‘Til We Meet Again
To The Editor:
Sadly, we say goodbye to cartoonist Charles Schulz, but not to his honesty, innocence, and love of life. The spirit of the man lives on every time we think of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and the rest of the "Peanuts" gang.
In every character, we have seen a little bit of ourselves, in every situation, a reflection of our daily struggles and hopes. I feel like I’ve lost some good friends, especially their creator—the wise and wonderful "Sparky."
Thanks Charles Schulz, thanks Charlie Brown. Your humanity has touched us all.
Phase Out Speed Bumps?
A copy of the following letter to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Department Of Transportation Commissioner Wilbur Chapman was received by the Gazette.
Dear Department of Transportation Commissioner Wilbur Chapman: and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani:
I was upset to learn that you, the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, will now eliminate and phase out speed bumps located near schools throughout the city. You seem to disregard and dismiss the value and safety of having speed bumps at schools throughout our communities. You do this in response to a group of angry sports car owners who do not care about children’s safety—yet are at the same time concerned about damage caused to the front carriage of their sports cars when they drive fast without slowing down when they’re supposed to at the various locations where the speed bumps are found.
Not too long ago, at a Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting at P.S. 150 in Sunnyside, did you and the mayor agree that speed bumps were crucial to the safety of our children. In fact, commissioner, you promised me and you delivered speed bumps at P.S. 150, the next several days after the meeting. How has your thinking changed? And who has forced you to change your position about speed bumps?
For years the safety of our children in both public and private schools has been neglected. Children often fall prey to vehicular accidents involving motorists who fail to abide by the vehicle and traffic laws of our state. In fact, over the last couple of years, Community School Board District 30 suffered several incidents where children were hit by moving vehicles. Two students were killed as a result of these accidents and some were severely and permanently injured.
Typically, motorists fail to adhere to the rules of the road. They speed and go through stop signs. They pass school buses which are picking up or dropping off children. They disobey any regulation which will cause them to wait or slow down. Some of our schools are located near major roadways and boulevards where motorists travel in speeds common to superhighways at the risk and danger of injuring and killing our children. It is simply unacceptable.
Commissioner Chapman and Mayor Giuliani, every school, public and private, needs at least one crossing guard and possibly more. I told both of you at the Town Hall Meeting that I cannot understand how the city would devote tremendous police resources in Manhattan for pedestrian crosswalks. For instance, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on a given day, you will find as many as four police officers on a corner with barricades ushering pedestrians from one side of the street to the other. Yet, in many of our schools we cannot find as much as a crossing guard to help our children cross perilous paths and prevent the ever present dangers of the treacherous roadways.
We have schools where the child populations exceed 2,000 students and where the children are as young as four years old, yet, we don’t have a single crossing guard. As a school board member, I will not accept this. We are simply increasing the chances of children being hit by vehicles as a result of our government’s inability to properly devote resources to protect the safety of our children.
The city should commit at least one crossing guard per school and occasionally send one police officer to every school to enforce the vehicle and traffic laws against negligent motorists. And the city should also install speed bumps, traffic signs and stop lights at the intersections of each school.
It’s about time that we take up the fight to make sure that our children are protected. No one’s child deserves to be the victim, like little Anthony Alvaranga who was run over by a bus while on his way to school at Elmhurst by a motorist who failed to obey the law.
As leaders of this city, I expect that you will do everything you can to assist us in this most important need for protecting our most precious resource—our children. support us in this battle and do not take away our greatest line of defense.
John J. Ciafone
Queens Community School Board 30