• September 15, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Columns

Touting naturalization on Citizenship Day, Sept. 17

The City of New York is proud to honor immigrant New Yorkers who have chosen to become citizens. On Citizenship Day, which is this Tuesday, Sept. 17, we will commemorate the fifth anniversary of Cities for Citizenship. This national initiativ…

‘Restorative justice’ in, school discipline out
Updated: September 05, 2019 - 12:50 pm

What will it take for New Yorkers to acknowledge that our education system is failing a generation of children and it needs to make a course correction? Educators are trying against all odds to teach our kids while mired in a system that is designed to overlook misbehavior, disrespect and even brutal attacks on teachers.

Three short years ago I wrote about the city’s educational and political establishment introducing policies that eroded school disciplinary codes and undermined teacher efforts in the classroom and students’ ability to learn. I wrote back then that, by tinkering with the discipline code in 2015, Mayor de Blasio made it virtually impossible for teachers and principals to discipline students for behavior that in the past would have led directly to a suspension. Suspensions would no longer be granted for incidents such as spitting, shoving, throwing objects or bolting out of a classroom or profanity even if directed at teachers. Without serious punishment, classrooms are no longer conducive to learning and have become chaotic environments inviting more disruptions for those who desperately wish to learn.

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Why is Mayor de Blasio targeting Qns. families?
Updated: August 29, 2019 - 11:51 am

It’s hard to believe that my son is about to start middle school. He’s excited about having his own locker and the robotics course he’ll be taking. He’s looking forward to meeting new classmates and having more independence at school.

Instead of the normal anxiety that comes when your child is starting a new school (and middle school, no less!), my husband and I are going into this new school year with deep pits in our stomachs. Our son has a great middle school, but our younger daughter’s education is threatened because Mayor de Blasio is refusing to provide a location for a second Success Academy middle school in Queens.

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A sidewalk haven for bees, butterflies: the pollinators
Updated: August 22, 2019 - 11:52 am

My neighbor stopped me on the street the other day to say that she liked my pollinator garden. “Garden” is a lofty word for the clump of plants growing along the sidewalk, next to the street, where a tree used to be. But the tiny patch seems to make the bees and butterflies happy.

No matter what time of day I visit, I’ll find at least one bumblebee feasting on nectar from the coneflowers or the catmint, or a cabbage white butterfly, with its little purple-black wing dots, flitting around the blooms. I may have seen a monarch butterfly one day, though it could have been a viceroy.

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Can we trust the DOT on buses and bicycles?
Updated: August 15, 2019 - 12:12 pm

They promised us a safer Woodhaven Boulevard, up to 30 percent quicker bus trips with Select Bus Service and smoother traffic due to reduced merging. Did they deliver?

Last week, the Queens Chronicle reported a traffic fatality at 91st Avenue and a bike rider injured at 1 a.m., both on Woodhaven Boulevard, when motorists do not expect to see cyclists on the road; some do not have required headlights and reflectors. It was also reported that new traffic barriers near Forest Park and new concrete medians have caused traffic problems and made the changes unpopular for Ozone Park residents.

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Thursday 08/01/2019
Let police officers police
Updated: August 01, 2019 - 1:45 pm

What happened earlier this week to our brave police officers who risk their lives every day was unspeakable. No officers should have a bucket of water thrown at them or be disrespected in any manner whatsoever on the job. We live in the biggest safest city in the world and the NYPD protects us from day-to-day harms. What if the buckets of water were not filled with water? What if it was harmful liquid, like bleach or acid? One may argue that the officers took the high road with not reacting to the men who splashed them with water. This could have escalated the situation.

One can also argue that the individuals should have been arrested immediately. For me, it was shocking and angry to watch. I was appalled by this inexcusable behavior. One point we can take away from this horrific incident is that there is more work to be done connecting communities and police officers.

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Thursday 07/25/2019
Identity politics doesn’t improve NYC education
Updated: July 25, 2019 - 12:17 pm

It would be an unthinkable, career-ending act if a government administrator spent millions of tax dollars on outside consultants to create racially charged staff presentations to root out “toxic blackness” and a culture of “Black Supremacy.” Likewise, it would be unthinkable to then send your senior administrators to reeducation boot camps where they’re taught to “take a step back” and “yield” to white colleagues, and to focus on white people rather than black people. These would be prime examples of racial bigotry at its worst — if true. But truth be told, under Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza, it is happening.

Senior administrators have been told to take just this sort of action and yield to their black colleagues; to focus on black people over white people; and to “root out toxic whiteness” and a “white supremacy culture” that according to the Chancellor “permeates” every nook and cranny of the NYC school system. Interchanging the words “white” or “black” makes it no less racist and offensive. Judging people by immutable characteristics such as skin color is the definition of racism.

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