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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:00 am

Rochdale Dispute

(This is an open letter to Joseph Marthone, a protester at Rochdale Village.)

Dear Mr. Marthone:

It is a scary scenario (using your terminology) when you can tell blatant lies to the newspapers and scam the residents of Rochdale into thinking that you are a rent-paying resident of Rochdale. Why not fess up and tell the cooperators you don’t have a lease and you have not paid rent in the last 21 months, amounting to $17,325.52?

You have revealed that your job is to bring good government to Rochdale and rid the cooperators who manage the place and a “do nothing” board of directors. What you also should reveal is the following:

1) You claimed you moved into Rochdale six years ago. The fact is, your mother moved in six years ago and you surfaced several years later on a transfer request for a larger apartment with no job and insufficient funds to qualify for a larger apartment. Thus, you moved into a one-bedroom apartment with your mother.

2) Upon your mother’s death, you were granted the right to request succession. It is not a very tricky process. You must simply supply the same information every other cooperator was required to submit—an application, tax form, driver’s license, proof of residence at the previous address, proof of payment of bills, etc. You either cannot or will not submit the documents to validate the claim that you are a resident.

3) We believe that you told so many lies and submitted so many phony documents that you are afraid of the legal and ethical consequences of your actions. Even if you win succession, you have to face the real charge of inducing a lease through material misrepresentation of the facts, which would automatically eliminate you from consideration for succession.

Mr. Marthone, you have questioned my credentials and now I question your credentials, motives and behavior.

Barbara Staples, treasurer,

Rochdale Village Board of Directors

Gifted/Magnet Program

Dear Editor:

At this time, many parents of District 26 kindergarten children are awaiting the results of tests to see if their child will qualify for the district’s gifted/magnet program. Acceptance of an invitation to the program requires that the child transfer to one of the two schools that house it. That decision, to move a six-year-old from a neighborhood school to a remote one, can be a very difficult one. To make a wise decision they need the very best information that can be made available. There is a problem in that the district does not provide parents with the best information.

The practice here is that information about the gifted/magnet program comes almost uniquely from the child’s principal. Based on experience and many conversations with other parents, it appears that the local principals are not sufficiently familiar with the operation of the program. They seem not to know all the benefits offered by the transfer and are not well-acquainted with the difficulties children and parents may face if they enter the program, particularly if the magnet school is far away. Principals may also be limited in their view regarding the kind of child who can thrive in the program.

Furthermore, principals are conflicted when they might advise that a high-performing child should leave their school to enter the program. These are precisely the children they would like to keep. They raise the school’s test scores, play leading roles in school events, and (usually) offer good examples of school behavior. Therefore, the principals may tend to exaggerate the benefits that their own school can extend to the gifted child.

Kindergarten parents should obtain information about the program from those who know it best. They are the professionals who direct or teach in the program. They know the program intimately and they would have no agenda except the best interest of the child. If the district cannot provide one such person to each school as I think it should, perhaps it could arrange for one or more districtwide meetings where program teachers and parents could speak and respond to questions.

In my opinion, any parent having difficulty with this choice now, or considering whether to have their child tested in the future, should insist on a meeting with a professional connected with the gifted/ magnet program itself. Only then will you know that you’ve made the best choice for your child.

Melvyn Meer, chairperson,

Community Board 11 Education Committee,

Bayside

Martins Renaming

Dear Editor:

As soon as spring arrives, reconstruction of the memorial field now known as Martins Field will begin again. Who was Martins in 1935 when a playground was built over a burial ground? Let us remember that the residents of Flushing in 1830, many of whom were Quakers, raised money to purchase the site from the Bowne family in order to establish a paupers cemetery for blacks and Native Americans.

Later the site became known as the Colored Cemetery, among many other names. Now is the time for another change of name. Today’s heroes are those who promoted the civil rights movement. Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner are names remembered for their murder in Mississippi and are known throughout the United States. Goodman was a young student at Queens College when he volunteered to go to Mississippi.

These are the names that should be attached to a site that may become a national historic site upon completion of the memorial field. Many names of nonresidents are attached to sites and buildings in Queens. It is time to give greater recognition to one of our own native sons.

Flushing has a long history of freedom dating back to the time when New York was known as New Amsterdam, the Remonstrance, later the Underground Railroad. It is time to update that history. We residents of Flushing are proud of our history and desire recognition.

David Copell,

Flushing

Democracy Or Lie?

Dear Editor:

President Bush has been telling us lately that expensive though it may be in terms of lives and treasure, he is trying to bring “democracy” to Iraq.

Democracy is rule by will of the people. The people of Iraq will us, the invader-destroyers, to get the hell out of their country. Bush refuses to get out. Bush lies.

The followers of Bush are either cretins or fellow oil thieves.

Stephen Wohl,

Rockaway Beach

Scams, Shams, Loopholes

Dear Editor:

New York State’s Cease and Desist Law was created in 1989 to protect Queens residents from rapacious real estate agents who harassed them constantly. Bellerose homeowners openly welcomed this law.

Those of us who have participated in the cease-and-desist registration, have, for the most part, been satisfied with the peace and quiet it provides. It’s rare that we answer the phone at dinnertime only to find a real estate company offering to sell our homes for us.

There are shortcomings to this law, however. Unscrupulous companies attempt to utilize every loophole that they can uncover. Sleazy tactics such as changing the town name, and sending solicitations to a registered homeowner, are becoming more common. One company even sends out their advertisements to residents with “Queens” as the town name. Foxton’s, the discount real estate company, sends out a “magazine” in its attempts to skirt this law. Sometimes mailings are sent out with a slight misspelling of the recipient’s first or last name.

Many of the residents in Queens are finding that they are once again being attacked by unwanted visitors in the form of “private investors.” These entrepreneurs use the same maneuvers that real estate brokers are now legally forbidden to use against registered homeowners. Phone calls, mailings and visits to your home are now becoming more and more common. What makes these lowlifes different? They aren’t covered by the cease-and-desist law. They’re not licensed or registered in any way by New York state, so they’re free to invade your peace and quiet by ringing your doorbell and questioning if you want to sell your home.

This onslaught of harassment is now coming from within Creedmoor Civic’s own boundaries. G&R Realty, which is located at 242nd Street and Braddock Avenue, has agents fanning out through the Bellerose, Bellerose Manor and Queens Village neighborhoods looking for victims.

This latest attack comes in the form of “private investors” who seem to have a hard time understanding what the word “no” means. When a civic leader from another civic association was approached in his home, the visitor was told that what he was doing was probably illegal, since the resident was on the cease-and-desist list. The man suddenly took on the “I no understand the English good” ruse. This is extremely interesting, because this same man seemed to speak English well enough when he visited Lyman Street in Bellerose Manor on Feb. 26.

The home you purchase is your castle. You’re entitled to the quiet enjoyment of this home, free from the harassment brought on by vultures who are only interested in one thing—money. Let these characters know that you’re offended by what they’re doing to your neighborhood. Legitimate real estate companies and brokers respect your privacy, they know you’ve registered with the list for a reason.

Rick Duskiewicz, president,

Creedmoor Civic Association,

Bellerose Manor

Letter Got It Wrong

Dear Editor:

A letter published in the March 9 Queens Chronicle itemizes many alleged failures of the public school system and falsely links them to the teachers union led by Randi Weingarten. The writer then tries to distance dedicated teachers from the United Federation of Teachers, the professional organization that represents them. Can’t be done. Doing that would be like separating the American spirit from the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution.

He favors vouchers and tax credits, which siphon public money to private special interests. New York City public school students have already been denied a basic education, due to severe and chronic underfunding. A federal court ruled that years ago, and ordered that billions of dollars be infused into the public schools. Thanks to the governor, not a dime has yet been disbursed. By the way, would the writer support diverting tax dollars to pay for someone else’s personal choice of a privatized police force?

The author of the letter blames Weingarten’s UFT for the Department of Education’s bilingual programs, cutbacks in science and math instruction, and most amazingly, a budget for administration that is bloated at the expense of classroom services.The teachers union has absolutely no policy-making authority or even input into any of these issues. Indeed, the chancellor does not collaborate with educators at all when he makes decisions impacting education. By the way, the UFT does not represent the administrators who profit from the DOE’s lopsided investment.

The writer also claims that the most successful schools are charter schools. This is refuted by the evidence. Students in charter schools tend to perform worse in math and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress than their public school counterparts. Incidentally, from all reports, the new UFT-run charter school in East New York, a community beset with poverty but a wealth of spirit, is performing beautifully.

The writer feels that the public school teachers union is opposed to higher standards. Now does that make any sense?Are the unionized doctors at city-owned hospitals opposed to a lower mortality rate for stroke or accident victims?I respectfully urge your readers to recognize the real truth and to support their public schools.

Ron Isaacs,

Fresh Meadows

Welcome to the discussion.