Newsletter – June 2019

June 2019

How to Fail: A Lesson for All            

By James Jackowski Sr.

What strange tales I would tell if I were the guest speaker at a graduation, especially a high-school graduation.  To get at those minds still fresh from the accomplishment of 12 years education – what an opportunity.

     I would tell them something they never thought they would hear: I would tell how to fail.

     You know, anyone can tell you how to succeed.  There are thousands of books on the subject.  The blueprints and formulas are all there for anyone to follow.  What is not found very often are directions on how to fail.  I would tell the graduates that success is never guaranteed, no matter how closely you follow the diagrams.  Failure, however, is pretty much a certainty, and not just once, but probably several times in your life.

     You will fail if you are inconsiderate of others.  So many people think the world was created just for them, and they disregard the feelings of others.  We must share the space on this planet with each other.

     You will fail if you think anybody owes you anything because of your education.  The only ones who are owed anything are those whose victories and defeats paved the way for all the opportunities available to you.  Among those might be your great-grandparents who now live in a nursing home.

     You will fail if you start your business life looking for a job that suits you.  You must suit the job.  Applying for any kind of work in a T-shirt and jeans will further enhance your chance for failure.

     You will fail if you climb a corporate ladder by stepping on people.  As the saying goes, “You will meet the same people on the way down”.

     You will fail if you are intolerant of individuals with strange-sounding names and different color skin.  Remember, you are just as different to them.

     You will fail if you do not try to right a wrong whenever possible.  You will fail if you see abuse and do not speak out against it.  You will fail if you see corruption and do not fight it.  You will fail if you suffer bad politicians and do not bother to vote.

     You will experience the biggest failure of all if you believe the romantic notion that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.  For in truth, anyone who has lived long enough to retire will tell you that love means just the opposite.  It means being able to say, “I’m sorry”.

     Congratulations to all graduates everywhere.

James Jackowski Sr. was a local columnist who passed away in 2002.  We are thankful for the legacy of caring and compassion that he left us.

Next Meeting
Next Meeting:  NO MEETING IN JUNE.  (Next meeting September 30, 2019)   NO NEWSLETTER OR MEETING IN JULY OR AUGUST

Gjonaj #CleanUpNYCParks

Councilman Gjonaj would like for you to share your photos on how neglected our parks and green streets are via social media. Share your photos on your social media with the hashtag #CleanUpNYCParks. Also you can email photos to or call 718-931-1721 with information about parks and green streets in your area that have been neglected by the Parks Department.

CB11 Health Fair

Health & Social Services Committee of Community Board 11 invites you to our 4th Annual Health Fair.

Sunday, June 23, 2019, from Noon-3:00pm, at Bronx House, 990 Pelham Parkway South.

Nutrition and Fitness Information

Healthcare Facilities and Providers

Free Demos and Giveaways

For more information and/or to participate, please contact:  Community Board 11 Office at (718) 892-6262.

From Da Prez…

By Vincent Prezioso

Morris Park Road Diet

On May 29, a Bronx Court temporarily upheld an injunction to halt the DOT’s redesign of Morris Park Ave.  The injunction is to be revisited soon, and we will update you when we get more information.

Andy King Speaks Out…

On Wednesday May 29 Councilman Andy King held a protest at the site of what was the Golf range on gun Hill Road.  The property has not been in use for almost 20 years and is overgrown with weeds and has been used as an illegal dumping ground.  Mr. King said he has called on the MTA (who currently controls the property) to discuss options for this property.  He said it is disrespectful to allow the property to be overgrown with garbage and debris.

You may recall that there was a proposal in 2017 to develop a shopping mall called Baychester Square.  However that proposal was stopped at the City Council due to concerns over traffic congestion.  You may also recall that the MTA property is under the jurisdiction of Community Board 12.  But as Pelham Gardens is across the road from this property, the Northeast Bronx Assn and Community Board 11 are keenly interested in whatever happens at that site.

Pelham Parkway Updates

Mr. Thomas Alexander of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) issues notices to the community regarding what will be happening on Pelham Parkway North and/or any service or traffic interruptions the reconstruction will cause.  Obviously, this newsletter cannot warn you adequately.  And although we try to forward his notices via email, it is still not adequate.  We encourage you to sign up directly to receive the DDC notices via email.  Please contact Thomas Alexander,, or call him at 347-810-1386 and sign up to receive these messages directly.

The Death of Common Sense

By Lori Borgman

Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. His obituary reads as follows: Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering.

Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S. A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet.

C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men’s movement, body piercing, whole language and new math. C.S.’s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus.

In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.

His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.

As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last.

Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.

Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought. Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Are we still grateful for our Independence?

By Mark Saplicki

The founding fathers and framers of the constitution who initiated the separation of church and state were humble and grateful to God the great ruler of nations.  So what has happened since then?  In my humble opinion it is because we have steadily turned away from that foundation, but more importantly we have lost a national respect for God in our society and have become ungrateful for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us.  George Washington’s issued the following proclamation in 1795.  See if you do not see the irony when comparing those times to ours.

     “When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction.  Our exemption hitherto from foreign war – an increasing prospect of the continuance of that exemption – the great degree of internal tranquility we have enjoyed – the recent confirmation of that tranquility, by the suppression of an insurrection which so wantonly threatened it – the happy course of our public affairs in general – the unexampled prosperity of all classes of our citizens, are circumstances which peculiarly mark our situation with indications of the divine beneficence towards us.  In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to ALMIGHTY GOD, and to implore him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.

     Deeply Penetrated with this sentiment, I George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever within the United States, to set apart and observe a day of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER; and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the Great Ruler of Nations for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation; particularly for the possession of constitutions of government, which unite, by their union establish liberty with order – for the preservation of our peace foreign and domestic – for the seasonable control which has been given to a spirit of disorder, in the suppression of the late insurrection – and generally, for the prosperous course of our affairs, public and private; and at the same time, humbly and fervently to beseech the kind Author of these blessings graciously to prolong them to us – to imprint on our hearts a deep and solemn sense of our obligations to Him for them – to teach us rightly to estimate their immense value – to preserve us from the arrogance of prosperity, and from hazarding the advantages we enjoy by delusive pursuits – to dispose us to merit the continuance of His favors, by not abusing them, by our gratitude for them, and by a corresponding conduct as citizens and as men – to extend among us a true and useful knowledge – to diffuse and establish habits of sobriety, order, morality, and piety; and finally, to impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.”

George Washington

This Independence Day, say a prayer for all who sacrificed their lives for your freedom.  Freedom is not free!  God bless you and your families and God bless America!