Today’s news:

Rubber band man fights on

The Brooklyn Paper

The invasion of the rubber bands continues unabated in Park Slope.

Faithful readers of The Brooklyn Paper will recall my earlier — and apparently futile — crusade to get our local mail carriers to stop dropping their brownish-gray rubber bands all over the neighborhood as they make their appointed rounds.

You don’t have to be Al Gore — or even weigh as much as Al Gore — to think there’s a better use for perfectly good rubber bands than to discard them on the ground in front of mine and my neighbors’ houses.

There is: mail carriers are supposed to bring them back to their local station and reuse them, a Postal Service spokeswoman told me.

She also told me that the manager of the post office on Ninth Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues had told all her carriers to stop dropping the bands all over the place.

Still, the bands keep showing up.

So my daughter and I gathered up a few dozen rubber bands — two day’s droppings, by the way — and took them to the post office last week. My goal was to show the manager the clear evidence that the letter carriers were still litter couriers.

She could not have cared less.

Now, here’s the part of the column where the writer typically launches into a bitter tirade against postal workers and the poor service they provide. This is where the writer might also remind his readers about that guy who went ballistic in the Kensington post office earlier this year after being treated rudely by the staff (if you aren’t one of the 57,000 people who’ve watched his outburst on YouTube, check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdrqLrdYAr0).

I know how that guy felt — and if my daughter hadn’t been there, I might be starring in a YouTube video of my own.

The insensitivity started with the first clerk.

“Can I speak to the manager?” I asked politely.

“What’s this about?” the clerk said, a little too harshly for my taste.

I explained that it was about “the rubber bands.” Eventually, the manager showed up. I slipped my card under the bullet-proof glass, but she refused to take it. I asked her to take it, but she refused again. I explained that I was the guy who wrote the column in The Brooklyn Paper and that the problem was continuing.

“What do you want me to do about it?” she asked in a tone that suggested that she intended to do exactly nothing.

For starters, I told her I expected her to take the few dozen bands that I had on me. She refused, so I shoved them under the glass and walked out before I could turn into that nut (I mean sensible postal customer) in Kensington.

But the problem has not been solved. So stay tuned (or check YouTube in a few weeks. You might find me there).

Gersh Kuntzman, who lives in Park Slope, is the editor of The Brooklyn Paper.

The Kitchen Sink

They laid down a new coat of paint at the 78th Precinct this week and already, locals are pleased. It’s true, nothing says “Feel welcome to report your stolen Honda Civic” like a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore latex eggshell white. … Good news, bad news: We hear that one of the men whose lockers were broken into at the YMCA last week was none other than legendary Times magazine writer Edward Lewine. The bad news is that thieves got $6. The good news is that the Y compensated Lewine with a few free months added to his membership. …

Of the 17 people picked by the mayor, the governor, and the leaders of the state Senate, Assembly and City Council, two are friends of The Brooklyn Paper. Congrats to our subway-scrutinizing pal Gene Russianoff of NYPIRG and our Sunset Park amiga Elizabeth Yeampierre, who runs UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization. Now if only these two Brooklynites can sway the rest of the hacks on the panel. …

Sixth Avenue between Bergen and Dean streets was co-named for late police officer William Rivera on Wednesday. Rivera, who served in the 78th Precinct, died in 2004 after falling down a fire escape while chasing a burglary suspect.

Gersh Kuntzman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at gkuntzman@cnglocal.com
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