Lots of letters about Atlantic Yards

Yards whitewash!

To the editor,

Your recent coverage of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Atlantic Yards project was disappointing — to put it mildly (“Ground broken on Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project,” March 19). Why would you quote several speakers on “job creation” without noting that there is simply no argument that this project will bring a significant number of jobs, especially in relation to the perhaps as much as $2 billion in direct and indirect public subsidies?

Certainly, given all these years to explore the question, you can do more than simply repeatboosterish claims that have no basis in fact. In a more general sense, you must also be aware that the Independent Budget Office has determined the arena itself would be a money-loser for the city.

Isn’t that newsworthy, in relation to a ceremony where so much “public good” is promised?

There is a really awful thing happening in the heart of Brooklyn. Please cover it with more seriousness and depth.

Lee Zimmerman

Prospect Heights

It was a groundtaking

To the editor,

The Rev. Herbert Daughtry gave a prayer at Ratner’s Barclays Arena “groundtaking” ceremony — and claimed that the project area was “rodent-infested” and “garbage-strewn” before Ratner showed up.

Actually, before Ratner came along in 2003, wielding the threat of the state’s power of eminent domain to steal private property, the project site was a rapidly developing, mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood. There was nothing noteworthy as far as rats or garbage.

But over the past six-and-a-half years, under that threat of eminent domain, Ratner has indeed blighted a neighborhood that wasn’t.

One wonders why a man of the cloth would lie through his teeth to mouth a billionaire developer’s disgusting, self-serving talking points.

Oh, and one other thing. If this money-losing arena, breaking ground in the middle of a housing crisis, is so popular and so crucial for Brooklyn and New York, how come out of Brooklyn’s Assembly, Senate and Council delegations, totaling 45 elected officials, only six showed up — all of whom with close financial and/or political ties to the developer? Note that the developer did not enjoy the attendance of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and Comptroller John Liu.

The answer is obvious.

Daniel Goldstein

Prospect Heights

Billionaires for Ratner

To the editor,

We have learned as a result of the entire Atlantic Yards fiasco, is that:

1. Governments, and particularly the Bloomberg government, actively work against the interests of its citizens and for the best interests of the billionaire elite.

2. Elected officials can be bought and bought cheaply. After all, your paper once reported that Markowitz received in excess of $40,000 from Ratner. I wonder how much Council Speaker Quinn received for her endorsement and how much was offered to the other members of the Council. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is supposed to investigate corruption, has been awfully quiet.

3. The citywide media is essentially worthless in uncovering corruption. It often benefits from it in advertising revenue.

4. Billionaires take care of their own kind first; dishonest billionaires help each other more quickly.

5. Voters in each council district can elect one representative, but councilmembers from all of the districts can tell the people of one district what is good for them and what must be done. Local voters are thereby disenfranchised. One wonders why we vote at all.

Bob Ohlerking

Park Slope

Excited by this board

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

Stop ‘The Butcher’!

To the editor,

Regarding your recent story, “Blood on the water” (March 19), I must first say that I’ve been enjoying the sights of Prospect Park for decades, and am thrilled with all of its changes. But obviously one thing hasn’t changed: ritual sacrifice.

I have stumbled across countless scenes of ritual sacrifice throughout the years. Usually a few pieces of fruit and an empty rum bottle is all one finds, but I have also come across at least a dozen sights of poultry slaughter. There’s always a rock, always a pool of blood, always a burn spot, and usually tell-tale clumps of feathers nearby.

Mount Prospect and the Flatbush side of the park seem to be the areas most often used. In fact, on the Flatbush side it’s not uncommon to find the entire headless carcass of a rooster.

Even stranger, are the carefully arranged pentagrams fashioned from pebbles and twigs within sight of the boathouse.

J. McLaughlin

Park Slope

You know, this is illegal

To the editor,

Would the park notice if the entire lake disappeared overnight?

The penalties for harming wildlife, illegal dumping, and littering in Prospect Park Lake are severe. For example, the Environmental Control Board penalty for violations of regulation A16, section 56 RCNY1-04 (g)(1) states: Molest/kill/remove/possess animal/nest/egg, etc. is $1,000 for each offense.

The same fine goes for illegal dumping in the park and lake. Garbage cans, ice ladders, barricades, and other debris are routinely thrown into the waters without fear. Urban Park Rangers and Park Police are needed to patrol the lakeside and without them visible, the lake becomes an easy target for ongoing vandalism.

It is cost effective to pursue the violators. Without enforcement at the park, many are dreading the consequences of the continuing widespread abuse and neglect.

Anne-Katrin Titze

Park Slope

Mike’s vote was sick

To the editor,

I wrote this open letter to Rep. Mike McMahon.

Congressman, you voted against the wishes of your constituency when you rejected 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 on President Obama’s coattails by voters who wanted change, voters who could benefit from health care and immigration reform.

There are thousands of people in this district 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.

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.

Ernest Barteldes

Staten Island