2007-11-21 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Give All Their Daily Bread To The Editor:

I just heard on the radio that the food pantries in our city are not well stocked with food, especially for Thanksgiving, and thus so many needy families with children, homeless people and elderly people will go hungry as a result.

This is the time of year when families get together and thank God for their blessings and for their food, and to me, it is our obligation and commandment to help others enjoy the holiday season.

More publicity should be given on the radio and TV as well as in the print media as to the need to give to food pantries.

I applaud City Meals on Wheels for sending frail, elderly Meals on Wheels recipients who are homebound a big box of all kinds of food for the winter and for the holiday.

I applaud the many donors, who give large or small donations to maintain this very important need. Food is a basic need, and not a luxury and nobody in this city should go hungry. Millions of dollars are given to foreign aid, but let us look homeward first. The Food Stamp program should be expanded.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Cynthia Groopman Long Island City

Homeless Vets On Rise

To The Editor:

A report has just come out that shows one in four homeless New Yorkers is a veteran and that number is increasing. As reported, nearly 6,000 service members in the city and Long Island are homeless and are returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting tough economic times and sky-high housing costs. This veterans' report came from the National Alliance to end Homelessness and has pointed out these sad facts.

Well, I can feel their pain, as I was homeless in 1975 after the Vietnam War and had served in the Navy and [know] how hard that can be. I do not know all the reasons why veterans are homeless but I do know why these men and women join the military, and that was to serve and protect this great nation of ours. It is with pride, courage and devotion to duty that most of them gave. It is a national disgrace that these people are homeless. Our country needs to come to the aid of all those who have served this country so well and have protected our lives and our personal freedoms. Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Bellerose

Horns Are Hellacious To the Editor:

For the past four months, LIRR trains have been blasting their horns through the Forest Hills station, causing misery for thousands of residents who live nearby (the horns are new, extra loud ones that are on the LIRR's recently purchased M7 trains). When we contacted the LIRR, they said they had to horn us because of federal regulations. When we contacted the feds they said that was not true (there are no grade crossings here so federal regulations do not apply). Then the railroad said there were workers on the tracks, so the trains had to blast their horns. But most of the times there are no workers and the trains blast their horns anyway.

My wife and I wrote a letter that was published in the City section of the New York Times that explained that the horn problem could be solved with a simple phone call from the president of the railroad directing her engineers to stop blasting their horns. This has not been done. The LIRR simply ignores the problem because they can and because no one holds them accountable for bad decisions.

Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, in response to our complaining, has said he will be introducing legislation to make our area into a quiet zone. Who knows how long that will take? The LIRR needs to be outed for the liars and bullies that they are. Sincerely, Martin H. Levinson, Ph.D Forest Hills

Where Is Aldorasi? To The Editor:

On a cold, dark February afternoon in 2007, a most successful principal, wellliked in the school community of Steinway, Intermediate School 141 Queens, disappeared mysteriously. This educator is Mr. Anthony B. Aldorasi, our award-winning principal. Most educators, parents and community members of Astoria are left in a state of confusion with mixed feelings of anger and frustration. The parents and community members, of whom I am both, are asking the ultimate question: How does a person who has transformed a troubled middle school where ambulances, police and hostility from the residents were prevalent, just disappear?

In July of 2001, when Mr. Aldorasi took the reigns of I.S. 141, he magically transformed young gangsters and "wannabees" into young ladies and gentlemen that are now welcome to walk, shop and congregate on the neighborhood streets. I remember the start of school in September 2001 being far different from the recent quiet start of school this past September 2007. I remember gangs swarming the streets, pushing senior citizens to the side and often fighting both physically and verbally with storekeepers that ran commercial enterprises up and down Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Avenue.

The conditions in and around the school were so terrible that the parents of our four feeder schools often planned alternative educational sites rather than send their sixth grade children to I.S. 141. The common chant centered on comments such as, "There is no way my daughter or son will attend that school!" Needless to say, that statement alone speaks volumes on what this educator represents and what he has accomplished.

I remember the residents of 37th Street mounting what would be the modern version of coordinated posses formed to keep the students of I.S. 141 from passing through this neat, quiet block. The common complaints of that period of time were Social Security checks being removed from mailboxes, decorations of the seasons being destroyed systematically, windows being constantly broken due to rocks being hurled and cars being damaged from the gangs of students of different races and religions who were fighting in the middle of our community streets on a regular basis. This was the norm and an everyday occurrence of constant assaults on our community from the youth we were pretending to educate.

I.S. 141 in September of 2001 was analogous to Dodge City and Mr/ Aldorasi represented the famous Marshal Dillon. Aldorasi cleaned, tamed and instilled law and order for over 1,200 students. I was there when he did it alone and he did it his way and it worked most successfully.

Six short years later, I.S. 141 is an award-winning school where his students, our children, and, yes, my own child, have a purpose and a real focus centered upon education. I think we all can agree that without discipline good education can never occur within a school. At the present time, parents of elementary school children, both private and public, are encouraging their youngsters to attend I.S. 141. This is a far cry from conditions that occurred only six years prior.

I am but one humble parent openly speaking for the overwhelming majority of present and future parents of our school community. The commonality is centered on one overwhelming question: Where is Mr. Aldorasi?

From Mr. Aldorasi's performance and his high standards, one cannot compromise his principles. Mr. Aldorasi demanded excellence and to his credit, received it from his teachers and students, parents and our children, and the community at large. I, for one, demand a return of Mr. Aldorasi immediately and his reinstatement as the educational leader of our school. Under his leadership, the school flourished, held a positive direction and straight from his vision became a NASA Explorer School, a most competitive, distinguished award, which sets our school above and apart from most middle schools. Under his stewardship, the school recently received an "A" rating from the Chancellor's own grading system.

From my personal perspective, I'm tired of looking in the eyes of my own seventh grade daughter and remaining speechless when she asks the same question: "Daddy, when is Mr. Aldorasi returning?"

How do I answer this daunting question when I as an adult can't answer it myself? So let me pose this question to our Schools Chancellor, Mr. Klein: "When is our principal, our leader, our friend, being returned to our school?"

I encourage all the parents who ask me questions concerning Mr. Aldorasi and his imminent return to write to the Gazette. I further pose the challenge to the numerous staff members who constantly ask the same question and scratch their heads in disbelief to also voice their opinions. Remember, we as a school community will only be as good as the leader of our school. In Mr. Aldorasi, we have an excellent Level 4 principal and we demand his immediate return. Sincerely, Gus Prentzas Frustrated Parent and Community Leader

Why Take A-Rod Back? To The Editor:

I can't believe that the N.Y. Yankees would actually want to take A-Rod back! He opted out of his contract last month, and walked away from the Yankees. Now, reportedly, the Yankees are going to pay him $280 million for a 10-year contract. Have the Steinbrenners lost their senses? This guy is not worth $280 million--he is not even worth $2 million! Bad decision by the Yankees! John Amato Fresh Meadows Gave JFK Wrong B-Day To The Editor:

Your editorial of November 14th ("School Rating System Needs Improvement") states that "John F. Kennedy (1914-1963) . . . declared 'Life is unfair'." President Kennedy was right. He was born in 1917, not 1914. Sincerely, John J. Cox Woodside Moses Hurt Ball Fans To The Editor:

"Robert Moses And The Modern City Looks At Builder" (Linda J. Wilson-- November 14) was a great review of the book Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York by Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson. It did overlook one chapter in his life that many have forgotten. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the old Brooklyn Dodgers playing their final season in Brooklyn. It is interesting to compare Robert Moses with one of today's major developers--Bruce Ratner and his very own Atlantic Yards project. During the 1950s, Brooklyn Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley tried to find various locations for construction of a new baseball stadium which he pledged to finance using his own monies. With limited seating capacity at Ebbets Field, he needed a new modern stadium to remain financially viable.

New York City master mega builder Robert Moses refused to allow him access to the current-day Atlantic Yards project site. This location was easily accessible to thousands of baseball fans from all around the Big Apple via numerous subway lines.

Thousands of fans who moved to Eastern Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Count[ies] would have had direct access via the LIRR. Imagine how different Brooklyn would have been if elected officials had stood up to Robert Moses and allowed construction of a new Dodgers stadium in Downtown Brooklyn.

Contrast Walter O'Malley with today's plans by developer Bruce Ratner. O'Malley would have used his own monies to finance a new stadium. Ratner is counting on favorable eminent domain rulings by Big Brother along with corporate welfare handouts in the form of direct government funding, public infrastructure improvements, low interest loans and long-term tax exemptions. The final price tag for the public is still unknown. In the end, O'Malley did leave town with our beloved Dodgers. On the other hand, Ratner is picking the pockets of taxpayers for a tidy sum. In this case, Robert Moses was not really a friend of either taxpayers or Brooklyn residents. Sincerely, Larry Penner Great Neck

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