To the editor,
While I support Vision Zero, once again in Marine Park a child was involved in a hit and run. In the early morning I often see cars speeding eastbound going well over the speed limit on Brighton Beach Avenue. The same could be said for late afternoon going westbound on Brighton Beach Avenue. There are drivers who don’t seem to care how fast they speed.
Many people have mentioned speed cameras where and how many would be placed. Does the city have that much money to install speed cameras on each and every block? That seems unrealistic. Neither could police monitor each and every car. If a driver in a hit and run is caught, he or she should never get a slap on the wrist with little jail time, We’ve got seniors, the elderly, mothers with children that should not pay the price for low or no jail time.
To the editor,
As a former teacher with 20 years of classroom experience, I agree with the op-ed letters of Ed Greenspan (Dump the disruptive) and of Elaine Kirsch (Some schools work).
My understanding of the letters is that Mr. Greenspan advocates an academic school system with special schools for the unruly students (the old ‘600 schools’), while Ms. Kirsch rebuts Mr. Greenspan’s letter with vocational schools. Both letter writers are correct and their dispute compares apples to pears.
Winston Churchill said “I cannot learn that which does not interest me.” I’ve had wonderful experiences with my students. One chose a music scholarship (instead of) an engineering scholarship, while another chose an art scholarship (instead of) a mathematics scholarship — and there are many more similar stories. The music major received his Doctorate in Music and since I retired, I lost track of the Art major.
I wish that both letter writers — and all politicians and administrators — would admit that today’s premise of the “college for all” mentality is dead wrong and has failed miserably across the board.
Certainly, Mr. Greenspan and Ms. Kirsch, you must admit that there are three types of students in this world — the academic, the non-academic, and the in-between — with a sprinkle of unruliness across the board. Bring out the finer points of all students and guide them accordingly. I was told that I was not smart enough to be either a doctor or a lawyer, so I chose architecture and engineering. In retrospect, my advisor at Lafayette High School was correct about a medical course of study, but not about a legal course of study. I can make that judgment now because I’ve taught the Law School Admission Test and witnessed some of the less-than-smart individuals become lawyers. What’s the point of this rather lengthy paragraph? The point is that my advisor didn’t guide me toward a vocational career; she guided me toward a professional career. On the other side of the coin, other students at Lafayette were guided toward vocational courses of study, including OJT (On the Job Training), or as we would say in Bensonhurst, “Get a job” — a politically incorrect and, in some circles, even derogatory position.
A successful school system addresses all of the children’s needs, but such a system will not come to pass in the United States with a “college for all” mentality.
I am proud to write that I still retain some of my Bensonhurstese: “Fugheddaboudit, ya know what I mean.”Elio Valenti
To the editor,
I never said that unruly children be thrown out of school, Ms. Kirsch. (“Some schools work,” May 19). I did say that they need alternative settings such as vocational schools and the restoration of the ‘600 schools’ for students who are chronically disruptive. Please don’t distort what I said.
In addition, please note that we have tried the so-called ways of progressive liberal educational thinking in our schools and the results are like many student test scores on statewide or citywide exams: abysmal. We must take a new approach if we are going to educate our future adults. Putting on a play at Midwood High School is nice, but that doesn’t answer all our societal problems.
I am in the process of forming a new organization, RODS —Restoration of Discipline in Schools. Our goals shall be as follows: RODS reinforces the idea that no child has the right to disrupt another child’s education. As previously stated, parents of disruptive students, as well as those on welfare, will be fined or have their (welfare) payments reduced if their children continue to cause problems in school. All discipline problems must be reported to the Bureau of Child Welfare so that investigators can visit the homes. Parents of well-behaved children shall have the right to sue the parents of children causing mayhem in or around the school, therefore preventing their child from learning. We shall call for military discipline in those schools where there is a high evidence of disruption and crime. We are against mayoral control. We need people who have served in the trenches. Committees of retired and active teachers and supervisors shall run the schools with parental input. Supervisory personnel in the school and district offices must be available to give demonstration lessons where disruption is occurring. Too many people have out-of-the-classroom jobs and are out of touch with the rigors of classroom teaching. We shall demand the lowering of class size. For every child above the class size limit, the teacher’s salary is increased. You will see how fast class sizes shall be adjusted.
We need to take action now. Ask all students who have lost so much educational time due to constant disruption by others in schools. Ask teachers, especially those who were verbally or physically abused by out-of-control students. Ask those pedagogues who never returned to the classroom following a violent incident.Ed Greenspan
To the editor,
Regarding your letters “Extra bus service for Ridge is a must” (May 12), the MTA is reluctant to provide this necessary temporary service because a higher priority is placed on balancing the budget, than on serving its customers.
The MTA’s upper management is guided by budget people who forgot the agency’s mission is to best serve its passengers. Non-revenue bus miles are now considered more productive than revenue miles. That is why you will see several “Not in Service” buses in a row even when bus schedules exceed 15 minutes. The MTA believes since buses can travel faster without passengers, it is more efficient to operate them out of service.
An MTA employee with a public administration and budget background recently tried to explain to me that since only 20 percent of the MTA’s bus routes are profitable, the goal must be to operate as few bus miles as possible and that balancing the budget is the top priority.
The current thinking is that because of BusTime, 30 minute headways is all that is required during hours of light usage (60 minutes overnight) and it makes more sense to maximize non-revenue miles, rather than minimize them. Making bus connections when buses run that infrequently is not possible and greatly reduces the effectiveness of the system.
The B67 was recently extended at 30-minute headways to terminate three blocks from a major transportation hub in order to save one single bus. This is the pennywise and pound foolish attitude that considers operating costs apart from revenue as if they are unrelated.
This emphasis on the budget means that bus dispatchers are more concerned with reducing overtime, even if it means excessive waits for passengers, rather than taking measures to better serve passengers. Their numbers have dwindled to the point where they cannot be effective despite new technology available to them. Buses bunch as much as ever. It is also no longer a priority to fill runs due to operators calling in sick, and extra buses are no longer provided on beach days.
Some time after the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) was absorbed into the MTA, the primary goal shifted from caring about the passenger to balancing the budget, as they began trying to operate more like a private company, emphasizing profitability, and turning passengers into customers. They failed miserably; the MTA was never profitable. The NYCTA realized that non-revenue miles should be minimized and that it is most important to best serve the passengers.
A former MTA chairman once told a friend that the subways would run on time if it weren’t for those damn passengers who are constantly holding the doors open. Those damn passengers are the reason the MTA exists and they must not forget that.
To the editor,
Having read on page 3 of the Bay News May 12 to May 18 edition, “Coney swimmers demand buoys to ward off scofflaw jet skiers,” it is totally justified to have the Harbor Patrol give summonses to would-be violators if they aren’t at least 300 feet or 100 yards from shore. This is clearly a case of Hell’s Angels running loose.
I remember on June 28, 1970 at 12:25 in the afternoon I was hit by a motorboat at Bay 2, the eqivalent of Coney Island Avenue. I was clearly within the bounds, slightly inward of the rocks. I suffered contusions and lacerations as a result. While the boys did not intentionally hit me, they were crabbing by the rocks and I was swimming to Steeplechase Pier. Indeed I was very fortunate.
It is also true that very frequently by Bay 1 many motorists would stuck in the mud. The lifeguards themselves know it is a safety hazard but could not give summonses but just blow their whistle for them to go further ashore. It is not only be done in Coney Island and Brighton Beaches to have the police monitor them but in Staten Island and Rockaway Beaches as well for the police to give adequate suprvision, especially during the summer season because innocent people can be killed or crippled. Motor vehicle operators and skiers must be held accountable.