Just the News, Please
Does the writer of the Police Blotter have to try to be clever and cute when reporting the news? I refer to the entry in your last issue, on 3/4: “All in a daze work. Vehicle struck utility pole driving northbound on Milton Road. Driver unconscious and appeared to be in arrest….” The driver in that accident died later that week.
I find the opening statement here offensive, and I can’t imagine how his widow and children reacted when they read this. Just give us the news without your embellishments, thank you.
Proposed Staff Cutbacks at Rye City Schools
Please support those who support your children….
We want to make you aware that staffing cutbacks are being proposed by the Rye City School District. In an effort to cut costs, a recommendation has been made to reduce the Secretary to the Principal positions to half time at Osborn and Midland Elementary, Rye Middle, and Rye High schools. The 2012-2013 Budget is being adopted at the April 18 Board of Education meeting.
We would appreciate your support by attending this meeting, which begins at 8 p.m. in the Middle School Multipurpose Room. There will be an opportunity for those who would like to voice their opinion on these cuts to do so.
The members of the Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aides Unit (SCSNCA) of the Rye Teachers Association acknowledge the budget pressures experienced by the Rye City School District. We are aware of tax increases, growing budgets and cuts in state aid. We understand that the Superintendent and Board of Education are determined to keep reductions and cuts as far away from the students as possible and that is a difficult task.
The people directly affected by these proposed cuts have proudly served the community of Rye for many years. The Rye City School District has achieved its ranking as one of the top districts in the country not only because of its teachers, but because of the many and diversified contributions of these staff members as well.
Staffing cuts such as these are a concern for the entire school community since the individuals whose jobs are in question provide services that impact us all. The proposed cutback can only negatively affect both those services and their beneficiaries: students and their families.
We know the community is willing to pay for the bricks and mortar of our schools. We sincerely hope there is equal concern for the employees who help form the foundation of these schools and trust that the Board will find another way to trim next year’s budget—not at the expense of the Rye family.
We hope to see you on April 18.
Members of the Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aide Unit
Stop the Obnoxious Robo-Calls
I don’t write letters to the editor, and I don’t get involved in politics. But Bob Cohen and his “anonymous” robo-calls attacking Assemblyman George Latimer have made me so mad I’m doing both.
Let me preface my remarks by pointing out that I am by nature a Republican. Indeed, I voted for Mr. Cohen in his last effort to unseat State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, who is now retiring. But when he and his party engage in the kind of heavy-handed bullying exhibited in these on-going attack calls on a man I believe truly represents all that is good in public office, they have not only lost my vote, but made me want to get out of my chair and organize others to vote AGAINST them. I want to help send the message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.
So what are these calls that have gotten me so worked up? You know the ones I am talking about, as they’ve been inundating Sound Shore residents for nearly three months. They started in fact before Mr. Latimer entered the race for State Senate –demonstrating how flat-out scared Mr. Cohen must be about Mr. Latimer’s candidacy.
So what makes them so disturbing? Besides invading my no-call privacy, which I don’t appreciate, these calls — unlike others I receive from other politicians — consist entirely of snide, personal attacks on Mr. Latimer, of the sort used by middle-school bullies. What makes this kind of juvenile back stabbing even more obnoxious is the fact that Mr. Cohen doesn’t even have the backbone to take credit for them. Instead, he has hired law firms —that’s right, paid bullies — to make them “anonymously” on his behalf, not to encourage anyone to vote for any candidate, but solely to bad mouth Mr. Latimer. How do I know this? Because a Journal News reporter managed to trace these calls back to an Albany-based law firm with ties to the Senate GOP that is backing Bob Cohen’s candidacy. When it was publicly revealed, did Mr. Cohen put a stop to the calls? No, he did not. On the contrary, as soon as these calls were traced and discussed, another round of calls started up, this time using a “private number” that does not display on your phone when received.
I have had the privilege of knowing Mr. Latimer for most of my adult life. I know George because he makes himself available, he comes to your house, to your Scout meetings, to your Memorial and Veterans Day services, to your high school sport events, to your local coffee shop, to your parents’ wakes, to your church, anywhere there are people. Because George genuinely likes people, and is a genuinely honest and caring man. He is the rare gem in our modern political landscape: a truly good and honest public servant. He has served Rye very well in both elected office and through other volunteer work and has always treated people with courtesy and respect.
Now, Bob Cohen — who I heard moved into the area specifically to run for office again — has he made himself available to the community to explain what he has done for us or even why we should elect him to office? No. All he has done is unleash a series of anonymous calls into our homes in an attempt to slander George.
As a citizen who loves his community, I urge everyone who has received Mr. Cohen’s law firm’s calls to demand publicly that they be stopped. I also suggest if you haven’t yet come to know George Latimer that you take a few minutes to do so.
William F. Haigney
Don’t Rebuild the Central Avenue Bridge
What a surprise! The rebuilding of the Central Avenue Bridge is delayed again. The State has submitted 12-20 questions about construction management. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the State has –appropriately- rethought funding the bridge. I have a unique perspective about the bridge since I’ve lived on the corner of Central Ave. and Laurel St. for nearly twelve years. When the bridge went down in 2007, I, like many people, wanted to see it rebuilt. It made sense from a traffic perspective and, to my mind, would be an aesthetic improvement.
Over time, and particularly after Hurricane Irene, I shifted my view and now advocate strongly against rebuilding the bridge. It isn’t a prudent use of funds and will ultimately cause more damage than we can imagine. The constant fallback to “it’s a safety issue” sounds a lot like propaganda. “We must build the bridge for emergency vehicles” isn’t a reality; it’s a convenient talking point for a City Council and City Manager who made up their minds.
Over the last five years, I’ve seen large fire trucks easily drive across Walnut St. and Laurel Street to get to Central Avenue. I have no concerns about emergency vehicles accessing my neighborhood. Further, when Rye requested State regulatory relief for getting bridge aid, they were denied. Clearly, the State doesn’t think rebuilding the bridge is an emergency. It’s not. It’s a convenience and one that poses a threat to those of us who live near it. We have asked for flood effect studies and have been rebuffed.
My house was built in 1935 by a smart builder who placed it high and on solid rock. Depending on Blind Brook overflow, it gets some water in the garage and basement. I fully expect worse flooding once a pitched bridge is constructed 30 yards from my house. When our local government reduces the arguments against the bridge to “residents having gotten used to quiet,” they lower the level of what could be a constructive dialogue. We’ve been dismissed as cul-de-sac seekers while officials hammer home safety issues that aren’t tangible. Is it unreasonable to expect to live in a house in a City where local government actions mitigate flooding, not exacerbate it?
It’s true that traffic will continue to be congested around Orchard and Boston Post Road without the bridge. It’s been that way for nearly five years. Why hasn’t the City done anything -anything at all- to alleviate that? I’m certain we can mitigate traffic in the area. It will take effort and hard work.
Rebuilding the Central Avenue Bridge will be a short-term solution, not a panacea. In time, the bridge will come down again, cause much damage, and we’ll be in a similar situation but with $1,000,000. It’s time for Rye to face the same fact the State seems to have digested: rebuilding the Central Avenue Bridge isn’t a prudent use of funds.