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Editorials: Mr. Levy, are you listening?

Mr. Levy will make a big mistake if he ignores this letter and continues to patronize the district. What strikes us about the letter is that the board members are not advocating for any one of the candidates that they have offered for Mr. Levy's consideration. The candidates forwarded to Chancellor Levy were selected by the Level One C-37 Committee made up of educators, community leaders and PTA parents. From all appearances, the committee and the board carefully followed the regulations set by the Board of Education.

When the chancellor saw the list, he rejected all the names without explanation and, in essence, told board to go back to the drawing board. It appears that the chancellor is showing disrespect for the process created to give the community a voice in the selection of a new superintendent.

It will not help the chancellor if he ultimately gets a superintendent to his liking if, in the process, he alienates the entire school board in District 29, as well as parents and teachers.

Unless the chancellor has substantial reason for rejecting the candidates, reason that he can articulate to the public, he should accept someone from the C-37 list. He must then work to mend fences where trust and confidence have been shattered.

There but for The grace of God

For most Queens residents, last Thursday was a day to spend with family and friends enjoying turkey and all the fixings. But for hundreds of volunteers scattered throughout the borough Thanksgiving is a day for serving the poorest of the poor.

We salute those who give up their holiday year after year to care for the homeless, the lonely senior citizens and others who crowd into soup kitchens and community centers for a Thanksgiving dinner. It wasn't the food that warmed their day. It was the warmth of people who were willing to sacrifice themselves so that others can know happiness.

The fact that these dinners happen every year like clockwork on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day is no excuse for taking these volunteers for granted. In recent years, the city, state and federal governments have worked hard at shrinking the welfare rolls. There are less people getting food stamps, fewer people on public assistance. But there are still plenty of needy people. Some no doubt are victims of their own excess. Others are victims of personal disasters that might crush even the strongest person. Don't kid yourself; the theoretical safety net that allows our elected officials to sleep at night is riddled with holes. Were it not for the soup kitchens, the churches, synagogues and community centers, many men and women would go cold and hungry this winter.

And so, on behalf all of the people of Queens, we thank all of those who on Thanksgiving didn't ask, "Why are you here?" or "Why are you not self-sufficient?" They only asked, "What can I get for you today?"

Mr. Levy, are you listening?

In this week's paper, there is an impassioned letter from the men and women who serve on Community Board 29. The letter maps their frustration with Schools Chancellor Harold Levy and his refusal to accept their suggestion for a new district superintendent.

Mr. Levy will make a big mistake if he ignores this letter and continues to patronize the district. What strikes us about the letter is that the board members are not advocating for any one of the candidates that they have offered for Mr. Levy's consideration. The candidates forwarded to Chancellor Levy were selected by the Level One C-37 Committee made up of educators, community leaders and PTA parents. From all appearances, the committee and the board carefully followed the regulations set by the Board of Education.

When the chancellor saw the list, he rejected all the names without explanation and, in essence, told board to go back to the drawing board. It appears that the chancellor is showing disrespect for the process created to give the community a voice in the selection of a new superintendent.

It will not help the chancellor if he ultimately gets a superintendent to his liking if, in the process, he alienates the entire school board in District 29, as well as parents and teachers.

Unless the chancellor has substantial reason for rejecting the candidates, reason that he can articulate to the public, he should accept someone from the C-37 list. He must then work to mend fences where trust and confidence have been shattered.

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