To the editor,
Last week you reported that Kalman Yeger is rumored to run against Chaim Deutsch’s seat in the New York City Council (“Possible Deutsch challenger gets support from nearby incumbents,” by Julianne Cuba, online May 11). I have no ill comments about Mr. Yeger, who I have met once, and he certainly has a right to run. What is hard to comprehend is why he would run, except possibly to get his name around town for future political aspirations.
As most everyone knows, Councilman Deutsch is well-loved by his constituents. He and his staff have been highly available to listen, discuss and take action on community issues. He has an outstanding ability to truly listen to folks who are having problems. I have seen him at meetings listen over and over again to the concerns of constituents, without his attention wavering. I have seen him go beyond his district to help those who have called upon him, without overstepping boundaries but rather just offering a helping hand.
He is devoted to his community and personally reaches out to help. I am a senior, a widow, and partially disabled. I can recall during a rough storm last year receiving a call from him at 10 pm to see if I needed anything to get through the storm.
Why would council members Greenfield, Maisel, and Fidler and Mr. Yeger even consider depriving our community of a man with such an enormous degree of kindness, social morality and advocacy for those in need? It just doesn’t make sense.
To the editor,
Years ago the residents in Brighton Beach had the “Barnes Dance” on Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue. The same could be said for the residents living on Neptune Avenue and W. Fifth Street. With the red lights on all four corners, this gave the residents who were seniors, mothers with children, and the handicapped enough time to cross diagonally. Then, without any notice, the “Barnes Dance” disappeared.
So instead of using common sense, the Department of Transportation would never listen to the concerns of local residents. So year after year the news reports of hit-and-run accidents, and often deaths, became a daily occurance. About a week or so ago the news reported that the “Barnes Dance” may come back to the city?? When we, the residents of Brighton Beach and Trump spoke up years ago about the “Barnes Dance,” not a bloody word.
Do we leave in two cities or one? Once again Southern Brooklyn seems like a stepchild. Why? It reminds me how long it took to finally get the countdown clock. I really hope smarter people take the concerns seniors who need a safe way to cross the streets and avenues.
To the editor,
I thoroughly enjoyed Joanna DelBuono’s “Teaching young kids is hard work” (Not for Nothin’, online May 10), and I empathize with her daughter Bri. After 25 years of engineering, a friend suggested that I try teaching; I did, I liked it and I taught for 20 years — from fifth grade to 12th grade, plus SAT, GRE, GMAT and LSAT courses at night.
I first applied to the former Board of Education (now Department of Education) and in the interview process, I ended up interviewing the interviewer. At first I thought I was on “Candid Camera,” but when I realized he was serious, I tore up my transcript, filed it in his wastepaper basket, and never looked back.
I ended up working for a private school, where I was “asked” to dumb-down curriculums and pass anyone who can tie his or her shoelaces without extra help.
Generally in public high schools, teachers need self-defense classes — even in good neighborhoods, since the government places unruly (at times, violent) kids from other neighborhoods in civilized environments. Junior high schools are relatively safe (again “relatively”), with elementary schools the safest, since kids have not yet learned what they can get away with.
Catholic schools are the best for various reasons: They teach no-nonsense academics, grades are based on merit, there is no social promotion, and discipline and honor are demanded. The behavioral process is controlled from day one, since schools can expel students who do not comply. Unfortunately, teacher stipend is low and some Catholic schools are shutting down because of dwindling enrollments.
For me, the worst part of teaching was putting up with (1) parents in denial and (2) business-oriented, politically-correct administrators …exactly in that order. The kids were wonderful; I loved them all.
So Bri, here’s my advice: Work for the DOE teaching third, fourth and fifth grade; the kids listen and rarely need babysitters. More importantly, many parents are not demanding and are somewhat subdued. Here is an important tip given to me by an experienced teacher when I started teaching: Before Parent-Teacher conferences eat an onion and garlic sandwich; it makes the conferences move a lot quicker — trust me. Joanna DelBuono states “Teaching young kids is hard work.” Yes, it is … but putting up with parents and administrators is much harder — much, much harder.Elio Valenti
To the editor,
Last week they held a public meeting on adding a protected bike lane to Fourth Avenue (“Sunset Parkers clash over Fourth Avenue bike lane,” by Caroline Spivack, online May 17). More bad news for all drivers. Traffic congestion has reached the level of the 1970s, when the term “gridlock” was coined. Before the last redesign of Fourth Avenue, I could go from 65 Street to Atlantic Avenue during the morning rush in 11 minutes. Now it’s 33 minutes. Fourth Avenue is one of two thoroughfares from Bay Ridge to Downtown and Manhattan. The other is the Gowanus, which, due to the design, is horrendous. Bay Ridge to Midtown during the morning rush is now 90 minutes to two hours. My field service company does 25 percent less work due to traffic congestion and the loss of parking than we did 10 years ago. In New York drivers lose $253 a year due to traffic congestion. So do all the businesses. That means everything you buy costs more.
That does not even take into account how stressful driving is. People are pissed off, they are driving like idiots. Don’t forget the pedestrians and cyclists who are exempt from all rules. Cyclists don’t even stay in the protected lanes. Pedestrians don’t stay on the sidewalk or cross at the corner. The city is giving too much to cyclists and ignoring the traffic congestion. You can’t fit everything into the limited space we have. Common sense has to be applied. When will the city deal with the congestion? As a professional driver, I can give them lots of tips. So can a lot of the drivers. Why don’t they want our help? Greatest city in the world and it’s failing at this. Sad. Gregory Ahl
To the editor,
In response to Ed Greenspan’s letter, “Dump the Disruptive” (Letters to the Editor, May 12), in which he accuses me of living on Fantasy Island, please tell me, Ed, what is wrong with living on Fantasy Island? Why can’t we create a city and a school system in which there is a place for everyone? I believe it can be done.
We need a school system in which each student can participate in activities that are meaningful to him or her, taught or mentored by teachers who are knowledgeable about what they teach and are concerned about the welfare of each and every student they mentor. I believe that if a student becomes involved in doing and learning something that he really cares about and is taught by teachers who really care about him, he will learn and will not become disruptive.
I have just seen an amazing example of what students can do in a school that encourages them. I was fortunate to see a student production of “West Side Story” at Edward R. Murrow High School. Murrow is a sterling example of what every school could and should be doing.
Everyone who wants to be part of the production is given something to do and is considered a part of the theater company. Everyone’s name is mentioned in the printed program and everyone receives praise and acknowledgement for whatever he or she has done.
I believe that every student should have the opportunity to go to the school he or she best fits into and that no child should ever be kicked out of school and left out on the street to join gangs or overdose on drugs.
It is up to the Board of Education and the city to create a school system in which each student can find his or her place, a school and educational system that meets each and every child’s needs. Elaine Kirsch