2000-01-26 / Editorials

Letters

You're No. 1

To The Editor:

I want to thank you very much for putting my story about the Battle of the Bulge in your newspaper (John Toscano, "The Battle of the Bulge—The Battle of the Century", Gazette, Dec. 15th). You did a wonderful job on it. All my family and friends who read it thought it was very well written and everyone else who read it says it was great.

God bless you all at the Gazette and keep up the good work bringing stories like mine to people so they never forget what happened 56 years ago to our nation, to the young men and women who served in our Armed Forces and to the people on the home front who did a wonderful job in helping our beautiful country to be Number One.

The little people in our country are the backbone of this wonderful nation, and newspapers like yours, though relatively little in size, are a giant as far as I am concerned. It takes newspapers like yours to bring these heartwarming stories to your readers. You are a stand-up guy. With people like you the U.S.A. will always be Number One.

Nicholas Zillas

Flushing

Thanks For Toys

ToThe Editor:

Just a note of thanks to you and your readers for the support given to my 29th Annual "Toys for Tots" drive.Through your help, the Christmas Season was more joyful for over 1,200 needy children.

My best wishes for a very happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Denis Butler

Assemblymember

36thAssemblyDistrict

Long Island City

College Intrusion

The writer delivered the following remarks at the December meeting of Community Board 8, then asked that they be reprinted in the Gazette as representing her opinion.

To The Editor:

My name is Edna Harris. I am a teacher and UFT chapter leader at P.S. 219, Kew Gardens. I call this Queens College Intrusion, Part II. Last year, in the spring, I spoke before Community Board 8 expressing my personal opposition to the planned takeover of my school by Queens College for the purpose of running a campus school. At that time, after many meetings, including those with our Borough President, it was determined that our school would remain our school and that the Board of Education would provide $30 million to build a school on the campus of the college, pre–K to grade 8 for 650 children. It appears that several community leaders are in favor of saving the Board of Education $30 million and using P.S. 219 instead. How charitable!!!!

I say NO! for several reasons. First and perhaps most important is that P.S. 219 is not just an isolated school. It is part of a large community school district—District 25, one of the most crowded school districts in the city. What we call "downtown Flushing" is terribly overcrowded. As fast as we can provide more elementary school seats there, more children arrive. P.S. 219 has been a receiving school for many children, mostly for kindergarten youngsters for the kindergarten year. Some then stay in P.S. 219. Many schools throughout District 25 are also receiving schools.

It has been said that there is a parking problem on Melbourne Ave concerning school buses as well as private cars. Are these from Townsend Harris High School? No! Of course not! We aren’t here to complain about THAT! Have any of you ever seen the parking problem outside ANY school at 3 o’clock? Probably not, but even that’s not the problem. .. Are the buses the problem? If so, why can’t they park on the campus as they do in the summer? By having all of the buses park in front of P.S. 219 are you solving anything? (And, I might add that there are many school buses in front of our school now.) NO! All you are doing is moving the problem–NIMBY as they say– not in my backyard!!!

What will become of the student body of P.S. 219? Do the community activists really care? While it is a fact that the immediate surrounding neighborhood does not completely fill every seat in the entire school, the seats are filled with District 25 children. What will their fate be? Are these so–called community leaders so intent in appeasing Dr. (Alan) Sessoms (Queens College president) that they don’t care nor have they thought this whole thing completely through?

I was a student at Queens College when P.S. 201 was a so–called "campus school". There were various programs and new ideas used by the teachers and the student teachers. After a while, the extra money ran out and, while the school remains a good and viable one, the "extra goodies" are gone.

I.S. 227 (Louis Armstrong Middle School) was the next so–called campus school. Queens College provided many extra goodies for the students during the 1980s. Once again, the school is an excellent school. The extra money has long since dried up. So, is that what’s in store for 219? What part of the ruling, made last year, are these so–called community activists having difficulty with? What words don’t they understand? Are they educators? Probably not! Are they concerned about the students and the faculty of P.S. 219? Again, probably not! Let me state here and for the record– NIMBY is not enough! I said it last year and I’ll say it again– I intend to fight this to my last breath in order to save my school. Thank you;

Edna Harris

Teacher and U.F.T. Chapter Leader

P.S. 219, Kew Gardens

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