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Prospect Park needs a real wildlife plan • Brooklyn Paper

Prospect Park needs a real wildlife plan

To the editor,

Brooklyn deserves a caring and compassionate response from the newly created Wildlife Management Advisory Committee (“Park officials: We’ll save geese this time,” online, Oct. 5) to the disturbing events that took place on July 8, not more smoke and mirrors.

Would the Prospect Park Alliance notice if the entire lake and its wildlife disappeared overnight?

The wildlife mismanagement of Prospect Park and its lake was never more evident than on July 8 when the park was turned into a slaughterhouse by federal authorities.

For five days the media as well as park visitors were told contradictory cover-up stories by different sources working in and for the park. When concerned park visitors inquired, “Where are the geese?” or “What happened to them?” there were a number of implausible responses.

One response was, all the geese flew to Jamaica Bay, including, the goslings born the previous week. (We were supposed to believe they had grown flight feathers overnight.)

Another response was that the geese were all still here, hiding from the heat.

Hiding from the heat? Hiding pretty deep — all dead and buried in a landfill.

Our air safety was not improved one bit by these killings. In fact, air safety had been enhanced by having resident Canada Geese at Prospect Park Lake. The killings destroyed decades of stability and have done harm to the balance naturally created.

The future protection of the wildlife and their habitat in a city park is at stake here. Wildlife is not an abstract.

The first item on the agenda for the newly created Wildlife Management Advisory Committee should be to correct the years of neglect to the wildlife habitat of Prospect Park.

The lake is being polluted year after year through the dumping of petroleum distillates, such as barbecue coals, and other debris into the watercourse. The evidence of erosion and disrepair of the lakeside is overwhelming to those who care for the environment. There is no plan to restore and clean the existing lake. The loss of acres of the watercourse due to the unsound ecological practices needs to be addressed. The overgrowth of phragmites has become pervasive and the failure to remedy this in a timely fashion is a bigger problem than what any wildlife can be blamed for. The infestation of mosquitoes this year lakeside, is in direct proportion to the numerous stagnant pools of filthy water and the drastic culling of the waterfowl.

The Prospect Park Alliance, Audubon Center, Parks Department and the city are using Canada Geese as scapegoats.

We want wildlife management that supports the protection of our urban wildlife, as well as the maintenance of their habitats in the parks in New York City.

Without this promise from those in charge, many are dreading the consequences of the continuing widespread abuse and neglect.

Anne-Katrin Titze, Sunset Park

The writer is a finalist for the Brooklyn Community Foundation “Do-Gooder” award and a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.

‘Welcome’ back

To the editor,

What a surprise to read your paper and see a photo of the “Welcome to Brooklyn” sign (“ ‘Welcome Back’; Kotter sign found and restored,” Oct. 15).

There must be at least two of them around since I have the exact same one (well, the graffiti is a little different). Mine ended up in Pennsylvania after the old Brooklynite, who had it, moved and took it along with him.

A friend of mine saw it 10 years ago at a yard sale and called me up to see if I was interested. I was. It’s quite happy to be back in Brooklyn where it belongs after its banishment to the boondocks.

Brian Walls, Carroll Gardens

Nabe ‘a disgrace’

To the editor,

I moved from Park Slope to Sunset Park because I could not afford the high rents, and now find that I made a big mistake.

I find it a disgrace that people seem to speak only two languages here, Spanish and Chinese, so I communicate with few people due to the language barrier. If you want to live in America, it’s time to learn our language.

People in Sunset Park are also rude and inconsiderate. They walk on Fifth Avenue with their heads down, not looking where they are going. If I bumped into one of them I guess it would be my fault for me not getting out of their way.

The area is very dirty and litterbugs abound. I never encountered this in Park Slope where people are not slobby.

Stores here have misspelled signs in their windows. An amusing but not funny one was in a laundromat offering “dorp-off” service. It’s a disgrace.

Most of the space in the park on 56th Street and Sixth Avenue is taken up by Asians gambling or playing card games. This is obviously illegal, but nothing is done about it. I would say that half of the vendors along Fifth Avenue are illegally selling their wares but rarely is anything done. More disgrace.

Panhandlers rule the sidewalks. I have seen them enter restaurants and use the bathroom. The manager doesn’t seem to care that business is being siphoned away by people shamelessly begging in front of their establishments. Ninety-nine percent of shoppers in the supermarket present welfare cards, and most women have at least two children. It actually seems overpopulated here.

Maybe, I am spoiled because I come from Park Slope where things are different and people don’t act like this, or maybe I am wrong and Sunset Park is a great place to live, but I feel very out of place because I speak English, I pay with a debit card, I don’t throw garbage on the street and I am not rude. If I could move again, I would be gone in a minute.

It’s time for Sunset Park to get its act together.

Steve Yanowsky, Sunset Park

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