To the editor,
Election season is often seen with dread, but I’d like to give an example here of how it does have its upsides. Although Mayor DeBlasio won his primary with almost 70 percent of the vote with no significant challengers, he had held a number of town halls around the city leading up to election day, 33 to be exact. From South Bronx to South Brooklyn, the Mayor usually sat down with a local elected officials and usually started answering questions from a crowd from 7 pm to 10 pm, sometimes longer. With him were his administration and the staff of the local elected official.
These town halls, call them for election purposes, did result in some success. In the Sheepshead Bay town hall, the Mayor agreed to end late-night party boats in the area. Councilman Greenfield reported that enhanced crosswalks on 21st Avenue came as a result of his town hall with the Mayor. And after years of Councilman Deutsch asking for Kings Highway medians to be fixed before 27th Street, the Mayor agreed to put $20 million aside for those very blocks, announcing it at a town hall. In addition, the town halls give anyone the opportunity to get called up and ask a commissioner a question and receive a follow-up, without having to go through bureaucratic processes.
Considering the amount of accessibility to important people like commissioners and local elected officials these town halls provided, one could think that there wouldn’t be people finding issue with them. Yet two articles published on Kings County Politics criticized a recent town hall with the mayor in Sheepshead Bay. The articles, titled: “Mayor Promises The World At Sheepshead Bay Town Hall,” and “DeBlasio’s Sheepshead Town Hall Promises Leave A Lot Of Questions,” mostly give vague and incomplete analyses of the proposals that the Mayor backed at that town hall. He didn’t promise the world, he re-confirmed programs which have been in the works for months and years. As an example, the B82 SBS has been planned for over a year now and the fixing of the Kings Highway medians is something Councilman Deutsch has been asking for for years as well. The town hall provided an opportunity for these and other things to come to fruition or at least attention. I’d like to know any other big city Mayor that brings his entire staff into a hyper-local community and spends three to four hours close to midnight talking to regular people in that hyper-local community.
These town halls have been a fantastic step forward in transparency, which counts. Not just tabloid transparency focused on scandals, but transparency where people could follow up and connect to city officials and raise real issues that affect their lives. Who knows? — maybe Councilman Deutsch would still be asking the city for the fixing of the Kings Highway medians if it weren’t for that town hall.
The town halls might have been for the sake of re-election, but maybe the mayor’s office can continue to provide them throughout his second term as well. And maybe, other local executives around the country will do the same.Martin Samoylov
To the editor,
I recently received an e-mail from Comptroller Scott Stringer complaining about how too many students are being shut out of sex education classes in the New York City school system. Is this what you have to complain about, Mr. Stringer? That subject belongs in the home. Aren’t you more upset that class sizes are burgeoning in New York City, school discipline has worsened due to fewer suspensions and the refusal to bring back the “600” schools for chronically disruptive youth? Aren’t you upset that art and music and physical education have all been cut and that we have administrators out there who barely taught but are rating teachers?
If Mr. Stringer is so interested in sex education, why doesn’t he give demonstration lessons on that subject to children in school auditoriums?
Our students are in school to be educated in academics and cultural subjects; the New York City school system should not be devoted to teaching something which is a private matter. Such classes may serve as a signal to some recalcitrant pupils to try it out in the hallways and bathrooms of school buildings.
Is this what society has come to? Religious organizations should be taking Mr. Stringer to task for bringing up such a subject. Our students see enough on television with networks airing shows of men and women boozing it up while fooling around in so-called vacation paradises.Ed Greenspan
Keep worries local
To the editor,
If aliens (Martians, not illegals) read Tom Allon’s “Let’s be prepared for the next hurricane,” they would think that the third planet from the sun was in imminent danger of disintegrating. It is not. Our imminent danger is liberal ideology and, additionally in New York City, it is a crooked communist administration. The DeBlasio administration tethered the New York Police Department, halted surveillance of possible terrorists’ activities, emboldened criminal groups to declare open season on cops, appointed activist judges who put criminals back on the street, degraded our public school system. Of course, I almost forgot: this administration claims that crime is down. Tethering cops and reclassifying the severity of crimes will help. What are the real crime stats on the streets and in schools?
Mr. Allon worries that the Earth will end amidst a flurry of hurricanes and earthquakes. If so, look at the positive side: We will rid ourselves of the scum of the Earth. Of course there is global warming, but the human contribution factor is blown out of proportion. In fact, there are no major factors. Progress requires wear and tear. We cannot remain dormant and abolish the gains that we have made through time. In essence, the deterioration of Earth is called wear-and-tear due to progress.
Yes, we need to replace fossil fuels with clean renewable energy and yes, we need to replant the forests of the world, but these undertakings are costly and the government is not remotely qualified to lead the effort. The effort must originate from private industry. When private industry can profit, then the undertaking will be natural and it will help over time. We saw the wind power initiative abandoned by T. Boone Pickens because it was too costly. At some point in time, it will not be so costly and wind energy will be a viable source of energy. However, even with the private industry’s effort, global warming will exist; it will not be eliminated and the Earth’s wear and tear will continue.
China introduces about 10 new coal-burning furnaces each week and maintains an area for toxic global waste (for a profit, of course). We can go on and on about nations adding pollutants to the Earth that facilitate global warming. Before President Trump took office, the United States gave out money to countries to curb their carbon emission, which was front page news. However I have not seen news articles stating exactly how those countries used the money to minimize carbon emission. Even Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe attends climate control summits to collect money — and then pockets it.
All these factors are contributing factors to global warming, including the fact that we are losing gravitational pull. Combine all of the factors and we have wear-and-tear. Which factor should we attack tomorrow? How about underarm spray deodorant that destroys the ozone layer? The problem is that Americans are the predominant users of deodorants, not so much individuals from other cultures.
The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and is expected to exist about another 4.5 billion years, when it will be swallowed by the sun. Interplanetary history will record that in the midst of the Earth’s existence, America followed the path of the Roman Empire and succumbed to in-house liberal idiocy, instead of protecting itself from internal and external enemies.
Mr. Allon states that we should curb man-made pollution because “our children’s future is at stake.” True, but our children’s future also consists of an excellent education and Comrade Bill’s pandering to the UFT, who couldn’t care less about “our children’s future,” does not help.
Care about stairs
To the editor,
Mayor DeBlasio is to be commended when he announced that due to “climate change,” where there was considerable property damage, his administration is appropriating funds for roofs, ceilings, and other parts of buildings that have been damaged due to Super Sandy and other storms. He said this will result in “17,000 new jobs.”
While this is clearly laudable, why doesn’t he call for remodeling on staircases on many subways and buildings where the staircases are too narrow for many people’s feet? Elliott Abosh