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To the editor,

Thanks for your fine piece “Talese tales! Author to discuss ‘The Bridge’ at Transit Museum” (online Nov. 12), and also it was nice meeting reporter Max Jaeger.

I can’t speak for Frank Sinatra, but I think he would (as I did) enjoy the tribute authored by the one and only Carmine Santa Maria (“Finally! Carmine gets sanctioned by Gay Talese,” online Nov. 23).Gay Talese

Manhattan

‘Best’ columnists

To the editor,

With regard to the 50th anniversary of the Verrazano Bridge, the actual spelling of the explorer’s name, for whom the bridge is named, is Verrazzano (“Bridge birthday bash botched, boycotted,” online Nov. 24). The second “z” was omitted when the bridge was named, but that doesn’t change the original and correct spelling of his name.

By the way, I enjoy reading your newspaper. It features some of the best, most entertaining and informative columnists, and for this I thank you. E. Betz

Brooklyn

Text laws

To the editor,

Automobile drivers and bicyclists, who text or otherwise use electronic devices while using their vehicles, are equally wrong (Cyclists: Text-messaging-while-biking ban has g2g,” Nov. 18). If this behavior weren’t responsible for tragedy, their mutual finger-pointing would be farcical. The same goes for people who cluelessly wander through intersections bathed in the blue glow of their smart phones and tablets. All are dangerously irresponsible, not only to themselves, but to everyone else. It’s time that we approached this selfishly indulgent behavior as if it truly mattered.

The way to eliminate such hazards is to categorically and unconditionally prohibit the active use of electronic devices by drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians while on a roadway or in an intersection, including those crossing streets. Please, let’s have unambiguous laws that apply equally to all, and then demand that those laws be aggressively enforced across the spectrum of offenses. Fines never work as deterrents, and at best would be seen as the cost of doing business.

It’s time that the adults take charge and the toys are put away. Compulsion is no excuse for mayhem. Councilman Mark Treyger’s (D-Coney Island) efforts to control the distracted should be universally supported and expanded.Burt Bloom

West Brighton Beach

Boardwalk blues

To the editor,

Who is the brainchild who decided to concrete the Brighton Beach Boardwalk from Coney Island Avenue to Brighton 15th Street (“City: Brighton Beach boardwalk’s fate is set in concrete?” Nov. 20).

It has been two years since we were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, but what lesson have we learned? Brighton Beach has been the stepchild of the city without any representation — while other cities use recycled wood for their boardwalks we’re still in the dark ages.

Let’s continue to build near the water which looks oh-so good, until the next flood.

Does any one believe in global warming? How about six feet of snow in Buffalo, and the prediction of snow melts that will cause more massive floods, wild fires, tornados, hot summers then the year before? Polar ice is melting at a fast rate and will impact low-lying areas. Duh, does one need to be a rocket scientist to see this? Wake up and smell the coffee while you can.Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Ungodly Al

To the editor,

Thou shalt not steal is the eighth commandment, and someone should tell Sharpy Sharpton — also known as Rev. Al Sharpton — that stealing is wrong. Jeez, as a self-professed man of God, Sharpton surely sets a bad example for others! Maybe that’s why kids of today are so disruptive, so arrogant, so lawless because they follow this “man of God.”

Where and when did he get his “reverend” status? Has anybody researched this?Joan Applepie

Brooklyn

Eco-concerns

To the editor,

As a new resident of Park Slope and an environmental professional, I am concerned about vehicle-idling on the streets of our community, contributing to local air pollution and climate change.

I am most concerned about the issue in the area surrounding Methodist Hospital and in Prospect Park. To encourage action, I have contacted Methodist Hospital, the Prospect Park Alliance, and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Jeff Potent

Park Slope

Retroactive pay

To the editor,

For a decade, I have worked hard to provide an excellent school environment for students at PS 130, where I am principal. I came up through the ranks. So did many of my fellow school leaders who worked for years as teachers before accepting a leadership role. I worry that many of those who did — principals, assistant principals, and other supervisors — may not receive the retroactive pay they are owed for the years they taught our children. Moreover, I’m worried that many of those who would like to apply for promotions may not do so.

The city has developed a thesis that says these teachers have not worked “continuously” so they are ineligible for the retroactive payments earned during their long years without a contract. Yet, these teachers and now, administrators, have continuously worked for the Department of Education. In fact, many of them have remained in the same schools. This policy is already negatively impacting the pool for current school administration vacancies. Many vacancies have been re-posted again due to lack of qualified willing candidates.

At my school we strive to help students reach their full learning potential and this can’t happen without high-performing school leaders. I am concerned that as I look ahead, schools like mine throughout the city may not be able to draw from these experienced educators because a promotion would mean they would lose thousands of dollars that could make a world of difference for them and their families.

Schools Chancellor Farina, who served as superintendent in my district, and Mayor DeBlasio who was on the District 15 school board, are on the record saying that our schools are most likely to succeed when leaders come from the ranks of seasoned city teachers. That statement reflects a sound education vision. How ironic then that the city is taking a position in direct opposition.

Let’s make the mayor’s and the chancellor’s visions a reality. It’s time all city officials come together to ensure that all new administrators get the full payment that they earned when they served our children in the classroom.Maria Nunziata

The writer is principal of PS 130 in Parkside.

Weed screed

To the editor,

I would like to congratulate Mayor DeBlasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton on their prudent and informed decision to stop arresting people found with less than 25 grams of marijuana. They should not be left with a criminal record that will follow them around for the rest of their lives.

The punishment should fit the crime. The new guidelines call for a $100 fine for first offenders and a $250 fine for second-time offenders, which is as it should be. The city also needs a two-tiered prison system because we need to keep low-level offenders out of jails where hardened criminals may influence them and induce them to meet with their connections out on the street upon their release.

Frank D’Amico, Sr.

Bensonhurst

...

To the editor,

Our neighborhood youth needs to be scrutinized everywhere, not just on our school campuses. It is the responsibility of all people besides law enforcement to put a stop to those trouble-makers who incite others with their wicked ways.

All sensible adults must make a pledge to condemn kids who are disruptive in our communities, wherever the disruptions occur.

We must also nix all forms of harassment, and adults must set the tone for acceptable behavior. Some adults, unfortunately, lack human feeling for others and teach their children incorrect behaviors, including using foul language, demonstrating bad manners, and being bigoted. People need to be respectful and be treated with respect.Amy Kaye

Sheepshead Bay

Taxpayer strike

To the editor,

A Daily News headline read, “Thanks, Obama! Prez’ plan halts deport for millions.” All Americans should protest by not paying taxes. Why the hell should my hard-earned money pay for their cushy life in America? Oh, there’s more to the article — “parents could also get work permits.” We should not pay taxes if Obama opens the gates to illegal aliens.J. Brown

Bensonhurst

Mayor DeDozio

To the editor,

New York Republican Committee chairman Ed Cox suggested the Mayor DeBlasio will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. That reminded me of the commercial that Hillary ran in 2008 in her bid for president: “Your kids are safe and asleep and the phone rings at 3 am in the White House, etc.”

I could only imagine if DeBlasio was president and the phone rings at 3 am while he is asleep, the phone would just ring and ring, and he would turn over and pull the covers over his head and continue to sleep.Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Weed screed

To the editor,

I would like to congratulate Mayor DeBlasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton on their prudent and informed decision to stop arresting people found with less than 25 grams of marijuana. They should not be left with a criminal record that will follow them around for the rest of their lives.

The punishment should fit the crime. The new guidelines call for a $100 fine for first offenders and a $250 fine for second-time offenders, which is as it should be. The city also needs a two-tiered prison system because we need to keep low-level offenders out of jails where hardened criminals may influence them and induce them to meet with their connections out on the street upon their release. Frank D’Amico, Sr.

Bensonhurst

War heroes

To the editor,

When I read that soldier Brent Grommet’s German shepherd was taken from him when they returned from war, it made me very sad and as mad as hell. This young soldier and his dog, Matty, were together from the beginning at basic training to deployment in Afghanistan. Both were injured by a roadside bomb.

Specialist Grommet suffered traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This soldier who fought for his country, sustained serious injuries, and was almost killed only wants his partner and best friend back with him. This is not only a very small price to ask for, but it is also the law. Robby’s Law passed in 1990 and was signed by Bill Clinton.

This hero was told by higher-ups not to speak to the media about Matty the dog or he would wind up in Leavenworth. Talk about loyalty. These two want to be together again and deserve to be. Didn’t the government already do enough to disrespect and harm our veterans with the Veterans Administration scandal? I’m not holding my breath for the return of the dog to his best friend, after we saw the way the U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was held in a Mexican prison for more than 200 days, but I sure will be praying that Specialist Grommet and Matty are reunited. I would hate to think some bigwig took the dog home to his family and won’t give it back or worse. This is the very least we could do for one of our hero’s who was willing to put his life on the line for us.

I think those monsters being held in Gitmo are being treated better than we treat our own veterans. Our president authorized the release of five monsters for the return of one army deserter. Mr. President can’t you authorize the release of one dog for a hero?Rosie Boxer

Rockaway, N.Y.

Credit gas-bags

To the editor,

I went to a gas station expecting to use my VISA card to fill up my tank. Imagine my horror when I was told that by my using VISA to pay for the gasoline, the price would be 13 cents more per gallon! Yes, $3.45 cash per gallon versus $3.57 VISA per gallon. Outrageous.

I always knew VISA to be 10 cents more per gallon, but now it’s 13 cents more per gallon if one uses a credit card. Aaarrrgh.A. Smith

Mill Basin

Edu-vacation

To the editor,

I saw in the paper that so many children were absent more than 10 percent of the time during the last school year. This doesn’t take into account the students who are marked present and then proceed to cut classes and cause mayhem during the day.

My favorite was when parents would come to school and inform me and other teachers that they were going on vacation for 10 days to two weeks and demand that we give them the work in advance so that their child wouldn’t fall behind. This is absolutely ridiculous. If the child was not there when the work was being taught, the best the teacher could do was to give them pages to read and questions to answer from the texts. The supervisory staff should have stepped up to the plate to remind the parent that school was in session and that these vacation days were totally illegal. This was never done because principals fear parents.

Years ago if a child was absent excessively, the child was not promoted. This would never occur today, as supervisors look to get rid of children who are chronic discipline problems and whose absences are a relief both for them and the teacher.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Dems the breaks

To the editor,

Yes, it’s super important to be informed and to have opinions but a constant, repetitive drone of negativity, cynicism, anger, and fear accomplishes nothing. It’s far too easy to be critical of others. It’s much more difficult to devise something positive and or good, or to invest the time and effort necessary to become actively involved in local or larger issues and programs in place, or to spend some time trying to offer up something positive: an idea, a movement, or even something already in place that might spark change for the better.

C’mon, two wrongs do not make a right. Just because the other (red) side does it does not mean “we” should too. “We” lost the 2014 midterm elections because the right messages weren’t getting put out and what was being said did not engage the voters enough to get them to actually vote. Maybe it’s time to try other tactics?Barry Brothers

Homecrest

Blott Stringer

To the editor,

Comptroller Scott Stringer is a spoiled child having a temper tantrum. Perhaps he needs a time out. Who knew that taxpayers are paying for members of the NYPD Intelligence Division to serve as his personal security detail. Stringer recently fired four of New York’s Finest from this security detail because they were late in picking him up from his expensive Manhattan home one morning. Is anyone aware that Stringer is the target of any terrorist groups which would merit this level of protection? I seriously doubt that al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic State or any other terrorists are even aware of his existence.

Municipal employees could never get away with the same abuses. They could not use city vehicles during work hours to chauffeur spouses around town. At a minimum, they would have to reimburse the city for the costs of all these personal trips. The Department of Investigations needs to take a look at this serious potential waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers dollars.

Let Stringer assign one of his several hundred staff members to serve as his personal chauffeur. Better yet he could set an example and follow Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick’s bill requiring employers with 20 or more workers to sign up for transit checks. Stringer could do likewise and give up both his free parking space at City Hall and his special police parking permit. He can use his transit check to purchase MetroCards. This will afford Stringer the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment. Stringer talks about being a friend of the 99 percent, yet he prefers the perks of a one percenter.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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