Readers love opossum, but hate Andy Campbell

To the editor,

Opossums are gentle, loving, tremendous parents and good for the environment (“City: Don’t blame US for opossum oppression,” Oct. 1).

The hysteria, which resulted in the death of hundreds of Canada geese this summer, has now spread to opossums and raccoons. There will undoubtedly be calls for lethal control when just letting them be is the only right thing to do.

Wayne Johnson,
Brooklyn Heights

Barking mad

To the editor,

Congratulations on yet on another banal, meaningless and misleading story about dog runs, dogs and their owners by your reporter Andy Campbell (”At Brooklyn Bridge Park dog run, the heat is not on,” online, Oct. 11).

Though it’s kind of hard to catch the purpose of this “story,” it appears that Andy Campbell wants you to know that un-spayed female dogs go into heat, and that most dog runs or off-leash areas, not just in New York, but virtually anywhere, have rules that ask owners not to bring an in-season female into an off-leash area with other dogs.

But Campbell appears to be attempting to manufacture yet another artificial “controversy” by somehow trying to demonize Brooklyn Bridge Park officials for adhering to practices that are followed at virtually any dog park anywhere in the world.

Brooklyn has three million residents — you would think you would be able to figure out a few interesting stories to report.

Matthew Parker

The writer is president of Friends of Hillside Dog Park, and vice president of the New York Council of Dog Owners Groups.

Ratner reneged

To the editor,

Bruce Ratner has reneged on all of his promises, instead bringing chaos, noise, dirt and traffic to the community (“Plaza Sweet — Ratner unveils new front for his Barclays Center,” Oct. 1).

He promised 7,200 units of below market-rate housing, thousands of jobs and other public benefits. There was even talk of a school to help accommodate families with children moving in at one meeting I attended. It seems the only people who will benefit live in Russia. A Russian owns 85 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the arena.

Bruce Ratner sold everyone a bill of goods. He took our tax money and will continue to do so. Let him give back to Brooklyn by footing the bill for all the residential parking permits.

Sharron Staton,
Windsor Terrace

Yes on permits

To the editor,

Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Fort Greene) seems to have the only informed and cogent position on residential parking permits (“A Yards parking tax? Tish James calls for permits for locals near arena,” Oct. 1).

Your reporter’s misrepresentation of the facts (to make it seem like the issue is about generating additional revenue for the city) is taken up by project opponent Patti Hagen who rails against “yet another new tax.” The parking situation for those of us living near the Atlantic Yards site is already untenable. Commuters drive in from areas that are poorly-served by public transit to park close to the Atlantic/Pacific transit hub in order to shorten their commute. Shoppers at the Atlantic Mall park on our streets to avoid paying for parking at the mall.

This situation will be exacerbated by the Atlantic Yards development, which will draw additional drivers — at extended hours — to look for parking in our neighborhoods.

The solution, as James points out, is residential parking permits (whether they involve token fees or not), and a more robust and extensive transit system that provides more efficient and convenient options for all.

Jonathan Cohn, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

We support residential parking permits in the neighborhoods surrounding the Barclays Center.

Prospect Heights and the other neighborhoods are soon to suffer a deluge of traffic when the arena opens its doors, and thousands of cars flood our streets. No matter what parking facilities are at the arena, many drivers will circle the neighborhood looking for free on-street parking. Residential permit parking would reduce congestion, gas emissions, noise and dangerous crossings for pedestrians — and benefit residents and businesses.

Cities across America have residential permit parking, often for nominal fees, around sports complexes. Community advocates can surely come up with a plan that meets the needs of residents, local businesses and visitors? A comprehensive traffic plan for Atlantic Yards is desperately needed to reduce the number of cars driving to the arena, and implement measures that go beyond the inadequate mitigations in the project’s environmental impact statement. The Empire State Development Corporation and Forest City Ratner have yet to announce such a plan, and now that ground has broken on the arena’s construction, time has run out.

It’s time to demand that the State and City departments of transportation prepare an independent transportation plan to ensure public safety and neighborhood sustainability in the areas surrounding the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues before the situation spins further out of control.

Danae Oratowski,
Prospect Heights

The writer is chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

Not taking crap

To the editor,

Thank you for calling attention to what I would call self-centered half (at best) human pig slobs who pollute our great city with mindless disposal of their garbage (“What trash? Park officials give litterers a free ride in filthy park, but crack down on dogs,” Aug. 20).

Shame on them. We belong to the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, and participated in the transfer of the aquatic wildlife to the main lake during the draining of the section of lake by the skating rink last fall. We could not believe the amount of trash that was deliberately tossed in just that small section of the lake.

Shame, shame, shame. Thanks again.

John McQuillan and Lesley Brunelle, Park Slope


To the editor,

Bravo to your article “A gooseless city?” (Oct. 8). Your persistent reporting about the Canada geese has helped to keep their plight public.

Culling is neither a supportable solution, nor an emotionally tolerable one. The population of Canada geese — decimated by the July pogrom in Prospect Park — has rebounded. Also, the public relations nightmare is in direct correlation to the public’s outrage. This reaction, like the geese, will not go away.

The value-versus-conflict position taken by the Federal Wildlife Service is equally galling. Now we know that federal and city agencies, claiming to act in our best interests, do not consider us intelligent enough to discuss — let alone debate and participate in — the decision-making process.

On all levels, they have acted dispassionately, arrogantly and aggressively, and foolishly underestimated the public. There are no more facts to support the manslaughter charges brought against the geese than there are to decide that the Earth is flat.

Joan Cameron, Park Slope