City is backwards on Prospect Park work

City is backwards on Prospect Park work
Photo by Anne-Katrin Titze

To the editor,

You guys deserve a lot of credit for taking a stand against those hideous coffins in front of the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal — and then getting the LIRR to actually remove them (“Tomb raiders,” Sept. 2).

In this post-9-11 age, it took guts to take a stand against our nation’s knee-jerk capitulation to the paranoia over security. Yes, public facilities should be safe and well-protected, but hiding a railway terminal — which your columnist rightly pointed out is supposed to be a symbol of openness and freedom — behind a massive wall only tells the terrorists that we’re scared.

And the more we keep doing that, the more we’ll eventually believe it.

Architecture, like words, paint, marble, pixels or any other artistic medium, is supposed to appeal to our loftiest goals. If our country stands for anything, it is freedom, not fright; democracy, not defeat.Rafael Lopez,

Brooklyn Heights

Park it

To the editor,

The other day, while taking my walk through Prospect Park, I came across the ongoing construction site for the new ice skating rinks which will be part of the so-called Lakeside project (“Anne-Katrin is PO’d,” online, Op-Ed, Aug. 20).

As I stood there, looking through the fence at the edge of the site, I wondered what was wrong with the old skating rink.

More than $25 million has been committed to this project by Mayor Bloomberg, the Council and Borough President Markowitz, in addition to more than $1 million in federal funding. At the end of the day, that’s an estimated $60 million dollars!

Why has all this attention and money been given to two ice-skating rinks and some manicured landscape in a park that has so many unattended issues, including drainage problems, neglected bridal paths for horses and unfinished overpasses by the Nethermead. How about cleaning up the notorious Vale of Cashmere area? Yes, it’s the city’s usual backwards approach to solving its problems.

Let’s look at the new smoking ban in our parks, which I have no objection to, but take any summer day in Prospect Park and you will find enough charcoal lighter fluid in the air to give everyone within a five-mile area a blinding headache, not to mention the carcinogens we are all breathing in. So what does the city do? Does it put a stop on barbecues as in Central Park? No!

Then, there’s the drive to preserve our park wild life by putting up fences all over the place — a move contradicted by the sanctioned murder of 500 park geese. My personal favorite bloop is building a bike lane on the outside of the park and then allowing cars to drive inside the park! Also, how about those notices on the trees in English and Spanish that tell you not to dump your charcoal too close to the trees because they might be harmed, while allowing you to set up your grill below one.

Where is the common sense that is needed in this city?

I am reminded of a remark once made by Mayor LaGuardia to one of his aides: “If you were any dumber, I would make you a commissioner!”

Michael Mastrogiacomo, Park Slope

Mayor BOO-berg

To the editor,

I voted for Mayor Bloomberg because I believed that he was a straight-shooting billionaire who couldn’t be bought. It never dawned on me that he thought he could do whatever he wanted to without an explanation.

His third term has been a disaster so far. He is trying anything and everything to leave behind a proud legacy, but unfortunately people will remember him for being an intrusive egomaniac, who thinks he doesn’t have to answer to anyone — for anything.

His statistics on crime are way under-reported, the school system is failing and his appointments for commissioners have been abysmal, yet he stands by his poor decisions.

He blew it with the blizzard earlier this year, and he over-reacted with Hurricane Irene to try compensate for the way the blizzard was handled. He wants to put us on diets and tell us what to eat, and his support of bicycle lanes and pedestrian plazas in the city is a joke.

He also covered for ex-Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith because he didn’t think it was anybody’s business that he was arrested for domestic abuse. Oh, really?

I believe Bloomberg suffers from a Napoleonic complex and is grossly overpaid at a dollar a year.

Michael Rocky, South Slope

Bike pains

To the editor,

I am sick of how the pendulum has swung so far in the direction of cyclists (“More bike help in Grand Army Plaza,” Sept. 2) — and I’m sick of how you consistently ignore the high-handed manner in which the Department of Transportation operates in this town.

It’s not enough that Grand Army Plaza will soon be cleaved with more bike lanes. But why must you keep ordering up stories to make bike lane foes look like silly old ladies?

There is a real legal issue at stake in the lawsuit over the Prospect Park West bike lane, namely that the city should not have the right to decide — by fiat — how our streetscape should be managed.

The city acted improperly on Prospect Park West. Tell your editor!

Ronald Means, Park Slope


To the editor,

Ouch! Stephanie Thompson’s “Fearless Parenting” column makes for painful reading sometimes.

As anyone partnered to a writer soon learns, “Everything is material” — and that makes that relationship complicated, if not downright treacherous.

But I remember your prior columnist, Smartmom. A good deal of her considerable skill laid in her ability to share private situations without making readers fear that members of her family had been betrayed (Teen Spirit and the Oh So Feisty One may disagree).

Thompson’s stories are not only hurtful, but feel unprocessed. One does not want to read much more about her sad situation, and I hope The Brooklyn Paper will act accordingly and find a better columnist.

Jeffrey Jones,
Prospect Lefferts Gardens