Sound Off to the Editor • Brooklyn Paper

Sound Off to the Editor

To the editor,

I understand our police departments are busy dealing with major issues far more serious than some teenagers lighting up fireworks, but then why do they publish press releases asking the public to report such activity?

I read a notice from the 63rd Precinct asking people to phone in if they see illegal firework activity. They even offered a reward. Well I called them, supplied the name and address of such illegal and dangerous activity, and waited for an hour, but no one ever showed up!

This year I heard more fire bombs and fireworks than I can ever remember in Marine Park. Where are you, 63rd? Does a child need to get hurt or a fire started before you respond?

The writer’s name is withheld upon request.

• • •

To the editor,

Sheepshead Bay was not the greatest place to be on July 4. We were bombarded by firecrackers. While it wasn’t as bad pre-Mayor Giuliani days, it was bad enough.

In addition the homeless situation seems to be getting worse in the area. More homeless are hanging out by the Sheepshead Bay subway station, and some are sleeping on floors two blocks from the subway on Avenue Z and E. 13th Street. Where are our elected leaders and mayor in this situation along with the City Council?

I guess for them that it’s summer time and the living is easy. Between the high rentals and large numbers of vacant stores and open land in the neighborhood, who will want to reside here or even do business in the area? This is a real shame. This place really meant something years ago. Don’t let it go the way of the Edsel.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

Would Mayor DeBlasio like to live near illegally dumped trash, and between wrongfully converted houses, in the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst area, where people have invested all their lives to provide decent homes for their families (“Stuck With Trash,” May 16)?

The constant filth, noise, and polluted air in residential neighborhoods and increase of graffiti along Fort Hamilton Parkway is unacceptable to all law-abiding people here.

Perhaps the mayor should come out of fenced Gracie Mansion, take a ride on the N train, and look around. He might get more votes that way.

John Fierro

Dyker Heights

‘We do!’

To the editor,

I agree with Joanna DelBuono that it is about time the Supreme Court made same-sex marriages legal (“Jo weighs in on same-sex marriage,” Not For Nuthin’, July 3).

However, I do not agree with her and letter writer Peter Orsi (Sound Off to the Editor, July 3) that same-sex marriages will increase business for divorce lawyers.

I have known several same-sex couples who have lived together, stayed together, and been loyal to each other for 30 or 40 years, although they could not get married and had to constantly deal with painful prejudices and discrimination. I know one New York couple who rushed off to another state to get married as soon as it became legal, even before New York made same-sex marriages legal.

People who have waited and suffered this long are never going to need divorce lawyers. Possibly younger couples, including millennials, might opt for pre-nups, but more-mature couples who have lived with and loved each other for many years will not.

I have never understood why heterosexual people have been allowed to marry, divorce, and remarry as many times and as many different spouses as they want, while same-sex couples could not marry even once. Three cheers to the Supreme Court!Elaine Kirsch


On the Boardwalk

To the editor,

The Parks Department has no problem wasting millions of dollars to move the site for the bathroom in its secret deal with our say-one-thing-do-another Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay), yet when it comes to our Boardwalk they suddenly become penny-pinching fiscal watchdogs, to the exclusion of all other important considerations. It’s as though they wish to do the cheapest and easiest thing right now, rather than what’s desirable and makes sense for everyone in the long run. Such a lack of vision is not merely a disappointment, it’s destructive. To not cherish what we have, and maintain and enhance it, is sinful.

• • •

A few years ago when one of our community members asked a Parks official what research they had conducted that convinced them that concrete and plastic were appropriate materials for a Boardwalk, that official responded, “Research, what research? We didn’t have time to do research. We had to spend the money!” How concerned then are they really about using our money wisely? I would have to conclude that their decisions seem based more on laziness and ineptness rather than any real understanding or caring about how we use the Boardwalk and what it means to the vast majority of us that live here. The sad and infuriating fact though, is that we who live here are made to suffer as the result of decisions made by these uncaring, unknowledgeable bureaucrats, all of whom live elsewhere and have shown that they don’t at all care what we think. Sending off our wood to Milan is only the latest misstep from an agency that has a long list of missteps, poor decisions, and ill treatment of our Boardwalk to its discredit. William Burg

Coney Island

Transit lowdown

To the editor,

June 22 marked the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Manhattan Rapid Transit Fourth Avenue Brooklyn line that ran from City Hall to 95th Street in Bay Ridge.

Thousands of riders paid a five cent fare. The original line (today’s B,D,J,M, N,Q, R & Z lines) and the Interboro Rapid Transit (today’s 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, Franklin Avenue and Times Square shuttles) subway systems were constructed and managed by the private sector with no government operating subsidies. Financial viability was 100 percent dependent upon farebox revenues. They supported both development and economic growth of numerous neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens. As part of the franchise agreement which owners had to sign, City Hall had direct control over the fare structure. For a period of time, owners actually make a profit with a five cent fare.

After two decades passed, the costs of salaries, maintenance, power, supplies, and equipment would pressure owners to ask City Hall for permission to raise the fares. This additional revenue was needed to keep up with maintaining a good state of repair, increase the frequency of service, purchase new subway cars, pay employee salary increases, and support planned system expansion. Politicians more interested in the next reelection (and subscribing to the old Roman philosophy of free bread and circuses) refused this request each year for more than a decade. As a result, in order to survive owners of both systems began looking elsewhere to reduce costs and stay in business. They started curtailing basic maintenance, delayed purchases of new subway cars, postponed salary increases for employees, canceled any plans for system expansion and cut corners to survive. Does any of this sound familiar from the present?

In 1920 automatic coin-operated turnstiles were first introduced on the Lexington Avenue subway. This began the elimination of ticket collection employees. In 1932 the city began building and financing construction of the new Independent Subway (today’s A,C,E,F and G lines). This new municipal system subsidized by taxpayers dollars would provide direct competition to both the I.R.T. and B.M.T. Municipal government forced them into economic ruin by denying them fare increases that would have provided access to additional badly needed revenues. Big Brother, just like the Godfather, eventually made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. The owners folded in 1940 and sold out to City Hall.

In 1953 the old city Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. That same year, the fare increased from 10 to 15 cents and tokens were introduced.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Martial schools

To the editor,

I was about to come up for tenure when Hugh Carey defeated Malcolm Wilson to become governor of New York in 1974. The United Federation of Teachers wholeheartedly supported Carey. No sooner was he governor than tenure was changed to five years, and therefore myself and others had to wait two additional years to achieve this job protection.

At the time the union urged membership to donate to vote for the Committee on Public Education to get the tenure back to three years.

Gov. Cuomo is falling into the same trap as Gov. Carey did. It doesn’t matter how many years of teaching is required as long as the system allows us to work under the same abysmal conditions. City classrooms have the largest classroom registers and consequently disruptive children in them. No matter what is tried nothing will work until we attempt to resolve the problems of class size and children who refuse to behave themselves in school. It is ridiculous that people who never spent one day in the classroom as a teacher attempt to make rules that classroom teachers have to work under.

When it comes to class sizes, the union pointed out years ago that it had established an expedited grievance procedure in dealing with large classrooms. What expedited procedure? I’ve been retired now for nearly 14 years and the problem persists. Similarly the problem of disruptive children is ignored because no one wants to touch the issue. It is much easier to blame the teacher for the behavior of children who either will not or are unable to control themselves in classrooms. The 600-schools for problem children were done away with years ago, and now the mayor and chancellor are talking about eliminating suspensions for the unruly. The mayor and other critics of teachers desperately need to get back into a classroom and see what goes on during the course of a day.

Stop with the liberal nonsense of total child, alternate assessments, and other jokes, and institute military discipline in those schools requiring it. Any teacher cannot teach without discipline — Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina knows that.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Bad economics

To the editor,

Is there real reason to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the New York City Economic Development Corporation? New York City prospered and successfully grew prior to creation of this group and it’s predecessor, the N.Y.C. Public Development Corporation which was created in 1966. In 1991 the N.Y.C. Public Development Corporation (P.D.C.) was merged with the N.Y.C. Financial Services Corporation (F.S.C.) to form the N.Y.C. Economic Development Corporation. In many instances projects supported by these government corporations have been heavily subsidized by taxpayers, commonly known as corporate welfare. Between direct government funding, low-interest and below-market-rate loans, and long-term tax exemptions, the bill to taxpayers in the end is greater than the so-called public benefits.

There is also a relationship between pay-for-play campaign contributions from developers to elected officials looking for favorable legislation, private-property condemnation under eminent domain, building permits, public infrastructure improvements, along with direct and hidden subsidies. In some cases city and state development corporations actually compete against each other attempting to outbid each other in offering potential investors the best deal. This translates to the highest subsidies at taxpayers’ expense.

Don’t forget the conflict of interest for senior staff from municipal regulatory and permitting agencies. Too many leave in the twilight of any mayoral administration to become employees or consultants to the same developers they previously oversaw.

Take Seth Pinsky, former executive director of the N.Y.C.E.D.C. who went on to become executive vice president of the RXR Realty. Some developers try to purchase the support of local community groups by making so-called voluntary donations. They also make promises for capital improvements, which after the major project is completed don’t always appear. Other commitments for creation of permanent new jobs and tax revenues frequently do not meet expectations. If these projects are worthwhile, why can’t major developers use their own funds or obtain loans from banks, like medium and small businesses?

Real business people who believe in capitalism build their companies on their own. How sad that some don’t want to do it the old fashioned way by sweat and hard work. They are looking for shortcuts in the form of huge subsidies at taxpayers expense and favors from elected officials.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Tunnel vision

To the editor,

Your story “Tunnel Aversion” (March 26) concerning the proposed Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel which might connect New Jersey to Brooklyn and Queens is under consideration again. In theory, it might move thousands of trucks on a daily basis off the roads and on to railroad tracks for significant portions of the journey between New Jersey and Long Island. It reminds me of the long-forgotten proposed tunnel between 69th Street in Bay Ridge and St. George on Staten Island. The concept was to extend subway service from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Ground was broken with entrances at both ends in the 1920s, but the project quickly ran out of money and was abandoned to history. When living on Shore Road in Bay Ridge, friends and I would look to no avail in attempting to find the abandoned site filled in decades earlier. Flash forward almost 90 years later and we have the proposed “Cross Harbor” rail freight tunnel project.

Construction of any new freight, public transportation tunnel or bridge project can take years if not decades by the time all feasibility studies, environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements, construction, budgeting, identifying, and securing funding is completed. This is before the project reaches beneficial use. Construction for the 2nd Avenue subway began in the 1960s. Bond money intended for this project in the 1950s was spent elsewhere. The latest completion date for the first segment of three stations between 63rd and 96th streets on the upper east side of Manhattan is 2016 at a cost of $4.5 billion. Construction for the original tunnel to support bringing the Long Island Rail Road from Queens into Grand Central Station began in the 1960s. The latest completion date is now 2023 with a cost of $10 billion. No one can identify the source for the estimated $16 billion to build a new tunnel for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak known as the “Gateway project” to gain additional access to Penn Station from New Jersey. Ditto for paying back the $3 billion federal loan which covered a majority of the estimated $4 billion for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in Westchester. Any guess who will find $5 to $10 billion or more needed for construction of a new Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel? This may be just another in the continuing series of feasibility studies sponsored by various governmental agencies and public officials over decades. They generate some money for consultants, along with free publicity, for elected officials who promise a bright future, but all to often move on to another public office before delivering. You are frequently left holding an empty bag with unfilled promises. At the end of the day just like the long abandoned Brooklyn to Staten Island subway project, don’t count on seeing any shovel in the ground before the end of this decade. Don’t count on completion of any Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel in our lifetime.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.


To the editor,

July marked the 50th anniversary of federal government support for public transportation. The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of the late President Lyndon Johnson’s greatest accomplishments, which continues benefiting many Americans today.

On July 9, 1964, he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law. Subsequently this has resulted in the investment over time of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation.

Millions of Americans. including many residing in Brooklyn today on a daily basis, 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, thanks to President Johnson.

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.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Then and now

To the editor,

Did you know that the first game to be played at the Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field was an inter-league exhibition game against the New York Yankees on April 5, 1913? Ebbets Field officially opened on April 9, 1913 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The original Brooklyn Dodgers name was derived from residents who would dodge trolley cars when crossing streets for decades, until their own decline and final death in the 1950’s. If it had not been for mega builder Robert Moses, along with both the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers leaving the Big Apple in 1957 for California, there may have been no Barclays Center or Brooklyn Nets.

The golden era of baseball in the city took place in the 1950s with a three-way rivalry between the American League New York Yankees, and the National League New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. All three teams claimed to have the best center fielder in baseball. On street corners all over town, citizens would argue whether the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle, Giants’ Willie Mays or Dodgers’ Duke Snider was champ.

Ordinary Brooklyn natives could ride the bus, trolley or subway to Ebbets Field to see their beloved Dodgers. Working and middle class men and woman of all ages, classes and races co-mingled in the stands. Everyone could afford a bleacher, general admission, reserve or box seat. Hot dogs, beer, other refreshments and souvenirs were reasonably priced.

Team owners would raise or reduce a players salary based on their performance the past season. Salaries were so low, that virtually all Dodger players worked at another job off season. Most Dodger players were actually neighbors who lived and worked in various communities in the County of Kings.

Residents of the era sat outside on the neighborhood stoop, shopped at the local butcher, baker, fruit, and vegetable stand. Television was a relatively new technology and the local movie theater was still king for entertainment. Brooklyn still had its very own daily newspaper — the Brooklyn Eagle — which ended publication some time in the mid-1950s.

During the 1950s, Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley tried to find various locations for construction of a new baseball stadium which he pledged to finance using his own monies. With limited seating capacity at Ebbets Field, he needed a new modern stadium to remain financially viable. City master mega-builder Robert Moses refused to allow him access to the current-day Barclays Center build on Atlantic Yards. This location was easily accessible to thousands of baseball fans from all around the Big Apple via numerous subway lines and Long Island Rail Road.

Thousands of fans who moved to other neighborhoods in eastern Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk County would have had direct access via the LIRR. Imagine how different Brooklyn would have been if elected officials had stood up to Robert Moses and allowed construction of a new Dodgers stadium in downtown Brooklyn. Without the departure of both the Brooklyn Dodgers (becoming the Los Angeles Dodgers) and New York Giants (San Francisco Giants), there may have been no national league expansion in 1962. There would have been no Colt 45s (original name of the Houston Astros), our beloved New York Mets, or the Barclays Center hosting the Brooklyn Nets basketball team.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Lesson 101

To the editor,

In reality, it doesn’t matter how long tenure is. Even tenured teachers can be fired. Principals just don’t want to go through the paper work in the process. If a principal doesn’t like you, you will be assigned the most difficult classes and therefore with unsatisfactory results and the lack of discipline in these classes, you shall be terminated.

When Spiro Agnew resigned from the vice presidency in Oct. 1973, Nixon tapped New York’s Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to be vice president. Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson became governor and ran against Hugh Carey in the 1974 election. Carey won and thanked the teacher’s union for its support by going along with the legislature and increasing teacher tenure to five years. I vividly remember this because myself and others had to wait an additional two years to be tenured.

While this was occurring, Unity Caucus, which has run the union for more than 50 years, strongly recommended that we give money to the Committee on Political Education in order to get the tenure reduced to three years again. Had we stayed with Gov. Wilson, we wouldn’t have encountered this mess. Increasing tenure will only cause novice teachers to leave in droves.

No one wants to admit that unruly pupils are the causes of the ills of the public school system. You could make 10 years a requirement for tenure and you shall encounter the same problems. Start allowing discipline back in the schools and you would see those teachers being rated ineffective improve rapidly.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Scott String-along

To the editor,

City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s report that New Yorkers spend more time traveling to work than those who commute in other cities told us nothing new. This has been previously documented in numerous other taxpayer-funded studies and newspaper articles. Older generations moved to two fare zones in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island in search of more affordable housing, safer neighborhoods, better air quality and better schools. They knew full well that they would be living in a two-fare (bus to subway) zone with longer commutes to and from work. Newer generations looking for the same quality of life moved to the suburbs. They had to deal with driving to a commuter railroad station, riding the railroad and transferring to the subway before arriving at work. More recent generations moved beyond the old inner suburbs to newer outer suburbs with even longer commutes.

The real questions Srtinger failed to look at is who is providing the appropriate level of funding to improve everyone’s commute and how those dollars are being spent.

For decades under numerous previous Metropolitan Transportation Authority five-year capital plans, both the city and state collectively cut billions of their own respective, financial contributions. They repeatedly had the agency refinance or borrow funds to acquire scarce capital funding formerly made up by hard cash from both City Hall and Albany. This has resulted in long term agency debt, doubling from $15 billion to more than $32 billion. More money has to be spent on debt service payments. This has resulted in billions of fewer dollars available for both operating and capital improvements for safety, state of good repair, and system expansion capital projects and programs. While Washington has consistently provided billions, it is both City Hall and Albany that have retreated from properly financing the capital program since the 1980s. How much money did Stringer bring to the city as a member of the State Assembly and Manhattan borough president? How much money has Stringer asked Mayor Bill DeBlasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the City Council to provide in the municipal budget? Talk is cheap, but actions speak louder.

Stringer and other career politicians continue to miss how both the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority manage their respective capital and operating assistance programs. Both the city and the agency combined have an active portfolio in billions of ongoing capital projects and programs. This includes almost two billion dollars of yearly assistance from Washington. These dollars are supplemented by billions more from various discretionary federal funding sources, including post 9-11 aid, American Recovery Reinvestment Act, and Hurricane Sandy funding.

Stringer’s staff time would have been better spent auditing both the city and the agency, along with their respective sub recipients and operating agencies, to see how prudent they have been in managing all those billions of dollars from Uncle Sam and Albany.

Stringer could give up both his fee parking space at City Hall and his special police parking permit. He can use his transit check to purchase MetroCards. Why not ask his wife to do the same? This will afford Stringer the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

‘Stupid’ Dems

To the editor,

Pee on the southern Brooklyn Democrats for being so stupid as to endorse the underground Republican spoiler for the Republican Party, James Inne, masking as a progressive candidate for Green Party U.S., not to be confused with the real Green Party, which would never run a candidate to take away votes needed to defeat a Republican candidate, something Green party US has no problem with.

Indeed when Al Gore ran against George Bush, Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, got tons of money from the Bush people. Is anyone still too stupid to understand why this was done?

This is what Martin Kilian, a forming member of the German Green Party in 1979 had to say about this so-called Green Party when it ran Nadar for president during the Gore-Bush election: “The position of the American Greens is highly questionable and outright immature if you ask me,” he said during an internet interview.

It is high time progressives and Democrats see this so called Green Party for what it really is there for: to help Republicans by taking away votes from Democrats.

I challenge anyone to come up with a more intelligent answer that is not full of it from Green Party U.S. David Raisman

Bay Ridge

On track

To the editor,

Practically every Thursday evening at the end of the month I go to a Barnes and Noble open-mike poetry event at the Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street location in the northwestern part of Brooklyn.

I take an F train to and from my location from Brighton Beach taking the Q train to Stillwell Avenue and transferring to an F train getting off at the Seventh Avenue station.

On my return trip, however, I try to take an F train back to Stillwell Avenue, but I sometimes have a considerable wait, and to save time take a G train with its final stop at Church Avenue and then wait for an F line going back home to Stillwell Avenue, and again take a Q to Brighton Beach.

If the G train can’t go directly to Coney Island, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a direct route from either Coney Island to Rockaway station in Queens or have a super express where the first stop would be either Canal Street or Grand Street?

This might be beneficial for commuters when tracks need to be repaired as an alternative to bus service. Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

No-prez Pataki

To the editor,

Former New York governor George Pataki’s announcement that he is running for president in 2016 will be followed as being one of the first to drop out. No one who truly believes in limited government, balanced budgets, reduction in long-term debt and support for the free enterprise system signed up for his ill-fated 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. The same will be true in 2016, which is why Pataki will once again never get out of the starting gate.

Pataki’s lavish spending of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups to grease his 2002 re-election for his third and last term made the late liberal Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller roll over in his grave! His record deficits, excessive spending, and late budgets give real conservative Republicans anguish. Native New York Republicans who know Pataki best, will once again deny him the ability to carry New York as a favorite son candidate.

Pataki’s self promotion is really motivated by a desire to drum up both business for his consulting firm and consideration for a cabinet or other position in any future Republican administration. Pataki wrote his own political obituary long ago. Except in his mind and personal ego, Pataki is essentially irrelevant in politics today.

It is time he set his sights on something more realistic. Perhaps consider running against Sen. Charles Schumer in 2016.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Judge and jury

To the editor,

I have never been so bloody frustrated by the attorney general’s and the court system in the past and now in the present. Do you remember the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980s when the banking customers were left with the bill? I can’t remember if any of those people went to prison? Of course who could forget when Wall Street prime mortgage went down the tubes and not one person was indicted. Some big shots paid a fine that in my judgement was chump change.

Now of course the attorney general goes after the world class soccer federation. A $100 million is chump change compared to the billions lost on Wall Street.

Also I can’t believe how the courts can rule about a women’s right, not only for an abortion but for other medical procedures that can save the life of all women. Who appointed them judge, jury, and executioner?Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Greedy landlords

To the editor,

Despite all their crying, landlords continue to make money on their rental properties and it’s about time that they are being put in their place.

For example landlords are required to paint for their tenants in rent-controlled and rent-stabilized buildings every three years. Since many of the tenants are in frail health they’re unable to go through with the painting, so the landlord saves money by not having to pay for a painter or the paint. You can just imagine the quality of the paint that is used. It isn’t exactly Benjamin Moore.

When tenants move into an apartment they have to pay security. This could either be a month or two months rent in advance. The money goes into an account and earns interest. When the tenant vacates, landlords find fault so that they can hold back part of the security money. I personally know of a case where a tenant’s security deposit was lowered because there was a nail left in the wall, or carpeting was still on the floor. Obviously, the landlord pockets the security money if the tenant dies while in residence.

In both rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments, if the sink, stove or refrigerator are there for a certain number of years, the landlord is permitted to put in new utilities and therefore jack up the rent. Tenants beware. Many of our landlords know of places that recondition utilities. The utilities come in a carton and look perfectly new. What the tenant doesn’t know is that they have been reconditioned. Reconditioned utilities are not new, but the tenant is paying more in rent for supposed “new” utilities. Still another landlord rip-off.

One thing I will give to Mayor DeBlasio: He is giving it to the landlords. The latter have had it great in this town since Mayor Koch opened the door to co-operative conversions, Giuliani continued the same, and Bloomberg allowed landlords to run wild with huge increases on expiring leases.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

DOE dunces

To the editor,

What is all the fuss about mayoral control of schools? It has been anything but a success and here is why:

Class sizes continue to burgeon in our schools. Nothing is being done by the mayor, the union, or the supervisory union to ameliorate the situation. Thousands of regularly licensed teachers are displaced and placed in the Absent Teacher Reserve category. Most of these teachers were rated satisfactory during their classroom careers, but because of school downsizing or being unable to get along with the principal, they were essentially demoted. Their presence could help in lowering class sizes.

The mayor still allows for people from the so-called Leadership Academy to be principals in our schools. Despite the fact that many never taught a day in their lives, they are rating teachers and are the so-called experts. At least 10 years of classroom experience in teaching is needed before one becomes a supervisor.

Mayoral control has offered no help whatsoever in maintaining discipline in our public schools. Far too many schools are totally chaotic where discipline is a distant memory. The liberal lunkheads running the system refuse to reconsider the return of the 600 schools for the unruly. Under mayoral control teachers still have to scrounge around looking for funds to buy classroom material.

In short, mayoral control is a disaster and should be replaced by a committee of active and retired teachers and supervisors running the schools.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Rent unstablized

To the editor,

No matter what decision is made regarding the rent expiring on rent-stabilized apartments, the story will be for one day and then disappear for another year.

When controls were lifted on apartments in Boston or Detroit, the situation got so bad that they had to be brought back. No one ever bothers to discuss why landlords with violations in their buildings get automatic increases. There should be no rent increases until all violations are removed with no retroactive increase.

Rent-controlled apartments also need scrutiny. The tenants there get automatic maximum base rent increases of 7.5 percent yearly.

Don’t think that co-ops are the panacea either. At my luxury co-op, for an election of officers to take place, you must have a quorum.

As there has been no quorum in seven years, we have had no elections in that time, and incumbent board members remain in office for another year. Anyone resigning from the board is merely replaced at the discretion of the board.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Race case

To the editor,

Good students and teachers come in all hues. You could see a teacher actually shine with one class and the same teacher do miserably with a class with discipline problems.

Stop relating everything to race. I had outstanding African American students when I taught, and unfortunately the opposite was true of other students — of all races.

How come the Department of Education has never established a rotation system of its teachers? As an example take the teachers from the top schools and place them in the most difficult schools. Why? They know what the results would be. Suddenly these highly effective teachers would be deemed ineffective. It’s a matter of the complete lack of discipline in our public schools. No one wants to face reality for fear of being hounded out. Yet I repeat, discipline problems come among all students, regardless of race, religion, and nationality. You can’t teach without effective discipline. Why haven’t we returned to the 600 schools for placement of chronically disruptive pupils? Why aren’t the parents of the disrupters fined for the actions of their children? Until we improve discipline in our schools, we shall see the same abysmal results. Please stop the nonsense of linking race and bad teachers. It is not the case, no matter what the statistics say.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

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