Volume 19 • Issue 18 | September 15 - 21, 2006

Letters to the editor

Room at P.S. 89

To The Editor:
Re “Population booming – schools get crowded” (Back to School, Sept. 1 – 7):

I would like to clarify some of the information in Angela Benfield’s personal essay. P.S. 89 has added two classrooms this year — a fourth kindergarten and a fourth first grade. This was great news for the parents of the children in those grades, and has meant a substantial reduction in class size. P.S. 89 is fortunate to have been able to add these new classrooms and continue to offer a full art and music program to our 515 students. The new art studio was carefully fitted into the large and underutilized staff room, and the music room was moved to a room that is the same size and configuration as the old one, not a locker room, as Angela stated in her piece.

As for our Pre-K program, it is open to 36 four-year-olds who live in Battery Park City. When we learned two years ago that a parent had waited outside from the early hours of the morning in order to be certain of securing a Pre-K spot for his child, we decided to hold a lottery, which gave everyone the same chance of getting their child into the program.

When P.S. 89 opened in 1998, there were no residential buildings north of the World Financial Center. As our neighborhood has grown, so has the school. However, P.S. 89 is still considered below capacity by the New York City Board of Education.

Connie Schraft
Parent coordinator, P.S. 89

Editor’s Note: Angela Benfield also wrote us this week to say she was mistaken about two points in her column two weeks ago. The P.S. 89 music room was moved to the speech therapy room, which has been moved to a former locker room. She saw parents lining up in the early morning to sign up for Pre-K in 2005, not 2006.

Fictional ‘Path’

To The Editor:
I was disappointed to read your recent coverage of ABC’s miniseries, “The Path to 9/11” (arts article, Sept. 8 – 14, “In ‘Path to 9/11,’ everyone is to blame”). In particular, your reviewer Ronda Kaysen refers to a scene involving National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s refusal to authorize the C.I.A. to capture Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, apparently under the mistaken assumption that the scene reflected reality. As you may have learned from the recent media coverage, this scene, along with many others in the miniseries, was entirely fictional. I believe ABC is doing the nation a terrible disservice by airing biased and fictionalized coverage of such an important event. (I would welcome a work that laid out the actual conclusions of the 9/11 Commission — no matter where they may reflect blame — but this miniseries is not that work). Unfortunately, Ms. Kaysen’s review treats the entire work as if it were an accurate reflection of the commission’s conclusions. I hope you will correct the record in your publication.

Jim Lowe

Community Connection

To The Editor:
I appreciated your front-page article about Lori Mogol and Richard Zimbler’s ongoing struggle to live with 9/11 (news article, Sept. 8 – 14, “Horror remains real for 2 Tribeca survivors”). Because I am not a relative of a victim or a 9/11 survivor (at least, not in the sense that that word is usually used), I haven’t had a built-in community with which to share my experiences. I’ve had to deal with the attacks largely on my own, and I’m often left with the feeling that I am the only one who still struggles with this. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one.

Rachel Snyder

Letters policy

Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.


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