broadway since 1977.
Photo Phyllis Parra

#tbt Sent into us by John OstWalking down 35th Street off of Broadway in Astoria 1961.If you would like to send us a pho...
01/16/2020

#tbt Sent into us by John Ost
Walking down 35th Street off of Broadway in Astoria 1961.
If you would like to send us a photo for our TBT please email us at [email protected]

The Gazette's review of the week is: Big Apple Eats32-23 37th Ave., Long Island City718.392.4073www.bigappleeatslic.comW...
01/15/2020

The Gazette's review of the week is: Big Apple Eats
32-23 37th Ave., Long Island City
718.392.4073
www.bigappleeatslic.com

Welcome “Big Apple Eats” to the LIC/Astoria neighborhood where the kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Tucked into a commercial office building just off Northern Blvd. is a treasure chest of good food, served with a smile. After massive renovations, owners Gus and Nick Katehis opened Big Apple Eats in November and welcome all to their sparkling new eatery for three square meals a day at very reasonable prices. The bright and clean sunny dining room overlooks 37th Avenue and is near public transportation.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/big-apple-eats/

#tbt 1950s 42nd Street & 34th Avenue Sent into us by a neighbor of the Queens Gazette Vinny Pickford and younger brother...
01/09/2020

#tbt 1950s 42nd Street & 34th Avenue
Sent into us by a neighbor of the Queens Gazette
Vinny Pickford and younger brother Tommy.
If you would like to submit a photo for our throwback please email us at [email protected]

The Gazette's review of the week is: Martha’s Country Bakery36-21 Ditmars Blvd. • Astoria  (718) 545-973770-28 Austin St...
01/08/2020

The Gazette's review of the week is: Martha’s Country Bakery
36-21 Ditmars Blvd. • Astoria (718) 545-9737
70-28 Austin Street • Forest Hills (718) 544-0088
41-06 Bell Blvd. • Bayside (718) 225-5200
263 Bedford Ave. • Williamsburg (718) 599.0900
175 Bedford Ave. • Williamsburg (718) 486.0500
www.marthascountrybakery.com

Follow your nose to Martha’s Country Bakery with five locations in Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Martha’s has everything one could want in a bakery…luscious layer cakes, pies, cupcakes, pastries, French macarons, cookies, cheesecakes, cheesecake bars, puddings, and much, much more. To accompany all these delicious bakery items, the coffee bar at Martha’s whirrs and hisses with robust brews, lattes, espresso, chai, and the combination of aromas emanating from the kitchen and the coffee machines is simply intoxicating.
George Stertsios and partner Tony Zannikos welcome everyone to their beautifully designed, rustic bakeries where friends, dates, and families can gather for fine baked goods, coffees, and teas. The secret to their success is in the quality of the ingredients. Real butter, vanilla, chocolate, nuts, and fresh fruit are used in their decadent creations and you can taste it in every delicious bite of their cakes as well as 16 varieties of cupcakes, pies, macarons and puddings.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/marthas-country-bakery-8/

Don't miss this show...A splendid time is guaranteed for all !!!!
01/07/2020

Don't miss this show...A splendid time is guaranteed for all !!!!

#tbt The T-Bone diner in Forest Hills on Queens Boulevard off of 71st Avenue and Continental has throwback Thursdays eve...
01/02/2020

#tbt The T-Bone diner in Forest Hills on Queens Boulevard off of 71st Avenue and Continental has throwback Thursdays every day all over their walls.Pictured here is a ticket from the Beatles concert at the Forest Hills -West Side tennis stadium in 1964.

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Yard29-11 23rd Avenue | Astoria 718.932.2096www.theyardastoria.comInstagram@the...
12/31/2019

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Yard
29-11 23rd Avenue | Astoria 718.932.2096
www.theyardastoria.com
[email protected]

The Yard is named for the soon-to-be completed “back yard” space behind the restaurant that will have heating in the winter, with a retractable roof to allow cool breezes in warm weather for al fresco dining under the stars of Astoria. Co-owner Dimitri Vezyrakis has 36 years of pizza-making experience at his former restaurant on Manhattan’s upper west side, while his partner Scott Campion added his design and construction experience to make their dream a reality. In fact, this creative partnership resulted in a cozy, stylish dining room that features burnished wood paneling on the walls with slate chalkboards where you can leave your own message. Relax at rough hewn wood tables and enjoy a glass of wine or beer while you review the menu that has the best in each category.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/the-yard/

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Staff and Management of The Queens Gazette
12/24/2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Staff and Management of The Queens Gazette

12/24/2019
We at the Queens Gazette would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday. This weeks issue of the Queens Gazette is now post...
12/24/2019

We at the Queens Gazette would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday.
This weeks issue of the Queens Gazette is now posted at:
https://www.qgazette.com/

The Gazette's review of the week is: Portofino Ristorante109-32 Ascan AvenueForest Hills  |  718.777.1693www.portofinofo...
12/24/2019

The Gazette's review of the week is: Portofino Ristorante
109-32 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills | 718.777.1693
www.portofinoforesthills.com

Portofino Ristorante is celebrating its 45th year in Forest Hills serving consistently superb Italian cuisine, fine wines, great cocktails, and fabulous pizza too. The combination of wonderful food and the warm, welcoming atmosphere led by Carmine and the well-dressed wait staff makes for a perfect meal, seven days and nights a week.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/portofino-ristorante-celebrates-45-years/

The Astoria Blvd Station is now partially open after closing in March.
12/19/2019

The Astoria Blvd Station is now partially open after closing in March.

Yesterday's snow squall reminded us of blizzards of yesteryear.#tbt blizzard of 1983
12/19/2019

Yesterday's snow squall reminded us of blizzards of yesteryear.
#tbt blizzard of 1983

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Grand37-01 30th Avenue  |  Astoria718.806.1504www.thegrandastoria.comThe Grand ...
12/18/2019

The Gazette's review of the week is: The Grand
37-01 30th Avenue | Astoria
718.806.1504
www.thegrandastoria.com

The Grand is Astoria’s coolest casual dining café in town, located on 30th Avenue in the heart of Astoria’s buzzy restaurant scene, so get #Granding now! Massive renovations and new ownership by restaurateurs George Ballis and Johnny Solo and new owner, partner Anna Kalonaros have transformed the former café into something even Grand-er. The Grand offers everything from European style coffee and breakfast, to tasty sandwiches for lunch, snacking appetizers, desserts and crepes, to a full meal for dinner. Weekend brunch packs them in and the vibe is cool, casual, and relaxed.

Read the full review at: https://www.qgazette.com/articles/the-grand/

#tbtShared by @parisibakeryastoria A throwback to our old awning and sign. Who remembers this? ✨🥖🕰 since1969
12/12/2019

#tbt
Shared by @parisibakeryastoria
A throwback to our old awning and sign. Who remembers this? ✨🥖🕰 since1969

After many complaints from Astoria residents the Holiday lights are finally up on Ditmars BoulevardPhotos Phyllis Parra
12/11/2019

After many complaints from Astoria residents the Holiday lights are finally up on Ditmars Boulevard
Photos Phyllis Parra

It is reported through several sources that leading brokers in the Long Island City real estate community have released ...
12/11/2019

It is reported through several sources that leading brokers in the Long Island City real estate community have released the word that Trader Joe's the famous California food store supermarket is opening up at 22 - 43 Jackson Avenue late in the year 2020.There were many rumors that there were searching for a location on Steinway Street and other Astoria based properties ,however it was never confirmed as this story is still not confirmed either. But reliable sources indicate that the 22-43 Jackson Avenue building which is presently under construction will house on the ground floor the Trader Joe's supermarket chain. Trader Joe's has had a location in Queens on Metropolitan Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in Forest Hills. It is anticipated that this will be a successful launch for the grocery store chain as the neighborhood is booming with growth and residential housing. Trader Joe's views itself as the neighborhood grocery store as their marketing team indicates in their material.

The Gazette's review of the week is: Sabor De Cuba37-03 31st Avenue | Astoria718.777.1693www.sabordecubaastoria.comhttps...
12/11/2019

The Gazette's review of the week is: Sabor De Cuba
37-03 31st Avenue | Astoria
718.777.1693
www.sabordecubaastoria.com
https://www.qgazette.com/articles/sabor-de-cuba-4/
The holiday spirit lives at Sabor de Cuba 365 days a year where the fiesta is always on, Havana style. Just walking into this vibrant restaurant brings a smile to your face as you’re surrounded by the sounds of sexy Latin music and greeted warmly by owner Sandra and the friendly staff. It doesn’t get better than Sabor de Cuba for elevated Cuban cuisine, great wines and wine-based cocktails, and lots of music, even live music on Friday evenings.

Address

42-16 34th Ave
Long Island City, NY
11101-1110

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Comments

Have you covered the fact that the Georgia Diner has been closed for a week because of a gas line problem?
Recommended, definitely! List and sell your home with me and Use jiffy junk to help you clean out your house I’ll give you a rebate at closing. Teamwork gets the job done better! Realtor David Esposito 718-309-8656. Www.nyespo.com
Jamaica H.S. is having a Reunion for the Classes of '69,'70, and '71. in November at Terrace on the Park .. If you'd like to get more information and you're an alum of those years please join our closed group at https://tinyurl.com/ru6m997 and tell us when you graduated..Thanks, Bonnie Schachter Barchichat, Class of '70
Money For Money’s Sake. If you can read this whole thing in a single sitting, kudos. Whether you are a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, 2020 is a year to make some changes. The problems facing this country, our state, and communities are getting worse and today we recognize intuitively that the corruption of our political system is at a historical high point. The challenges of the 21st century are bigger than anything any of us have ever known. These challenges threaten to cause armed conflicts and displace millions of people around the world in the next ten years. They are the culmination of a vicious, sustained, and committed attack on the public interest. That attack is being carried out on behalf of private interests who have combined to funnel tax money and other public assets to themselves instead of working to fix systemic problems that affect us all. These interests prey on your fear, manipulate public officials, stifle debate, shamelessly lie, never apologize, and are not confined by national borders. They use the power of their wealth to subvert democratic institutions, violate individual liberties, and undermine public processes. It is not the fault of any one individual, but we all have a responsibility to address this dysfunction within the confines of our American political process, and at every level of government. Those in positions of power should understand the possession of that power is dependent upon, and proportionate to, the responsibility which comes with it. It cannot be denied. But let’s be specific. Our Elections: The electoral process in this country is being subjected to voter suppression and gerrymandering in an unprecedented way. This is not being carried out by foreign operatives, this is happening at the hands of wealthy business interests right here. The outcome is to create a tightly controlled electoral process which puts hand-picked people in positions of authority. On top of this, dark money has been sanctioned as legal, so we don’t even know who is funding campaigns. The disregard for the integrity of our elections has become so flagrant, the President stands impeached. He didn’t just publicly invite foreign powers to interfere in our elections on his behalf, he tried to use the power of his public office to extort that interference from a foreign government. These things represent a fundamental threat to our nation’s security and independence, and it will not be changed by itself. The Privatization of Public Assets: The wave of privatization that is rolling across our country at every level of government is staggering and is a direct result of private interests using the influence of their wealth in the interest of increasing that wealth. This is fundamentally corroding to any democratic nation’s ability to operate as intended. Outsourcing basic government functions to private contractors means that the public is losing the ability to have accountability for their tax dollars. Your taxes are buying people Porsches, yachts, and second vacation homes, that’s not an exaggeration. That money is intended for the public services which were fought for, and have been mandated by law. As the proponents of this organized money diminish public ownership of everything from natural resources to these essential services, the ownership of private equity is being perverted from a liberty to an oppression. This paradox is significant, and will only be reversed by a new, broad, and sustained participation in our governance by all of us. Those profiting from this privatization are now incentivized-and even conditioned-to fight back against any effort to protect the public from this theft. The Use of Tax Money to Purchase Political Influence: Under current law, a government contractor or recipient of subsidies is forbidden from using that money to influence the political process. Yet this is exactly what is happening. That money is received, it is distributed among subcontractors and others, it is then fed back into political messaging and campaigns. It is nakedly corrupt, unaccountable, and nearly ubiquitous. Interests who seek to transform our political process from one which fosters debate and consensus, into one that gives tax dollars to them are getting very rich. They are self-interested, they have turned our political process into a profit seeking, zero-sum contest, and they have done this at the expense of all of us. We can easily recognize tax breaks for the wealthy, subsidies to large companies, and the privatization of public assets combining to form a political interest driven by avarice and unconfined to a single political party. Their message is simple: get government out of the way, protect our exclusivity, and let the free market work. The proliferation of that message with the proceeds from public monies is a willful deception and a painful irony to behold. Our Free Press: While it is true that information mediums are shielded from any government attempt to control the content of those publications, the conglomerates who dominate our media landscape are subject to a powerful censorship: the combined financial interests of advertisers and shareholders. From the top down the influence of so called ‘wealth creators’ is felt across every major publication in the nation. A news outlet who covers the abuse of large-money interests finds itself immediately being organized against by a network of lobbyists and politicians who are also financially incentivized to protect that interest. The historical check against this has been for major news outlets to diversify their revenues through individual subscriptions and syndication so as to be shielded from advertisers who threaten to cancel sponsorship payments. These advertisers have gone a step further by offering to pay premiums to media outlets for content that appears as journalism, is not labeled as ‘paid’ content, and promotes their interests to the exclusion of relevant facts. The coordinated attempts to degrade the credibility of our news outlets is further enhanced when elected officials attack the media as a whole calling it ‘fake news’. Individuals will not pay for ‘fake news’, advertisers and political interests will, and this conundrum is the product of a deliberate undermining of public trust for the purpose of robbing public assets. Our Legal System: The legal system in this country intends to correctly interpret and enforce our laws. It is rooted in the concept of equal justice for all, sound legal construction, and it has been distorted-particularly in Florida-to enforce the will of a political interest that abandoned any adherence to that law long ago. The criminalization of poverty and the disproportionate penalties leveled against minorities is evidence of this. The use of law enforcement assets to advance nakedly political causes runs counter to the very concept of ‘a nation of laws’. It’s apparent when law enforcement agencies assert a right to conduct their own oversight, and it’s a new low when spinning a colored wheel with people’s faces on it becomes a tool of selection in the process of allocating law enforcement resources. The assault on our laws and the values underpinning those laws has taken on a much more dangerous dynamic when American political rallies are led to yell in unison ‘lock them up’ of their political competitors. This is an intentional and unprecedented departure from any sane notion of jurisprudence in this country, and it is exactly the kind of mob rule we rightly fear in a Republic. Our Financial System: Hailed as ‘the envy of the world’. In the last two decades we saw commercial banking and investment banking recombined for the first time since the Great Depression. This means that they are now gambling with your cash savings and the value of your mortgage note. Our tax money underwrites both of those; they are literally betting the house. Lobbying from Wall Street and massive conglomerates is primarily responsible for the current 22 trillion dollar debt, and while public money sustains our financial system, lenders and investors bleed us dry through fees, interest, penalties, and losses. The return per dollar from Wall Street lobbying averages 100 dollars per every dollar invested. No amount of citizen activism can sustain itself in the face of this constant and massive force. Not only are these careless gamblers seeking to deregulate financial markets in hopes of bigger returns on greater risks, they are going after pension funds, social security, and any other large pile of private money they can get their hands on. They tried to liquidate our auto industry. They are currently trying to privatize the United States Postal Service. Our government loans them money at almost zero percent, and they loan that money to us at rates as high as 24%. That is a rigged system, and it can ONLY fail. Our Health Care In a country where economic productivity and efficiency are nearly religious beliefs, why do we pay twice as much for health care as the rest of the civilized world, yet come up with results that are not nearly as good? In addition to this, the costs of an unhealthy populace to productivity are staggering and unaccounted for. We are told that research is expensive, that we are paying for the best technology, and that public health care results in ‘death panels’. The fact that anyone still believes this garbage is a testament to the amount of money and effort spent misinforming us. Yes, the money paying for those lies comes from your own pocket. The utter failure of private health care to deliver better results than any nationalized system is the result of deliberate deception from our insurance industry and their political allies. Not only are people less healthy, we are being financially broken by it. They have shifted a massive share of the costs of health care to those of us who are suffering by it and many of us will be bankrupted if we get sick or injured. Of all the injustices which exist in our society today, it’s hard to think of one that has hurt more of us, or been more cruel. The health industry is making a massive amount of money from us literally dying. No part of the war against the public interest has cost more lives, or consumed more individual and national wealth. Our Public Education A free and democratic society depends on an educated and independently thinking populace. Can the systematic effort to dismantle public education-from the rise of charter vouchers and indemnification of young people, to the demoralization of educators and a political message that calls education ‘liberal brainwashing’-be described an anything but insidious? We have a system of debt in place that creates an economic sinkhole for the most able and innovative class of people in this country: college graduates. The willful degradation of one of our most important and basic public institutions has rendered us inert in the face of today’s challenges. The success of America’s young workers and entrepreneurs is indispensable to having a vibrant nation a generation from now, but a small handful of interests are doing everything they can to liquidate the foundation of that success. Our Natural Resources and Climate Change The greatest challenge presented to us in the 21st century is Climate Change. No one likes it, but the simple reality is that tens-if not hundreds-of millions of people are going to be displaced by rising oceans and changing weather patterns. This will have a destabilizing influence at every level of government as the rising costs are sought to be avoided by all. In the midst of this, the global petroleum industry is losing demand as we transition away from petroleum products. If the wars of the past are any indication, we will likely see large disruptions to oil supplies as nations dependent on both oil revenue and oil energy struggle to adapt in the midst of such a massive and centralized industry grasping for survival. How much money, blood, and political influence has already been spent protecting the profits of fossil fuel companies while we are decades behind in a consumer-driven transition away from them? We may never know, but it pales in comparison to the costs we have passed on to this generation and the next. When humanity looks back in 100 years, it will not kindly remember the devastation wrought by the leaders and friends of the fossil fuel industry. This is a very short and incomplete accounting of the problems I see. Combined, the totality of corrupt influence and apathy to it-or support for it-are mortgaging our shared futures while a cynical propaganda effort seeks to keep us misinformed, absolute, and angry. Who can deny that it has been very effective? In essence these interests and their servants have worked tirelessly to destroy the most valuable thing we have. Our faith in each other and ourselves. They have recently embraced racial division and nationalism as political motivators. That should say enough about how little they care, because they know full well what those dividing efforts have wrought in generations past. The top 1 percent in this country has seen its share of the wealth explode with increased labor productivity, while the rest of us have seen our purchasing power decline significantly over the last 40 years. I thought the point of a free market was that every man kept the product of his labor. The wealthy have always sought to exploit our labor, but in their greed, they now have co-opted our governments in that process. The government hasn’t taken your money away, powerful interests who told you not to participate in your own governance did. That’s who has it. They told you that you have a right to work, what they didn’t say was that actually means you don’t have the right to collectively bargain for better pay. They told you money will ‘trickle down’, what they didn’t tell you was that it would evaporate and leave a desert in its wake. They told you the government that governs best is the one that governs least, then proceeded to sell off your ownership stake at pennies on the dollar. The activists never stood a chance because no one pays people to do the right thing. They will not stop until they are either made to stop or there is nothing left. 2020 is a new year and a new decade. The path we are on is unsustainable. We can expect even more relentless manipulation, no remorse, and continued threats from the interests who treat our politics like a criminal enterprise. The only question will be, do the rest of us allow that continue, or will we have the courage to stand united in defense of the public interest? The sum of our participation in our own governance will decide the matter. “The only effective answer to organized greed, is organized labor.” -Thomas Donahue -Matt