Friday, November 10, 2017

School Scope: Sports, Elections and Education - Norm in The Wave

School Scope:  Sports, Elections and Education
By Norm Scott

Election Day
I went into the booth intending to vote for de Blasio but decided at the last moment to vote for the Green Party candidate. I would have voted Green for City Council but there was no Green candidate.
Only Ulrich and Scala were on the ballot. I tried to read the WAVE front page headline story last week “Clash of the Candidates: Ulrich, Scala debate goes heavy on issues.” Really? Heavy? Give me a break. Both their so-called “solutions” to issues raised were lightweight and bogus. Take Scala’s following in the path of Phil’s Folly of chasing the Rockaway Rail Line unicorn. Or Ulrich’s suggestion suggested solution that the 2nd Ave subway be extended to Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn where is would connect to the Rail Line. Does Erich not know that the current Q which is the 2nd Ave subway currently goes to Atlantic Ave? Or does he mean an actual train running down 2nd Ave which took a dozen years to create three stops at a cost of many billions. We have a chance of seeing both these ideas come to fruition 2217. Ulrich said, “we have to work with the existing infrastructure by improving express bus service and expanding ferry service.” Does a subway run through Ulrich’s territory?

In the meantime we are saddled with reality  - the A train and the shuttle from Rockaway Park to the A train. Neither is mentioned by either candidate. The ferry adds time to the commute of people not going downtown in comparison to a well-running A train, with all its  connections to other lines. I signed on to an alert on A train service delays and I get about ten messages a day. Our politicians chase after rainbows and ignore reality. The A train can be fixed to some extent to make things work and until they get us some rational solution and maybe even some results, they are not getting my vote.

Since this supposedly an education column let me mention “education.” There. I said more on education that either candidate. I assume Ulrich supports the anti-union charters because all Republicans support charters which ultimately will destroy any vestige of the public school system and teacher unions.

Both candidates apparently talked a lot about the homeless and the housing crisis. Everyone blames de Blasio but ignores the real mayor to blame – Bloomberg, whose policies favoring land lords were clearly aimed at pushing the poorest people to the fringes of the city or out of the city altogether. We’re talking working poor here who take on so many jobs that keep the city running. Are there more homeless sleeping on the streets? It certainly seems so. Did Bloomberg have the police scrape them up and drag them to someplace out of site? There are no easy answers. NYCHA housing always seems to be in crisis. There was talk about the end of Section 8 rent subsidies and how they should be brought back. I remember how people also complained about Section 8 so no matter what is done people will complain.

Maybe an answer is to find space for homeless who want to stay on the streets to go to designated areas where some services can be supplied. Think of urban camping. Ok. I’m getting as stupid as the candidates so it’s time to turn to another favorite topic: sports.

School Scope sports
I watched a Knick game for the first time in about 15 years the other night. What interested me more than the wonderful play of the Lithuanian Kristaps Porzingis was the progress of the French teenaged point guard Frank Ntilikina – say it fast 5 times. He played only ten minutes in the game I saw but I liked his defense, sense of the court and one pass he made for an assist and one shot he made. Then a few days ago he came up big at the end of the game, making a crucial shot. Let’s not forget that the much vilified recently departed general manager Phil Jackson who was sent home with is triangle drafted these two foreign born players. If Ntilikina works out, Jackson has set the Knicks up for the nest decade. So let’s get out our triangles and play a tune for Phil.

Norm triangulates on UFT and Democratic Party politics at and on theater at his RTC column in this paper.

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