2003-03-13 / Top Stories

Mayor Expresses Positive Outlook For Canarsie & City At FUBA Meeting

By Neil S. Friedman

Mayor Expresses Positive Outlook For Canarsie & City At FUBA Meeting

Captain Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct was presented a community service award at last week’s FUBA meeting. Saluting him are (l. to r.): City Councilman Kendall Stewart, State Senator John Sampson, Coucilman Lew Fidler, Johnsen, FUBA President Gardy Brazela, State Assembly member Helene Weinstein and Chief Joseph Fox, CO for Brooklyn.      Neil S. FriedmanCaptain Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct was presented a community service award at last week’s FUBA meeting. Saluting him are (l. to r.): City Councilman Kendall Stewart, State Senator John Sampson, Coucilman Lew Fidler, Johnsen, FUBA President Gardy Brazela, State Assembly member Helene Weinstein and Chief Joseph Fox, CO for Brooklyn. Neil S. Friedman

By Neil S. Friedman

Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a warm reception at last week’s Friends United Block Association (FUBA) meeting as he gave an optimistic speech on the city’s and Canarsie’s future that was peppered with applause from dozens in the standing-room-only audience.

Speaking in the auditorium of Temple Shaare Emeth on Farragut Road, the mayor talked for almost 30 minutes about his resolute efforts to turn around the city’s plagued public school system and the city’s continuing crime decline. Among those on the dais and in the audience were community activists, local residents, NYPD officers from the 69th Precinct and Brooklyn South, as well as several politicians, including State Senator John Sampson, State Assembly member Helene Weinstein, and City Councilmen Lew Fidler and Kendall Stewart.

Bloomberg noted, "I’ll make sure Canarsie schools get what they need and see that crime continues to go down in the 69th Precinct."


Mayor Michael Bloomberg sits at dais as he’s introduced at last Thursday’s FUBA civic meeting by the group’s president Gardy Brazela (at podium). Sitting with the mayor (l. to r.) are City Councilman Lew Fidler and State Senator John Sampson. Kirsten ArtzMayor Michael Bloomberg sits at dais as he’s introduced at last Thursday’s FUBA civic meeting by the group’s president Gardy Brazela (at podium). Sitting with the mayor (l. to r.) are City Councilman Lew Fidler and State Senator John Sampson. Kirsten Artz

The mayor noted that crime has fallen 12 percent so far this year within the boundaries of the Canarsie-East Flatbush police precinct and more than 50 percent in the last decade.

"Captain Robert Johnsen and his officers have done a spectacular job," said the mayor. "They have focused on problem locations and eliminated dozens of continuing complaints about quality of life crimes."

Bloomberg explained that by targeting small nuisance crimes, like noise, it has proven effective in the fight against bigger crimes.

The mayor stated, "I’ve continually said that I want to be judged by one thing — the city’s public school system. To that end, I’ve streamlined the Department of Education’s bureaucracy and established centers which parents can contact 24 hours a day to get answers to their questions."

Bloomberg also said there will be one ombudsman in each of the city’s 1,200 public schools and reminded parents that they, too, have responsibilities and obligations in their children’s education, saying. "Together, we can’t fail them and we won’t."

Hours before he spoke in Canarsie, Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced that city students would have an additional 20,000 seats for the new school year, two-third of which had been planned before he was elected.

"We’ve made a commitment to reduce class sizes beginning this September," Mayor Bloomberg remarked. "And, we’ve promised to have essential textbooks delivered on time for the new school year; something that has not been done before."

That comment got a resounding round of applause.

He added that there’s "no way" he and Klein can promise city school children will read better, but insisted "classrooms will now be safer" under a new plan that will remove disruptive students from classrooms so "students who want to learn will have that opportunity." Problem students will be removed and reassigned to New Beginning centers that will be designed to handle those types of youths.

At the civic meeting the mayor said of Brooklyn’s 2,200 new seats, more than 900 will be at Canarsie’s newest school, P.S. 66, at 835 Rockaway Parkway, which will debut for the 2003-4 school year.

The mayor concluded his remarks saying we’ll overcome our current fiscal problems stating, "The future of New York City is with our children…the best is yet to come."

Before the mayor took the podium, FUBA handed out several community service awards after Rabbi Avrom Hecht recited the invocation and the Sesame Street Flyers steel band performed the poignant tune, "The Greatest Love of All."

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