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To the editor,

Ignorance is a terrible thing. It enables those who know very little to spew ill will and breed contempt among citizens whose efforts are pure at heart (“Easy being ‘Greenest.’ Finally, a street worthy of the award,” The Brooklyn Angle, Aug. 7)

Gersh Kuntzman arrived at the “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” event last August ready to do battle with any one who would engage him. In his ignorance, he refused to acknowledge the true meaning of what is being celebrated when a block is cited as green: community participation and cooperation, good gardening practices, conversion of a hardscape into a greener space, stewardship of the environment, including the care and cultivation of tree beds (not “pits”) and the inclusion of all residents, both renters and owners, in the excitement and joy of nurturing plants and friendships.

All of these factors contributed to the decision of the Botanic Garden judges in 2008.

Ignorance is what prevents people from learning from the past. There are indeed many blocks in Brooklyn that are deserving of recognition. Ignorance is believing that green is only a color.

Ignorance is taking a contest meant to motivate, to teach, to acknowledge, and to celebrate the hard work of many and turning it into an opportunity to create dissension.

Ignorance is a terrible thing, and because of his ignorance, Gersh Kuntzman has tried once again to turn a noble endeavor into a contentious competition.

Shame on him.

Jane Fields Becker, Park Slope

Not kid-ding

To the editor,

I am writing regarding the article about some neighbors’ reactions to the teenagers who gather in Prospect Park’s southwestern corner (“Circle jerks? Neighbors say that punky kids ruin Bartel Pritchard Square,” July 2).

I would like to start off by saying that I am one of the kids you refer to as “circle jerks” and that I do not appreciate being stereotyped as a criminal.

I’d like to make sure that you understand that the kids and father involved in the murder of our dear friend Sharif Abdallah were not “circle kids”; they are from Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill.

One of the people you interviewed, Tom Prendergast, is someone we call “the Maple Syrup Man.” He comes by almost everyday and pours syrup all over the monuments so nobody can sit there. He spends the day calling the cops and even the mayor to complain about teenagers skating.

From his window, he yells obscenities at us and even the cops, telling them arrest us all. The cops told me that he calls the precinct every day to complain about us. It’s shameful that you’d take an obviously crazy old man’s opinion about us.

We are very offended by these misguided attempts to label us as criminals. The Prospect Park area has its bad apples, but we cannot be described as drug-using, knife-wielding criminals. We are only a bunch of teenagers looking for a place to skate and hang out peacefully.

Is that not what a park is for?

James Brackley, Park Slope

School daze

To the editor,

This is to the neighbors of the soon-to-be built new section of Berkeley Carroll (“Town-gown showdown! Private school’s expansion plan is assailed in Slope,” July 31): Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

Your situation is almost exactly what happened in my neighborhood three years ago when Poly Prep built its extension. The only difference is that Berkeley Carroll has warned you ahead of time. But be forewarned, it’s going to be a time-consuming, frustrating, and, ultimately, a loser’s battle.

First, you’ll have several dozen or so supporters of your fight.

Slowly, but surely, however, they’ll all disappear. Some will lose interest. Others will assume it’s being taken care of by all those other people they saw at the first meeting. Still others will inexplicably become fearful of doing or saying or signing anything that makes them appear “anti-school” or “anti-children” or “un-neighborly.”

And don’t count on those various community agencies that are supposed to help champion your cause. In no time they, too, will be happily cheering the project.

I witnessed all this first hand. I attended every single meeting regarding the new Poly Prep extension, and I spoke out at nearly all of them. In the end, there were just three of us opponents left standing. The battle had been declared over, but I was the last neighbor to know.

Like countless others here in the Slope, I work from home. I can’t hear myself think, let alone get any work done with the now incessant noise. I’m forced to wear earplugs in my own home.

Bottom line, the end result will be the construction of a building that no one in the neighborhood really wants but that no one was really willing to fight against.

Like I said, good luck.

Carolina M. Capehart, Park Slope

Bugged out

To the editor,

Crickets want to live as much as any other creature. (“Bug appétit! We eat worms and crickets,” Aug. 7)

They play an important environmental role. To rationalize killing them because they are tasty is just crazy.

The “yuck factor” is that we would consider turning them into just another food.

Wayne Johnson, Brooklyn Heights

Park it!

To the editor,

My husband and I take our dog to Prospect Park on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We’ve complained to the Parks Department and to Department of Health to no avail. Rather than reduce the number of rats, the park is feeding them. (“Trash talk! Parks Dept. going after dirty birds,” July 24).

We recommended they strategically place Dumpsters near the picnic areas rather than barrels. No matter how many barrels there are, they immediately overflow.

The pickup should be after 11 pm rather than 8:30 am the next day. Otherwise, those that picnic should be required, no matter what size the group, to register with parks and haul out their trash.

It’s dangerous for the park staff to be picking through the garbage to re-bag. I’ve seen rats jump out of the trash during our morning walks. When will they listen? Public health is at stake.

Rita Amalfitano, neighborhood withheld

Bloomy derails

To the editor,

Thanks for the front-page coverage of Mayor Bloomberg’s recommendations for transit improvements (“Bloomy to MTA: Fast track F,” Aug. 7).

I have a suggestion for him: instead of inundating us with multiple, expensive, environmentally irresponsible campaign mailings and lots of hot air, maybe the mayor should make a donation to the MTA to actually help bring about some of these improvements.

Robert Harris, Park Slope

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