Reader blames tireless reporter for bike loss

To the editor,

This is still a mean city — for bikes (“Tireless reporter! Brown’s bike gershed outside Metrotech,” Oct. 15).

My sympathy for Stephen’s loss, having had many bikes stolen here over the years. Being without a beloved bike is a bummer, but come on man, locking just the front wheel with a quick release? That’s an invitation.

Now you know the sad truth. No one is watching your bike besides you.

There’s a video out there of a guy “stealing” his own bike with a hacksaw and a portable electric grinding tool. All this opposite Penn Station, with a cop in full view!

As for the saddle, any bike store can rig up a short length of chain permanently seized to hold the saddle to the frame.

Gene Kahn,

Windsor Terrace

Art lesson

To the editor,

I agree that graffiti is definitely not an art form when it is defacing someone’s property (“Carroll Gardens graffiti vandal just wants to ‘Share,’ ” online, Oct. 6).

Graffiti is an urban art form. It is more about artistic expression than it is about crime and vandalism. Instead of printing articles about the destructive actions of a few, there should be more articles about the many graffiti artists who have taken this urban art form to a different level.

We should be steering young graffiti vandals towards a more productive outlet. If they see that graffiti is being treated as a legitimate art form, perhaps they will be inspired to express themselves on canvas or in other ways. We need to impress upon young artists that when this art form is done well it can help them to lift themselves out of poverty, crime and the other pitfalls they might face in the hood.

My husband, Rek Santiago, grew up in Red Hook and expressed himself through graffiti. Now, with airbrush, acrylics, markers and even spray paint as his mediums, his artwork is being recognized by other artists and gallery owners. His work can be seen at the Galleria Mark Hachme in New York and Paris, as well as the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition, Artsencio in Zurich, Switzerland and most recently at the Affordable Art Fair in New York.

He is one example of someone who has taken graffiti, “from ther subways to the gallery.”

Robin A. Cassanova,

Carroll Gardens

‘Sorry spectacle’

To the editor,

I read your account of the two god squads in Midwood cursing each other, and threatening each other with death and eternal damnation (“Bigots target Jews, gays,” Oct. 15).

“Cast into everlasting fire in hell,” “Go to hell” and “Nazi scum will die” were among the more choice epithets.

I don’t equate the Godsmack Tourists with the other side. It is clear who started the whole sorry spectacle, but I do think “a plague on both your houses” is the right response.

Brian Jones,

Brooklyn Heights

The MTA is lame

To the editor,

Most people have missed the glaring point about the dollar van plan and its potential shortcomings (“Van man needs bailout,” Oct. 15).

The city is an unwilling partner, has no intention of doing anything about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority service cuts and continues to insinuate that the vans are an inferior form of transportation.

The city did not authorize the vans to begin until after all the ridership evaporated on these routes, despite having six months notice. My company provided charter bus service to transport-stranded commuters on two discontinued lines: the QM22 and X90. The Department of Transportation sued us, and has us in court to this day for doing something that is legal. The city offered nothing for these commuters other than one taxi stand in Manhattan.

Private unsubsidized bus services threaten the very fibers of politics. Transportation and its funding is a big political issue. No one wants to weaken the influence of government by allowing transportation to be provided where and how it is needed.

The vans have always been used as a scare tactic against the agency. The city would never do anything to allow the vans in Brooklyn and Queens to become legitimate. This is exactly why this plan is doomed to failure.

When the financial crisis worsens and forces another round of service cuts, perhaps an honest discussion of private transit without the innuendo of “low wages” and stigma can take place.

Joel Azumah,

East Flatbush

Welcome back

To the editor,

What a surprise to read your paper and see a photo of the “Welcome to Brooklyn” sign (“ ‘Welcome Back,’ ” Oct. 8).

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 bought it sight unseen. It’s quite happy to be back in Brooklyn where it belongs after its banishment to the boondocks.

Brian Walls,

Carroll Gardens

Van man scam

To the editor,

There is another option for mass transit than the one advocated by your editorial board (“For real mass transit,” editorial, Oct. 15).

In 1953, the old city Board of Transportation passed control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets, to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created.

Buried within the 1953 master agreement between the city and New York City Transit is an escape clause. New York City has the legal right at any time to take back control of its assets, which includes the subway and most of the bus system as well.

If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of your destiny?

Larry Penner,

Great Neck, N.Y.

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