Tree guardian and mayor of 24th Street
There is a beautiful old tree on the south side of 24th Street, in front of 238 East 24th Street, near Second Avenue. It rises high into the sky in the shape of a crucifix.
The base of the tree is surrounded by cobblestones that fail to protect it from the dogs that are allowed to deposit their waste in the tree bed, daily.
For many years, Anthony Jacona has been affectionately called The Mayor of 24th Street. Weekly, he tends to the tree. He tosses the soil with his shovel and waters this stately gem. One day last summer, Anthony was bent over tending the soil. His shoulder was drooping. He told me he was scheduled for surgery the next day, but he had to make sure the tree was taken care of.
After a successful surgery, Anthony is still tending the tree. His one wish is that someone would install a tree guard to keep out the dogs. It is the only tree on the block without a tree guard.
Young, 91-year-old Anthony Jacona, has lived on the block for more than 50 years. He can recall when they played stickball, on Sundays, in the street when there was a Third Avenue El and no cars on the block.
We salute the Mayor of 24th Street!
Claude L. Winfield, EMP
Help for the homeless is a phone call away
Last night on the way to dinner, my family passed a man who appeared on the edge of death. His body was splayed on the sidewalk. His feet were bare and dirty. His eyes were glazed and barely open. He reeked of alcohol. A piece of cardboard with the words “I’m BEGGING YOU” covered him. Heart wrenching sight.
I left a dollar in his cup of pennies but I knew it wasn’t enough. A block later we entered the restaurant. I was still thinking of the beggar. After a few words with my family, I stepped out of the restaurant and dialed 911 to report the man’s condition. They took the call and said they’d send an ambulance. I felt relieved that at least he’d get some help.
Walking home and passing the spot at First Avenue and East 14th Street, we saw the cardboard and some material left behind. Hopefully this man will get a clean bed and medical attention. It will be his choice to get additional help that’s offered.
Please dial 911 if you see someone in need. That’s the least we can do. Homelessness, substance abuse, drug addiction, mental illness. No matter what the cause, people suffering on the street deserve help. It might be a drop in the proverbial bucket, but you’ll know you did the right thing. Role model for the younger generation too!
Liz Taub, ST
The Socialist vs. the Narcissist
Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump seem to be the antithesis of each other. Yet both have accomplished amazing popularity. If you are a political junkie as have been since childhood… and watch the Sunday TV political programs, read newspapers and magazines and watch broadcast and cable shows… one learns that the pols often don’t bother to answer questions or evade them with red herrings.
But both “the Donald” and Bernie when they talk respond with speed and seem to say what they are thinking at the moment.
If you compare their responses to the usual pols, they respond immediately; the professionals take far more time and carefully think through the semantics and syntax involved with great nuance. This makes it abundantly clear that the more regular pols are not being forthright. Then, of course, there is the huge difference between the two: Sen. Sanders, who has been an avowed socialist intellectual since his formative years growing up in Brooklyn, has said the same rhetoric for all his life.
While the head of the Trump Corp., which he inherited from his father, and reality show star is able to say the most outrageous things and as pundits keep on forecasting his demise with each insult, he goes higher in the polls. Also, his need for grandiose self praise is unparalleled.
But both have made it abundantly clear that most of their political peers rarely tell the truth or even answer the most simple questions before checking with their focus groups and polls.
One more comment about Trump: If he can’t be civil with Fox’s Megyn Kelly, how in God’s name can he deal with world leaders?
Sanders cannot be elected; his main task is to have an influence on Mrs. Clinton by moving her to the left. But, according to the New York Times, Trump is commanding enough attention to actually become the G.O.P. nominee. Unfortunately he seems to have the characteristics and style of a European right winger, e.g., the Le Pens of France. This is dangerous.
However, both men by obtaining attention have made completely clear the state of politics in the U.S.
David Chowes, PCV