Save Jamaica HS
Last year, the Department of Education decided to phase out Jamaica High Schoolbased on incorrect graduation rate statistics. It is our belief that last week’s announcementis history repeating itself.
Jamaica High School has shown a 16 percent improvement in its graduation rate over a four-year time span, which is higher than theDOE’s average. The department wants the real estate that is Jamaica High School and has cut resources for the school in orderto reach its goal of closing it.The DOE wants to create a campus of small schools, and this phase-out decision has nothing to do with the education of students.
Were the DOE concerned about students learning, it would have supported the students at JHS and not have cut their programs and teaching staff. The students are suffering in overcrowded classrooms, with as many as 50 in a class. The new schools opened in the building this year have taken prime upgraded space and lunch times. JHS studentshave beenmade to feel as though they are being punished for fighting for their school.
Within the Jamaica High School building we have separateand unequal schools. JHS students do not deservethe disparate treatment of large and small schools the DOE is creating — nor does it help them succeed.
We have signed the petition at ipetitions.com/petition/savejamaicahighschool and encourage others to add their signatures.
Kevin J. Forrestal
Hillcrest Estates Civic Association
A hole grows in Queens
Re “Sinkhole a nuisance on Ozone Park street,” Nov. 25, South Queens edition:
I understand your anger and feel for you. I live in the area too, and I feel the city takes its time taking care of things that are dangerous to pedestrians.
A few months ago there was a sunken hole in front of the Ozone Park Library, which was left there with cones in front of it. It was very deep, deep enough that a child could fall into it. If we had snow it would have been very dangerous.
You had seen rats too, a terrible problem to have. I hope the city will take care of it.
Need freight plan help
(An open letter to Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward)
We represent the Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood communities that will be greatly impacted by the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Program. As your agency undertakes the scoping phase of your Tier I environmental impact statement process, we want to bring our concerns to your attention and seek your agency’s assistance.
While the Port Authority is properly motivated by the need to reduce highway congestion and eliminate travel delays in the metropolitan region, we believe that it is critical that the EIS process underway also address the potential impact that each of the various alternatives would have on our communities. Your proposed solutions to reduce highway congestion should not further erode the quality of life of the thousands of families living in our communities who are already overwhelmed by truck traffic on commercial and residential streets and the impact the current rail freight traffic through our communities.
As public officials, we have been aggressively working with government agencies, shippers and community organizations to address the adverse impact of current and near-term projected increases in truck and rail traffic on our neighborhoods. We need your help to ensure that community voices are heard in a meaningful way as your agency proceeds.
To do this, we respectfully request that the Port Authority retain a consultant who will work directly with local public officials and Community Board 5 to ensure that community views and concerns are properly documented and presented in the most professional manner for inclusion in the EIS.
The communities of Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood have been energized over recent years to find solutions to what are already intolerable conditions for many of our residents as a result of current rail and truck traffic. We are in accord with your regional goals for coping with the movement of freight in the future, but we are determined to ensure that they are not achieved at the expense of our communities. Providing us with a consultant to work with us through this EIS process will help ensure the community’s views are incorporated into your final report.
Assemblywoman Margaret Markey
Rep. Joseph Crowley
Rep. Nydia Velazquez
Rep. Anthony D. Weiner
New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
Assemblyman Michael Gianaris
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi
Assemblyman Michael Miller
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley
Councilwoman Diana Reyna
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
My wife the soup Nazi
I have read many sad reports concerning the closure of the Scobee Grill in Little Neck — their dedication to customers, friends and employees (“Landmark Little Neck diner closing,” Nov. 25, multiple editions). They were family.
But I am concerned about Dolores Carlucci, my wife and best friend of 55 years, who was a fixture as you walked in the door, who was lovingly hated as a person, who would smile and tell you off as she took your money. She took no nonsense from the owners and customers alike.
Everyone, including me, will miss her presence at the Scobee, where she worked days and nights to support our family. She spent 35 years of her life there. An era has ended.
Good luck to the Scobee’s owners and other employees —we will miss you, especially me.
What World War II vet Chet Gusick was listening to on Dec. 7, 1941 was an NFL Giants-Dodgers football game, certainly not baseball (“Veterans remember Pearl Harbor Day,” Dec. 9). Brooklyn won the game 21-7. It was broadcast by WOR AM 710, and Stan Lomax was the play-by-play announcer.
Editor’s note: We sure fumbled that one. It’s so easy to think baseball when one hears “Brooklyn Dodgers,” but a football team of the same name played from 1930 to 1943, and another from 1946 to 1948 — both at Ebbets Field, no less! Today’s score is surely Lopatin 1-Chronicle 0.
There has been much said about the tax bill being debated in Congress.I would like to add a few thoughts on this issue.
First, it is a myth that the “rich” do not pay their fair share of taxes.Statistics show that high-income earners pay a greater share of federal income taxes than their share of the national income.Democrats will never point out the truth because it would go against their main argument.
The Democrats would have been more successful in their public relations war with Republicans if they would have exempted Subchapter S income (small-business income allocated directly to the owners of a company) from any rate increases.The main Republican argument against increasing tax rates is that they hit small businesses.Exempting Subchapter S income would have killed that argument,thus allowing the Democrats to be more successful in trying to sell their ideas.Unfortunately for them, they are not sophisticated enough to use that strategy.
As a fiscal conservative, I am not totally happy with a bill that would substantially increase the deficit.However, in a democracy, compromise is often needed.Hopefully, when the new Congress meets in January they will start to tackle the huge growth in federal spending that has taken place during the past two years.
Kids, candy and the Corps
I would like to thank you again for AnnMarie Costella’s wonderfully written article on our office’s candy buy-back program (“Kids’ candy buy-back a sweet deal,” Nov. 4, multiple editions). As you requested, I'm writing to let you know how it went.
Thanks to your help and others’, we were able to collect about 60 pounds of candy. I personally delivered them to Staff Sgt. Delgado of the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station near the Queens Center mall. He said he had a couple people in the field that he would be sending the candy to, along with some veterans organizations.
I asked him what the troops could use otherwise, and one thing he mentioned are chemical hand warmers. I agreed to get some for him to forward to the troops in Afghanistan as well.
It’s a nice feeling to know that you are helping our soldiers out in the field who are facing constant mortal danger.
Dr. Payam Kashani
The writer is a dentist.
Smoking: not cool
As many of us are aware, children and young people are easily influenced. While they may be told that smoking has many negative impacts on people’s health, they may decide to try it anyway, because other people “look cool” when they smoke. New York City’s proposed ban on smoking in selected public areas will help reduce that “cool factor.” Families should be able to enjoy the park or the beach without worrying that their kids will pick up a deadly habit.
In fact, studies have proven that the less young people are exposed to smoking, the less they will see it as acceptable in society and will less likely try a cigarette.I’m a college freshman, and many of my peers began smoking in high school, and that’s unacceptable.Hopefully, this ban will reduce the number of young people who start smoking, and will save some lives.
Besides being easily swayed, young people are more susceptible to the horrifying effects of second-hand smoke, because their lungs are smaller and absorb more air pollution. Kids will be better protected against these sources of illness with the ban on smoking in certain public places. Children do not deserve the ailments caused by cigarette smoke, so we should try to prevent it as much as possible.
The writer is active with the New York Public Interest Research Group at Queens College.
Loved the letter writers
What a great treat to be introduced to our very familiar Queens Chronicle letter writers (“The letter writers: What drives them?” Dec. 9). And the pictures you had of some of the writers were priceless!
At our garden club we often talk about letters to the editor, and now I’m folding the pages of this story very carefully to take to our next meeting.
Thanks to the writers for the very keen and up-to-date facts you keep us all abreast of. And Happy New Year’s to all.