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More Expansion

Dear Editor:

(In response to High Tide article about NYC Ferry 1/17/19) There SHOULD be a JFK ferry, and they could easily make a stop at the foot of Lefferts Blvd. (with shuttle bus to terminals and/or airtrain) and a route from Wall Street, stopping at Sunset Park, Coney Island, and Rockaway, ending there OR continuing to Far Rock (Mott Avenue/ Bayswater State Park) or Nassau County (near Five Towns Shopping Center). De Blasio could easily do this with little cost, building one to three new stops and expanding Rockaway service.

Declan Hughes


Unfair System

Dear Editor:

I would like to share with you a story that has haunted me since I heard it on New Year’s Day.

When I asked my neighbor how her Christmas was she started to cry. Tears filled her eyes as she said their Christmas was filled with emptiness and sadness. She told me she hasn’t seen her granddaughter in months and they all miss her, especially her son who is heartbroken. Her son used to have his little girl every weekend, but no longer. His ex-wife filed false allegations against him, thus causing the court to strip him of all his parental rights. She even had a court order of protection served against him and had him arrested!

This young man who I have known all his life is absolutely devastated and heartbroken. The little girl that he loves has been stolen from his life. He has had no contact with her at all in months. No phone call, letters or supervised visitation because of her erroneous allegations. No Christmas with his daughter that he loves and no joyous holidays for his entire family.

I personally know this man and his family. He is a good young man who is liked by all that have the pleasure to know him. He deserves to be in his daughter's life. He, like so many others, has been unjustly treated by a family court system that needs to be re-evaluated. We have all heard about Deadbeat Dads, but what about the Heartbroken Dads who want to be in their child/children’s lives! The scales of justice need to be re-adjusted. Our family court system should be re-vamped. Our courts have to stop penalizing fathers for wanting to be involved in their child’s life.

This story haunts me because my son experienced the same abusive heartbreaking treatment years ago. He hired and paid a lawyer who advised him and us right before the court hearing that “the courts never give custody to a father.”

When we entered the courtroom, my son stood before a judge that constantly ridiculed him during the proceedings. After about ten minutes of verbal assault, we all realized the lawyer was obviously right. My husband and I were in total disbelief when the judge laughingly criticized our son for crying! He pointed to him and remarked, “Oh look, the big man is crying”! My son spoke up in a loud voice and proclaimed to all, that yes he was crying because he loved and missed his daughter. He then stated, “I want custody of my daughter.”

The judge then stated, “You want custody, then I am going to have you and your whole family investigated!” My son replied, “Fine, but then I want her and her whole family investigated,” as he pointed toward his ex-girlfriend. The judge hit his gavel and ordered us all outside the courtroom to discuss the arrangements with the lawyers.

It was only then after being threatened by the prospects of an investigation that his ex agreed to giving him joint custody.

If my son listened to his lawyer and didn’t demand custody of his daughter, the end result would have been heartbreaking. He would have been just like so many other fathers who were forced out of their child’s life by a unjust court system.

Perhaps there wouldn’t be so many deadbeat dads if they weren’t subjected to a court system that is so biased toward men. Our family court should encourage couples to compromise and make alliances to provide each child with two loving parents. Even if the mother and father are separated from each other, a loving parent should not be excluded from their child’s life. Not all men are Deadbeat Dads, some are just Beat–Down by the courts.

Mary Colleran


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