2005-11-16 / Editorials


Why Schools At All? To The Editor:

[Schools] Chancellor [Joel] Klein’s interest in Chris Whittle’s idea to have students attend class three hours a day makes no sense from an educational vantage point, but it is perfectly understandable from an economic point of view: fewer teachers would be needed, so less salaries to pay.

But why stop there? If the Chancellor really wants to save money, he can buy the kids computers and have them learn online at home. That way the city saves money on salaries and school buildings.

Even a better idea is to have the parents buy the computers. With the money that’s saved from these proposals, the city can finance important things like athletic stadiums and future Olympic bids.


Martin H. Levinson

Forest Hills

Marching Backward

To The Editor:

It boggles the mind. In this supposed enlightened age, one of the United States’ school boards by a vote of 6-4 has voted to once again attempt to refute evolution by introducing in their curriculum the suggestion that the earth and all its occupants were instead created by some mystical higher power. Whether it goes by the title of Creationism or Intelligent Design or whatever other tag; how sad. Schools used to be the arena for education, leaving the various outside organizations to satisfy the needs of those desiring more fanciful self aggrandizing reasons for their being. There are certainly enough institutions in that business from which to choose. As Dorothy once said, “We’re not in Kansas any more”; No, they’re back to the future.

Inversely, Dover, Pennsylvania has decided to progress to the future. All 8 members of the school board that introduced the Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution in Biology class were swept out of office by an overwhelming vote. At least old Penn has found the rainbow.

But proud Pennsylvanians, (especially Dover) beware. Self proclaimed Christian Guru Pat Robertson has proclaimed that they have voted God out of their lives, and as a consequence, great, God-directed tragedies will befall them. Just think of that awful tsunami, the recent earthquake in Pakistan, Hurricanes Katrina in New Orleans and Wilma in Florida, fires in California, on and on. And they were not even because of a pro-evolution vote; they were just practice. Now according to Pious Pat, that same God, but now really, really ticked off, will lay upon Dover a Penn penance, which will pale compared to those prior arbitrary examples. This is the same Robertson that agreed with fellow inmate Falwell, (Jerry, as in Jesus) that not only AIDS, but the 9/11 atrocity were damned upon us by God as retribution for liberal thinking. If these are their beliefs as to the behavior by their loving God, what’s left for the devil to do?!

Sometimes one feels that we are actually living in the world of Oz.

Arlene Philomena


Thanks MTA For Fare Cut

To The Editor:

How delighted and elated I was to read in the October 26 issue of the Gazette that the MTA has decided to reduce or lower the transit fare for bus and subway riders during the holiday season. This is a true gift and a depiction of what the holiday season truly signifies, goodwill, giving and sharing with others. Not only will this encourage our city residents to travel using mass transit, but also this lower fare reduction will enable the tourists from far and wide to visit various parts of our city, shop, eat in restaurants, visit museums and movies, and the theater. Thus, lowering the fare will increase tax revenues for the city.

Thank you, MTA, for the holiday gift. In addition, thank you, Gazette, for publishing a piece of good news for a change. It is an unfortunate state of affairs nowadays, that [in] the print, electronic and broadcast media, bad, disturbing news is presented. Thus, by featuring this piece of good news, the Gazette placed our hearts in a holiday frame of mind. Thanks for sharing good news with us.

Cynthia Groopman

Long Island City

Heed Your Heart, Your Dr.

To The Editor:

It has been many years since I have written to you, although I always enjoy reading about all of my old friends in Astoria.

While reading Dr. William Schwartz recent article about “Thank the Wives” (Oct. 26), I was reminded of how important it is to pay attention to the signs our body gives us. Dr. Schwartz spelled out the basic symptoms of a patient with heart problems-but it is we the patients (or our wives) who mustn’t be afraid to follow through. The sooner one gets to their doctor or the emergency room, the better chance you have to survive.

I would also like to tell you that I recently toured the new emergency room [at] Mount Sinai of Queens and was really impressed. It sure has come a long way from the first day I stepped into Astoria General Hospital and the ER had one stretcher.

The Astoria community is very lucky to have so many great doctors and a first class hospital just around the corner.

My best regards to all of my old friends.

Henry Olshin

East Meadow, New York

Thanks For Cleanup

To The Editor:

I would like to thank James and Barbara Pollack and their crew for the wonderful job they did removing graffiti from my cement wall.

They did an excellent job and I hope the gremlins will not return to do more damage.

Very truly yours,

Loretta Kempf

Long Island City

Gazette’s Mistake

To The Editor:

Mr. Thomas Cogan’s article dated November 2, 2005 for funds for cameras in Ditmars station was great. Cameras are a much needed measure of security for all train riders.

A little error was mentioned in regards to other stations receiving monies towards cameras. The station located two stops away from Ditmars Boulevard is actually called 30th Avenue–Grand Avenue, his article stated it as 30th Street station. This is incorrect.

Every station needs to be recognized as such. But the overall article was great. Thanks for our station’s recognition for future much needed updated cameras.

LEP of “LIC”

It is not the Gazette’s policy to run anonymous letters to the editor, however since we appreciate the compliment and the correction we are pleased to run the letter as received.

Armed Forces

To The Editor:

It’s that time again, where the holidays are slowly creeping upon us. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, we think of all that has to be done. I think, though, we should take a breath for a moment and think of all our men and women who are serving in the military and are away from friends and family this holiday season. There are many that might feel lonely and sad and miss what many of us must take for granted. I think we should keep these men and women in our prayers and, in addition, try to find out what we can do to make their holidays better. For instance, did you know you can e-mail our servicemen and women a holiday greeting through the USO? Plus, there are churches, temples and civic organizations in our communities that have programs that you can get involved in that are doing things for our men and women. All you have to do is look in your local community newspapers. An example of such is in my parish, St. Anastasia in Douglaston. We’re having a “Blood for Blood” drive, which was thought up by or youth group under Father Chris Piasta. It is a tribute blood drive to honor over 2,000 American soldiers who shed their blood, and will be held at Father Smith Hall on November 27, or you can call Father Chris at 718-361-4454.

The idea is to honor and thank these heroic soldiers in a way that would be appropriate, and to show their families that our communities remember and appreciate what their sons and daughters have done.

I remember one Thanksgiving when I served in the U.S. Navy back in 1973 at Great Lakes [Naval Station in] Illinois. I had the holiday weekend off to go home to New York and see my two boys for Thanksgiving, yet there was this fellow sailor who wanted to go home for Thanksgiving for his mother had cancer but couldn’t get out of his duty. I really felt bad for him and realized that his need was greater than mine so I decided to hold off on my plans and take his duty so he could go home to Ohio. I then decided to take a week’s leave for Christmas instead.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the holidays are really about giving, I mean really giving to those who need it the most. So do what you can and try to do something for our men and women who are serving our nation and need something to cheer them up.

Sincerely yours,

Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.

Little Neck

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