Idling Parents and Idle Minds

Protect our children - Turn off your engine

Protect our children - Turn off your engine

From the NY News

Motorists who idle their engines by a school for more than a minute will risk a $100 fine under a City Council bill passed yesterday. The measure is aimed at curbing exhaust pollution that feeds the city’s asthma epidemic, backers say.

Opponents blasted the one-minute rule as another excuse to slap motorists with revenue-raising tickets. “I’ve seen school parents victimized,” City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx) said in voting against the bill.

“I’ve seen traffic agents waiting like locusts,” he said.

Councilman James Oddo (R-S.I.) voted for the bill, saying it might help control parents who swoop down on local schools twice daily to deliver or pick up their kids.

City law sets a three-minute idling limit at schools, but it’s enforced largely by the Department of Environmental Protection against diesel-fueled vehicles.

The new one-minute rule will cover idling by autos and trucks “adjacent to any public or nonpublic school providing instruction from pre-K through 12th grade.”

A companion bill, passed 40 to 6, gives ticketing authority for idling to the NYPD, Parks Department, Sanitation Department and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Mayor Bloomberg will sign both bills, a spokesman said.


Councilman proposes community service be required for high school graduation


Councilman proposes community service be required for high school graduation

By Kathleen Lucadamo

Saturday, January 17th 2009, 8:49 PM
City Councilman Eric Gioia is calling on Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to make community service a requirement for graduation.

City high school students would need to complete 20 hours of volunteer work to earn a diploma under Gioia’s plan, which he will release today.

“The service requirement would invest high school students with a spirit of volunteerism and the knowledge that they can make a measurable difference in their neighborhoods and the world,” said Gioia (D-Queens).

Activities could range from cleaning parks to serving on a neighborhood revitalization board, he said.

Several cities across the country – including Seattle, Chicago and Washington – require community service for high school graduation.

New York State allows local school boards to set up additional graduation requirements, meaning only Klein can create the new rule.

Teens who volunteer have a 22% higher chance of graduating from high school than those who do not, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, a Boston-based nonprofit.

For many years now our local civic group, the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, has been presenting Annual Community Service Awards to students of P.S. 169. The recipients who are selected by their teachers are presented with a Certificate of Merit and a U.S. Savings Bond in recognition of their outstanding achievements.