Letters to the editor, Dec. 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Better plans needed on sanitation garages

I’ve been a long-time opponent of the NYC Department of Sanitation’s (“DSNY”) plans to build a garage on one of the last available public lands in lower Manhattan’s East Side, the Brookdale Campus of Hunter College at East 25th Street and First Avenue. There, the city would claim nearly two acres of sparse NYC public land for a DSNY garage, as well as another additional two acres for “bookend” facilities.

But news a few months ago that DSNY had been evicted from a 30th Street garage facility led me to question why it is DSNY needs such huge footprint for garage facilities in the first place.

As I wrote for Gotham Gazette, land currently devoted to garages could be used to build more affordable housing, to create more active public parkland for a growing city, or – if sold – to help pay down the deathly underfunded NYC Pension Plans.

Is it, perhaps, time for a radical “re-think” of how DSNY stores its sanitation equipment and manages its day-to-day operations? Wouldn’t it be better if DSNY sanitation trucks were more widely dispersed and parked near their routes, both for operational efficiency and for risk management (i.e., to reduce the possibility of catastrophic risk if one of the large garages were destroyed by fire, contamination, etc.)?

As the folks at Apple used to say, New Yorkers should always be willing to “think different” about the way their government does business. This might be one of those ways.

J.G. Collins,
Managing director, The Stuyvesant Square Consultancy

 


Don’t change high school entry exam

I am a retired public high school teacher of 30 years. Regarding changing the test for entry into the specialized high schools, DON’T. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That test separates the wheat from the chaff. If you are not smart enough to get in, wake up to the reality that you need to find another high school, as both my children did. It’s no shame; I didn’t get into Columbia, but I lived and went to another fine college.

Just because you live across the street from a school does not guarantee you entry. Getting into high school is totally up to you. You can buy review books for the test; some schools offer free training after school. Being Chinese doesn’t guarantee you a seat.

However, I found that many students missed the 10 a.m. test time, and lateness isn’t tolerated. Good training for the future as a worker! Those schools should NOT be tampered with! They train our future.

If you are that motivated a student, you will succeed anywhere, as Albert Einstein did. Blaming your race or ethnicity for your shortcomings is despicable and just wrong. You’ll never get anywhere if you play that blame game in the real world, the world that comes suddenly after high school. Moral: you can apply anywhere but you may not get in, get hired, rent the apartment, etc. The reason may be test scores, interview skills, income, legal residence, etc. These are facts you can’t change. But always remember that when there’s a will, there’s a way.

Susan Schoenbaum, ST

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