By Barbara Morris
“You don't know how self-controlled I have been this particular past week,” she responded. I asked for further explanation.”Well,” she said, “My son and his wife have been in Thailand visiting his wife's family, before, during and after the tsunami. I waited for days, trying to convince myself that they were fine, but there was no phone call until yesterday. Shortly before that, I had called the U.S. embassy, and was, apparently one of many such calls, because they in turn contacted all the Americans in the area and told them to call their concerned relatives at home. I'm glad he's independent, but once I heard they were safe, I was upset that they hadn't called me sooner. They had been in Bangkok, and since they knew they were safe, they didn't realize the folks at home might be worried that they might have acceded to the temptation to visit that former tropical paradise beach that trapped so very many innocent people.”My friend asked that her name, and that of her son's, not be mentioned. There is no need to do so. The entire issue, however, points out that we humans should consider communicating more with those about whom we care. I have long studied animal communication with their own species, and with other species, including humans. It has long been my opinion that we humans have much to learn from them.Speculation has been made that before the tsunami struck, the sea creatures acted so strangely, they alerted the birds overhead, which, in turn, alerted the animals, all of whom ran away in time to be saved. One elephant bent down and carried with him five people. At least one dog became a rescuer. Not one animal body was found among the dead caused by that horrific event. Interesting, isn't it? At one time, my two cats alerted me that someone had broken into our home. Communication is important. We should all pay more attention to it.The night of January 5, I wanted to hone my communication skills on legislators who were preparing the city's capital budget. My plea was one repeated by me and many others for years. We hope they will listen and act.The vast majority of residents and business people in the confines of the 105th Precinct (including members or the New York Police Department), have pleaded for many years for an additional precinct. Some 30 years ago, those in authority in the city made a bona fide promise to our area that we would, indeed, be given that well-deserved request.Severe budget problems shortly thereafter were said to cause, what was promised to be, only a temporary delay. However, since that time two additional precincts have been built in New York City – the 112th Precinct and the 33rd Precinct – and an additional NYPD facility – the task force building in Rosedale. Within the confines of the 111th Precinct, the city has recently built a new high school specializing in subjects related to the understanding of law enforcement and a new Police Athletic League (PAL) facility.All these other facilities have, most assuredly, benefitted someone. They have not however, given our southeast Queens area what we needed, begged for, and have been promised for at least 30 years. Before, and while, the task force building was under construction we pleaded for, at least a provision for expansion to house a new precinct and, possibly, the task force. We were ignored.One possible move might be to one of the empty Creedmoor buildings which could be gifted or sold inexpensively to the city by the state. We are grateful for the task force but would like their present building expanded to fulfill the promise still pending. The 105th is seriously understaffed and the officers seriously underpaid.Keeping them at risk during rapid response runs in this, the longest New York City precinct, should hurt the conscience at every city official.