Today’s news:

Editrorial: Get out of the way

An article written by a TimesLedger reporter that appeared earlier this month, shows the Queens delegation to the state Assembly divided down the middle on the question of abolishing the central Board of Education and placing the schools under mayoral control.

Five Assembly members - Ann Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside), Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing), Audrey Pheffer (D-Howard Beach) and William Scarborough (D-St Albans) - argued in favor of the status quo. They are entitled to their opinion - no matter how uninformed - but they are wrong to frustrate the will of the people they represent.

It is abundantly clear that the families of New York City are terribly dissatisfied with the quality of the city's public schools. They want the inefficient bureaucracy at 100 Livingston St. to come to an end and they want the mayor to run the schools, just as he runs the Police Department and Fire Department. This was obvious at every town hall meeting held by Mayor Giuliani and it was equally obvious at the first town hall held by Mayor Bloomberg.

If the legislators don't understand the desperate need to change the way our schools are run, the least they can do is get out of the way.

Editorial: Detective is ‘up there laughing’

All of those who played a role in the creation of the Detective William T. Gunn, Jr. Playground in Bellerose can take pride in having done something of enormous value. The newly remodeled playground was opened and rededicated last week to the memory of a hero police detective who died from injuries received in the line of duty.

“For the children, may the playground bring smiles to their faces and for the family, when they pass by, remember their son,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. That is just what will happen.

Marie Gunn, the mother of Detective Gunn, said the naming of the playground in her son's honor was one of the nicest things to happen to her in many years. "It brings back my Billy. I know he is up there laughing."

Detective Gunn was shot in 1989 in the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn when he came to the aid of a fellow officer who had been shot by a fugitive. He slipped into a coma and died four years later.

One cannot imagine the pain and loss that this officer's family has had to endure. That this family was able to attend the opening of the playground with such graciousness is a tribute to the triumph of the human spirit.

“He loved the swing,” Marie Gunn said. “He would be ecstatic if he could see this park. When I see the children playing here, I see my kids all over again.” She was joined by 60 police officers and 30 children from the local YMCA.

Mrs. Gunn has every reason to be bitter. That the Parks Department saw fit to name a playground in honor of a hero cop is a wonderful act. By taking part in the opening ceremonies the family and fellow officers made a very special day that much better.

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