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This regular ‘Joe’ wants a Wal-Mart in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

After reading your coverage of the new Trader Joe’s (“Trader Joe’s in the Bank,” July 14), I wrote this as an open letter to Borough President Markowitz:

I do not care about Trader Joe’s. I probably cannot even afford to shop there, although I have no doubt you and your wife can. I want Wal-Mart and I want it now. If this is a free country, why are the two Albany dictators — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno — stopping this great business from coming to New York?

I waitress, and my boss gives me $2-$4 an hour plus tips, which doesn’t amount to much. I do not care one way or another if Wal-Mart is unionized. Illegal aliens work all over the city in non-union jobs — so who cares?

Give us lower-income people a Wal-Mart!

Janet DeBenardo, Park Slope

Triple treat

To the editor,

I want to thank you for your special coverage of the Brooklyn Cyclones (“Triple-Threat Coverage”). I enjoy articles that are written with such excitement.

It’s a real pleasure to think that there is an area newspaper to purchase that covers the team the way you do. Again, thank you!

Richard Kleitman, Midwood

Editor’s note: While we appreciate that Kleitman would gladly pay for our newspaper, The Brooklyn Paper remains free.

Tricycle thief

To the editor,

Concerning your article “The tricycle thief” (June 16), how can DK Holland’s tricycle, especially one that is just one year old, be considered a “neighborhood icon”? Worse, how can this infant tricycle have made its owner “a Fort Greene legend” when hardly anyone in these parts has seen this mere babe in action?

We do appreciate The Brooklyn Paper, but Fort Greene has plenty of true icons and legends that have been around for decades, if not centuries; no one needs this paper to create legends and icons out of thin air.

Susan Price, Fort Greene

Editor’s note: No offense was intended to Fort Greene Park, the statue of Gen. Fowler, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower and even the Pratt Institute. But we at The Paper do reserve the right to create new “icons” on occasion.

Reduce traffic!

To the editor,

The concept of reduction of auto and truck traffic in Manhattan deserves action. The current plan’s flaw is that it only encompasses portions of Manhattan. Portions of the so-called “outer boroughs” suffer the ailments of too many vehicles for a limited amount of space.

New York City is projected to add one million people in the upcoming decades. And Brooklyn will experience massive traffic inflow with the controversial Atlantic Yards project.

To accommodate such growth, our city must begin the process of making the transition to an improved mass-transit system citywide.

Any realistic congestion plan must include entering any of the five boroughs of New York. It must be in tandem with increased monies to address limited mass transit in the perimeter boroughs as well.

Jeannie M. May, Bay Ridge

The writer is a member of CB10 and Brooklyn Democrats for Change, a political club.

He smells a Ratner

To the editor,

Those newly released Atlantic Yards documents (“Yassky: Stop Ratner gravy train,” July 14) make it very clear that the 2,250 low-cost housing units that are proposed as part of Bruce Ratner’s development may, in fact, never be built.

But if not, blame Ratner. Their future is in doubt due to cost under-estimates, and this should concern every taxpaying citizen. Ratner’s project will ultimately be funded with taxpayer money solely for private use, and in the end will not benefit the community in any way shape or form, but will only further deplete already overtaxed utilities in the area and in nearby neighborhoods.

Moving forward with this project, with the assistance of city officials and planners, violates the terms of Eminent Domain laws, and is unethical. The developer, with government assistance, is knowingly seizing private property for private use under the guise of public benefit.

To add insult to injury, a recent state Assembly vote awarded Ratner a tax break estimated as being worth between $175 and $300 million.

It’s time to stop turning a blind eye to all that’s going on in our own backyards — we need to act.

If the officials we elect to protect our interests are unwilling to do so, they must be voted out of office. We’ve been complacent long enough, Brooklynites — “Wake up! Speak up! Use your vote!”

Robert Segarra, Park Slope

Cell hell

To the editor,

A story on cellphone towers at 301 81st Street quoted Councilman Vince Gentile as saying, “The situation on 81st Street is a perfect example of why Congress should amend the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and give the people who know what’s best for their local communities the ability to regulate cellphone towers,” (“Cell tower war off the Hook,” July 14).

I suggest the situation is more indicative of why people don’t trust politicians.

Can nothing be done at the local level like, say, where Mr. Gentile works in the Council? Introduce a bill and get things going to study this problem. Or a resolution, maybe?

Can he possibly be serious about merely waiting for Congress to do something? Mr. Gentile: Do something yourself and stop pandering here on 81st Street.

Rather, he is helping to turn tenants against a good landlord who is breaking no laws.

William Wickham, Bay Ridge

The writer lives in the building in question.

Hook still hot

Last year, you wrote an article about Red Hook that I think was a bit negative and misleading (“Red Hot Red Hook,” Aug. 6). I am the owner of Atlantis, at 351 Van Brunt St., and absolutely adore my neighborhood.

Perhaps you would consider another look? My business friends in the Hook have such a different attitude then the one expressed in this article.

Maybe I am a little too sensitive, and the article is not as negative as I see it, but really, I feel blessed to be a resident of such a great place, and take offense to anyone who speaks ill of my little beach town.

Beatrice Giovanniello, Red Hook

Editor’s note: No offense intended. Please read our weekly coverage of Red Hook in our Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill edition and online every week. We think you will find it, to borrow a phrase, fair and balanced.

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