After having read the article "Positive Vibes from Civic Groups 11th Anniversary Meeting" in the November 20 Canarsie Courier I was confused. I attended the meeting with my wife and some long time neighbors of mine and it was obviously a different meeting from the one that reporter Eric Goodman attended.
First, the politicians who attended showed a lack of respect and concern for Canarsie. Each speaker prefaced his or her remarks with the statement that they were busy; they had to pick up their children or go to another meeting or had some place (more important) to go. The way I understand it, part of any politicians responsibilities is to attend meetings in the community, inform his/her constituents of current events and answer questions. All were in too much of a rush to listen to us and few even took questions. That is their job. Borough President Markowitz didn’t even have time to say anything to Canarsie.
Of the words that were spoken most were condescending. A concerned Canarsien who has lived here 15 years was concerned with a murder on her block. She had called the police several times about a large party that was loud and out of control. There was no response. The end result was a murder. Deputy Inspector Johnsen’s response was that "crime in Canarsie has gone down."
Excuse me, but that is not addressing the problem. If someone had responded to her immediate calls for help, the violence might have been avoided. What is being done about loud out of control parties, gangs of youngsters drinking and taking drugs? I’m certain I do not want to be told that crime is less somewhere else. I want to know what is going to be done to prevent future crime and to protect my investment in Canarsie.
On my question about what is being done to stop developers from demolishing perfectly good houses and replacing them with substandard housing, I was told that we have a need for a "down zoning" law. This is complete rubbish. When the Medical Center was being built between Flatlands and Conklin Ave. and East 94 and East 95 streets the zoning laws effective at the time halted the construction of the building. Our politicians then changed the zoning laws so that this monstrosity could be completed. In other words we do not need new laws, we need the existing laws to be enforced.
The meeting was sparsely attended with a feeling by those attending that it was a waste of time. We need concerned people to help us, people who will take time to listen to our concerns and deal honestly with us.
Several months ago, I felt it might be beneficial to write the Courier about television programming, and it’s dramatic decline since the ‘70’s. Back then, on Tuesdays, we laughed at "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Three’s Company," and "Taxi."
Here’s a description of last Tuesday’s line-up: A decomposed body is found in a tub of acid at a Naval Base; a bus carrying 13 students disappears on the first day of school; a gifted 14-year-old tennis player is kidnapped; a commuter is mutilated on the subway.
Seems to me, unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times; but, most of today’s young people grow up with such terrible programming at their disposal?