Readers: The Bay News got it wrong

To the editor,

When I was asked about the ferry service (“Marty: Southern Brooklyn needs ferries,” online Feb. 3), I carefully detailed how I personally, and through my civic work with local organizations for more than 25 years, advocated ferry service between Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan, and other destinations.

I explained about Pier 10 and why it was wider than the others for the purpose of ferry service to make access to passengers easier to manage. I was on the committees for the rebuilding of the ten Sheepshead Bay piers both times they were refurbished.

I never said the negative implication, which you labeled my concerns about parking, “that ferries would be more trouble than they’re worth.”

Those are your reporter’s words.

I merely pointed out that unlike areas Downtown, this is an area where parking and accessibility by car were an important element for the true success of a ferry service, and that this point was raised at every community meeting about this for more than 25 years. The more parking that is available and affordable, the more attractive the ferry service would be as an alternative to commuting to Manhattan by car.

The reality is that ferry services are costly to run, require government subsidies, and is dependant on a comprehensive approach, which is what we advocated for all these years, since the community coalition Bay Improvement Group was formed in 1992.

Please do not paint a negative picture when there is none; parking is simply an important component to achieve a truly successful ferry operation in our community.

Steve Barrison

The writer is president of the
Bay Improvement Group.

Classless act

To the editor,

It will definitely be a major disaster if this policy of rating teachers by test scores goes into effect.

No teacher should be judged on students who fail to cooperate, are disruptive, disrespectful, don’t do homework, and have parents who are ready to fight you all the way.

We have a system now where chancellors need waivers, Leadership Academy Principals never taught, and teachers who are duly licensed are being blamed for everything. Where are the standards for students?

Of course, the U.F.T. will endorse Gov. Cuomo when he runs again and will follow through on the A.F.T.’s endorsement of President Obama, despite the fact that the latter endorsed the firing of tenured Rhode Island school teachers, gave us the likes of Arne Duncan and has a muddled Israeli policy at best.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

To the editor,

This education crisis will not be solved unless and until all parties — the politicians, the administrators, the teachers and the unions — stop pointing fingers at each other in an attempt to place the blame for what became of a very good public school system.

All of them bear some responsibility for this colossal failure to produce properly educated children who are educationally equipped to join the workforce and become productive citizens. The problem lies much, much deeper than the obvious suspects noted above.

The public school system produces many outstanding students, but our school buildings have become jungles. How can teachers be expected to teach in an environment where they are afraid of the students; where students urinate, defecate, and commit sex acts; where the students do drugs in the bathrooms; where magnetometers have to be installed to detect guns and knives being smuggled into schools; and where police officers are stationed outside the buildings, and school safety officers patrol the hallways?

Another part of the problem is a lack of parental involvement in their children’s future. Many parents foster the attitude of, “It wasn’t my kid,” or, “If you call the cops, I’ll sue you and everyone within 10 miles.” The results are devastating — we have experienced generation upon generation of many students who only go to school because they have to, teachers who are afraid to teach and have little or no authority, administrators who won’t call the police unless someone gets killed in the school, parents who don’t care, and politicians who address every conceived problem, except the right one. Again, the system focuses on test-taking rather than educating students, because they don’t want a bad rating or the loss of federal funding.

Our schools graduate functional illiterates who are not in any way prepared for the workforce. A lot of them don’t want to work anyway. What they see on the street are 18-year-olds who drive expensive cars, wear fancy clothes, are surrounded by their entourages of girls, and have a roll of bills that could choke an elephant. Who would want to work when they can hang out with their pals and deal drugs? They see honest working people as suckers. They can tell you how many layers of Kevlar a .40-calibur bullet will penetrate, how many hits they can get from a gram of coke, and all sorts of other good stuff, but they can’t pass the test to work for the post office.

So how do our politicians deal with this? More programs! Rather than actually doing its job, our government deals with this (and most other problems) by spending more taxpayer dollars on programs that do not now, and never did work. For the last 60 years, all levels of government have avoided treating the underlying problem, and continue to use temporary solutions. The only thing that they did successfully was to create several generations of people who will always be dependent on government handouts.

It’s time for voters to make themselves heard, and get rid of politicians who are only good at one thing — wasting other people’s money — and replacing them with problem solvers. It doesn’t even matter anymore who gets the credit. Just fix the problem.

David Podesta

Marine Park

Red, white and blues

To the editor,

Hey government officials, what has happened, and is continuing to happen, to the morals and integrity of people within these United States?

It’s embarrassing to me to turn on the radio and to hear hip-hop music (?) that used the ‘N’ word constantly. However, I could be sued if I were to call another person that derogatory word. It’s a shameful word, and puzzling to me as to why it’s permitted on airwaves. Why doesn’t the F.C.C. speak out against it? Why don’t God-fearing, moral lawmakers speak out against it? What have they to fear — lobbyists?

A newspaper is delivered to my door every morning, and some days I scratch my head in disbelief as I look at photos of some of the clothes worn by semi-dressed women within the stories. Why aren’t they criticized instead of lauded? Our society is going downhill, and I blame those who make the laws that allow this.

You are our senators — we elected you — so please show us you care about what is happening to our city, our state, and our country! We are becoming a Sodom and Gomorrah society, as we live and breathe. From semi-pornography, to common usage of formerly-considered, now accepted curse words on radio and television, to arrogant illegal immigrants demanding — and ultimately receiving — government benefits, the U.S. is rapidly moving downhill, into the gutter. Rapes, gun-carrying teens, shootings, robberies, etc. are all signs of a decaying, degenerate society.

I am beginning to wonder if maybe God is testing us, and we are not passing his test. Yes, we are surely failing him and our American children! We do not want our world enemies to tear us apart and bring us down; however, regretfully, we are rotting from within.

Wake up! Please emphasize good morals, family discipline, and yes, religion too.

Joan Applepie

Mill Basin

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