Today’s news:

The Civic Scene: DOT calendar contest highlights road safety

Anyone, young or old, who lives, works or goes to school in New York City may submit one or more entries. The theme is traffic safety and what can be about Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Drugs, Pedestrian Safety, Aggressive Driving/Road Rage, Safety Belts, Child Safety Seats, Helmets, Bicycle or Motorcycle Driving, Skate or Skateboard Safety, School Bus Safety or any combination of these.

The format can be a slogan, artwork, or a slogan with artwork. The maximum size is 11' X 8 1/2" horizontal. If the entry is a slogan alone, the words must be typed or printed clearly. Prizes range from $50 to $500. The winners will be selected based their approach to the message, accuracy, effectiveness, originality, and overall look. Entries must be delivered or postmarked by 5 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2001. Judging will take place in August. and the winners with be noticed by mail in October.

Copies of the 2001 calendar have been sent to all schools. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the New York City Department for the Aging and the Department of Transportation would like senior citizens to also enter the contest. Previous winners have included students from Bishop Kearney High School, Townsend Harris H.S., Thomas Edison H.S. , and S 93Q.

Entry forms are on the 2001 Traffic Safety Calendar. For a copy write Traffic Safety Calendar Contest Safety Education, New York City Department of Transportation, 40 Worth Street, Room 1035, New York, NY 10013.

The Beacon Community Center at Parsons JHS 168 offers many free programs. The weekday after-school and Saturday programs are in Parsons JHS 168 on the corner of Parsons Boulevard and 76th Road. The Learning Center is open Monday through Friday for youngsters in kindergarten through 9th grade where they can do homework, have tutoring, be involved in the Integrated Language Arts Program, play in the gym, take Karate classes or receive instruction in Keyboards and Synthesizers.

There is also a free Basketball league for different age groups and a Teen Night program on Fridays. The various community groups which meet in the school are the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, Flushing on the Hill Taxpayers Association and the Community Board 8 - Youth Service Planning Committee.. For more information, call the office afternoons, evenings or on Saturdays at 820-0760.

<i>GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK </i>

Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has removed five police officers from the 20-officer detail assigned to the new Police Museum at 25 Broadway in lower Manhattan. It seems that on many days the number of visitors was fewer than the number of officers assigned to the museum. Although the crime rate had dropped, we can still use more uniformed police officers visible on the street or hunting wanted criminals. Next they have to decrease the size of the squads of police officers who “protect” former police commissioners or other VIPs.

<i>BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK </i>

It seems that the amount of money spent by Congressional candidates has risen from $11 million in 1998 to $19 million this year. This is quite a bit of money spent to elect our Congress members. Wait, the total amount of money spent this year by the two candidates for U.S. Senate was $69 million which is up from %44 million spent in 1998. This means that over $79 million was spent by the two Senate candidates and the winners of the Congressional candidates. I don’t know how much the losing candidates spent but it was probably in that neighborhood.

So, all the candidates running for the U.S. Congress from NYC spent about $80 million. Why? Couldn’t most of this money be better given to worthwhile charities or used for schools. parks, streets, health care or better transportation?

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