40 North Shore Towers Courier n August 2013 letters Opposing the Community Safety Act In their letters to the editor appearing in most of the local press, Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Mark Weprin make a valiant effort trying to spin the Community Safety Act as measures that will not jeopardize public safety. Weprin says, “Intro 1080 does not prevent police officers from using Stop and Frisk and would still permit the use of race, gender, age and other relevant information when pursuing criminal suspects.” What he doesn’t say is that doing so could result in finding those officers guilty of biased-based profiling if the crime-fighting tactics employed by the police disproportionally impacts people on the basis of those very same characteristics. So how would this work in the real world? Imagine a string of vehicle break-ins has victimized a middle-class community like Rosedale. A grainy security video that is inconclusive suggests that a group of white teen males may be responsible. While on night patrol a cop sees a white teen male in this predominately black neighborhood walking with no purpose, and looking into parked car windows. Although those actions are not illegal, common-sense tells us to stop and question this individual. Unfortunately, doing so would subject the police to biasbased profiling charges under this bill because the stop was based on the color, gender and age of the individual and not some other factor. Simple suspicion is not sufficient, so we can toss common-sense out the window. In another neighborhood, the police have responded to community concerns about a local bar that has been the scene of numerous gun and alcohol related problems. In a proactive effort to stop this, every Friday and Saturday night for the next month the police have set up a vehicle check point a block from the bar. After the first week, the bar patrons wise up to the police action and are on their best behavior when leaving. Although many were stopped, no arrests were made and the neighborhood finally gets needed relief. Unfortunately, these actions by the police subject them to biased-based profiling under the bill and the police cannot prove that their police actions were definitively responsible for the reduction of crime. Pro-active police actions such as these will soon end as the NYPD and individual officers come under challenge for bias-based profiling. Since the law permits full attorney fees and expenses, this financial bonanza will keep attorneys employed for years to come at taxpayers’ expense. Contrary to the assertions of Williams and Mark Weprin, these bills will not make our streets safer, they will put a serious crimp on proactive policing and will turn the focus of law enforcement away from the most vulnerable neighborhoods. That is why the nation’s most respected Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, the PBA and the chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee are opposed to this measure and do not want our city to backslide into the morass of crime and despair it once was. By Bob Friedrich, Glen Oaks SAVE THE DATE Short Film Festival at NST The time has almost come for the firs- ever Short Film Festival at North Shore Towers, known as SFF@NST. This was initiated last year by the then Publicity Committee chaired by director Fred Chernow. Marilyn Chris and Lee Wallace, residents of Building 3, are professional actors and have appeared countless times on the big screen and TV. They have also made and starred in short films. Through their efforts and contacts the SFF@NST became a reality. Mark your calendars. The first of the two festivals is going to be on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the movie theater. The second SFF is Thursday, October 3. The committee includes June and Jack Schwarz and Evelyn and Harris Pinsky. Under the guidance of Marilyn and Lee they have been screening dozens of short films. They have selected five different films for each evening. The films run from 8 to 28 minutes each. More details to follow in the next issue. Save the dates. HADASSAH TO PRESENT FILM OF HISTORIC CONCERT On Thursday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m., MIGDAL/HADASSAH will present “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” at Towers on the Green. The $18 admission includes dessert. This powerful, inspiring film is a recreation of the 16 concert performances from 1943 to 1944 by Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp while they were experiencing the depths of human degradation. The concert is interspersed with video testimony from survivors of the original choir, plus Nazi propaganda footage. Bebe Neuwirth narrates the film. These concerts came to symbolize resistance and defiance and offered hope to both audiences and performers. Art was their weapon, music their resistance. The 150-member Terezin choir worked from one smuggled score of Verdi’s “Requiem” under the leadership of Conductor Rafael Schacter. He told them, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.” Years later, when Murry Sidlin, a conductor and Dean of the School of Music, Catholic University of America, read this heart-wrenching story, he was inspired to recreate this historic concentration camp concert. It has recently been performed to great acclaim at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Terezin and in cities across America, Europe and Israel. To preregister for this event, a check made out to HADASSAH should be left for Zona Schreiber, Building 1, Apt. 12A. For information call (718) 631-5228 or (718) 279-1270.
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