Friday, October 13, 2017

School Scope: Has di Blasio Done Anything Right? Oh, Say, Can You See at a Ranger game? - Norm in The WAVE

My latest in The WAVE - Pub. Oct. 13, 2017

School Scope:  Has di Blasio Done Anything Right? Oh, Say, Can You See at a Ranger game?

By Norm Scott

I took my umpteenth Rockaway ferry ride on Sunday. A friend dropped us off but we could easily have walked the two blocks from our house to get the free jitney to the ferry. We got off at Wall Street and waited less than 10 minutes for the Astoria ferry where we used the free transfer and got dropped off at 34th Street after a 10-minute ride. Not bad for two bucks seventy five. And I didn’t have to even take my car keys. There has been no more relaxed way of traveling around the city – and even more routes are on the way. And I love how these fairly small boats maneuver in and out of the docks in a jiffy. Only once this summer did I fail to get on a ferry because it was overcrowded.

Finally seeing the NYC waterways being used effectively to move people around is a game changer for transportation in our city – if the schedules work for you and you have some extra time. And more routes are to come. So when it comes time to give credit to the mayor who made it possible, we see Rockawayites carping and grouching over what ultimately is minutia. Most of the time the boats are big enough and by next year they will have bigger boats when they need them. But most of the time they don’t.

And how about NYC Ferry and Hornblower, the San Francisco based company which blew into town as people complained about them when they were given the contract. Consider the time frame of hiring entire staffs, who have been very nice and courteous most of the time –  and making the boats run on time and building the boats? And how about the low fare after large city subsidies?

Funny how di Blasio is expected to win overwhelmingly, though is he so disliked even by people who support his policies – hell, I don’t like him. But add the fact he implemented a massive pre-k program for 4 year olds that has saved so many people so much child care money and is rolling out a program for 3 year olds, let’s give some credit where credit is due. In Rockaway it will be interesting so see the vote. We can predict that the west end will go against him overwhelmingly while the reverse will happen in the east end. As for the middle peninsula, I don’t have a clear picture. Probably somewhat mixed.

As for Erich Ulrich, our local city councilman who wouldn’t challenge di Blasio in this election but will most likely run in four years, I noticed he is supporting the constitution convention while trying to give himself some cover by saying he doesn’t support the anti-labor aspects. I don’t buy it. The people who are pushing the convention are not on the side of workers. They have something more up their sleeves.  I would like to see massive reform of our political system in the state. The convention is not the way to do it. I have a way to judge making these type of decisions. What groups are pushing it and when I look at the list I see a lot of enemies of working people on it. Too bad Ulrich has decided  to join them. But then again he has that Republican label on him, which means that ultimately he is aligned with a Party that wants to destroy labor unions and the hard won rights it took a half century to build.  Don’t get fooled by phony rhetoric. Ulrich also supports charter schools and Phil Goldfeder’s support of him doesn’t surprise me since Phil LOVED charters and pretty much any scheme that would help the privatization of the school system. I don’t love Democrats very much either and my own union, the UFT, seems to be supporting Ulrich despite their massive campaign for a NO vote on the convention. That leaves me scratching my head, but them again the UFT often leaves me scratching my head.                                     

Oh, Say, Can You See at a Ranger game?
The national anthem is in the news over protests in the NFL. There are claims that kneeling during the anthem is a form of disrespect and has that has become a race issue. Generally the people opposing the players have been white. So I was reminded of NY Ranger playoff hockey games I attended years ago with a pretty much white crowd. When the anthem began, people stood. In regular season games the last bars of the anthem were drowned out by crowd noise. But during playoffs, soon after the anthem began so did the noise – to the point that you couldn’t hear the anthem at all as the crescendo built after Oh Say Can You…..  Is there an analogy here between the national anthem at a hockey game and some of the protests at a football game during the anthem? I imagine white and black people on the whole might view things from a different perspective.

Norm is scratching his head as he tries to make his blog great again at
Also read his Memo from the RTC columns in The WAVE.


  1. Recent history tells us that even marginal NYC mayors get reelected. You have to be pretty awful (Dinkins comes to mind) to defy inertia. So, di Blasio will be back.

    1. More importantly, you can't beat Somebody with Nobody...

    2. Dinkins gave the UFT a good contract, then refused to endorse him. That's why Gulliani was so disrespectful to teachers- based on the UFT actions, Gulliani knew he couldn't trust them.


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