Today’s news:

Indiana reader wants lowdown on Coney

Brooklyn Daily

To the editor,

My class is reading “A Walk Across America,” a book about Peter Jenkins walking across America to learn about the country. We decided to pick a state and learn about it, just like Peter. I picked New York for the state, and Coney Island as my “city.”

What I would like to know from your readers is what they think attracts people to live in Coney Island, and what does Coney Island mean to them. What are places that attract tourists to come? What is the best thing about Coney Island to the people that live there? What do the people of Coney think is the number one reason for tourists to come there?

I give my thanks to the people of Coney, and to the editor who put my letter in the paper.

Please send your letters and postcards to help me with my report to: Sean Latham, Covenant Christian School, 54790 Fir Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Sean Latham

Mishawaka, IN

Achoo city

To the editor,

Every worker I encountered recently at a health care facility in Brooklyn Heights was coughing and sneezing.

I asked most of them if they had gotten a flu shot — sheepishly, they all said they had not. I found it disgusting when being coughed upon by the physician’s assistant.

Flu shots should be mandatory for all those working in the health care system, like it is in some states.

If a person was not sick or infected before they entered this facility, then they surely would have been afterwards, due to the amount of infectious coughing and sneezing that was going on. It was wrong!

Justine Swartz

Brooklyn Heights

...

To the editor,

As one who is a long and bitter sceptic of the flu inoculation, I still believe taking the flu shot is, by and large, worse than not taking it at all.

The flu virus can morph itself into a million-plus types of strains, like a chameleon, which is known for changing colors for self-protection. Bacteria poses less danger, but people could have a reaction to a particular substance without worrying about it morphing itself.

Also, a substance in peanuts is also present in the flu shot, and it can cause some people to go into shock. Late syndicated columnist Sidney Zion’s daughter was allergic to peanuts, and was hospitalized for an unrelated condition only to die after going into shock when she was fed peanut butter by improperly trained staff.

The Zion tragedy prompted Gov. Mario Cuomo to sign Libby’s Law, limiting the work schedules of interns and residents from 20 hours a day to 15 hours a day. Unfortunately, it is not enforced these days because hospital interns and residents are fearful it might endanger their jobs.

As for me, I will consume a diet rich in grapefruit juice and tomatoes. At least I haven’t heard of anybody dying from vitamin C.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Graffiti jungle

To the editor,

I was on the Q train going to Manhattan one recent beautiful and clear day, and the first thing that caught my eye was the amount of graffiti on the cement walls as we approached some subway stations.

Someone had even sprayed on some of the pillars of the Manhattan Bridge. It completely amazed me. How do they get to these out-of-the-way places anyway?

Some of these areas, especially in the innards of the subway system, are so dark, what do they do for light?

As you reach the end of the bridge, nearing lower Manhattan, the buildings are covered with graffiti. Some of the “artwork” completely covers the facade of the buildings facing the bridge. The writings are so high, these “artists” must carry ladders with them. If some of them used their ingenuity toward some good, what a better place this would be.

I once needed some spray-paint to complete a small renovation project at home. I walked into Home Depot, and found the spray-paint under lock and key, which made me wonder how kids get their hands on it. Then I discovered that Amazon.com sells all kinds of spray-paint, and even spray guns!

A PBS special called “The History of American Graffiti” called graffiti an art form. Maybe, if it was placed in a gallery setting, but defacing someone’s property is not art, it’s a crime. It’s tagging, marking turf, a symbol of gang mentality, call it what you will, it is still punishable by law.

Graffiti lowers the value of a neighborhood. Would you buy a house if you saw graffiti on every storefront or garage door? If we can’t keep spray-paint out of the hands of vandals, how can we hope to keep guns out of the hands of crazies?

Jo Bisogno

Old Mill Basin

Class rules

To the editor,

Mayor Bloomberg conveniently forgets that students make a school. Schools with low ratings probably have the most difficult students to contend with.

These are the same schools with high teacher turnover each year. Until you straighten out the discipline in many of our schools, and stop blaming teachers for everything going wrong, you are destined to have a school system that shall continue to fail as the years go on.

If you were to take the teachers from the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School, and transfer them to these low-rated schools, you would see these teachers being rated as being ineffective within a short time. Why? They could never exist with the disciplinary outrages that go on these schools.

It’s much easier for supervisors to blame teachers. Inwardly, they praise the Lord for either having never taught themselves, or if they did, they were able to get out the classroom as quickly as possible.

Longer school days and year? Cooperative learning? Alternate assessments? Smart boards? Supervisors telling teachers that they’re not motivating the youngsters? All nonsense.

Start with zero tolerance for any disciplinary infraction. Bring back the 600 schools and get Absent Teacher Reserve teachers back to regular classrooms, so as to lower burgeoning class sizes.

Let the mayor, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and all his spokespeople, start teaching in our schools. Let them see what it’s like. Let the United Federation of Teachers start advocating for its members, and not concern itself with other events outside education.

Let the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators make sure their members taught first before they flee to the world of supervision.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Prez Bam-baller

To the editor,

I missed my invitation to attend President Obama’s inauguration in Washington.

Top-tier donors who have raised millions have packages that include access to the inauguration’s parade of exclusive receptions and other events. Some will even be allowed to rub shoulders with the president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other members of the Democratic Party elite on the official presidential viewing stand to watch the inauguration parade.

Second-tier donors may attend a candlelight reception at the National Building Museum. This includes a photo reception with the president, Vice President Joe Biden, and their wives at a cost of up to $100,000 per ticket. No need to bring your camera!

Late-breaking news for third-tier donors — they can participate in the marked-down discount “Monroe package” for only $7,500. This includes preferred tickets to all of Monday’s festivities, including two V.I.P tickets to the inaugural parade, along with two tickets to the official inaugural ball in the premium section. Tuxedos, formal gowns, and stretch limos are extra. Will any of these participants be traveling around town on the subway with ordinary commoners?

The White House bashes Wall Street with one hand, but continues to be looking for big bucks with the other. President Obama’s inaugural committee is still millions of dollars short of their $50 million fundraising goal. The professional fundraisers, who raised $1 billion to guarantee his re-election, continue to solicit contributions from the usual crowd of Wall Street executives, along with lobbyists, trial lawyers, real estate developers, Hollywood celebrities, special interest groups, millionaires and the “K” Street Washington pay-for-play crowd.

At those prices, working or middle-class people will be hard to find at most inaugural balls, except in the kitchen or serving. I can never afford the price of a ticket, but I am willing to park limousines, check coats, or bus tables.

Obama claims to be a friend of the “99 percent,” but nothing will change in his second term. He still loves spending time dining and partying with the “one percent.”

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Cantor Fitz-Scrooge

To the editor,

I live in a private home, and my house was flooded up to the first floor during Hurricane Sandy. We had tens of thousands of dollars in damages, and insurance doesn’t cover them. However, we had no clue about the distribution by Cantor Fitzgerald.

Why did the company see fit to give to those who live in public housing and didn’t lose anything, except being without electricity for 10 days? That was so unfair.

Name withheld upon request

Send your letter to the editor to editorial@cnglocal.com.

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