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The Brooklyn Paper

To the editor,

Perhaps the police in Carroll Gardens have too much free time on their hands (“Cops vow to look into ‘gay’ pizza,” April 11).

Gay or straight, liberal or conservative, young or old, Democrat or Republican — who doesn’t like pizza? Police and judges should spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property. Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins than adult entertainers, adult bookstores or gay dancers at a pizza parlor.

What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their home or private social club isn’t the concern of government. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace.

Don’t community busybodies, police and judges have more important issues to deal with than regulating what goes at your local pizzeria?

Larry Penner, Great Neck, NY

• • •

To the editor,

I just wanted to let you know that I went to the “Fondle” event on Monday, April 13. It was a nice event, with no incidents, no go-go boys and not even a grope.

I support the host, Evan Siegel, and was also glad that Buddy Scotto was tolarant of the event, after so many years of us tolerating his money-wasting schemes to clean the canal and redevelop the area.

I only hope that the people of Carroll Gardens remember that Siegel is in the hospitality business and not the hostility business. If we all keep that in mind, we should all get along rather well, don’t you think?

Tom Fagan, Gowanus

School daze

To the editor,

Kudos to Gersh Kuntzman for describing the parental demand for charter schools more vividly than big-city dailies typically do (“Fort Greene charter school is tougher than Harvard,” April 11).

More than 400 children seeking just 37 available kindergarten slots — that’s a higher degree of selectivity than exists at Harvard and other Ivy League institutions.

Of course, charter schools don’t resort to lotteries for the sake of snob appeal. In fact, they tend to serve more underprivileged kids than do regular public schools. They have to conduct lotteries because parents, as in Brooklyn, are clamoring in great numbers for publicly supported alternatives to standard public education.

It is time for public authorities to stop placing caps on charters and let them expand to meet demand.

Robert Holland, Chicago

The writer is senior fellow for education policy at the Heartland Institute.

Yes way!

To the editor,

We are writing to respond to Jasmine Melzer’s letter in last week’s print edition (“Two way? No way!” April 11) opposing Park Slope Neighbors’ campaign to convert Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue to two-way streets.

We’re asking the city to change these streets because we believe strongly that converting them to two-way operation will make them safer. Speeding is epidemic on Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue, despite traffic lights that are timed to limit speeds to 20 miles per hour.

In fact, the Department of Transportation’s own survey last month found that the average speed on Prospect Park West was 39.6 miles per hour, a whopping 32 percent above the posted 30-miles-per-hour speed limit.

Ms. Melzer believes that light timings and increased enforcement (something we, of course, support) will solve the problem, but the police can’t be present all the time — and ticketing speeders stops them only after they’ve created a dangerous situation.

The beauty of two-way streets is that the street design itself slows traffic, without the need to rely on cops with radar guns, or light timings that do nothing to slow cars that are racing to avoid red lights.

Furthermore, two-way streets reduce the frequency of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts by shortening the distance that drivers need to travel, and, because drivers can get where they’re going more directly, reducing the number of turns. In addition, because drivers would gain a second entry point from the south into Grand Army Plaza, we believe that the frequent gridlock, and dangerous obstructing of pedestrian crosswalks at Eighth Avenue and Union Street, would be significantly alleviated.

The 1,200 people who have signed our petition seem to agree.

We’re actually a bit surprised that Ms. Melzer opposes making Prospect Park West two-way, since just two years ago, she was among the 2,500 people who signed the Park Slope Neighbors’ petition that helped stop DOT from turning Sixth and Seventh Avenues into one-way streets.

Frankly, we think her first instinct was the better one.

Paul Heller, Chase Madar, Eric McClure, Aaron Naparstek, Kimberly Neuhaus, Jeff Prant, Lumi Michelle Rolley

The writers are all members of Park Slope Neighbors.

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Gotta Laugh from Brooklyn says:
Re: pro-charter comments by the Heartland Institute's Robert Holland -- according to the HI site:

"Heartland's mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems," including "parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies ...
"... Dr. Milton Friedman calls Heartland 'a highly effective libertarian institute.' Cato Institute president Edward Crane says Heartland 'has had a tremendous impact, first in the Midwest, and now nationally.'"

Privatization, market-based everything, and gov't-services dismantling, with support from Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute?
Uh - no thanks.
April 23, 2009, 10:39 am

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