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Readers sound off on Gifted and Talented programs, bike lanes and the Williams pipeline

2019-08-31

Readers sound off on Gifted and Talented programs, bike lanes and the Williams pipeline (lisegagne/Getty Images)
My G&T education changed my life

Rockledge, Fla.: There is nothing like the shock of seeing a headline in your hometown paper about some committee proposing to get rid of programs that are probably more responsible for you being where you are in life than anything else.

I am a product of all the things that the Carranza Department of Education seems to abhor. I was tracked. I went to screened or specialized schools (Hunter College High School and Brooklyn Tech). The system as it was when I attended school is the reason why so many of us were able to make it out of our circumstances. But the difference between then and now is that a kid could be moved into the “smart track” through test scores and teacher recommendation, not just a test at age 4 which favors kids whose parents can afford high-end day care.

Did the mayor’s panel have anyone who was actually educated in New York City public schools on it? Anyone who was a product of gifted and talented programs? Why do Carranza and de Blasio continually ignore the fact that when gifted and talented, intellectually gifted children and special progress programs existed throughout the city, more black and Hispanic children attended specialized high schools? I don’t need statistical studies. All I have to do is look at my yearbook.

Does the curriculum need to be more reflective? Yes. Do we need more black and Hispanic teachers? Yes! But getting rid of gifted and talented education does nothing to address those issues.

Return to the pre-Bloomberg system, when children could be transferred to an advanced track at any time. Maintain high standards and expectations for those who aren’t in gifted and talented. That is all that is needed here. Yusef Johnson

Respect your elders

Glen Oaks Village: On Aug. 4, a group of teens walked up to a elderly woman in Jamaica and beat and robbed her. She was 67 years old and was beaten with her own cane and was robbed of her cellphone. I find this attack on one of our senior citizens to be most appalling. Our elderly and disabled are the most vulnerable to these horrendous attacks. Young people should realize our elderly could be their mothers or fathers who can’t protect themselves. I’m a senior citizen myself and sometimes worry when I see loud and unruly young people walking towards me. It is a sad situation. Our elderly have worked hard all their lives and expect nothing more than to be respected and to go about their activities in safety. Too bad there are a few young teenagers who don’t care. Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

‘Grateful’ citizen

Rego Park: Dear Mayor de Blasio, of course you are aware that by adding new bike lanes to Manhattan cross streets like 52nd St., creating just one lane of traffic bordered on both sides by parked cars, you have effectively eliminated any chance for an emergency vehicle to make its way through. Thank you again for all you do. Oreg Tuttle

Toilet paper next?

Brooklyn: Our POTUS offered paper towels to Puerto Ricans after the last hurricane hit the island. That was probably the most disrespectful action I’ve ever seen. I was so embarrassed for my country. Then, when current hurricane Dorian was possibly headed to Puerto Rico, he commented, “Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?” Like it’s Puerto Rico’s fault? The POTUS might have to use some of his wall money for hurricane victims. Everything in this country is so skewed. Rita Nanes

Gaslit city

Manhattan: Although ostensibly a “public utility,” National Grid operates as a for-profit monopoly, responsible to its executives and stockholders, and not to the public. A public utility would facilitate New York State emission reduction goals with energy efficiency programs and incentives for renewable energy. Instead, National Grid has created a fake gas emergency and moratorium, and is pressuring customers to lobby the state in support of the polluting, climate-killing Williams fracked gas pipeline. Gov. Cuomo rightly rejected the Williams Pipeline once and should do so again. His intention to end the moratorium and penalize the unethical behavior of this “public” utility is a step in the right direction. The next step would be community owned renewable energy and municipal utilities. The National Grid business model is not working; it’s time to move on. Lisa Harrison

MAGA

Brooklyn: Sorry, Voicer Eugene R. Dunn, but I will vote for Trump no matter what. Jose Hirch

Dem drama

Astoria: American voters, wake up! According to polls, if you can believe them, Americans want the same old politics, ugh! If Americans are serious about getting rid of Trump, they better join the revolution! There are only three candidates who bring real change and that can actually beat Trump and those are Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. A Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris win is an absolute guarantee of a Trump reelection! Susan Davis

Don’t give him ideas

Carle Place, L.I.: Great to see the Kosciuszko Bridge opening ahead of schedule, and keeping its original name. No other family members, Gov. Cuomo? Rudy Rosenberg

Chain of events

Union, NJ: To Voicer Phil Antico: You are right, but don’t overlook that most cause and effect are part of a chain that leads to that type of policing. Cigarette corporation donor calls Albany because they are losing money. Albany politician realizes he’s losing the tax money that fills his pockets. He calls NYPD bigs, who call precinct commanders, who tell the beat officers to “crack down” on “loosies." Beat officers know that arrest numbers on evaluations affect their raises and promotions. The result is over-aggressive enforcement of a victimless crime, and tragedy. This was the type of crime that used to be handled with confiscation of the “loosies” and a stern “move it along.” Now a man is dead, a cop disgraced and fired and the people who set this in motion, just walk away from it. They always say “follow the money!" Louis Alt

Ideological debate

Bronx: To Errol Louis re: “Let’s talk about socialism” (column, Aug. 29): Like comrade Bernie stated about bread lines right? “The goal of socialism is Communism,” said Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. Also, isn’t it fascinating how Bhaskar Sunkara uses capitalism to sell his book? Kris Bell

Almost a winner

Wayne, N.J.: To the Spinello McCormack family: Mother Cabrini got the most votes but Chirlane McCray decided not to have a statute erected in her honor. Guess she is as full of herself as her husband. I had the pleasure of attending Mother Cabrini High School in Manhattan. Unfortunately, it closed a few years ago but her beautiful shrine is still open. Kathy Ferre