Golden rule: Let’s keep city schools cool

Brooklyn Daily
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To the editor,

So nice to hear that Councilman Treyger wants the timetable for air-conditioning our schools pushed up.

When I and others attended public schools in the 1950s and 1960s, school did not start until after Sept. 10. Guess what? The world did not come to an end. Unity Caucus, the group that has run the United Federation of Teachers for more than 50 years, agreed with the city that school begin earlier, despite the fact of the air-conditioning problem. Having taught in rooms that were similar to a Turkish bath, I can attest to the fact that working in such rooms is a definite health hazard. How about staff and students who are asthmatic?

The union doesn’t care. They sit in the air-conditioned plush offices without a care in the world, forever grateful to be out of the classroom. As a former teacher, Mr. Treyger should know better. Discipline, which is lacking in the schools, gets off to a bad start with students yelling out how hot it is in the room with their heads plopped down on the desks.

Teachers used to be given three days for room preparation and the union agreed to limit that to one day. The city sees that teachers come in on their own time in late August to straighten out rooms, so nothing is done on their part except to hold ridiculous conferences on the day teachers are to report.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Let’s be fair

To the editor,

Imagine what the political outcry would be if President Obama would have told his Justice Department to investigate Donald Trump for his promoting the birther lie. The Republican Congress would start impeachment proceedings, and they would be right.

However, where is the outcry when Donald Trump calls for the Justice Department to investigate citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights because they differ with Donald Trump? He also wants the Justice Department to drop investigations of Republican Congressmen not because they are innocent, but could hurt Republican election prospects. How American.Alan Podhaizer

Coney Island

Hidden Conservatives

To the editor,

Over the past 40 years, I have tried to become an expert on Conservative political thought.

I believe it is important to share with your readers the one important finding I have learned. There now appears to be a much larger number of conservatives who are essentially “survival-of-the-fittest” Social Darwinists than there were during the 1950s through 1970s.

This means, I believe, that they want to abolish and eliminate all federal government safety-net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and College Student Loans.

You will find many of them in the U.S. Congress within the “House Freedom Caucus,” the old “Tea Party,” and the “Movement-Conservatives.”

You will find a heavy dose of such thinking in conservative think tanks such as “Americans For Prosperity,” “The Heritage Foundation,” and “The Cato Institute.” While some of these groups are open and transparent about their beliefs, many use hidden stealth tactics to influence opinion and political decision-making.

Stewart B. Epstein

Rochester, NY

A test is the best

To the editor,

Read with keen interest that the Schools Chancellor wants to abolish the test for admission to our prestigious high schools. You call this progressive? It’s anything but, and if anything, it will be a major regressive step in the New York City school system.

Other factors would determine admission. Invariably, discipline problems will slip through and gain admission with the idea being that they’re bright, but not being motivated, so that’s why they act up in school. In the meantime, deserving students will be denied admission. Doesn’t that destroy the work ethic, that if you work hard and succeed, you’re rewarded accordingly?

The teachers in the elite schools are not used to students who come with behavioral disorders. All of a sudden, they will be told that they’re not competent as they’re not reaching these students. In essence, in a few years, our elite schools will become just as many schools in the system are, places where students roam the halls, bang on doors, create mayhem in the classroom and teaching becomes impossible. Keep the test. Maintain the high standards. Of course, if we improved discipline in all our schools, they would become schools of excellence as well.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Living a car-free life

To the editor,

National Car-Free Day, Sept. 22, should be celebrated every day.

Millions of Americans today, including many Kings County residents, utilize various public transportation alternatives. They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway, and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single-occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars.

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail, or subway.

Leave your car at home. For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike. For longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Subway and Bus, MTA Bus (the old private NYC DOT-franchised bus operators including Green Bus, Queens Surface, Jamaica Bus, Triboro Coach, Command Bus, Liberty Lines, Bronx Express and New York Bus), Long Island Rail Road, NYC Departments of Transportation, Staten Island Ferry and Economic Development Corporation Private Ferries, PATH and New Jersey Transit along with other private bus transportation owners. They use less fuel and move far more people than cars. In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.

The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library, etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment, and a stronger economy. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will add a temporary bus line between Canarsie and Crown Heights to mitigate the issues with the upcoming L-train tunnel closure (“L-ternative route: Transit Authority announces new temporary Canarsie-to-Crown Heights bus for L tunnel closure,” by Kevin Duggan, online Sept. 17). The new L5 bus will connect to the 3 and 4 trains at the Utica Avenue subway station. It will run weekdays during peak hours, and comes as a response to a recent town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. One worried reader wrote in:

Expect major competition between these shuttle buses, the dollar vans, the ride-sharing services, the black liveries, the green taxis, as well as automobiles in general once the L train shutdown takes effect.

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy

Ditmas Parkers are mourning what remains of a century-old neighborhood church that a developer started bulldozing after city preservationists rejected locals’ push to landmark the building. (“Holy site gets last rites: Locals weep for Ditmas Park church after landmarking effort fails,” by Colin Mixson, online Sept. 13”). The builder began razing the Baptist Church of the Redeemer on Cortelyou Rd. last month to make way for a complex of predominantly below-market-rate apartments. Some residents blasted the Landmarks Preservation Commission for sacrificing the ancient structure too quickly. One of our readers wrote in to say she agreed:

What a shame. Walked by there for more than 30 years. If a 100-year-old church is not safe, what is? This may be for homeless people; the next ones will be condos.

Nancy from Flatbush

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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