Sound Off to the Editor

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To the editor,

Your newspaper is always ready to applaud those things that tend to dissolve our society.

I do not normally write to newspapers, but your article celebrating District Attorney Ken Thompson’s decision not to prosecute marijuana offenses is truly nothing more than an ill-thought-out advocacy piece (“Boro potheads: District attorney’s weed policy makes sinsemilla,” online April 25).

I have lived in Brooklyn for many years, and my wife’s family has been here for generations. We have seen how the climate has changed, and not for the better. Public safety has diminished due to roaming drunks, illegal aliens, and road hogs driving with suspended licenses. Now it will be even worse with people walking and driving about stoned.

I work in a customer service environment. Have you had to deal with a trust-fund hipster, who is both entitled and high? Have you ever had the problem of dealing with one of these cretins on the telephone?

Marijuana is illegal for a reason. It ought to stay that way. Your reporters should abstain from its use when they write.Roger A. Sheddy


Channel Thir-KEEN

To the editor,

I have pledged $50 donations to Channel 13 over the years because I find their news programs educational and objective. They let the viewer hear both sides of political and social issues.

However, on two occasions, they had me down for pledging $250! When I withdrew my support, past president Neil Shapiro wrote and informed me that they felt they were losing my support. Indeed he was right, and I told him why. Similarly when a network representative called, I told her my reasons for not wanting to give any more support.

It is a dirty, rotten shame that Channel 13, while having excellent news coverage, tried to squeeze me for five times the amount I originally pledged.

If they did this to me, they are doing it to other people, some of whom might be ashamed to say no.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Tech spec

To the editor,

It’s wonderful that we will be seeing an expansion of the technology industry as part of the Dumbo Improvement District in Brooklyn (“From evangelists to tech evangelist,” May 9).

As an educator and community education advocate on Coney Island, I see this new Dumbo Technology District as a home run for Brooklyn innovation.

New York State is becoming an easier place for top students to pursue high-tech careers, thanks to a new scholarship program for those who seek degrees and jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The state S.T.E.M. Incentive Program, unveiled by Gov. Cuomo, will pay the full, four-year undergraduate tuition for high school seniors who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class and enroll at any State University of New York or City University of New York college campus. Scholarship recipients will have to work in a S.T.E.M. field in New York for five years after graduation.

The governor is right on the money when it comes to promoting and connecting education to life experiences in the same field of business. Let’s talk creating a pathway to education and business opportunities for our students. Yes, the graduation rates are going up, but our students are not finding jobs. Think about this. We need to create an incentive program for businesses to invest and hire our students. If we can have an incentive tax program for keeping businesses in the city, let’s have a similar one for hiring purposes.

The Dumbo Technology and Education Connection is our first step. The next step is to create a pipeline to education for our students that will start on the elementary school level and proceed through workforce development.Scott Krivitsky

The writer is a teacher at PS 188 in Coney Island.

Fall-se pride

To the editor,

I fell recently at the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Kings Highway. I picked myself up, but to my surprise, no one around me offered any assistance or well wishes. I would like to share my reflections:

“I am flying, not like in my dreams where I somehow take flight. I am stunned to be airborne and I am hoping to right myself. but with each passing millisecond I see that I will not be coming down on my feet. I raise one hand in a defensive gesture as I see the cement sidewalk getting closer. “Ow!” I shout as my knee, elbow and mouth slam into my unyielding landing spot. My first thought — embarrassment, people will pity me. In stinging pain, prideful, I get up as quickly as I can, ready to look into concerned eyes and lie to them and say that I am okay. But the truth is, people pay me no attention.

“My sense of equilibrium has been jostled, but I nonetheless find my give-people-the-benefit-of-the-doubt mode and conclude that they were so busy at what they were doing that they hadn’t noticed my flight and descent onto concrete. Just like I was so busy trying to get to my next meeting that I was walking very fast and hadn’t noticed a piece of sidewalk sticking up. Or maybe, just as I was embarrassed to get help from strangers, they were embarrassed to give help to a stranger.

“My next thought: did my much-travelled and much-liked Sunday relaxation pants get through this experience without being torn at the knees? All stinging aside, I have immediate relief when I see that my pants, although dirty, have no holes or even small tears in them. Then I check my body for tears. I roll up my right pants leg and see a bright red bruise above the knee. Thankfully no gash or cut. I roll up my left pants leg and see two small smaller red marks above my knee. I had to check my mouth. It hurt and I was afraid there could be loose or broken teeth. Teeth that I had tried to take care of all these years. My fingers touch the hard enamel of my front big teeth and a feeling of joy sweeps over me, they are there and intact. But I tasted the usual suspect, and when I took my hand out of my mouth I saw blood. I feel around in my mouth and am reassured that the rest of my teeth have stood their ground.

“I walk to my meeting, having no idea if there has been a change in my appearance. The first person I talk with asks, ‘What happened to you?’ and gave me an antiseptic and a Band-Aid. I look in the mirror and see a nice-sized swathe of blood above my upper lip. Thankfully, the blood is not gushing or oozing out. The woman says, ‘You’re lucky you didn’t break your teeth.’

“As I look back at what had happened, I realize that growing up in Philadelphia I had been spoiled. The sidewalks, it seemed, had always been even and you could just glide though life without any interruptions. But to be fair to Brooklyn, I haven’t lived in Philadelphia since 1984 so who knows what its sidewalks are like now. I decide that I either have to walk more slowly in the future, or pay closer attention to where I am walking. My knee still stings, but a little less. And although my lip is puffed up, it’s easier to talk. So much to be thankful for.”Alan Magill


Transit hike

To the editor,

Just how will Gov. Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority find the $525 million dollars over four years to pay for the proposed contract with Transportation Workers Union Local 400, representing more than 34,000 subway and bus workers? Cuomo reminds me of the cartoon character Wimpy who said, “I’ll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.” As they say, the devil is in the details. Raiding pension funds and retirees’ health care accounts, along with other bookkeeping tricks, are the equivalent of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Remember the old city Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets, to the New York City Transit Authority. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was established under Gov. Rockefeller in the 1960s.

The governor appoints four board members. Likewise, the mayor four more, and the rest are appointed by suburban county executives. All have long forgotten the escape clause buried in the 1953 master agreement between the city and New York City Transit. The city has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which includes the subway and most of the bus system.

Actions speak louder than words. Do you believe you could do a better job negotiating a contract with the Transport Workers Union? If so, ask Mayor DeBlasio to take back legal control of both the subway and bus system. The city, rather than the M.T.A. could directly negotiate any contracts with the Transport Workers Union.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Speech breach

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo’s column concerning Donald Sterling shows a lack of understanding of the First Amendment (“Law sez: Speak freely in the U.S.A.” A Britisher’s View, May 9).

It protects citizens from the government taking any action to punish or restrict speech. It says nothing about private industry. If I publicly ridiculed my boss I would probably be fired and the First Amendment would not protect me. Nor should it.Chris Wright

Marine Park

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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