Still our country?
Re “Non-English signs: a nagging problem,” Jan. 27, multiple editions:
As a lifelong Queens resident, I feel like my community is being invaded by people who are not looking to be part of a neighborhood by displaying signs in their language. These signs now run all the way down Northern Boulevard into Great Neck.
I and most of my friends and neighbors feel their message is hostile and not welcoming to our business. Let’s be honest: Who would go into a store that is has a blocked-off window and no English in sight? They do not want our business, and are not willing to learn English. Why some people leave their country to come here, just to keep themselves separate, I cannot understand.
I doubt change will ever come from a government agency; it’s not politically correct. Gone are the days when immigrants made an effort. Now we must make the effort to learn how many languages? I will keep my money for storeowners who work to get my business. Good luck, 20 years and still nothing has been done. Shameful indeed.
State of New York (City)
There is another way tofor Mayor Bloomberg to bridgeNew York City’s looming multi-billion dollar budget gap. Most have forgottenthegreat idea put forward by the team of Norman Mailer/Jimmy Breslin in the 1969 Democratic mayoral primary. They proposed making New York City the 51st state.
Consider the historic imbalance of tax dollars going to both Albany and Washington versus how much state and federal assistance accompanied byexcessive unfundedmandates and requirementsfor spending these monies received in return,Big Apple residents would be better off keeping fundssent to Albany. Two U.S. senators could ensure a more equitable return of federal assistance to New York City.
Great Neck, LI
A crime against students
As every good educator knows, a struggling student very often needs a little extra focus, a little extra attention, and at times a somewhat different approach.Our struggling schools are no different. They too often need a slightly different look if they are to be the beacons of education we all know they can.
What is currently going on with the political game the mayor is playing with our schools needs to be brought out of the shadows into full public view.We want the people of this city to be fully aware of what happens to so many of our children when the Department of Education and the mayor sidestep their responsibly to our children, and instead use so many of them as pawns in a game of political grandstanding.
To look inside a school that has been stepped away from by the mayor and the DOE is to see a shameful and immoral example of blatant educational neglect.
One such example (although there are many) is Jamaica High School here in Queens. What is happening inside those walls is an example of what happens when our leaders turn their back on one of our struggling high schools and leave the children there to flounder, robbing them of some of the most valuable years of their education. Housed in this building, once home to a single Jamaica High School, there are now four different schools, each with its own principal, four fully staffed main offices, and support systems — all of it paid for by the taxpayer.
Three of these schools exist in the 21st century, while the largest, with 1,200 students, exists as though left behind in the 19th century.Twelve hundred students, who like so many thousands throughout this city, who have been abandoned, left behind in the closed off shadows of their neglected classrooms, the unwitting pawns caught up in this grandstanding game of improving our schools.
It is shameful, and it is wrong. These schools share the same corridors, and other facilities, such as the lunchroom, gym and auditorium. What they do not share are the same resources and fairness or attention that all our students should be receiving.
In the three newest schools, classes are small, modern technology is used and programs provide enrichment to the students.
The teachers, school leaders and most importantly, the students all feel a sense of enthusiasm, which we all know is contagious and should be applauded.
Jamaica High School, that of the 1,200 students, is overcrowded, and high technology, enrichment programs and tutoring are nonexistent. There is a sense among staff that they have been abandoned by the city, and a sense among the students that they were all but forgotten by those outside their classrooms.
The children in Jamaica High School are learning lessons every day, but often not the lessons they need to be taught.
They are being taught by the city that they are second- and third-class citizens, sharing a space in this same building where the other students get so much more.
This is not the lesson the Department of Education, or our mayor, should be allowed to teach our children, not only in Jamaica High School, but in any of our struggling schools where we see this obvious neglect by the city. We are saying in a collective voice that there has to be a better way of addressing our school needs.
Our children, their parents, our teachers and this city deserve it.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz
Councilman Leroy Comrie
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley
Councilman Peter Koo
Councilman Mark Weprin
Councilman Ruben Wills
Councilman Daniel Dromm
Councilman James Sanders Jr.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras
Reopen Parkway Hospital
In your Feb. 3 article, “Repeal of healthcare law bad for boro — Weiner” the congressman used now-shuttered Parkway Hospital as a prop for his stated goal to “implement and improve” healthcare.
The fact is that Parkway Hospital wasn’t supposed to close — until its management refused to line the pockets of a corrupt politician, who then made it his business to shut Parkway down.
It wasn’t far-off Republicans who repealed Parkway Hospital and replaced it with, well, nothing. It was done in Albany, by the Spitzer/Paterson administration.
Before that, Parkway Hospital was delivering quality healthcare to central Queens for a fraction of the cost of “nonprofit” hospitals. New management was on the way to resolving old financial issues, without doing it on the backs of workers or scrimping on care.
Without a dime of the public’s money, Parkway Hospital could be back, improving healthcare in Queens in a matter of weeks, if the state simply restored its license to operate.
If Weiner and other New York officials are seriously in favor of improving local access to healthcare for Queens residents, they should reverse the closing of Parkway Hospital and replace its license immediately so that it could serve the Queens community.
Call cops, not church
Re “St. Mel’s priest resigns after parental pressure,” Feb. 3, multiple editions:
It is apparent that the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn does not even follow its own rules.
Why do they claim to have a “child protection policy”?
We urge anyone who was injured by registered sex offender who was allowed to work at the school, to call police officials, not church officials. Child sex crimes, however old, should be investigated by the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in church offices.
Midwest Associate Director
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Reagan the Great
It is a good thing to remember our 40th President, Ronald WilsonReagan, who was without a doubt one of our great presidents. He would have been 100 years old on Feb. 6,and many of us who were around when he was president remember him with a great deal of fondness and respect. Now that includes liberals and conservatives.
President Reagan was a great American and a patriot. We had in Reagan a strong president who was committed to making the United States a better place. He loved America and the American people loved him in return. When mostpeople were retiring at age 65, Reagan was busy running for president and was determined to make the world free for democracy. Let us not forget he was in part responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union.
He was a great optimist and said the American people are a great people. He was strong mentally and physically, like when he was shot on March 30, 1981, and yet came back with renewed vigor and commitment.
At the hospital, he was reported to have said to his wife, “Honey, I forgot to duck,” showing his great sense of humor in the face of adversity. Then there was the great love affair with his wife Nancy. They loved each other so much.
Reagan said, “We are too great of a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams.” He was so right. We the people truly honor a great American. May the memory ofRonald Reagancause the many to think about what makes America great, and that isits people.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.