Sound Off To The Editor

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To the editor,

Just when you think the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is on the right track, they came up with one of the dumbest things I ever read. On some of the trains they want to eliminate seats so the train can handle more passengers, making the train even more crowded. So if you’re a pregnant women or an older senior, too bad, but both of you will have to stand. As some Brooklyn neighborhoods have increased in population, the public transportation system is still in the dark ages.

MTA’s solution is to raise the fares every few years, so I wonder at what point the riders of public transportation will not take this lousy service any more? The other thing being mentioned are countdown clocks on stations. While the “number” trains have them, it will not be until the end of the year for all the “letter” line stations (to get countdown clocks). Seeing is believing. I wish the same could be said for the buses. My smartphone will say that a bus is approaching, what it doesn’t say is that the bus has the “NEXT BUS PLEASE” [message flashing on its front readout]. Then it’s possible a second or even a third bus will [also] say, “NEXT BUS PLEASE.” That’s the MTA for you.

John Snow

Brighton Beach

Rail bad situation

To the editor,

The whole train system has to be rebuilt. It is 100 or more years old. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has always been corrupt. Money in and money out. For what? — people who take advantage of overtime, purchases of equipment at outrageous prices, and sweetheart deals going to incompetent contractors. How many times since [Superstorm] Sandy has this section of track been worked on? I’ll never see a drastic change, just a large band-aid, if that. If the money that was spent on superfluous artwork was used for new [track] parts it would have been money better spent.

Bob Seidenberg


Dishonor Hizzoner

To the editor,

There are reports of a mad, possibly rabies-infected squirrel attacking people and pets in Prospect Park. One local talk radio show opened a [call-in] vote by listeners, [asking] if they would like to see the squirrel bite our wonderful mayor. I, for one, would not want that critter to bite His Honor, as it would be a long, painful and agonizing death for that poor creature. The squirrel that is!

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Special ed mea culpa

To the editor,

To the gentleman who answered my letter last week: I have to apologize to you and to all as my letter was not specific enough. I was not referring to all special education students. There are many classifications of special education. I was not referring to those who are unfortunately physically handicapped or who have other problems that place them in these classes. What I was referring to were those students who have an agenda that states that no one learns anything when they are around due to their chronic egregious behavior in the classroom.

Unlike the gentleman who wrote me, I spent 33 years in the classroom. I hope the person who became an assistant principal was a good one. In my years of teaching, most of my supervisors were concerned individuals looking out for both the teacher and student. There were others who couldn’t care less and used their positions as if they were on power trips. They were there for finding fault with everything a teacher did and were annoyed when they would have to come into a room when things got out of control. These type of supervisors did not work with teachers to improve instruction. It is much easier to blame the teacher for not motivating the students than dealing with disruptive pupils.

As a supervisor, I hope you were an advocate for vocational training and did not come from the philosophy that all children can learn, especially when I’m out of the classroom. I hope you were an advocate for the “600-school” concept for chronically disruptive children.

Each year assistant principals should be made to teach classes, and not just the top classes either. This shall serve as a reminder to them regarding the rigors of classroom teaching.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Pity a troubled city

To the editor,

I was going to write an-op letter criticizing our useless mayor, but I decided instead to respond to Elaine Kirsch’s “Seeing eye-to-eye.”

Ms. Kirsch, the NYPD issuing summonses for life-of-quality crimes was a mainstay of the Giuliani administration, continued reluctantly under the Bloomberg administration, but was eliminated under comrade Bill’s tenure. That has resulted in the current lawless city that we are forced to endure under DeBlasio. Have you ever wondered why liberal politicians embrace the garbage of the Earth? I do — and my answer is that that’s where they get their votes.

Your suggestion that traffic enforcement agents issue summonses will never come to pass because those agents are required to issue summonses only to vehicles [when humans are not at the scene] for expired meters, parking by fire hydrants and alternate-side parking [violations]. Long ago, the NYPD told me that traffic enforcement agents are not allowed to interact with humans. Once I saw an “Animals do not interact with humans” sign at a zoo, but I’m certain the sign had nothing to do with our city’s hard-working traffic enforcement agents. Additionally, those agents have had difficulty writing summonses from scratch. Years ago, many summonses were dismissed by the courts because they were completed incorrectly, forcing the city to provide “idiot-proof” summons booklets – not my term, a city spokesperson’s term.

Also, Ms. Kirsch, my mention of “bike lanes on the sidewalk” was a sarcastic remark regarding comrade Bill’s fixation [with] bike lanes in the most ridiculous places.

I agree with you completely that as many items as possible should bear “Made in America” labels. It has been quite some time since I saw items that carried that label. The last time I purchased an American product was years ago when I purchased an American Flag and a U.S. Army hat sold by a former WW II Navy sailor collecting donations for our vets. “Made in America” products are simply not readily available in America. As an aside, we always kidded our sailor friend that his most dangerous WW II encounter was when his ship was attacked by kamikaze Nazi jellyfish.

About special education individuals…In my 20 years in front of a classroom I have seen many special ed kids and I have concluded, as with everything else, that they come in different shapes and sizes. I do not have formal training in special education, but the powers-that-be saw fit to place special ed students in my academic and standard courses of study classes, and asked me to shove them through the system. The very, very few students with mild disorders eventually worked hard to compensate for their afflictions. In fact, two refused the extra time allotted on the SAT exam — one was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania and the other to Virginia Tech.

The other students, especially students with severe issues, were also accepted to colleges, sort of. With today’s “college-for-all” idiocy, the deficient students were accepted by once-reputable colleges that now provide low-level high school curriculums for academically deficient 18-year-olds (much like community colleges do), so they can reap the student loan tuition money. Some of my special ed 10th graders could not calculate 18 percent of 100, some 12th graders could not write a cohesive paragraph, others didn’t know the difference between an example and a definition, while still others, who were accepted to legitimate universities through daddy’s and mommy’s dollars, sported extremely low GPAs. One such student sported a GPA of 0.8 in the first term. There are many combinations to achieve that GPA in five courses: One A and four Fs, or the more plausible, four Ds and one F – probably the latter. Needless to say, these kids were transferred to other more suitable “colleges.” They will eventually work for daddy’s or mommy’s company, or will get work through other connections. Those are probably the individuals that Ed Greenspan was referring to in his op-ed letter.

One more thing, Ms. Kirsch…If you, Ed Greenspan and I can have common ground on certain issues, certainly politicians should be able to come together on important issues.

Nahhh…what am I thinking? We’re rational humans, they’re not.

Elio Valenti


Don’t tolerate intolerance

To the editor,

The modern day conservative movement’s founding father, the late Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater would have been disappointed in President Trump’s announcement denying transgender people the opportunity to serve in our military.

Concerning gays in the military, Goldwater said: “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

Diversity and tolerance is what unites all Americans regardless of political views, religion or sexual orientation. In today’s troubled world, I would say thank you to anyone who voluntarily joins the military be they straight, gay, bisexual or transgender. Intolerance is a sure receipt for defeat.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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