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Coney Island’s future is in good hands: Bloomy’s

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

Your editorial (“Bloomy to the Rescue?” Nov. 10) asks where the mayor’s proposal for Coney Island leaves the freak show. We believe that his proposal leaves us in the middle of the entertainment district of Coney Island.

In August, Coney Island USA, parent organization of the freak show, purchased its building on the corner of Surf Avenue and West 12th Street — with funding supplied by the city. As a result of the city’s largesse, the Freak Show, Mermaid Parade, Burlesque at the Beach and Coney Island Museum, are safe in perpetuity.

Coney Island USA has also attempted — numerous times — to purchase a building owned by Thor Equities, only to have Thor derail negotiations late in the process. Our experiences with the city and with Thor lead us to believe that the city has the best interests of Coney Island at heart, while Thor does not.

While the plan that the city proposes is not perfect, we believe that it is a better solution to the many issues that beset Coney Island than the vision promoted by Thor.

We look forward to working with the city to continue to improve its plan. And should Thor decide to work within the bounds of the city’s proposal, we look forward to working with it as well.

David Gratt, Coney Island

The writer is managing director of Coney Island USA, the non-profit that operates the famed circus sideshow and the Coney Island Museum.

For the birds

To the editor,

Why did you take such a hostile tone about the beautiful Red-breasted nuthatches (“Canadian birds invade Brooklyn,” Nov. 10)? Not only is the word “invasion” used throughout, but in the last paragraph, gyrfalcons and snowy owls are called “jerks.”

All these magnificent birds should be welcome in our neighborhood.

Someone at The Brooklyn Paper should rent the Oscar-winning “Winged Migration” and gain an appreciation for our flying friends, who grace our lives with so much beauty.

The Brooklyn Paper is not known for xenophobia, so why display it with non-human creatures?

Wayne Johnson, Brooklyn Heights

Editor’s note: The writer is correct that we should be more welcoming to all immigrants, including the Red-breasted nuthatch — but we stand by our characterization of gyrfalcons!

Schumer’s cowardice

To the editor,

There’s an important fact we must face as the Bush administration slinks toward Bethlehem in an effort to be born again: Our senior Senator, Charles Schumer, was not equal to the question, “Do you support torture?” (“Vigilant,” Nov. 10).

That is because he affirmed the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. Mukasey is unable to decide what is torture unless the president tells him it is or not.

Schumer’s support for Mukasey is painful, given the behavior of the last attorney general under Bush. In other words, the senior Senator from New York lacks the moral substance to fight for basic human rights.

If New York is not up to that challenge in this republic, who is?

Steve Hart, Boerum Hill

Gay old time

To the editor,

Your series of articles on the girl who got the city warning letter for using chalk on her sidewalk was plain sad, but your article on the gay/lesbian political club and its problems with Bruce Ratner and Marty Markowitz (“Gays won’t shack up with Bruce,” Nov. 3) filled me with pity.

You can’t help but imagine Markowitz pitching it this way to the gay and lesbian group:

“No, no, we’re not pandering to you, much less demanding a quid pro quo for your endorsement of Atlantic Yards. No, we have this fantastic offer: We’ll offer you a slight price reduction on a piece of, well, crap, that you can turn into a ‘gay and lesbian center.’

“Oh and the city will offer some resources, a little seed money, and give you some tax breaks.

“Oh, and your landlord will be Bruce Ratner. He really, really, wants to help you guys out; he has a lot of empty properties, you know. He’s your man! He promised me he’d give you a great deal.”

And so he does. But three years later, the lease runs out and needs to be renewed. Damn!

Suddenly, the rent is much higher!

And then, when he needs the land for some new and improved boondoggle project, what do you know, they condemn the center under eminent domain, you know, for the good for the city.

Mia Moran, Boerum Hill

Cry me a canal

To the editor,

Last week’s letter by Brad Lander (“Go Go Gowanus,” Letters, Nov. 10) argued that his group [a coalition that includes the Pratt Center for Community Development, ACORN, Buddy Scotto, and several labor unions] has “a transparent and open process.” The only thing “transparent” about this coalition is that they are self-serving.

When you read about the trade-off, it will be about the sky and land grab, politics, money, and greed. Do any of the members of this coalition live in the Gowanus area? This coalition does not represent the Gowanus community by holding meetings behind closed doors. They have not held any open-community meetings where the true voices of the Gowanus community could be heard.

Has this coalition read the recent Army Corps report on their Web site (read it at http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/harbor/gowanus/reports.htm).

The Gowanus Canal is an aquatic brownfield. The land on the east and west banks of the canal are brownfields. To use these lands for housing or environmental restoration was not put forth by the Army Corps in its environmental study.

Open space trumps irresponsible development!

Linda Mariano, Gowanus

The writer is a member of FROGG (Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus)

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