School Bus Idiocy

The song & story are the same. I am months behind on blog entries! I do have a good excuse though, a complete reconstruction of the site! Honestly it was only supposed to be a week tops but I became busy with other things. Anyhow the site is back up, so you can party it up in celebration! Anyhow let me get back to “School Bus Idiocy”.

As you might recall, earlier this year many school bus routes were axed or combined. This led to mass confusion & complaints from parents throughout the city. Around the time of this story being big news, I read a very disturbing article about a 7 year old kid named Joseph Merizalde who was affected by the changes.

The Daily News featured a disturbing story on page 7 of their January 30, 2007 edition. The article was about Joseph & how he went from riding a school bus since kindergarten to having to take three city buses to reach his school!

His new school route consisted of:

  • Board the Bx26 or Bx28 at Baychester Ave. & take it to Bartow Ave.
  • Cross a six lane road for a transfer to the Bx12 which he would take to Pelham Bay Park
  • Transfer at Pelham Bay Park to a Bx14 which would take him to his school on Country Club Rd.
  • According to the article, two of the bus stops had no bus shelter in place. This was magnified even more considering these changes took place in the middle of winter!

    His mother was quoted in the article saying

    There’s no way I would ever put a 7 year old child in that kind of danger.

    The kicker in all of this is the reason he was taken off of his school bus. The reason was because he lives ever so slightly more than a 1/4 mile from the school bus stop.

    So let me get this straight, for a little over 1/4 of a mile, you are forcing a 7 year old to ride 3 school buses on his own to get his deserved education? Let me say this is so asinine, I could rant about it all day!

    I happen to agree with his mother 100% in not putting her son in that kind of danger. No 7 year old or kid for that matter should be riding public transportation on their own! I know the exact intersection of that first transfer & it is very dangerous. I am an adult & I have had trouble crossing that intersection. If I did, you can not like the odds of a 7 year old dealing with it!

    I am curious to find out if a follow up exists to Joseph Merizalde’s story. I’m hoping he was able to go back to his old school bus route.

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    Typical Lawsuit Stupidity

    Yes, I am way behind on blogging. What else is new from yours truly? I said 2007 would be different & will be so give me some time! Anyhow let me start catching up by commenting on the typical lawsuit stupidity that is coming to a courthouse near you.

    The parents of the 13 year old who got killed by a LIRR train while trespassing are planning to sue the MTA, LIRR, & the city of New York for the death of their son. Here is a New York Daily News article about it:

    The grieving family of a 13-year-old Queens boy struck and killed by a commuter train blamed the Long Island Rail Road yesterday for his death, saying it should have done more to block access to the tracks.

    Ari Kraft was spray-painting graffiti on signal equipment with friends at 5:40 p.m. Friday when he dashed across LIRR tracks near his Rego Park home Friday night, sources said.

    He narrowly beat an oncoming train on the third of four tracks he had to cross, but that train blocked his view of another train approaching on the fourth track, sources said.

    “My son was the most wonderful kid in the world,” his father, Roger Kraft, a computer programmer, said yesterday. “I just want to be left alone to mourn my son.”

    Family friend and attorney Daniella Levi said the family plans to sue the MTA, the LIRR and New York City once it finishes sitting shiva for the boy.

    “It’s a terrible loss and tragedy, a loss that should have been prevented had the railroad safeguarded the track,” Levi said. “He had a lot of dreams and hopes, like any other teenager. We want to make sure that no other family goes through something like this.”

    LIRR spokeswoman Susan McGowan said the railroad was still investigating how Ari got onto the tracks. She said the railroad tries to block access to its 700 miles of tracks.

    Ari was an eighth-grader at Solomon Schechter School of Queens, where his Israeli-born mother, Yaffa Simantov, works as a secretary.

    “It’s the biggest tragedy there could be,” Ari’s neighbor Zima Fridman, 42, said of the boy’s death. “I couldn’t sleep at all last night.”

    Ari hoped to attend The Bronx High School of Science or Stuyvesant High School this fall. He used the graffiti tag “Kos” and may have taken pictures of his work just before he died, sources said. MTA police recovered a cell phone at the scene and were checking if it had pictures by Ari or his friends.

    Friends said Ari was heading home for Sabbath dinner when he was killed. MTA Police Chief Kevin McConville said trains typically run slightly slower than the 40 mph speed limit on that stretch of track.

    “Our heart goes out to the family, and to the engineer, who’s very upset by this,” he said. “The engineer did everything in his power to try to avoid it.”

    Well where do I begin? Oh yes, fuck you assholes. The prior comment goes to the money hungry Jews who are looking to cash in on their son’s illegal actions. The justice system is great when idiots like these two can go & waste the court’s time with a ridiculous lawsuit.

    I know their argument will be that the LIRR failed to protect their property. My issue is about basic common sense. No one in their right mind goes near train tracks to walk along/on, horse around, or destroy them. Their son decides to show no common sense & does all 3 & it is the LIRR’s fault he died?

    The LIRR shouldn’t have to put a fence on every square inch of track to cover up common sense. I’m hoping any judge or jury will see through this nonsense & reward a lack of common sense with exactly 0 dollars!

    The world is quite sad when it is routine for people to try & achieve financial gain from the death of loved ones.

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    Tragic Death Of A 13 Year Old Boy

    Tragedy struck during tonight’s rush hour as a 13 year old boy was killed after being run over by a LIRR train. Here is the story courtesy of NY1:

    Authorities say a 13-year-old boy was struck and killed by a Long Island Rail Road train Friday evening in Queens.
    The accident happened just west of the Forest Hills station. The eastbound train had left Penn Station shortly after 5 p.m.

    Sources say the boy may have been spray painting graffiti when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

    As a result of the accident, Friday’s evening commute was delayed along the Long Island Rail Road. LIRR service into Penn Station was suspended, and there were outbound delays of up to two hours.

    Normal service was restored by Friday night.

    Here is a longer article about it courtesy of 1010 Wins

    A boy was struck and killed by a Long Island Rail Road train headed to Huntington during the evening rush hour Friday, officials said.

    Friends of the boy’s family told 1010 WINS the 13-year-old was with a group of friends graffiti-ing the area, which is in the vicinity of Rego Park, Queens.

    The victim was a student at Russell Sage Junior High School and at a Hebrew school in Forest Hills, and lived with his single mother who moved to Queens from Israel before her son was born.

    The incident occurred around 5:40 p.m. near 67th Road and Austin Street. The boy was in the company of a friend, who notified the police, said Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesman. Police declined to notify the boy pending discussion wtih relatives.

    A friend of the family told 1010 WINS the boy’s mother is still in shock, partly because no one knew or can understand what he was doing at the train tracks at sundown. 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum reported the tracks themselves are extremely inaccessible to pedestrians.

    The boy’s body has been removed from the tracks.

    The train, which carries about 1,000 people at that hour, was between the Woodside and Forest Hills stations in Queens, according to Susan McGowan, an LIRR spokeswoman.

    Service was suspended for hours in both directions between Jamaica, Queens, and Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Limited eastbound service was restored on the eastbound trains two hours after the accident, and full service was restored with heavy delays by about 9 p.m., LIRR officials said.

    The 5:17 p.m. train was scheduled to arrive Huntington at 6:21 p.m. but was delayed at the scene several hours as investigators worked.

    The incident caused backups at Penn Station. McGowan said New York City Transit honored LIRR tickets to help ease the flow.

    I hope to not offend my readers but I am an honest man. I do not believe in sugarcoating things whether good or bad. My question is what in the hell was this kid thinking? What would posses you to be anywhere near or on train tracks?

    My heart goes out to his family. I find it a shame that they lost a loved one because of blatant stupidity. I know it might seem harsh but the truth must be told! People stop getting near or on train tracks. The tracks are so dangerous & all the deaths that occur haven’t woken people up! Kids, adults, animals, hell even monsters if they exist, stay away from the tracks!

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    It Was Good To Be Back!

    Today was the first day I went on the subway in 2007. I ended the last few days of 2006 staying within my neighborhood. I felt like I haven’t been on the subway in ages! The walk to the station was a quick one & the wait for the train was even quicker.

    I had to run a few errands today including going to the bank & post office. I boarded the 6 train to 59th St & took in the feeling of being back where I love to be! I have to admit though I was taken back by the amount of people I saw getting once we hit Manhattan. I don’t know why I was surprised though considering it was after 3PM!

    I guess being away from the subway made me forget how crazy the Lexington Avenue lines are. I also think the last few rides of 2006 being lighter than usual made me forget. Either way the ride to & from Manhattan was comfortable & painless. Lets hope many of my commutes this year are the same!

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    Getting What He Deserves!

    Wesley Autrey was honored today at a ceremony inside City Hall. Here is the story courtesy of NY1:

    The subway Samaritan was welcomed as a hero at City Hall today.
    Wesley Autrey was greeted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, two days after saving a man who had fallen onto the tracks at the 137th Street station. Autrey was given a medal, 12 free unlimited ride Metrocards and a trip to Disneyworld.

    He says while the honors are nice, he was just doing what anyone would have done.
    “I wasn’t expecting any of this,” said Autrey. “The free ride for the whole year. I mean, I’m grateful for everything. I guess good things happen when you do good, and that’s what I’m saying. All New Yorkers, we need to do good.

    Autrey’s also making the TV rounds, taping an appearance on the David Letterman Show.
    Cameron Hollopeter, 20, suffered a seizure and when he fell off the platform. That’s when Autrey jumped into action, squeezing himself and Hollopeter into a small space between the rails, barely avoiding an oncoming train.

    The Hollopeter family has nothing but thanks for Autrey. In a statement, they said Autrey is “a hero in every sense of the word, and truly a blessing from the Almighty. He deserves all of the attention and the accolades that are now being bestowed upon him.”

    They say Cameron and Autrey had a very emotional and private meeting Wednesday.
    The family says they are grateful to everyone near and far who have expressed their best wishes to Cameron.

    Here is a longer story about today’s ceremony courtesy of 1010 Wins:

    The construction worker who rescued a stranger from an oncoming subway train has become a national hero.
    But Wesley Autrey doesn’t see it that way.

    “I’m still saying I’m not a hero … ’cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode,’’ he said on CBS’ “The Early Show’’ Thursday. “You should do the right thing.’’

    On an interview that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America’’: “I don’t want people to blow this out of proportion.’’

    Nonetheless, Autrey’s phone has been ringing off the hook — some of the callers complete strangers so inspired by his bravery that they offered rewards. Autrey even got a call from Donald Trump’s people, offering a $10,000 check.

    Besides appearing on several morning television shows Thursday, he was set to tape an appearance on David Letterman’s CBS “Late Show.’’

    Around noon Thursday, he visited City Hall and was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg presented Autrey with “The Bronze Medallion” at City Hall Thursday — the city’s highest award for civic achievement.

    He was also given 12 months worth of free Metro subway cards.
    Quite the day for the 50-year-old construction worker and father of three.

    It’s all hitting me now,’’ Wesley Autrey said Wednesday as he reflected on his risky rescue of a 19-year-old who had fallen onto a subway track as a train was approaching.

    Looking back on his dramatic decision to jump onto to the tracks and push the young man into a gap between the rails, Autrey said he told himself, “Wow, you did something pretty stupid.’’

    But even knowing that he narrowly escaped injury or potentially death, the 50-year-old Harlem construction worker doesn’t regret his choice.

    “I did something to save someone’s life,’’ Autrey said.

    Waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, he saw Cameron Hollopeter, a film student, suffering from some kind of medical episode. After stumbling down the platform, Hollopeter, of Littleton, Mass., fell onto the tracks with a train on its way into the station.

    Autrey, traveling with his two young daughters, knew he had to do something.

    “If I let him stay there by himself, he’s going to be dismembered,’’ the Navy veteran remembered thinking.

    He jumped down to the tracks, a few feet below platform level, and rolled with the young man into a drainage trough –cold, wet and more than a little unpleasant smelling — between the rails as the southbound No. 1 train came into the 137th Street/City College station.

    The train’s operator saw someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on. Some train cars passed over Autrey and Hollopeter with only a couple of inches to spare, but neither man suffered any harm from the incident.

    Hollopeter was taken to a nearby hospital; Autrey refused medical attention — and then went to work.

    Autrey went by the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for a visit with Hollopeter and his family. After, he and Hollopeter’s father addressed reporters.

    “Mr. Autrey’s instinctive and unselfish act saved our son’s life,’’ dad Larry Hollopeter said, his voice choking up. “There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions.’’

    The unusual rescue with its happy ending brought the media horde to Autrey. He spent the day doing interviews, mainly at his mother’s apartment, where his sister Linda had been pressed into service as phone answerer and scheduler.

    Calls came in from all over the country, offering rewards, as people found themselves inspired by Autrey’s bravery.

    His mother was beaming over him.

    “It was dangerous, what he done, but I’m proud of him, that God had him in the right place at the right time so he could help somebody,’’ Mary Autrey said. “That’s our upbringing, helping people.’’

    I am glad that Mayor Bloomberg held this ceremony today as the man deserved it. I know he doesn’t consider himself a hero but many would not have attempted what he did. I am glad to see he got some nice gifts & cash out of it. While I’m sure he wouldn’t ask for it, this is a case where he wouldn’t be wrong to have done so. However leave it to “The Donald” to get some PR out of the deal!

    Wesley Autrey, you will always be a hero!

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