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Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2005 12:00 am

Olympic Dreams

Dear Editor:

It is outrageous that one or two malcontents should declare themselves to be an Olympic Committee, intent on destroying the bid of the United States Olympic Committee to host the 2012 games in our city.

The USOC is an organization chartered by Congress and as such it has both the right and responsibility to run the Olympic program for the United States. That includes the power to negotiate with the International Olympic Committee.

It is against the law for any private citizen or group of private citizens to negotiate, in any way, with a recognized international body.

It is also shameful that some of our elected representatives, including Mark Weprin, know of these malcontents and condone their actions.

Are these people Americans or are they some left-wing loonies, intent on doing whatever it takes to destroy the aspirations of an entire country and the hopes of all those young men and women who aspire to Olympic success?

David Rivkin,

Jamaica Estates

Total Disgrace

Dear Editor:

It is quite ironic that the Department of Education and the superintendent claim that “for the good of everyone involved” they will not reinstate Dr. K’Tori. Obviously, the “everyone” they refer to does not include a majority of the parents with children in PS/I.S. 268 who have demonstrated and fought for Dr. K’Tori’s reinstatement from the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year.

Parents have demonstrated outside of the school, at the Superintendent’s Office and at DOE headquarters for Dr. K’Tori’s reinstatement. Parents have written letters to school officials, elected officials, media and anyone else who could help to get this gifted, committed principal back into the school.

This entire episode just illustrates how Mayor Bloomberg and the DOE have taken parent involvement completely out of the education picture. Parents have little, if any, input in the substantial issues affecting their schools such as curriculum, staffing and funding levels.

Elected officials have also abdicated their responsibilities by passing legislation giving control of the schools to the mayor and by not listening to parents’ pleas for help in this situation.

It is a total disgrace on the part of the city and the DOE but we parents will continue our struggle to get quality leadership in this school. We have no other choice—it’s our kids’ future we’re fighting for.

Michael Ferguson,


Supports Principal

Dear Editor:

Someone said to the parent body of PS/I.S. 268 back in November, that we can’t help Dr. K’Tori—he has lawyers to help him. Well, if those 35 parents had not attended those hearings and voiced their support for Dr. K’Tori, he would have been fired over these bogus charges.

When the black community asks “where are our leaders?,” the answer is they are in hiding, because they are too afraid to take a stand because our community abandons them when the system accuses them of any minor infraction.

We must stand up and support individuals who have a proven record of service to our community, especially service to our children.

Lauren Harrison,


Open Eyes

Dear Editor:

So, Mayor Bloomberg is taking credit for test scores going up in the city. However, all is not as it seems.

First of all, ask the teachers and students: this year’s test was relatively easy compared to years past. Nice to have the mayor’s buddies arrange that for him this election year.

Secondly, art, music, gym, social studies and science have been pushed aside for additional reading and math test preparation, in an effort to teach to the test, rather than to truly educate our children.

Thirdly, many teachers went against Chancellor Klein’s flawed mandatory Workshop Model, developed in a dubious alliance with Columbia University’s Teachers College. Instead, these teachers taught their students using tried and true methods. Not too bad for people who are demeaned at every turn and who are working without a contract.

Schools that followed the Workshop Model faithfully saw their test scores decline. Fourth, the parents had to work extra hard teaching their children at home because Klein and Company’s curriculum is fatally flawed. Children without literate or English-proficient parents have been truly left behind.

Fifth, many lower-functioning students were labeled as “English Language Learners” and were exempt from the test. Check out the number of students tested in each school against the students enrolled in each school. I hope that the citizens of New York City can see right through the mayor’s political games.

Richard Skibins, NYC teacher,

East Meadow

Winning Editorial

Dear Editor:

Your editorial, “West Side Stadium Is No Field Of Dreams,” (May 26th) scored a touchdown.

Taxpayers should just say no to using public funds for any new major sports stadiums. In ancient Rome, government attempted to curry favor with the masses by offering free bread and circuses. Today, we have sports pork.

How sad that New York City taxpayers are continually asked to pay for new stadiums. Public dollars on the city, state and federal level are being used as corporate welfare to subsidize a private-sector business. The only real beneficiaries of these expenditures are team owners and their multimillion dollar players.

It is impossible to judge the amount of new economic activities that these so-called public benefits will generate. Between selling the stadium name, season sky boxes and reserve seating, cable, television and radio revenues, concession refreshment and souvenir sales along with rental income for sports, rock concerts and other commercial events, it is hard to believe that New Jersey Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson IV can’t finance his new stadium on his own.

Given the current municipal fiscal crises along with weak economic revenues and projected deficits of several billion dollars in fiscal year 2006—there are city services more worthy of investment.As Raymond Keating wrote in a past Cato Institute report, “public subsidies pad the bottom lines of team owners and boost player salaries while offering no real economic benefit to the cities involved.”Professional sports is not an essential service and shouldn’t qualify for government subsidy. Increasingly scarce taxpayer funds would be better spent elsewhere. Let the current team owners float their own bonds or issue stock to finance new stadiums instead of picking the pockets of taxpayers.

Even worse are those elected officials who have endorsed this project. Every independent observer of municipal government knows that around City Hall there is a political quid pro quo expected by lobbyists who represent various special interest groups doing business with the city in exchange for financial donations. How can New York City Council Finance Committee Chairperson David Weprin represent the interest of taxpayers when accepting campaign contributions from those doing business with the city, by either seeking contracts or direct subsidies for construction projects such as the new Jets Stadium?

The appearance of a conflict of interest is obvious. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Taxpayers have reason for concern given Weprin’s support of giving $600 million in city and state funding to subsidize construction of the proposed new Manhattan West Side Stadium for the New Jersey Jets. This is a serious conflict of interest for Weprin’s endorsement of this project. Construction of this facility will cost taxpayers over $600 million.

His lack of judgment was clearly demonstrated when he admitted basing support on an “economics benefit” study performed by the consultant paid by Jets owner Johnson, heir to the Johnson and Johnson company fortune.

Besides the $2,000 in campaign contributions from the Jets owner, are there other contributions from the Jets family, employees, consultants, players, construction unions or construction contractors who also support building a new Jets Stadium? Does he support construction of a new stadium for the New Jersey Nets basketball team in Brooklyn, as well?

Has he also accepted campaign contributions from Nets owner—developer Bruce Ratner and his friends? Have any of these people also taken tickets or dinner journal ads to Weprin’s local or County Democratic Party club house annual fund-raising dinners? To avoid any ethical conflicts, taxpayers and voters deserve full disclosure.

Larry Penner,

Great Neck

Let People Vote

Dear Editor:

Why can’t the West Side Stadium be put to a vote? Yes, a “referendum” to be voted on in November’s election.

This project is something “all” people are involved in because we are the taxpayers. And as long as taxpayers’ money (in such large sums) is being used, we have a right to know what our taxes are being used for.

Our taxes should not be spent on the whims of our politicians, no matter if they are the Mayor or Governor.

The Mayor and Governor promise jobs and lots of money “if” we get the Olympics. All these promises are for a short time. What happens afterward?

We need more schools with smaller groups of children in each class. We need teachers who would not jeopardize their schools’ standards to show passing grades.

Each home or building owner is paying school taxes. We should find a way to subsidize the future American citizen.

There must be a way to keep children, teachers and taxpayers happy.

Let the people vote.

Lindo Meli,


It’s A Drain

Dear Editor:

Reader Bill Hagel of Woodside proposes an interesting theory, socialism is OK sometimes. He makes an argument for socialized medicine. Unfortunately, he hasn’t thought it through. Mr. Hagel states that European countries have an advantage over us because they are not “saddled with the expensive cost of health care.” I beg to differ. They most certainly are. When a government is paying for health care, its citizens and companies are the ones footing the bill. Conversely in America we need only help the poor and elderly, as they are protected by Medicaid and Medicare.

Fortunately, those who can pay, create a market for these services, enabling the United States to offer the best health care in the world. New York, particularly, hosts more nonresidents for advanced treatment than anywhere else in the world.

Socialized anything (think Amtrak) is only a drain on a productive people and society. Come on Bill, embrace, enjoy, and reap the rewards of our system.

Jas Sharpe,

Forest Hills

Welcome to the discussion.