In regard to the execution-style slaying of Rap icon Jam Master Jay in his Jamaica recording studio who was known mainly for his work with Run-DMC, I found this rather sad to lose someone so young being 37 and so talented.
There seems to be so much violence associated with rap music with so many rap artists being murdered like Tupac Shakur, Christopher Wallence aka Notorious B.I.G. then there was Freaky Tah, member of the Lost Boyz, Death Row Rapper Randy Walker included in this list is Puffy Combs protege Jamaal “Shyne” Barrow who was convicted of reckless endangerment and weapons possession.
Now I grew up in the rock era and there didn’t seem to be much violence except to themselves, death was caused mainly by drugs. The main theme of the era was sex, drugs and rock and roll except John Lennon who was murdered by David Chapman in front of the Dakota apartment complex in New York City.
I think there is too much violence in rap today and we need answers like why and how do we stop it. For if we don’t, more talented young people will die for no reason. And to the family of Jason Mizell aka Jam Master Jay, may God be with you in your time of grief.
Frederick Bedell Jr.,
Halloween In Howard Beach
I am a Howard Beach resident whose children attend PS 207 in Rockwood Park. What I witnessed on Halloween night and the following morning appalled me.
While I realize it is common for youths to waste their time with shaving cream and egg throwing to celebrate the occasion, a large number of Howard Beach adolescents took this activity to a disgusting next level.
I witnessed a disgraceful display of vandalism carried out by up to 50 such young adults. As they circled the school, they repeatedly pelted it with eggs. They made a special effort to hit the building in areas high up, where cleaning would be a problem. The shaving cream and toilet paper was everywhere. It hung from all the trees and basketball hoops—and I do mean all. The sidewalks around the school were covered with every manner of debris possible.
To make matters worse, the youths hid in the schoolyard and fired paintballs at passing buses and cars. Although the police were summoned, no patrol cars came to the scene. The level of vandalism was horribly evident the following morning in the light of day.
A parade of school custodians cursed under their breath about the impudent adolescents of Rockwood Park. I heard them talking about an attitude present in this particular neighborhood found almost nowhere else—a smug, self righteous, lack of respect for anyone. I agree.
I work in Brooklyn. That day, while driving to work, I passed several public schools, some of which were present in high crime areas of East New York and Flatbush. I purposely looked and was surprised to find these schools and accompanying schoolyards in near pristine shape—hardly an egg or bit of shaving cream could be found.
I would have loved to see what would have happened to a group of these youths if they turned their vandalism efforts on one of their own houses or mansions in the area. I’m sure a good number of local parents couldn’t care less what their kids do to other peoples’ property, as long as it does not adversely affect them.
The immigrant communities in Queens and Brooklyn raise more caring and moral children. They are taught to respect their neighborhoods, not trash them. These people have more class than the tough element in Howard Beach.
If the administration of PS 207 wanted to send a message to the vandals, they should have cancelled the school dance the night following the attack and declared the school a disaster area. Sure that would have been a hard stance, but I’ll bet none of this garbage would happen next Halloween.
Behave better next Halloween, Howard Beach. Your class is showing.
Name withheld by request,
The United States of America is the richest, most powerful country in the world. We spend more money in one day supporting other countries, ensuring that their citizens have food, clothing, medicine and shelter than we spend in one year ensuring that the citizens of the United States have the same basic necessities. We spend more money sending men into the outer reaches of the universe than we spend in one year to insure that each child here on earth receives the education that they deserve.
If the United States is the most powerful and wealthiest country on earth, then by far New York City is the most powerful, resilient, city in the United States. In fact, New York leads the country in the arts, business, finance. In fact we led the nation in the greatest reduction of crime in our collective memory.
Yet, we can’t house the homeless, feed the hungry or properly educate our children so that when they graduate from high school they can go on to college without having to take remedial reading, writing and math classes. Being homeless is not a crime, more often than not it is due to socio-economic conditions.
The number of homeless families with children has increased significantly over the past decade; families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population.
Recently the Queens Borough president has called for the closing of a homeless shelter for homeless single women and their children at the behest of local business owners. This response by the borough president is appalling especially since not one dime is allocated in the Queens County budget to assist these people. It is appalling that the chief executive of Queens County would heap upon these women and their children another indignity by demanding this shelter be closed to appease the special interest in this borough.
Instead, she should reach out to these children and their mothers, stand up for them, assist them in every way possible, utilize the resources of her office to help them get job training to assist them to find affordable permanent housing
She should also enlist the support of each and every elected official in Queens to make the lives of these homeless women and their children better, not worse.
As several readers in recent issues have mentioned perhaps this is a good time to broach the subject. Certainly, since the terrorist attacks, a good number of citizens nationwide have stressed that it is time this country reevaluated its immigration policy.
The question asked most often is, why aren’t any of our elected representatives, doing anything about the immigration mess? The answer is two part, and is quite simple: votes, and nearly all of them are afraid.
They are not only afraid to tackle the immigration fiasco, they are afraid of taking any position regarding serious and profound issues which are not going to go away. So instead, they make big issues of education, overcrowded schools, prescription drugs and budget crises. Issues which themselves would greatly be resolved if immigration into this country was either ended or severely restricted.
The liberals will quickly counter with retorts that this is a nation of immigrants, that they contributed immensely, and just about every one of us is descended from them. Yes, but during earlier great waves of immigration there were not overburdened cities, overcrowded schools, AIDS, an endangered environment, traffic congestion, high taxation, ethnic tension, social dependency and the threat of terrorism.
To those who concur, and there are many, do not feel that the soon to be Republican-controlled Congress offers any hope. While some Republicans may agree or wave at solutions, the fact is they will do as little about it as the Democrats.
I myself am descended from immigrants. I am well aware of the struggles they encountered and the challenges they faced, as well as how they gave to their new country. I can remember some neighborhoods in southern Queens when many Irish, Polish, Italian and German immigrants predominated. Like it or not, the time has come to close our doors.
I read, with interest, Mr. Rotondi’s response to my recent letter regarding Flushing. I stand by my comments. I am tired of not being able to get any other kind of food in Flushing other than Oriental food. If I did not have to be in Flushing to work here, I would not set foot in it. I am entitled to my opinion and Rotondi is entitled to his. Case closed.
As far as the theatre, Rotondi appears to be satisfied that the lobby of the Keith’s is still intact while the rest of the theatre is in ruins. I am tired of having our heritage constantly being destroyed in the name of progress. The Keith’s was destroyed for nothing.
If having the landmarked lobby still intact makes Rotondi happy, I am glad. I mourn for the theatre itself that was lost. An irreplaceable part of our history is gone. We could have had an operating Queens Performing Arts Center centrally located instead of the little bandbox we have in Flushing Meadows Park
He thinks this is a victory. I think of it as a defeat. I have been in theatres like the Keith’s all over the country that are now operating vibrant parts of their community. Rotondi seems to think we should rejoice at having only the lobby left. Let the reader decide who is right and who is wrong.
Bill Mc Quade,
Following the Democratic Party’s devastating defeats on state and national levels, their leading thinkers and bosses are wondering, what went wrong. How were the Republicans able to gain in both Houses and the governor’s mansion in the year of a declining economy, corporate crime, and rising unemployment?
On a local level, there is one reason—Ed Koch. This lifelong politician claims to be a lifelong Democrat, but every time there is an election, he goes to television and newspapers to endorse the Republicans. Whether it’s Bloomberg for mayor, Pataki for governor, or Eristoff for State Senate in Manhattan, all have Koch’s nod.
He is entitled to his opinions, but he’s no kingmaker. As a registered and loyal Democratic Party member, I can only ask why this fellow party member goes on TV to endorse opponents and damage his own party’s chances of being victorious.
Therefore, I ask Tom Manton and other party bosses to do all they can to oust this traitor from our ranks. People like Koch have passed their prime, and should be pushed aside into irrelevance.