Sound Off to the Editor

To the editor,

Reading the letter from Francis Gerber was like déjà vu (“Reader sounds off to Chaim about Brighton Beach,” Sound off to the Editor, Sept. 11).

In the 78 years I have lived in Sheepshead Bay, there are some sidewalks that have never been paved. The broken, cracked, litter-strewn street under the Belt Parkway at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Z is a prime example of neglect. As for the traffic light system, which changes so rapidly across Nostrand Avenue, it does not give anyone of any age a chance to make it completely across the street.

However, I do disagree with Francis about the wooden Boardwalk. It was, has been, and should always remain a “board” walk.

Judith Heller Braff

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

I agree with Tom Allon (Political Spin Cycle) that we need aggressive police tactics and more police on the streets, especially in high crime areas, and at parades and other public gatherings. We also need stop-and-frisk.

However, we are caught between a rock and a hard place as the saying goes, if the police on the streets are not taught to respect the rights of all individuals of every race, and never to use excessive force. Aren’t our police officers taught that all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law?

I do not know why the police had to knock down James Blake. Couldn’t they just have asked him who he was? Why did they have to choke Eric Gardner just for selling cigarettes? What really scares me is that, when I was growing up, I was taught to respect police officers and turn to them if I was in trouble. Many of today’s children have been taught to hate and fear cops. Who can they turn to? It’s not surprising that they turn to street gangs.

I think the solution is more carefully selected and properly trained police officers on the street. Every officer should be trained in non-violent methods of searching, and respectful ways of treating suspects, and should be periodically re-evaluated and re-trained if necessary.

One other suggestion, all officers should be trained in suicide prevention and should have safety nets in their cars to catch jumpers. A suicide happened a few days ago in a senior center that could have been prevented had the police used a net.

I am sorry that Gov. Cuomo lost a valuable aide (in the festivities leading up to the West Indian Day Parade), but hope that, maybe now, he and Mayor DeBlasio will do something to improve the protection and the understanding we need from the police department.Elaine Kirsch


Rite and wrong

To the editor,

To the activists who object to the swinging of chickens before Yom Kippur — this is a religious practice, so look away and mind your business.

Instead of being concerned with this, you should be more concerned that our Hasidic children are being denied an academic education due to fears by the Hasidic community that this will lead to assimilation. Education has always been stressed in the Jewish religion and is a basic tenet. It is true that the swinging of the chickens is not exactly the greatest thing to look upon, but we still have to respect the rights of people adhering to religious beliefs. In short, they’re not bothering you, so don’t bother them.

Your anti-ritual outburst will only further promote anti-Semitism. The best part of all this is that you and your cohorts are probably self-deprecating Jews.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Refugee crisis

To the editor,

I am appalled — but not surprised — that our president has seen fit to accept 10,000 so-called “refugees” from Syria. They were safe in Turkey where, coincidentally, there is a common language and customs. For whatever reason, 850,000 people saw fit to do a mass migration to western and central Europe. Wherever they have gone in the recent weeks, they have managed to wear out their welcome by rioting and fighting with the police of every country they arrived in. They have insulted their hosts by discarding Red Cross food packages because they were “offended” by the cross. Those countries have now closed their borders. Apparently it can be done, because they did it! What bothers me is that the majority of “refugees” I have seen are military aged young men. I saw very few women, children and old people. They have invaded Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria and Germany. Not a single one of these “refugees” went to other Arab countries. For instance, in the city of Minna, Saudi Arabia, there is a city of tents which they erected for the annual Haj to Mecca. The rest of the year it is empty. These tents are fireproof and air conditioned. Why haven’t the Saudis accepted any of their Muslim brothers? The same with most of the Arab world. Personally, I think they are afraid to allow them entry into their countries. How many of these “refugees” are actually Islamic State terrorists? I would guess that there are probably some real refugees, but how are we to tell? We can’t, and therein lies the rub. If we can’t separate the real refugees from Islamic State terrorists who would attack us where we live, as they have always said they would do, then as a matter of national security we should not accept any.

The people who know them best — other Arabs — want nothing to do with them. Once again our president has shown shockingly bad judgement and is putting us all at risk. The first and most important job of any president is to protect the United States of America from its enemies. This he has utterly failed to do. Now, our neighbor, Mexico, has said they would accept the “refugees” also. Where does anyone suspect that they will wind up eventually, because the most powerful nation on earth can’t seem to be able to close its own borders? David F. Podesta

Marine Park

Trumping Bam

To the editor,

I sincerely do not understand why the argumentative press and many individuals want The Donald to defend Obama’s not being a Muslim.

It’s up to the accused (Obama) to speak out against the accusations, nobody else. He is the only one who really can speak the truth, from his heart. Everybody, get off Donald’s back. Joan Applepie

Mill Basin

Barnes Dance

To the editor,

Many years ago Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Neptune avenues, and W. Fifth Street had the Barnes Dance. When all the lights were red, seniors and mothers with children could walk in either direction without the fear of getting hit by a car. Now we have a count-down clock which gives the residents 25 seconds to cross. Big deal. Many times I’ve noticed that even when the light is red some cars continue to make an illegal turn. I do believe that the Barnes Dance should return to this intersection.

Those of us who live in these neighborhoods deserve to be protected from out-of-control drivers who think they can do as they please. Did it take a rocket scientist to build those islands all over the place? My question is how much effort would it take to bring back a needed safety factor, such as the Barnes Dance?

Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Mom-and-pops tops

To the editor,

In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your local fast food eatery, diner, restaurant or steak house. My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite local neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take out, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued to create new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.Larry Penner

Great Neck, New York

Park up

To the editor,

Unfortunately the summer season is starting to wind down. The weather has been great even if it was very hot. As a frequent visitor to Marine Park I’ve observed first-hand how beautiful and also how dangerous the park can be, and not because of gangs or muggers or crime.

I’m in that park at all different days of the week and all different times of the day. The mix of people there is amazing and everyone seems to get along just fine. In fact there are some of the nicest and friendliest people anywhere right here in Brooklyn. Yeah, Brooklyn, thought by many from anywhere else other than Brooklyn to be one of the toughest places on earth, with the toughest people anywhere. Well it just ain’t true, but let’s keep them thinking that we eat nails for breakfast — it makes life easier for us.

I want to bring attention to the bicycle and walking paths in the park that are meant to be used in a counter-clockwise direction. There is currently a very faded painted sign on one path. After many pleas to the park manager by a Marine Park Civic Association member to paint new ones, only three arrows and a stencil of a bike were painted about 20 feet from each other on the Stuart Street side. I figured finally they are getting something done about this and waited for the rest of the arrows to be spray painted on the outside track and completely around both tracks in different sections, but it didn’t happen because apparently there isn’t enough money to buy more paint. Too expensive! I can’t believe that was the answer given. Too expensive to help keep everyone safe?

I personally have seen close calls because people are walking the wrong way on the wrong track with kids carriages and dogs not paying any attention to their surroundings, and talking and texting. I’m not saying a few painted yellow markers on some asphalt will stop all accidents, but it just might help stop one.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

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