Law and marauder! City’s ‘unfair’ ticket blitz

To the editor,

Last Wednesday, immediately after one o’clock, when alternate side parking ends, my elderly mother went out to move her double-parked car back across the street. I was helping her get outside, since she is still recovering from back surgery. To my shock, I could see the orange envelope on her windshield as soon as I opened the front door.

A ticket agent had managed to place a ticket at 1:02 pm on the car. Since we are not the first set of blocks assigned to our time period, how was it possible for this traffic agent to come across the car and write a ticket in two minutes, unless the agent was literally stalking the car?

I immediately went with my mother to Councilman Vincent Gentile’s office to complain. One of his constituent liaisons was kind enough to prepare a letter requesting the summons be dismissed. I contested the ticket online, attaching the letter from the councilman’s office. The judge sustained the summons.

The ticket agent and the judge really should be ashamed of their conduct. They hide behind the letter of the law to commit and perpetuate injustice. They both could have done the right thing, but both failed miserably. Here was a chance to be decent, to demonstrate a sense of fairness, to show human kindness. Both fell way short.

This is not about traffic enforcement. We the people have become the prey, and our government is our predator.

I just hope for their sake that when these people go to meet their maker, that God doesn’t hold them to the letter of his law, in the same way as we are held to the city’s law.

Charles K. Barra

Dyker Heights

Shav’s ‘right’

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo, you are right — as always (“Cower-dy Arabia! Saudis in a falafel over 9-11 bill,” A Britisher’s View, May 13). I still don’t understand the who-what-why about 9-11, and we will never know. But what revenge did we get? None. None at all.

It took us a year and a half to go to war in the wrong country — Iraq. Give me a break!

It’s been 15 years and no revenge. Our soldiers are dying and more of our money is being spent. And for what?

Name withheld upon request

Tom’s ‘Spin’

To the editor,

Tom Allon provides political advice to graduates in “Class of 2016, I have one word for him: Reagan” (Political Spin Cycle, online May 28). Really, Tom! Don’t you think that, given the facts, today’s graduates are capable of making rational decisions?

About the economy: President Ronald Reagan had his share of failures, most notably his ill-fated amnesty initiative for illegal aliens and his soft response to Islamic terror, but “trickle-down” economy did not cause our “corrosive economy and wealth inequality.” The 2007 financial collapse was caused in part, by the deregulation of the banking industry via the “Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act” (1999) sponsored by three Republicans, Phil Gramm (R–TX), Jim Leach (R–IA) and Tom Bliley (R–VA), and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. “Gramm-Leach-Bliley” replaced the “Glass-Steagall Act” (1932) which was enacted to regulate banking after the Great Depression of 1929 began. It removed the checks and balances, and allowed greed to rule.

About wealth inequality — an inherent part of a free-market economy. If Tom wants wealth equality he should relocate to one of the world’s socialist countries. Wealth inequality is what makes us individuals. Those who have the guidance of their parents and who work hard for a better life become wealthier than those who loiter and are raised in dysfunctional environment with little parental guidance.

About Supreme Court judges: President Obama nominated Elena Kagan, who has never sat on any bench (qualified?) and who was his solicitor general (conflict of interest?). Ditto for Sonya Sotomayor, a liberal activist who has had some of her lower court decisions overturned by the Supreme Court (qualified?). “Qualified” seems to be a recurring theme. Of course liberal lawmakers in Congress afraid of Obama’s and of the Democratic Party’s retribution approved the nominations quickly. The next president needs to offset President Obama’s injustices. Remember that before there was an Obama, there was stability.

Tom Allon, I have two words for you: Clinton sleaze.Elio Valenti


‘Torturous’ Stan

To the editor,

So Stanley Gershbein thinks waterboarding is okay (“Stan’s got America by the numbers,” It’s Only My Opinion, May 20)? So did the Japanese when they did it to American prisoners of war.

Would Stanley like to know what we did to the Japanese officers who did this? We sent some to prison and the rest we hanged. This was done under the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, which we signed after the war, making waterboarding a war crime. But Stanley would rather we commit war crimes and be like the Japanese because he believes the ends justify the means.

If only that were true. Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.) is against waterboarding. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam he had it done to him. So he knows what he is talking about. Besides, there are other problems with torture. First, most people are going to say whatever they can to make the torture stop. Second, the person being tortured is only going to tell what he was told, which itself could be wrong information, but he does not know that. He is telling his torturers the truth, as far as he knows.

We did this in World War II, and it worked. The Nazis tortured a number of spies who believed they were giving the Nazis good information. But it was all lies. We wanted these people to be captured and tortured. But if torture really worked why forgo talking to people as a standard part of any investigation, and just torture people and force them to give us the right answers? Who needs all these detectives talking to all these people trying to build a case for a judge and jury, when we can get the truth just by torture?

The point is we can’t. True fact gathering, be it police work or military, takes time to work. Torture only makes us war criminals and gives others to right to torture our people. Is that what Stanley truly wants?

David Raisman

Bay Ridge

• • •

To the editor,

I was very disturbed by Stanley Gershbein encouraging senior citizens to carry guns. I am a senior, but I never want to get anywhere near a gun.

Does he really think any senior, including himself, has the reflexes of a 20-year-old? Does he really think you can react quickly enough to pull out your gun and shoot, before a much-younger robber knocks you down, grabs your wallet and cell-phone and maybe even your gun to shoot you with?

I notice you wear eyeglasses, Stan. Can you see well-enough to differentiate between a would-be assailant and an innocent bystander? Can you hear well enough to understand what a potential assailant or friend might be saying? If I forgot my hearing aids, I would never by able to hear if someone is just asking me what time it is, or if he is asking for my wristwatch and purse.

Are you really able to keep your grandchildren away from your gun? I am sick of reading about small children who find their father’s gun and shoot themselves or their little brother or sister. Would you really be able to determine in the dark if the person sneaking up on you or into your home is a burglar or a visiting grandchild sneaking in late? I am also sick of reading about fathers who mistakenly shoot a son or daughter who is sneaking in late from a rock concert.

Do you want your grandchildren to have guns, too? How would you feel about traveling on an airplane or a cruise ship if the passengers were allowed to carry guns?

Also, do you really want a wall between us and Mexico? Do you really want refugees who are seeking safety and shelter here in America sent home to starve or be killed? Weren’t your parents or grandparents refugees? My parents found safety here during the pogroms. Do you have any relatives who were killed by the Nazis? President Roosevelt turned away a boatload of Jews trying to escape Hitler. Most of them ended up in concentration camps. Do you really want President Trump building walls, and sending refugees and their children back home to die?

Elaine Kirsch

Meow fix

To the editor,

I’ve had cats for many, many years and I agree with “concerned animal lover” (“Kibbles and bits about kitty flea collars,” Sound off to the Editor, May 27) about educating anyone wanting to adopt a cat about how to handle them. Animal lovers treat each animal like family. Would anyone put a collar on a baby and watch the collar get tighter as the baby grows? I hope not.

I also agree that it would be nice to have a “Kitty Corner.” Animals cannot speak for themselves, so it’s up to us owners to speak for them.

Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach


To the editor,

There are too many questions still unanswered about the proposed street car (“No Money Train” by Lauren Gill, May 26).

The Friends of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector study claimed it could be built for $1.7 billion. Mayor Bill DeBlasio said $2.5 billion. If the cost just went up by $800 million, imagine how many more billions it might cost when completed.

It takes more than a simple planning feasibility study to turn into a viable capital transportation improvement project. There have been no environmental documents or preliminary design and engineering efforts necessary to validate any basic estimates for construction costs. Claims that construction would start in 2019 and open for service by 2024 is just wishful thinking. History shows that construction of most major new transportation system expansion projects take decades.

There are many narrow streets along the corridor. Any street car system will have to compete with existing bus, auto, commercial vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. At an estimated speed of 12 miles per hour with stops every quarter of a mile, how many people would actually take advantage of a street car versus other existing options? Which neighborhoods will come forward and accept two multi-acre operations, maintenance and storage facilities necessary to accommodate 52 or more street cars? What is the cost and funding source above $2.5 billion base line budget price tag to pay for two new bridges over the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek as part of project scope?

Plans to finance this project by taking a percentage of property taxes on new development is robbing Peter to pay Paul. This would reduce the amount of money available for police, fire, sanitation and other essential municipal services. City agencies have no experience in design, construction or operations of street car systems. Mayor DeBlasio will have to ask the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to serve as the project sponsor and future system operator.

The journey for a project of this scope can easily take 10 to 20 years before becoming a reality. A new limited stop bus route along this corridor would make more sense. Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Fear tactics

To the editor,

As I read your article “Scared stiff! Brookdale brings kids to morgue to show dangers of guns” (by Tatiana Hernandez, online May 20) I was reminded of “Scared Straight,” a television show that was filmed in Raway State Prison in New Jersey with 16 teenagers.

The idea was to show what happens when teens make a mistake and wind in prison. The prisoners were hard core and had committed the worst of the worst crimes. So the toughest and meanest were chosen to meet the teenagers, plus the language used was not censored. They yelled and screamed in the face of every teen, telling them that life in prison was no picnic. They shared the mistakes they had made to put them in this situation, and wished someone could’ve help them to go on the straight and narrow path.

Today there are more and more news reports about innocent children and adults being needlessly shot, or an elementary school student bringing a loaded gun to school. Maybe a similar program for younger children, but not as hard core, would help to keep them safe.

In my time a fight was between two people, and only with fists. At the end, we would either shake hands and be friends or just walk way.

Solomon Rafelosky

Brighton Beach

Beach breach

To the editor,

I went for a walk by the water at Coney Island from Coney Island Avenue to West 22nd Street. It was an enjoyable walk from start to the pier located by the stadium. Not too crowded for a weekday. The sand was smooth and a light tan.

However, after I passed the pier, it all changed. The sand was no longer a light tan, but a dark gray. Instead of being smooth it looked like it was plowed for the planting of corn or wheat but no planting was done. Very few people were in that section of the beach, and understandably so. In addition, the boardwalk in that area was in much need of repair. Further, in the half mile past the pier to where the theater is being built I could not find any rest-rooms or restaurants.

It is as if that section of the beach is completely ignored by the city. Maybe if that area was fixed up, some of the immense beach population between the pier and the Cyclone would move to the other side of the pier.

I would be very interested in knowing why the Parks Department has decided to ignore the Coney Island beach west of the pier.

Ronald Cohen


Pla-stick it!

To the editor,

So now our communist-socialist mayor is forcing good citizens to fork over even more money under the guise of environmental correctness. The city stands to reap millions in this new “bag” tax to be squandered, like pretty much where all of our tax dollars go.

Five cents for a single plastic shopping bag doesn’t sound like a big deal, although the colonists got so angry at the nickel-and-diming of their pocketbooks, they revolted starting with the original Tea Party rebellion, and moved onward from there. I guess that this is but one of the reasons we have a most interesting presidential campaign season.

Thanks to the city’s backwards stance prohibiting certain large businesses and stores opening in the city, I have for the longest time taken my family out of town to do our regular shopping errands. As more and more people see that the city and state governments are snookering them with unreasonable taxes, the more we flee the confines and spend our money elsewhere.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

School chaos

To the editor,

Several 11-year-old boys set fire recently to a bus in Crown Heights used by a yeshiva. Thank the dear lord that no one was on the bus at that time. These hooligans may also be linked to the recent attack of a Jewish, and the throwing of rocks at another bus used by the yeshiva as well.

With all this going on, the mayor and chancellor have the nerve to continue with a policy of few if any suspensions for behavioral infractions at our public schools. Lord only knows how these recalcitrant children carry on in the classroom.

Since the attacks occurred in Crown Heights, these brats probably attend District 17 schools; the district that had such good schools in the 1950s, but has deteriorated extensively in the last number of years, due to a complete lack of discipline.

If Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is unable to improve discipline in the schools, she should be shown the exit doors. It may be time for two chancellors: one concentrating on academics and the other — from either the Police Department or military — concentrating on maintaining discipline in the schools.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

‘Embrace” gentrification

To the editor,

I have been reading stories in your newspaper and others of how people are so upset at the gentrification taking place across the city. I scratch my head and wonder why? I’ve lived long enough to see the old Coney Island parks close in the 1960s only to be replaced with projects which became nothing more than warehouses, crime-ridden hulks. Our beloved Brooklyn Dodgers waved goodbye for greener pastures in Los Angeles. Here, too, the fields were razed and yet another instant slum, Ebbetts Field, was constructed.

City officials may have had good intentions, but the result of these complexes across the five boroughs has proven devastating.

Now there are complaints about building middle- and upper-income housing in Sheepshead Bay. Here, too, I scratch my head and wonder why! Sheepshead Bay ceased to be a quaint little fishing village years ago. Monstrous luxury party yachts have replaced most of the fishing boats moored in the bay. Old Mcguinnese’s roast beef restaurant is long gone, replaced with a kitschy, upscale Russian nightclub, and the remaining stores and other businesses are benefiting somewhat, from tourists and residents alike.

The immigrant (read-Russian) developers need to be directed to not only build their condos, but there should be strong input from the city forcing them to maintain the many restaurants and shops along the avenue. Unless Mayor DeBlasio, whom the feds are investigating for fiscal improprieties, has been taking their money under the table, too.

As gentrification takes hold across the city, one sees a big improvement in life and lifestyles. True, we must save historic districts that deserve saving. But tearing down and rebuilding for the better is a way of life that must be embraced.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Reader v. reader

To the editor,

Donald Trump is doing so well because there is a huge segment of the population that is suffering economically. Their legitimate concerns must be dealt with. There has been a decrease in low-level jobs for many reasons, including automation, increased technology, and jobs going overseas to nations with lax labor and safety laws. Online shopping also puts stores at a severe disadvantage, further reducing entry-level jobs.

If wages went up some businesses would fail. This has always been the case. When the price of goods go up, businesses either fail or pass on the cost to their customers. It’s a risk all businesses take. Workers in low-end jobs often resort to food stamps and other government subsidies. Raising the minimum wage would give more spending power, create more jobs, and reduce government expenditures on items like food stamps.

Critics claim making the tax rate more progressive will result in every individual becoming poor. This is ridiculous, as a small increase in the tax rate paid by the top one or two percent will only have a minimum impact, if at all. It will increase government revenue and enable our government to improve our terrible transportation system. This will help increase jobs and productivity.

There are people who will take advantage of paid sick time and maternity leave. I worked at a job with those benefits and very few people abused the privilege. The few who did were watched and some were fired. I do not want to work in an environment where there is no sick leave, nor do I want sick people coming to work because they can’t afford to miss a day’s pay.

As to those who think free college tuition never existed. I am approaching 70 years of age and I remember when City University was free. There were vigorous admission standards, and it was recognized that by giving needy students a free education society would benefit in the long run. Many leaders of industry and government took advantage of this opportunity. They paid back this investment many times over through taxes, creating businesses, and serving on civic associations.

Alan Podhaizer

Trump Village


To the editor,

Too many municipal elected officials who complain about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority forget their transit history.

In 1953, the old city Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets, under a master lease and operating agreement to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The governor appointed four board members, the mayor four more ,and the rest by suburban county executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or any operating subsidiary such as New York City Transit would do a good job. When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed, everyone could put up their hands and say, “Don’t blame me, I’m only a minority within the Board.”

Decade after decade, city mayors, comptrollers, public advocates, council presidents, borough presidents, and council members would all play the same sad song — if only we had majority control of the board, things would be different.

All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the City of New York and New York City Transit is an escape clause. The city has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which includes the subway and most of the bus system as well. Actions speak louder than words. If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nations largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Pissed off

To the editor,

Doesn’t our ultra-liberal idiotic City Council members realize that many of the deviants started their way to crime by committing so called “minor offenses?”

It is outrageous that the Council has voted not to have jail time for such people. Besides being disgusting and vulgar, public urination definitely poses health problems. The stench will permeate the city, and with no fear of going to jail, it will only embolden them to do even worse things. Let us hope that the deviants now urinate in front of the homes of these legislators. Let them get a whiff of a situation they have made much worse.

I’m wondering just how more “progressive” the Council can get. Setting aside a day to honor Ethel Rosenberg was awful, but this even tops that. I wonder if the deviants will use the supermarket bags they’ll pay a nickel each for to relieve themselves.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Town halls

To the editor,

As the Republican District Leader of the 46 Assembly District, I was compelled to attend the recent densely packed town hall meeting with Mayor de Blasio in Bay Ridge, the heart of my Assembly District. While I recognized the usual politicos and their staff filling the room, it was refreshing to see that actual concerned citizens and residents of Bay ridge were there in full force. Too bad the current Assemblymember of the 46 Assembly District did not present her views on the topics discussed, and opted to sit quietly.

Some of the issues discussed were the illegal conversions in Dyker Heights, sex shops posing as spas, and the waste transfer station being built upon our shoreline. A question was posed to the mayor about property tax rates and assessments. He stated that he would look at the tax rates, and request the City Council not raise tax rates, but he skirted the assessment issue. Let us clarify the fact that property assessments are based upon the property’s market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for under normal conditions. The property’s assessment is one of the factors used by our city government to determine the amount of the property tax.

Property tax rates are set by the City Council by determining the amount of taxes it needs to raise in proportion to the amount of money it needs to spend to maintain city programs.

Property tax rates and assessments are important points that pertain to illegal conversions of one- and two-family homes, especially in Dyker Heights, into multi unit dwellings. The main bone of contention is the lack of enforcement by the city and their inaction to alleviate this burgeoning problem. I believe that city agencies remain inactive in dealing with illegal conversions because illegal conversions generate high profit margins to those who invest in certain areas. Homeowners are offered and paid very large sums for their one- and two-family homes, increasing the market value of these homes, which result in higher assessments. Thus, the higher the assessment, the higher the tax rate for the neighborhood, resulting in more money for the city’s coffers.

The mayor stated he is aware of the situation, and has hired some new building inspectors, but he also pointed out that not every complaint is a true illegal conversion. He also placed the burden of accessing these illegally converted properties onto the shoulders of the NYFD. Mr. Mayor, the NYFD is there to save lives, not to generate income for the city through inspections resulting in fines and violations.

Quality of life issues regarding “spas” acting as illegal sex shops were brought up. A resident pleaded with the mayor to close down these “spas,” and shut down at least one avenue of human sex trafficking. A “follow the money” approach was the mayor’s cookie-cutter answer for this problem, but clearly more needs to be done to close these sex shops. In addition, the proliferation of Hookah lounges in Bay Ridge leads to the problems of exposing minors, especially teenagers, to the dangers of smoking. There are smoking bans throughout the city of New York, I am curious as to how and when these hookah lounges became exempt from this law.

Regarding the waste transfer station under construction on our neighboring shoreline, the shoreline of Brooklyn is not a dumping ground and our concerns need to be addressed and not be brushed aside. The sanitation commissioner clearly stated that Bay Ridge is one of the better areas in the city that follows recycling rules, and that garbage tonnage is down five percent in our area. Obviously no good deed goes unpunished!

Many other issues and concerns of Bay Ridge still need to be addressed and discussed. It is only through participation and awareness that they can be resolved. Town hall meetings should be more common, proliferate, and not be an occasional occurrence.

Lucretia Regina-Potter

The writer is the Republican District Leader of the 46th Assembly District and the Secretary of the Kings County Republican Party.

Challenger ‘lie’

To the editor,

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster took place 30 years ago, leaving us with more questions than answers over the decades. Why did it lift off on a day when it was too cold to function properly? President Ronald Reagan liked to talk to the astronauts in space. His State of the Union speech was the next day. The shuttle had to be launched the day before to be up and running so he could talk to them during his speech.

Reagan pressured NASA to go through with it, even though it was too cold. Unfortunately the astronauts, who were also scientists, were not told about this. A news conference was held by the panel which investigated the disaster. The panel members were from NASA, except for Richard Feynman, a noted physicist and an independent member. He showed that the sealant got brittle and lost its ability to seal if too cold. He put a piece of it in a beaker of liquid nitrogen, then he took it out and broke it. Likewise the shuttle seals were rendered useless. The official story said the disaster was caused by a defective worker, but that was a lie.

Jerome Frank

Coney Island

Nuke mook

To the editor,

So now it’s the little fat guy with the bad haircut from North Korea trying to shakedown America by pounding his chest like a gorilla to show his strength so he doesn’t have to fight another gorilla. We used to call this “selling woof tickets” when we were kids growing up in Brooklyn — it was all for show.

Obviously President Obama, who is said to be a poker player, probably isn’t a very good one because he can be bluffed over and over again. I doubt Obama ever read Trumps’ book “Art of the Deal” or Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” a book written more than 2,000 years ago, and still used today by generals and leaders all over the world. Obama telegraphs his intentions to our enemies, telling them when we are sending troops and when we are leaving, complete with date and time. He traded five hardened terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter whom he praised and who is now being court marshaled.

Obama made a deal with the devils of Iran, a country whose mantra is “Death to America,” giving them billions of dollars and withdrawing sanctions so they won’t continue making a nuclear bomb. They went back on their word and broke the agreement before the ink was even dry. So now the little fat guy with the bad haircut is going to see what he can get from Obama, like some other tyrants will certainly be doing soon because they only have about another year before he leaves office. They have to work fast, but they also know that if the new president has some cojones, like a Trump for instance, they will be out of luck.

Let’s not forget Iran held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days during the Carter administration. Jimmy Carter — a good, decent and very intelligent man, but a poor president in many ways — wasn’t respected at all by the Ayatollah of Iran at the time. Yet only hours after Ronald Reagan was sworn in, the hostages were released. Any guess why?

Maybe Trump is pounding his chest with his fists like the others who have been shaking Obama down, and maybe he isn’t, but either way I really don’t think those who bully Obama will try their crap on a Trump.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Chapter and verse

To the editor,

I am writing to convey my dismay at my treatment at a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, where I went to replace a lost card. When I attempted to inquire about a new card at a room marked “staff” I was rudely told that I was in a staff work area. Someone vaguely gestured toward a hidden information desk, without standing up. At least four staffers were drinking coffee from large painted mugs.

I am a semi-retired, visually impaired senior citizen who has lived in Sheepshead Bay for 59 years. Two days after my family moved to the neighborhood in 1956, my father took me to the library to show me a place of “learning and safety.” He would be very surprised at the way library consumers are treated there today. When I reached the information desk and asked about renewing my card I was met with blank stares from two staffers. After repeating my question two times I was told to go to the computer behind the desk. A staffer expressed impatience when the computer was slow to reboot. She said she did not have time to hold my hand and said I should “just fill in the blanks and press send.” I asked how long it would take to obtain a new card and she clearly said one to two weeks.

I returned to the library in the given time period to inquire about my card. Two staffers ignored me until I asked to see a supervisor. Within five minutes I had a new card. One of the unnamed staffers asked me why I had waited so long to come back to the library. When I asked the supervisor what she was going to do about the way I was treated, she said she would meet with the staff “sometime in the future.” I returned to the library a few days later to pick up a book for my wife and asked a staffer about the supervisor that I had spoken to. I was told that she was at an all-day meeting. I went back to the library the next day and asked to talk to a supervisor. I was told they were off until the following month.

That Saturday I went to the library to read a newspaper. The supervisor I originally talked with suddenly appeared and asked to speak with me. With her voice raised so that all of my friends and neighbors in the room could hear, she said she hoped that we could be good friends and that I could be a “star” of the library. I told her that I had called the New York City Human Rights commissioner to lodge a complaint for discrimination. She said loudly that was my right. As she continued to talk to me in a raised voice she was joined by two other staffers. I left the library immediately because I felt embarrassed and confronted.

Martin Adelstein

Sheepshead Bay


Off-track Andy

To the editor,

There is more to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority- New York City Transit will increase rehabilitation for subway stations to a state of good repair by 10-percent to 50-percent from originally 20 planned in the proposed 2015-2019 capital plan. The original $34 billion plan announced in Oct. 2014 proposed $448 million for bringing 20 subway stations to a state of good repair. The plan was cut by $6 billion to $28 billion. The MTA Board approved this revision. That was prior to Cuomo’s declaration about increasing the number of stations (or dollars) for New York City Transit’s renewal program. This plan still needs approval by the State Capital Program Review Board. It also requires the State Legislature to find $8 Billion promised by Gov. Cuomo. The City Council must also come up with $2.5 billion to meet commitments made by Mayor Bill DeBlasio to fully fund the capital plan..

If you increase the number of stations, the overall station renewal program would grow by $224 million to $672 million. Just what other transit capital projects and programs would have to be cut to support finding $224 million? Cuomo was silent on this key question.

According to a New York City Citizens Budget Commission report released several months ago, it will take 52 years or until 2067 for all 468 city subway stations to reach a state of good repair. Cuomo’s math just doesn’t add up. He reminds me of the cartoon character Wimpy who famously said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” When the bills become due, taxpayers will end up paying Cuomo’s bill.

Larry Penner

Great Neck. N.Y.

Tarnished Silver

To the editor,

The legacy of former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in the area of transportation leaves much to be desired. Consider the schedule, budget, and the cost for four major transportation projects that he took great pride in promoting.

Washington paid twice with your tax dollars for building the new South Ferry subway station. First, for almost $600 million in 9-11 funding, a second time with more than $300 million in Hurricane Sandy funding to rebuild what was damaged. The downtown Manhattan Fulton Street Transit Center was first paid for with 9-11 funding. Cost overruns of several hundred million were covered by American Recovery Reinvestment Act funding.

Fourteen years after 9-11, the Cortland Street World Trade Center subway station is still several years away from being back in service. If there are no new delays, perhaps the station will reopen by December 2018. Transit officials fought for years over budget, funding sources, scope, and schedule. Construction for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority portion of the project just started a few months ago.

There is no funding in the agency’s propose 2015-2019 capital program to initiate construction for the second segment of the Second Avenue subway, north from 96th Street to 125th Street. It will take several decades and $20 billion more for completion of the next three segments of the Second Avenue subway, north to 125th Street and south to Hanover Square downtown in the financial district. The project was originally proposed in 1929!

Silver claimed to be a friend of both commuters and the 99 percent. In reality, he lived the life style of the one percenters. He frequently traveled around town with a personal driver at taxpayers’ expense. I doubt if he ever purchased a MetroCard or rode the subway, like several million New Yorkers do daily.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Two-fare drone

To the editor,

The proposal by state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) to offer two free transfers for those who have to ride two buses before boarding a subway is wishful thinking. People who moved to Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and Gravesend — areas represented by Golden — knew full well that they would be living in a two-fare (bus to subway) and sometimes three-fare (bus to bus to subway) zone with longer commutes to and from work.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority services continue to be one of the best bargains in town. Since the 1950s, the average cost of riding either the bus, subway or commuter rail has gone up at a lower rate than either the consumer price index or inflation. The MetroCard, introduced in 1996, affords a free transfer between bus and subway. Prior to this, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing either a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Many employers offer transit checks, which pay even more of the costs.

For years, local politicians would stir the pot on this issue. Now the latest cause is the cost for those handful of people out of several million daily riders who have to pay two fares versus one. An overwhelming majority can afford and already purchase either a weekly or monthly unlimited MetroCard, which makes the “double fare” issue moot.

Residents, taxpayers, and commuters in Golden’s district would be better off if he worried more about how the State Legislature will find the $8 billion Gov. Cuomo promised to bridge the $8.3 billion shortfall in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-proposed $28 billion, five-year capital plan when they reconvene in January.

It all comes down to the availability of increased funding for additional transportation service to serve residents of two fare zones in the outer boroughs. Operating subsidies are required to increase the level of service and reduce the amount of time one waits for a bus on existing routes. Same for adding more off-peak, late night and weekend service.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

MTA delay

To the editor,

No one should be surprised by the recent news from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that the Second Avenue Subway won’t be open by next December. The agency reminds me of Capt. Renault from “Casablanca” when he said, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on!”

Riders who have been waiting since construction restarted in 2007 with an original service date of 2013 may not be able to pick up their “winnings” until 2017 or 2018. The project was originally proposed in 1929!

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.



To the editor,

As I voted on Primary Day, I noticed the fellow in front, after registering, was handed a sticker with the Statue of Liberty on it. He said, “No thanks, the Statue of Liberty represents the Democrats, as on its base is a big sign stating, ‘Give us your poor, outcast huddled masses.’ The perfect representation of that party to a T.”

I know that most of us have immigrant roots and family members worked their fingers to the bone to make it here in the new land. Today there seemingly are no requirements to be an immigrant, other than to be alive and breathing. I won’t even bother to mention the illegals as the present administration turns a blind eye to them.

Many will step up to the plate and assimilate into American society, but all too many will enter a segregated enclave of similar backgrounds, add nothing to better our country, and have their hands out for welfare, unearned social security benefits, Medicaid and other freebies, courtesy of the government.

One wonders why the media portrays us poor Republicans as mean and angry. Why shouldn’t we be? When politicians and officials have their hands in our pockets, robbing our own children and families of hard-earned money, to fork over to freeloaders — yes, we are angry!

I salute that fellow refusing the Statue of Liberty sticker, and the voting results that day truly reflected how the New Yorkers from Buffalo to Brooklyn feel!

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

GOP v. Trump

To the editor,

The secret meeting of Republican leaders in Georgia made me think of Hitler’s “weekend of the long knives.” It was so hush-hush, almost no one knew about it. Then information leaked out that these high-powered politicians, other party bosses, and big-money contributors were working overtime to dump Donald Trump, and attempt to possibly install Mitt Romney as savior of the Republican Party.

Liberal media and newspapers call Trump Hitler, saying that his supporters wave their hands in a Nazi salute, but people in his own party are staging a modern-day “night of the long knives” — a purge that took place in Nazi Germany, from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders.

It also made me think of how back in the 1970s Orson Wells starred in and narrated a special broadcast covering the quatrains of Nostradamus. One by one the predictions made hundreds of years ago were discussed, and each one was chillingly accurate: The attacks then destruction of the World Trade Center, the rise and fall of the Third Reich, and the exploits of Napoleon were a few predictions that were right on. At the end of this broadcast nuclear missiles from Iran and other Arab-Muslim countries were shown, blasting off into history as they were aimed at the “new city,” generally regarded to be New York City of today.

Iran, in violation of all too many treaties, has fired off nuclear-capable missiles bearing the Hebrew words for “death to Israel!” The video news reports mirrored almost to the exact detail what was shown on that Nostradamus program so many years ago.

Iran and fellow terrorist Muslim states have no intention of stopping development of missile technology and the so-called nuclear agreement is a sham. Everyone knows that they are busy making and testing nuclear materials, in secret desert locations. This present administration shows no backbone in stopping the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction. I only pray we are not too late and a change in Washington takes place soon or the last prediction of Nostradamus may very well come true.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park


To the editor,

Hillary Clinton was complaining that the Muslim terrorist groups were using Donald Trump for video recruitment purposes. That lie was quickly exposed and Hillary wound up with egg on her face. Then a video surfaced where Muslim terrorists actually were using footage from Trump’s campaign to recruit new terrorists. I wonder how much Hillary paid them to do this?

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Pie in the $ky

To the editor,

Our dear Gov. Cuomo has been on a media blitz unveiling grandiose building schemes — rebuilding the old Pennsylvania Station to an almost former glory, expanding the Javits Center to house the world’s largest ballroom and exhibit center, and other fantastic municipal works endeavors.

One thing that was silently spoken about, off camera, was the way the multi-billion-dollar projects will be paid for. Yes, it will be you and I, and our children and future grandchildren, who will be paying off his follies for decades to come. To build any project on time and within budget is a pipe dream, knowing the ineptness of state and city governments. After these clowns leave office, we all will be saddled for years with the debt load created by their schemes.

Maybe most of these plans should be voted down until Albany straightens up its own corrupt financial mess though, as these politicians are busy picking our pockets, I doubt it.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park


Class suspensions

To the editor,

The mayor and schools chancellor brag about fewer suspensions in public schools, but we read that things were never worse in the schools with lower suspension rates. It now becomes a case of do as you please without fear of severe punishment.

A paper reported recently that at a Brooklyn school with a suspension room, three boys on suspension went out to lunch, and while in the halls, two of the boys set upon the third, beating him so badly that he required hospitalization. Suspension really worked here, right! These boys should never have been in school to begin with and probably should have been jailed. Are the other two boys already back in the building despite the assault?

No one in this city has the guts to talk about unruly behavior in school. We all forget that no child has the right to disrupt another child’s education or to prevent a teacher from teaching. Please bring back the 600 schools for unruly youngsters!

Facing a possibly tough reelection fight for union president, Michael Mulgrew is suddenly talking about suspensions and unruly school behavior. Where have Mike and the other cronies of unity caucus been for the last 50 years or so? They have conveniently kept quiet and ignored the worsening of discipline in the schools. No teacher can teach without discipline, and when the teacher is stymied by do-nothing principals and an intransigent union, we have a recipe for continuous failure and disaster in the schools.

City schools have the largest class-size registers. With classes bursting by the seams, this will also account for poor behavior. Why not reduce class size by placing Absent Teacher Reserve teachers back in the classrooms, instead of these regular teachers being relegated to do substitute work?

How much of a teacher’s time during the day is devoted to constantly disciplining disruptive behavior? Going to school should be something regarded as a privilege and not something that everyone is entitled to by birth. Any child unable to control himself in a school-setting needs to be removed immediately.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Hell-ma mater

To the editor,

Another day, another gun. This time a gun was brought into MS 61 in the very troubled District 17 of Crown Heights.

I attended that school and graduated in 1961. Seven years later when I returned to do my student-teaching there, I found a totally different school. Things have just deteriorated terribly over the years in practically all of the District 17 schools and other districts throughout the city.

Why has this occurred? No one wants to admit that we have a major social problem in this society in the form of a refusal to accept authority. Civil libertarians add to the problem by not allowing teachers or supervisors to properly discipline recalcitrant youth. You can’t even tell a child to stand in the corner or write over and over that they must behave themselves. These are regarded as corporal punishments. By not disciplining youth properly we are emboldening them to commit more serious infractions as they get older. The refusal to follow orders from teachers just carries over to the police department years later.

We now have a mayor and chancellor who advocate for fewer suspensions and taking away metal detectors from our schools. These people refuse to admit that some of our schools are so bad the national guard needs to be called in just to restore order.

Not only did I attend District 17 schools, I also taught in them for 19 years before transferring. I had some very good students there, but there was also a group intent upon total disruption. You can’t teach without discipline, and one day our elected officials will realize this.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Southward bound

To the editor,

So now there are summonses to be issued and not jail time for those caught urinating in the street. Would city officials like it if these recalcitrant people were caught urinating in front of their homes? Our city and nation continue to go southward due to these liberal politicians.

The lack of respect continues towards our police and youngsters in school can now literally get away with anything now that it is becoming impossible to suspend an unruly child from school. Then we have candidates such as Democratic presidential challenger Bernie Sanders who is upset that too many prisons are being built and minorities are occupying the jail cells. Well, this wouldn’t be the case if the latter people and others behaved themselves and followed societal rules.

It’s a vicious cycle. Allowing youngsters to get away with anything in school only emboldens them to create further havoc as they get older.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead BayRoving Randi

To the editor,

It’s bad enough when elected officials are running for other offices and they are away from their official positions. It is just as bad when people, such as American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten will be criss-crossing the country for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Randi, you have responsibilities that await your urgent attention. In the city more teachers are resigning than ever, they’re throwing the towel in because of the discipline procedures you and other liberal lunkheads have created. Hillary does not need you directly, but teachers throughout the country do, as they struggle with burgeoning class sizes, unruly pupils, overly aggressive administrators, and parents who rule the teacher and principal.

If Randi Weingarten and other officials can’t fulfill their responsibilities, they should take a leave of absence without pay.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Get a grip

To the editor,

There is always an excuse for outrageous behavior. As the years have gone by, the new one is that the perpetrator was off their medication. In a recent case, several women were slashed by someone in and out of hospitals for mental illness. Why was he always released after each episode, only to cause additional mayhem? Same thing in school. Any teacher can tell you which of their students will go on to commit crimes. No one bothers to listen to them as children, when they are literally crying out by acting out for help. Instead, we either play their friend or just pass them on.

Since the family of the slasher knew what he was capable of, it was their responsibility that this individual be looked after. That is what families are all about. Don’t throw your problems on society and expect them to clean up the mess.

I just love when they say that the recalcitrant was in the process of getting his or life together. It is time for individual initiative and responsibility for one’s actions to rest on the individual and family members. Sure, many of these recalcitrant people and family receive welfare benefits and therefore they feel that everything is coming to them.

Ed Greenspan

Sheesphead Bay

Classroom sham

To the editor,

Politicians have conveniently ignored the problem of discipline in our schools. The lack of discipline is the major cause for teachers leaving the public school system within five years of starting to teach, or retiring as soon as they are eligible to do so.

No matter how good a teacher you are, you can’t teach without effective discipline and everyone knows that. Discipline problems start as early as kindergarten and with nothing done, the child goes from year to year in elementary school and will only cause havoc. If a parent doesn’t sign for special education placement, the child remains in a regular classroom and the disorder continues. As important as class size is, all you need is for one child to be continuously disruptive and little to no learning results. Years ago the 600- school concept for disruptive children was done away with. At least hard core troublemakers were kept out and sent to alternative settings.

When a disruptive child enters intermediate school (grades 6-8) the situation worsens because the child now has the added freedom of roaming the halls during change of periods. The problem is exacerbated now by principals who never taught a day, but are now rating teachers. If these principals taught they would see directly what is going on and change their attitudes about blaming teachers for everything. No matter how much money you pump into the school system, without discipline, the results will be the same, year after year.

The mayor and schools chancellor should be ashamed for weakening disciplinary codes. Lord only knows what else is covered up on a daily basis. Our deteriorating schools have become schools for scandal. Where is the union? It’s so happy to be out of the classroom that it couldn’t care less. Union officials get in overwhelmingly each time they come up for reelection, and the hierarchy within the union collects double pensions.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Teaching trenches

To the editor,

As Warner Wolfe used to say, “Let’s Go to the Videotape,” when he would want something investigated further. Similarly let’s go to the school records of violent criminals, or better yet, do something with them in their formative years so that they don’t resort to such violence. If you opened the school records, you would see evidence of cutting class, constantly disrupting the class, roaming through the hallways, cursing, screaming, fighting, and causing all sorts of mayhem.

The city’s school system has failed these students and others by their complete refusal to deal with disruptive youth. As a result, the latter become more emboldened with each passing year, and their deviant behavior worsens until an innocent life is lost.

We keep such students in regular classes if the parent refuses to sign for special placement. As a result, chaos results as teachers desperately try to keep order with burgeoning class sizes. When are we going to face this problem head on and not keep sweeping it under the rug? This is not a racist problem. Disruptive pupils come in all races, religions and all backgrounds.

Empty out the regional and district offices and get teachers back in the classroom. We need more psychologists and psychiatrists in the schools. Less suspensions will not solve anything.

So-called staff development is a complete joke and everyone knows it. Let all the militants, ultra liberals and critics of teachers get themselves teacher licenses and get a taste of what it is like in the trenches.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

‘Demagogue’ Donald

To the editor,

It has become apparent to me that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would be absolutely perfect in still another remake of the great film, “All the King’s Men.” After all, as demagogue Willie Stark, Broderick Crawford received a well-deserved, best-actor Oscar. Trump could easily pass that, if not do even better in the part. He gives new meaning to the term demagoguery. Hollywood should definitely take notice.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Pledge allegiance

To the editor,

Of course the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited in schools. As a student of public schools in the 1950s, I remember “the lord is my shepherd” being recited from the Bible in the auditorium until someone finally realized that this was a violation of separation of church and state.

Religion does not belong in our public schools. This means that all symbols representing a religion should not be in the school either. After all, by doing this, we are doing a disservice to those students not of a particular religion, as well as students who are atheists.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

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