Volume 17 • Issue 18 | SEPTEMBER 24 - 30, 2004


School should teach basics

To The Editor:
Regarding the new K-8 school on the East Side (news article, Sept. 10 –16, “Gerson, city sign Downtown school deal”):

I hope the new school will not have the same problems most parents are experiencing with the current District 2 schools.

The new school needs to be a structured traditional school with a program that includes workbooks; readers, math books; textbooks and children need to be taught. To expect the children to learn independently in the lower grades is ridiculous for the majority of children. Most young children learn best when their environment is structured. Children need to learn real spelling not inventive spelling. They need a phonics program. The children need a solid math curriculum, not TERC [a non-profit organization that develops curriculum]. The children who graduate from most District 2 schools need to take remedial math in middle and high school.

In the current District 2 schools, children need to be tutored in order to keep up in elementary school. Tutored! In first grade, in elementary school. Does anyone see a problem with this? I do.
Again, I appeal to our politicians and the Department of Education. Our public schools need a solid traditional program. Give the East Side a school we want to send our children to.

Judy C. Trazino

Soaked Soho

To The Editor:
Re “Soho gets lost in the flood — once again” (news article, Sept. 10 –16):

I have here lived at 60 Greene St. since 1966 and it has always flooded — restaurants or not — since I can remember. I was once told by someone that Grand and West Broadway is the lowest spot in Manhattan. Maybe it is so low that it is too low to drain — like water won’t run up hill. It is good to see Downtown Express covering issues in Soho, but I seem to only see the paper in Tribeca. Soho needs some coverage. Since the loss of the Soho News a million years ago, a lot of issues here get ignored by the press.

Peter Reginato

Kites over copters

To The Editor:
For those of us who live within earshot of the Hudson, the years since 9/11 have brought with them incessant, deafening helicopter traffic, at all hours of the day and night as several entrepreneurs profit by giving aerial tours of our partially destroyed community. We have been told that nothing can be done about this, because the helicopters hover a few feet away, out of the city’s jurisdiction, over the river. In last week’s Express, however, we learned that the reverse is certainly not true (news article, Sept. 17 –23, “Kite man worries air control, delights spectators”). When a Taiwanese gentleman came all the way to New York to demonstrate flying 52 kites over Wagner Park, he was ordered to pull in his kites despite having a valid permit, because the F.A.A. thought they might obstruct helicopter traffic. Apparently, while we cannot tell the choppers what to do in the air, they can tell us what to do on the ground. Perhaps this weekend we should all step out and fly a kite. With a little bit of wind, we might earn ourselves some peace and quiet after all.

John Dellaportas

Photog treatment

To The Editor:
Re “Photogs report rough cop treatment” (news article, Sept. 3 -9):

I would like to share my personal experience photographing during various protest marches during the R.N.C. in the Chelsea/Midtown area and the overwhelming police presence in this particular neighborhood.

I cruised this neighborhood on and off as the many protest groups were assembling or marching to the Garden and stopped from time to time to photograph cops stationed along Eighth Ave. between 18th and 25th Sts. I was able to ask them to pose for a picture and also to use my camera and photograph me — even with them. They, as a rule were compliant even if a bit uneasy and smiled when I said this was a chance to portray New York’s Finest, so to speak.

Occasionally I spotted some violent confrontations and one particularly with some photographers wearing police photo IDs around 23rd St. in which cops tried to stop photographers who seemed to be marching along with the protestors — but nothing too bad.

All in all I was surprised at the sort of peaceful demeanor of the Chelsea cops.

Don Snyder

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