Abruzzo IS ‘Sar-serious,’ our readers say

To the editor,

I’d like to commend your column, “Is the Brooklyn Beep Sar-serious?” and its author Shavana Abruzzo (“A Britisher’s View,” July 5).

Whilst people across New York and further afield breathed a collective sigh of relief following Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries’s (D–Fort Greene) congressional win over hatemongering Councilman Charles Barron (D–East New York), Borough President Markowitz was busy marching to his own tune, appointing outspoken activist Linda Sarsour to Community Board 10, where she’ll be tasked with advising on matters related to the social welfare of the district.

A quick check of Sarsour’s profile and recent “activism” on Twitter proves that she is anything but fit for this position. She appears to revel in the fact that she is “controversial,” something that has nothing to do with the fact that she’s an Arab-American woman involved in politics. There are dozens of Muslim politicians holding office up and down the U.S. and serving this great country with distinction. Rather, Sarsour has painted a great portrait of self-righteousness, using her newly found political clout to front her ultimate agenda — the Palestinian cause.

She’s done nothing to distance her own family’s ties to Hamas, the militant Palestinian government deemed a terror organization by America, Canada and the European Union, describing their actions instead as “the reality of Palestinians living under military occupation.” Instead her vain attempt at aligning her motives with current city and national agenda sees her polarizing Trayvon Martin’s tragic “hoodie” death into her own rant on hijabs and the bigotry some Muslims who wear them are subjected to.

Then it’s a rinse and repeat on the issues her own agenda dictates.

After reading an article that savored her victory, accompanied by entirely positive comments, all she could hype about was the imaginary haters and bigots mocking her every move — a false sentiment that emanates from continued imaginary aggression against the Palestinian people, no matter where they are.

Ultimately, Sarsour should be judged by what she advocates and achieves for Brooklynites. On the evidence of what we’ve seen so far, our best hopes are zero to nothing.

Raphael Gluck

New York

What the French?

To the editor,

There was clearly a lot more to the story than was reported in “French hail WWII vet for saving them” (May 24).

What did Norman Wasserman do to earn the recognition? To read the story, it’s unclear that he did anything to distinguish himself from his fellow soldiers. And what set the machinery in motion almost 70 years after the events to give him the recognition? It’s unclear whether this was the reporter’s intention or not, but the way the story was written leaves the impression that it might all have been pro forma, and orders were given from high up to simply look for a live body to pin a medal to, presumably to brighten up relations between France and the U.S.

Of course, if that’s the case, to say so bluntly would only create bad feelings, but it simply leaves doubts in the reader’s mind.

Eric Politzer


Feline friend

To the editor,

How heartless can a person be? Even though Barbara Berger managed to downsize her feline family to two cats as ordered by her landlord, the cold-hearted Herald Realty Group evicted her anyway, as she did not meet their deadline (“Cat Hoarder Evicted,” June 25).

Since the woman was obviously complying with their order, even though it was breaking her heart to give away 43 of her beloved cats, her landlord could have been human enough to give her a bit more time.

Well, “what goes around comes around,” and those people who do harm to others will eventually get a payback. I am praying that she finds an even better home for herself and her remaining two cats.

Sarah Vogel

Sea Gate

Summer blues

To the editor,

Ahhh summer, don’t you just hate it? Try as I may, I can’t find one thing to love about this season. What is so pleasurable about sweat? Heat and humidity together make life just miserable and extremely uncomfortable.

As if coping with the present day isn’t enough, we have to listen to the weatherman. He has to tell us about tomorrow, which is probably more humid and hotter. Then comes the heat index. Then there’s the air conditioner. That makes it more bearable, until the dreaded Con Ed bill arrives. Then there’s the bugs. Insects and I just don’t get along. Sitting in my kitchen one day, I see this strange thing crawling on my wall. It had so many legs I lost count.

Noise is another thing we have to endure in the summertime. It’s beyond me why people in cars feel everyone on the road has to hear their music. Then there are the never-ending parties people have. Do they care if they are disturbing their neighbors in a five-block radius? No, of course not. Advice to the youngsters out there: become an ear doctor and you will be set for life.

Come soon, fall. I love every yellow, red and golden leaf — until I have to bag them.

Jo Bisogno

Mill Basin

Life-saving bill

To the editor,

Regarding the legislation about CPR in schools — anyone can learn to save a life, and everyone should.

I ask for the support of your readership to send a strong message to Albany that collectively we want to empower our children as a new generation of lifesavers to create a generation where all New Yorkers are trained in “hands-only” CPR, and save lives. Nearly 383,000 people die of cardiac arrest outside hospitals, only 11 percent survive because they don’t receive CPR, which could double or triple survival rates.

Heart disease struck our home, and our family when I was just 17 years old when Dad slumped over the steering wheel. As a high school student and a CPR-certified lifeguard, I saved my father’s life that day, and many more times over the next few years as he battled heart disease. My father passed away at 60, heart disease had taken its toll, but thankfully he lived 20 more years with our family just because I happened to know CPR as a teenager.

You’re powerless against your DNA, but what is in your control is to vote to pass the CPR in Schools Legislation, because one of those high school students can save the life of a parent, a family member, a stranger, or maybe even you. Wouldn’t you want the help?

Mary H. Oldak


Dollar-van sham

To the editor,

I used to drive up and down Flatbush Ave. between Kings Plaza and the Manhattan Bridge until the stress of the trip made me use alternate routes.

The illegal “dollar” vans that drive up and down the street are the ones that constantly stop in the middle of the street, pull out without regard for others, make illegal turns, scream their locations, and beep their horns incessantly.

Last week, I decided to walk down Flatbush Avenue. Except for the vans pulling in and out, all of the other issues created a stress almost as strong as when I used to drive it. The noise pollution by the vans and their drivers creates a miserable quality of life for anyone within range.

At one time, the federal government shut down a private mail carrier because she was undermining and undercutting the post office. For the local public she seemed good, but the post office has to serve everyone, everywhere. Although the MTA is far from perfect, the same is true for the MTA versus the vans. These vans use bus stops to park in, make turns in bus only lanes, cut around buses and other vans on the right, and do anything else that gives them an edge to get in front of the competition. The convenience for their riders is at the expense of everyone else.

The city’s desire to license these drivers shows how out-of-touch our politicians are. The city’s claim that these people are working and paying taxes is a false argument. In looking at the license plates of the vans on Flatbush Avenue, more than 75 percent did not have TLC plates, and 25 percent of those had out-of-state plates.

I am so happy and lucky that I don’t live on the blocks adjoining Kings Plaza, or anywhere along Flatbush Avenue. The MTA got rid of graffiti on the subways, although it was hard and time-consuming. The same needs to be done by the city about these vans, or forget about a decent quality of life for anyone driving on — or living within earshot of — Flatbush Avenue!

Name withheld upon request

Toll raise

To the editor,

Governor Cuomo reminds of the old cartoon character Wimpy who said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” when it comes to him coming clean as to how the state will find $6 billion dollars to pay for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Previous construction of any new freight, public transportation tunnel, or bridge project takes decades by the time all feasibility studies, environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements, construction, budgeting, and identifying and securing funding is completed. This is before the project reaches beneficial use.

Based on previous planning initiatives, some have estimated a cost for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge ranging from $14 to $18 billion. This also could have included options of adding either Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, or Heavy Commuter Rail capacity. Not paying for any of these options today, could be penny wise and pound foolish tomorrow. It might cost far more money decades later to construct any public transportation component to an existing bridge.

What was the basis of the new $5 billion estimated cost? Cuomo’s promise to put a shovel in the ground by June 2012 has come and gone. The anticipated final potential cost will never be known until design and engineering is complete. This cost will be further refined by award of construction contracts, followed by any unforeseen site conditions and change orders to the base contracts during the course of construction. No one today can really predict when we will see a shovel in the ground, followed years later by completion of this project or the final price tag to taxpayers.

The only real dedicated funding source for fully funding reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge is raising the toll with additional revenues placed in a lock box to cover costs.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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