2002-10-16 / Editorials


Unfair Fare Hike

To The Editor:

I raise my voice in indignation, as the powers that be propose to raise the mass transit fare from $1.50 to $2.

This increase will impose [an] economic and severe financial hardship upon the millions of low income and working people and families.

Do you know that New York City bus and subway riders pay over 64 percent of the cost to subsidize the state’s mass transit system?

Why must this increase be borne by the the people who need mass transit the most?—those who cannot make ends meet, meaning the payment of rent, utilities, phone, recreation and food.

A raise must be avoided. We must band together, stand together, send post cards to our governor and lobby John Liu, [current] head of the City Council Finance Committee to pass a resolution to have the state show where the increases will be used.

Isn’t our city crippled enough financially by the recession, by the aftermath of the September 11 terrorism, by high rents, layoffs and cut backs? We cannot afford a transit fare increase.

The state should reinstitute the commuter tax. People who live in other states and who work in New York City use our facilities and should be taxed. That [would be] fair, but raising the mass transit subway and bus fare is not fair at all.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City

Carter Earned Nobel

To The Editor:

This is in regard to former President Jimmy Carter being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It is about time that a man of peace is recognized for what he has done to bring a little bit of peace into this world, especially one who has been nominated numerous times.

I say bravo to former President Jimmy Carter for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Like it says in the Bible in Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 9 "Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God."

Since leaving office in January 1982, Mr. Carter, through the Carter Centre, which he set up in 1982, has been involved in conflicts around the world. He has intervened in North Korea, East Timor and Bosnia, as well as the Middle East, where in 1978 he mediated a deal at Camp David with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a peace accord.

The Norwegian prize committee praised Mr. Carter in the citation for his untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts and to advance democracy and human rights.

Mr. Carter’s achievements in his life took place not as president but as a private citizen where he has done everything from hammering together houses for the poor to negotiating peace deals in the farthest reaches of Africa, where Carter helped in the construction of a low-income housing project in Durban, South Africa. Mr. Carter may have been responsible for the release of 50,000 political prisoners through private intercessions with world leaders. He has helped Haiti avoid war, monitored elections worldwide and fought disease.

Mr. Jimmy Carter, the world owes you a debt of gratitude for your tenacious efforts on behalf of the downtrodden and oppressed, Mr. Jimmy Carter, may God bless you.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Little Neck

No Fear At Bayside H.S.

To The Editor:

Let me get this straight! 1. Bayside High School, with some 2,500 pupils, had 10 reported "major felony incidents" during the 2001–2002 school year, the first year of Principal Judith Tarlo’s tenure! 2. Of the 20 incidents, none involved rape, homicide, or, apparently, any guns! 3. Of these, three incidents involved burglary which, by definition, occurs at night or other times when staff and students aren’t present! 4. Another of these incidents is grand larceny, which I am told involved theft of school property, but didn’t involve student or staff safety! 5. Assemblymember [William] Scarborough reported that six of the 20 incidents at Bayside High involved the same person, and 6. There was a 64 percent decrease in crime at Bayside from the 2000–2001 school term! The New York Post, however devotes its first two pages on October 7 to "Schools of Fear–High School Hell At Worst 10 For Crime," including Bayside H.S. as number 10, but no school from Manhattan with rapes or murders!

I write from the following points of view: 1. Bayside resident since 1940, 2. B.H.S. graduate in 1955, 3. Parent of two students, Bonnie and Edward, who graduated from Bayside High in 1989 and 1993, respectively, 4. B.H.S. Parents Association president from 1990–1993, 5. B.H.S.New Alumni Association founder and president since 1991, 6. East Bayside Homeowners Association founder and president, which has represented the community around Bayside High for a quarter century, and 7. Retired N.Y.C. teacher and former U.F.T. Chapter Chairman, etc. and I can’t accept such irresponsible "reporting" from the Post, which reads more like The Enquirer! Bayside High School is not now, and never was, a "hell high school of fear," and I would not hesitate to send my son and daughter there, were they still that young!

What is the reality about fear of crime at Bayside High School? From discussions with students, parents, and staff members during the past 16 and a half years—ever since my daughter entered Bayside High in 1986—I find no evidence that there is any more fear of crime inside the building than inside any public building in New York City, and I certainly have no apprehension in the school building, during my frequent visits. As far as the residents and merchants in the surrounding community are concerned, yes, I have heard some complaints about teenagers, who may or may not be students at B.H.S., "hanging out" in the neighborhood or pilfering items from local stores, but no reports of assaults, or worse, on local residents or store employees. In any event, what occurs off school property is not under the jurisdiction of the school administration, but [of] the 111th [Police] Precinct, which may not properly be addressing such community complaints! Also, to be blunt, it appears some senior citizens and others are uncomfortable with any teenagers on streets near their homes, particularly during school hours, but I don’t see this situation as a very serious problem for Bayside!

I am not a personal friend of B.H.S. Principal Judith Tarlo, and indeed have had only two meetings with her about alumni matters since she arrived in September 2001, but the "reporting" about her tenure in the Post has been grossly inaccurate! With a 64 percent reduction in the little serious crime that had existed at Bayside High School, Ms. Tarlo should be getting an award for her first year at the school, not this outrageous treatment from the Post, not found in the Daily News, Times or Newsday!

Frank Scala


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