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Letters on Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Butcher of Prospect Park

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To the editor,

I couldn’t believe your editorial after the city’s Brooklyn Bridge Park takeover announcement (“Still not a real park,” March 12). Leave it to The Brooklyn Paper to turn a triple win into another opportunity to moan and groan.

The city’s taking control of Brooklyn Bridge Park from the state is a victory for all those concerned with governmental gridlock and redundancy. Most city/state ventures are hugely problematic, and this amiable resolution — almost shocking in its execution — is a huge step forward for all park supporters. The paper’s response? “Lipstick, meet pig.”

The city committed an additional $55 million to the park in a time of severe fiscal restraint. This will allow important sections of the park to be built including a new bubble for year-round recreation. Your insight? “The commitment is paltry.”

Finally, you should be falling all over yourselves regarding the transparent process set in motion to seek alternative funding sources to housing. But no, you’re grumpy about that as well. You guys need a hug, or a nap, or a nice kayak launch off of Pier 1.

David Kramer

The writer is the chairman of the board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Editor’s note: The only thing we will admit to needing is a hug.

More ‘Butcher’

To the editor,

Regarding your fine coverage of the executions of small animals in Prospect Park (“Swan down! Bird is just latest casualty in Park horror,” April 2), you need to know that this happened back in the 1970s, and I believe it was found to be some sort of very poorly performed Santeria-like rite.

A problem with law enforcement, government in general, and most jobs is that there is no institutional memory anymore. Early retirement, career changes, combined with rarely spending even a significant portion of one’s career covering the same territory, all leads to mass amnesia.

But, all of this is just a warm-up for the real reason I take electronic pen in hand: a shout out to Smartmom — love that column!

Joe Enright, West Midwood

• • •

To the editor,

In refutation to your saga about John Boy the celebrity swan (“Parks Dept. says Prospect Park lake clean,” April 9), no animal has been found dead in the water since the lake was drained for three days from March 27 to March 29, and refilled from March 30 to April 1 before the Department of Environmental Protection testing took place on April 1.

You reported that “the animal was dirty and looked like it was beaten up. This animal’s condition was consistent with other swans that have been beaten up by other adult swans.”

The animal was not dirty when it left the lake, and it was a cygnet not beaten up by other adult swans.

You also stated that several other animals — including a duck, an opossum and turtles — have also turned up dead along the lakefront. From March 23 to March 26, two opossums, two turtles, more than a dozen fish, a blackbird, and a poisoned duck have died in the lake.

I also refute the statements of licensed wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath that “an animal has to be endangered or threatened for the state to want to test it — or it must be a victim of a crime.”

As I see it, the “crime” is illegal dumping and polluting a city park.

In your story, Horvath added, “As the weather improves, swans start preparing to nest [and become aggressive]. It’s not uncommon, we get injured birds around this time of year.”

For your information, John Boy was not weak all winter, and was not in hibernation at the lake. The cygnet was flying with the other cygnets for two months without a swan-on-swan attack. All six swans have been sharing Prospect Park Lake peacefully.

Anne-Katrin Titze, Windsor Terrace

Hail CB6

To the editor,

After reading your story, “City rejects Mexican star-chitect’s bid to build bigger” (March 19), I think Community Board 6 and Board of Standard and Appeals should be commended for rejecting Enrique Norten’s request to expand the size of his proposed Carroll Street residential project.

Unfortunately, it is one more example of how some real-estate projects can detract from the appearance of historic Brooklyn neighborhoods.

It also underscores the importance of the current effort to expand the borders of the Park Slope Historic District in order to protect this attractive community from irresponsible development.

John Casson, Park Slope

Vote was sick

To the editor,

I’ve written this open letter to Rep. Mike McMahon (D–Bay Ridge).

Today, I learned through the local news that once again you have chosen — against the wishes of the majority of your constituency — to vote against the Senate health care bill. You cannot imagine how disappointed I felt. After all, I voted for you believing that you — unlike former Rep. Vito Fossella — would represent those he didn’t.

But apparently you represent the same moneyed interests he did — privileged residents who pretend to defend family and American values.

You should recall that you were elected thanks to the support President Obama got from voters all over New York. More importantly, you only have your seat today because your predecessor was almost literally caught with his pants in his hand. During his tenure, those below a certain tax bracket were pretty much ignored in favor of the fat cats in Todt Hill. And it was those voters who helped place you in your seat — those who could benefit from health care and immigration reform.

There are thousands of people in this district that are in dire need of health insurance. At a recent visit to a local emergency room, I noticed how many people were there simply because they had no coverage and nowhere else to go. Those are the ones who have helped raise the cost of medical care in this state and around the country, for they are unable to pay for their hospital bills. Thanks to this situation, our premiums are becoming more and more expensive. And you are irresponsibly contributing to that.

But why would you care? You have coverage from Congress. The rest of us schmucks don’t.

I noticed that you have gotten the support from many Republican luminaries in our district, like Borough President Molinaro. Though that might seem like recognition for a job well done, it really means that you are really looking after their interests, not those of the ordinary New Yorker.

I am mostly a music journalist, but after observing the current state of affairs in Washington, Albany and elsewhere, I have decided become more political than I have been before. And though just a voice in a crowd, I am surely a loud one. And unless you reconsider your current stance on health care, I will become one heck of a threat against your re-election this November.

Ernest Barteldes, Staten Island

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Reader Feedback

Ron from Prospect Heights says:
Prospect Park is a city park (not Ms. Thomas' estate) and yet the Alliance is not held accountable for the lack of care and poor conditions that continue to undermine our visits to the park.
She has stripped the workers of their dignity, by allowing all forms of abuses to go unenforced inside the park.
April 15, 2010, 12:16 pm
Jim from Park Slope says:
We don't need another bureaucrat like Tupper Thomas kissing up to donors and ignoring the existing park's decay.
She has not done the hard work of maintaining and caring for the park. Her choice is to cover-up the serious problems and to smile insincerely.
April 16, 2010, 10:42 am

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