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Adams, Yang should take teacher-union hostility as a big compliment

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Adams, Yang should take teacher-union hostility as a big compliment

The United Federation of Teachers is careening off a cliff and inviting us all to watch.

New York City is about to have its first-ever mayoral election with ranked-choice voting, and in an unusual move, the powerful teachers’ union has told its members not to rank frontrunners Andrew Yang or Eric Adams at all.

“Both Andrew Yang and Eric Adams are supported by hedge-fund billionaires and people who don’t care about equity and who don’t have the best interests of New York City’s children at heart,” UFT boss Mike Mulgrew said in a statement about the decision.

Meow.

Yang and Adams should take the move as the highest possible political compliment. Because what’s clear is that Mulgrew is deathly afraid of one of these candidates winning the election and actually putting kids first — something the UFT has spent the past year thwarting by insisting on teachers’ “right” never to have to see the inside of a classroom again.

Normally, the teachers’ union can be certain that any Democratic politician will bend to its will. After all, Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t initially earn UFT’s endorsement in the Democratic primary when he first ran for mayor in 2013. That, ahem, distinction went to former Comptroller (and 2009 Democratic nominee) Bill Thompson. When Thompson lost to de Blasio in the primary, however, Mulgrew brokered the concession agreement between the men at UFT headquarters and quickly moved to endorse the winner. 

Mulgrew said at the time, “In the end, the decision was made that what was in the best interest of the city was to unite the Democratic Party to make sure that a Democrat becomes the mayor of New York City and not the Republican nominee.”

But things are very different in this race. The UFT achieved a stratospheric level of power in the past year and is clearly loath to let it go. The union forced weak politicians to reject science and harm children in the name of keeping schools closed.

Even in the pandemic’s early days, research told us that kids are at minuscule risk from the coronavirus and transmit it at a lower rate than do adults. And as non-union-dominated districts, and private and parochial schools right here in Gotham, opened their doors, they proved that schools aren’t vectors of transmission compared with other community settings. And yet the UFT’s combination of threats, propaganda and anti-scientific superstition allowed it to override kids’ paramount interest in attending school in person.

Even today, in June 2021, public middle and high schools in the Big Apple are largely open only on a part-time schedule, and then often with the teacher Zooming in from home. The UFT forced an entire city to bend the knee to its craven bosses and members, and most New York politicians supported it.

So why would the UFT want to surrender any of that control? The union thinks it has found its next patsy in the form of city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and the bosses have to make sure they can drag him across the finish line.

Even as the UFT has amassed power, it has lost the support of parents, who finally had their eyes opened to the inner workings of the highly politicized union. Parents saw that the union put kids dead last. The union couldn’t care one whit for the academic and emotional wellbeing of kids. All it cared about was getting whatever bizarre concession our dim politicians would grant. Families have fled. As The Post reported, internal documents show enrollment has dropped to 890,000 from 1 million a decade ago. The DOE went ballistic, saying the number was actually more than a million — if you count charter school students, the only time it’s made that argument.

That the union has decided it likely won’t be getting concessions from Adams or Yang is a plus in favor of both men. The Adams and Yang campaigns should blare the union’s hostility to the two men from now until Election Day. Maybe it will persuade the families who went to private schools or out of state to come back — if they know there is a mayor who will fight for them and not the union.

The UFT will have to work with the eventual mayor, but the mayor doesn’t ultimately need the union. If it is Yang or Adams, may he answer the union’s animus with righteous rage — and squelch the UFT’s power. New York City kids deserve so much better than the broken school system the union forces on them. A Mayor Adams or Mayor Yang could do a lot to fix it by excluding Mulgrew and his crew from future conversations.

Twitter: @Karol

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Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

‘Nash Bridges’ movie reboot to star Don Johnson and original cast

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'Nash Bridges' movie reboot to star Don Johnson and original cast

Don’s ‘Nash’ gets rehash

From 1996 to 2001, Don Johnson played San Fran’s Special Investigations cop who nailed bad dudes on CBS-TV’s “Nash Bridges.” It’s now back as a two-hour movie.

“It’s set again in San Francisco which is now in a slump since the pandemic,” he told me, “but we’ll get it going again. First episode’s a two-hour movie in the fall. USA Network. I deliver it end of August and more episodes are contemplated. I’m executive producer. I own half the show’s copyright.

“Great is I got them all — Jeff Perry, Cheech Marin — the whole old crew back together again. I started them. I trained them. Even my writers wanted in on this. I kept all the phone numbers. So I sent word out and everybody got back wanting in on it. The story — I myself worked on the script — is contemporary. It’s 10 years later in the lives of the characters. And it’s a diverse cast. We’ve got a trans woman in it.

“A star of our original show was that yellow Barracuda — a 1971 Dodge — that I always drove. The thing was old when I found it. I was actually now able to locate it, and I bought it back in an auction. The thing had been in a museum in Ohio. Soon as the locals in San Francisco saw me riding around in it again, they yelled, ‘hey, it’s effing Don Johnson . . . effing Cheech.’

“Aug. 9, I start my second season of ‘Kenan’ on NBC. But right now, soon as I finish this, I’m off to Europe — Greece, Italy . . . and what am I going to do? Just bop around.”

A P.S. Don once hung up on me — just to watch “Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood.”

It’s another film about Jackie

Even Jackie Kennedy’s coming back. Again. In yet another screen incarnation. This time, Brit actress Gemma Arterton plays her. Why an English actress, I don’t know. I’m lucky I know this. This new film, “37 Heavens,” is about Jackie’s relationship with highly born Brit nobleman Baron David Ormsby-Gore Harlech. Proper gent. A diplomat. Britannia’s ambassador to Washington. Also a little ambassadoring to Jackie. He’s gone now, but it’s based on private letters unearthed when his lockbox got unlocked — or handed down — or brought out. Harlech will be played by Guy Pearce. In leaky Washington, following the death of JFK, the thought was this baron might have been her next. He was for sure her confidante. Or whatever.

Listen up . . .

Another retread is “The Nanny.” Onetime superhit TV series, created by and starring Fran Drescher, it’s wheezing back. On Broadway. As a musical. Drescher won’t star though. Me, myself, I was on “The Nanny” 100 years ago. And I just got a residual check — $12 . . . Fresco by Scotto reopened with party planner Larry Scott’s new streetside annex. At the opening, every diner was comped. No check for anyone. Courtesy of the Scottos welcoming them back.

Speak up!

DJT at a rally called Cy Vance a political hack who’s persecuting him and his family. When you’re at someone else’s mercy — or mouth — risky to poke him in the eye. Tali, front-runner for Manhattan DA, with the backing of Dem representatives Torres, Velazquez and Espaillat, even fielded a question about Donald with: “We are constrained as prosecutors not to go in and prejudge anything, and not to casually talk about legal arguments.” Chicken. Talk of laying an egg.

Good guess

“Big Sky’s” Brooke Smith called Vanity Fair, Variety and me to bitch Emmys maybe omitted her. “They say they only nominate series regulars.” So? “So in my last scene I killed my husband and went to jail. So I guess I’m not coming back.” OK.


Visitors sometimes say our city isn’t friendly. Not true. Where else can a mugger knock you down, heist your wallet then tell you, “Have a nice day.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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