Sound Off to the Editor • Brooklyn Paper

Sound Off to the Editor

To the editor,

Let’s have a Boardwalk reality check: Councilmen Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) are our two local political representatives who deserve huge credit for doing everything in their power since taking office last year to try and stop the Parks Department’s hideous plan for a concrete and plastic walkway (“City: Brighton Beach boardwalk’s fate is set in concrete,” online Nov. 20).

They have met with constituents to hear our concerns, they have garnered support from fellow City Council members, sent letters to the mayor demanding the plan be halted, followed up with calls to his office, and they have sought to meet with the Parks commissioner, and have expressed their outrage to him at this plan and the lack of respect for the will of the community. They have been unyielding in their efforts to save a community treasure. In fact, Chaim Deutsch, while still just a candidate for his office, attended the city’s design commission hearing and eloquently testified against the plan. Now that’s commitment!

In contrast, Assemblymen Steven Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook-Krasny funded this ill conceived plan. Cymbrowitz’s protestations that he was “hoodwinked” and wasn’t aware that the funds he allotted were to be used in this manner, ring hollow. The plan has been on the table and in the media for the past few years, with presentations at the community board, Parks Department public statements, city hearings, and numerous articles and reports from all manner of media. It would seem that he is the only one in our community not aware of it, were that the case! Brook-Krasny certainly was fully aware of what he was funding, as on various occasions, he spoke in favor of it, and he sent his representative to testify in favor of it before the design commission. Thus, since they were co-funding this, it stretches credulity to believe that Cymbrowitz was ignorant of what was taking place.

Now, just a few weeks ago as the machinery was being put in place to start ripping up the Boardwalk, and after years of silence, in an effort to appear the superhero showing up at the last moment to try and save the day, Cymbrowitz begins issuing statements expressing his faux outrage! Brook-Krasny, in contrast, hides in the shadows saying nothing on the issue and not addressing the many calls and emails his constituents have sent him. One is left to wonder if it isn’t we who are being hoodwinked.Rob Burstein

The writer is president of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance.

To the editor,

At last a ray of hope shines on the boardwalk. Why did it take so long for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz to see the light? One hopes he will be as good as his word and rescind funding for a destructive project. Jonathan Weiss


To the editor,

After writing to Assemblymen Cymbrowitz and Brook-Krasny, asking them to stop funding Parks’ Boardwalk plan, I received a letter back from Cymbrowitz, but no response from Brook-Krasny. Cymbrowitz said that the funding expires on Dec. 31, and that “the city is hoping to extend this contract, but I have other ideas. I am committed to doing everything in my power to block the extension of the contract and rescind the money that was allocated.”

This would seem to be good news for all of us that want a real Boardwalk. However many questions need to be answered by both he and Brook-Krasny. Does Brook-Krasny feel the same and intend to do the same? How exactly can they do this, since contracts have been signed and the Parks Department has begun the process? And finally, why did it take so long for either one to try to stop this? They gave their funds for this project, and if it wasn’t what one or both wanted, why didn’t they say so and stop it long ago?

I hope they both will do whatever is now necessary to stop this plan of destruction which will so negatively impact our enjoyment of the Boardwalk, and which most of my neighbors and friends, as well as myself, despise.William Burg

Coney Island

To the editor,

I was very happy to see Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s statement committing himself to putting a stop to the city’s plan for the Boardwalk, and joining with Councilmen Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch. However, where does Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny stand? He seems to be missing in action. He would seem to be the missing link in having a unified opposition from all of our local elected officials. Since he also gave funds to the Parks Department for Boardwalk repair, we deserve to know if this plan is what he had in mind and still supports, and if not, what he is doing about it. The least he can do for those of us who voted for him is to give us some clear answers to our questions.B. Chalet

Brighton Beach

To the editor,

Work is already underway on the Coney Island Boardwalk. If Assemblymen Alec Brook-Krasny and Steve Cymbrowitz don’t pull the plug on their funding to “repair” our Boardwalk, we Brighton Beach residents will end up drowning in the Parks Department’s good intentions. How dare the city’s design commission pretend to know what’s best for area residents? In the Ocean Parkway vicinity that’s already sporting concrete, Hurricane Sandy deposited tons of sand that had nowhere to go except onto the streets and private properties, thanks to the lack of boardwalk slats. Let the design commission stick to what they know best — designing sky-scraping toilets that now blight our beaches.

Suzanne Friedman

Brighton Beach

To the editor,

Upon taking office Mayor DeBlasio declared that he would forge a new direction, that his would be an administration that values and is responsive to the will of the citizens of a community. With respect to our Boardwalk communities of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, he has failed to honor that pledge.

Time after time, the people that reside in these communities, along with their political representatives, have made known their distaste for the city’s plan for the Coney Island Boardwalk concocted during the last mayoral administration. They have demanded that this plan, which most view as lazily uninformed, odiously destructive, and lacking in vision be scrapped. Sadly, the mayor has chosen to continue to listen to the voices of those Parks Department officials least concerned about community will, who themselves are unaffected by the diminishment to our quality of life, and who are not subject to the potential dangers their decisions inflict on our communities.

I was happy to read, therefore, that Councilman Mark Treyger is calling for the Boardwalk to be declared a scenic landmark, and thus be afforded the protective status that provides. All of our political representatives should come together and lend their support to this.

Let us hope that the Landmarks Commission is a truly independent body, and will act in the best interests of all of New Yorkers to preserve and protect for all time this internationally recognized iconic national treasure! What a shame that we can’t rely on the mayor or the Parks Department to do that job!Nelson Levine


To the editor,

Heartfelt thanks to Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger for recognizing that the Boardwalk is a national treasure, and should not be replaced with cement and plastic. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has recently issued strong statements against the current plan, though it is late in the process and possibly moot. Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny? Who knows where he is hiding! A public statement and public position would be most welcome.

It seems that every day New Yorkers and Brooklynites in particular lose the things that make our lives and environments unique, intimate, and connected to history. When all things that once existed are destroyed to make way for all things new, something precious is lost. I am not merely being nostalgic; the boards of the Boardwalk are part of its identity, and part of the identity of the whole area it serves. The sound and feel and connection of walking, cycling, daydreaming on the Boardwalk is something that can’t be experienced anywhere else. A small thing? Sure.

But it is the small things in life that create lasting impressions and a lifetime of memories. I recall with love and joy the sound of my dad’s big work shoes as we walked the Boardwalk every Sunday, watching the gulls wheel over the ocean, and spotting the occasional hobo still roasting potatoes on the beach. Let’s not let them rip up our Boardwalk!Alice Shechter


To the editor,

For years there has been an intense campaign by friends, neighbors, and those with affection for the Boardwalk to keep it as it should be, and not allow it to be reconstructed as the essentially concrete sidewalk the Parks Department proposes.

We are pleased that Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger have supported our position and oppose the plan, but are very concerned that Assemblymen Steven Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook-Krasny have procrastinated and sent mixed signals to a public that needs to be assured of their support.

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny has not responded to calls or emails on the subject and sent someone to support rather than oppose the plan at the design commission hearings. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz never offered a position at this crucial hearing, and although he has offered, recently, to rescind funding for the project, it may be very late in the game, and unless done with more energy, too little to win.

We are very pleased with the support our concerns have had from Deutsch and Treyger and hope that Cymbrowitz and Brook-Krasny will join them, and assure their very concerned public that successful action can happen before the December 31 deadline.

The answer to the continual threat to the integrity of the Boardwalk is to join Councilman Treyger in recognizing for all time that it is a landmark, and as such should be preserved by the New York City Landmark Commission for this and future generations.

Stuart K. Pertz

The writer is an adjunct assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s Grad Center for Planning.

To the editor,

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz should be embarrassed to make a U-turn at this stage of the game. His obvious piggybacking on the good deeds of Councilmen Mark Treyger and Deutsch in their efforts to truly represent their constituents is a lame effort to make us think that he cares about our community. His claim that his reversal is due to now realizing how the project was changed from its original plan is either false or points to ignorance or indifference on his part: the community’s fight against this project has been well documented for a long time. Let us turn our attention to a real representative, Councilman Treyger, and his idea to landmark the iconic Boardwalk!Rose Cherry

Ocean Parkway

To the editor,

I am a lifetime resident of the Brighton Beach community, and as such, along with my fellow residents of the area, have always enjoyed and appreciated the Boardwalk, which for us has become a virtual iconic landmark.

In common with the vast majority of my fellow residents, I am greatly dismayed by the city’s plans to modify the surface and replace the boards with a concrete and plastic material.

We have expressed our concerns over this plan on numerous occasions, and thus are feelings about this matter are well known.

Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger have offered our communities much support to our concerns.

What is puzzling to me at this point is the position of Assemblymen Steven Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook-Krasny. Cymbrowitz, as a result of numerous communications addressed to his office, is now taking a position of opposing the Parks Department project, after providing funding for work which in this honest opinion is being misused, whereas Brook-Krasny has not responded to

any form of communication regarding this matter from any constituent.

It would appear to be incumbent on these two representatives to clarify for our community precisely where they stand on this issue. It is important for us to be informed of the truth of this matter, as these two gentlemen provided the funding for the Parks Department work, without any further inquiry as to the exact use of this funding and the exact work contemplated.

One would hope that these issues would be clarified, and at the same time the Parks Department work be immediately called to question, and the funding for it cancelled.William Zucker

Brighton Beach

Al-n-Jess show

To the editor,

I have always questioned if Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were really preachers since they have no church. When I heard Al Sharpton was guest preacher at a black Houston Church, I decided to check him out in person and see what it was all about.

I sat down and Sharpton came up to me, I don’t know why, maybe it was because I was the only white person in the church. He laid his hands on my hand and said: “By the will of Jesus the lord all mighty, and the will of God, you will walk today.”

I told him I was not paralyzed. He came back and laid his hands on me again, and repeated the same thing. Again I told him there was nothing wrong with me. After the sermon I stepped outside and lo and behold my car had been stolen.Charlie Dinsome

Bay Ridge

Where’s PAL?

To the editor,

A recent TV news segment dealt with a pair of married California cops doing something positive to get to know the youngsters in their community. She was African American and her husband was white and they began a football league to show that not all cops were bad and to be role models. They also organized other activities as well.

Years ago there were cops that went into many neighborhoods to get to know people and vice versa. At that time this had a positive affect in the areas they worked in. The same could be said that these residents could be the eyes and ears if they saw something not right. Then to my regret the successful program stopped dead in it’s tracks.

If we follow what the California cops attempted to do, I know this will have a positive affect. By the way, whatever happened to the Police Athletic League that worked so well to keep children off the streets?Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Neigh to Blas

To the editor,

The city’s carriage horse industry is a 150 years old and run predominately by hard-working Irish immigrants. This industry has been under a microscope for years assuring the horses are well taken care of. These horses work no harder or under any worse conditions than millions of hard-working immigrants did for years making the city and country great. I hate to bring race into this, but if the drivers and owners were black, I don’t think our mayor would be for the banning of horse drawn carriages and the loss of hundreds of jobs.Lottie Murphy

Bay Ridge

Xmas cons

To the editor,

Christmas time brings out the best in most people and the worst in others. Some can’t help themselves to things that don’t belong to them, especially at Christmas time, like stealing packages right off people’s stoops.

I have an idea. Leave a package on your stoop filled with garbage or dog poop wrapped nicely like it was a normal holiday delivery. I would love to see the face of the thief who stole it when he opens it. Happy Holidays!Millie and Stu Gotts


When, oh, when?

To the editor,

When are black leaders going to speak up and condemn black-on-black crime, instead of blaming cops? When are Muslim leaders going to condemn the senseless murders of innocent people by the radical Muslims? When will parents take responsibility for their young children? When will fathers raise their children with their wives, instead of just making a baby and walking away? When will the exaggerated claims of racism and the war on woman finally end? When will teachers stop getting the blame for failing students who don’t do their homework or even show up for school? When will the borders be secured? When will politicians stop lying to us? When will the streets in my area pave the streets that have been torn up for months?Maureen Parker

Sheepshead Bay

Buss cuss

To the editor,

I agree wholeheartedly with Ronald Cohen’s letter about our bus service (“Bus fuss,” Sound off to the editor,” Nov. 21). I have never understood why I have to wait a half-hour or more for a local bus, only to have three of them arrive at one time (“Bus lane is slow lane, say locals.” Nov. 25).

He forgot to mention the B6, the Coney Island Avenue bus, which takes dozens of senior citizens to our center on Coney Island Avenue and Quentin Road every day. Why must we stand and freeze for 30 or 40 minutes waiting for our bus? I also fail to understand why I have to wait more than a half-hour on Kings Highway for a bus to get me to my doctor on Nostrand Avenue, when their are two bus lines running on Kings Highway, the B82 and the Kings Highway bus. I have had to give up on the buses and spend money on cabs in order to make my appointments on time.

I suggest creating lanes for buses only, and have express buses that may be able to avoid some of the traffic. Somebody must do something before someone gets really sick standing out in the cold waiting for a bus that should have come a half-hour ago.Elaine Kirsch


Toll-light robbery

To the editor,

The article on the toll of the Verrazano Bridge was more telling than you know (“Bridging the gap: MTA wants to raise Verrazano tolls to balance budget,” Nov. 20). So there are 180,000 vehicles crossing the bridge daily with a daily revenue of $936,000, according to a transit spokesman. If you take half of the 180,000 and they pay $10 for EZ-Pass and have the other 90,000 vehicles ride free, that would still bring in a revenue of $1,800,000. Realistically, where is all the money collected in tolls really going?Joe Donato

Park Slope

Mayor DeDozio

To the editor,

New York Republican Committee chairman Ed Cox suggested the Mayor DeBlasio will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. That reminded me of the commercial that Hillary ran in 2008 in her bid for president: “Your kids are safe and asleep and the phone rings at 3 am in the White House, etc.”

I could only imagine if DeBlasio was president and the phone rings at 3 am while he is asleep, the phone would just ring and ring, and he would turn over and pull the covers over his head and continue to sleep.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

War heroes

To the editor,

When I read that soldier Brent Grommet’s German shepherd was taken from him when they returned from war, it made me very sad and as mad as hell. This young soldier and his dog, Matty, were together from the beginning at basic training to deployment in Afghanistan. Both were injured by a roadside bomb.

Specialist Grommet suffered traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This soldier who fought for his country, sustained serious injuries, and was almost killed only wants his partner and best friend back with him. This is not only a very small price to ask for, but it is also the law. Robby’s Law passed in 1990 and was signed by Bill Clinton.

This hero was told by higher-ups not to speak to the media about Matty the dog or he would wind up in Leavenworth. Talk about loyalty. These two want to be together again and deserve to be. Didn’t the government already do enough to disrespect and harm our veterans with the Veterans Administration scandal? I’m not holding my breath for the return of the dog to his best friend, after we saw the way the U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was held in a Mexican prison for more than 200 days, but I sure will be praying that Specialist Grommet and Matty are reunited. I would hate to think some bigwig took the dog home to his family and won’t give it back or worse. This is the very least we could do for one of our hero’s who was willing to put his life on the line for us.

I think those monsters being held in Gitmo are being treated better than we treat our own veterans. Our president authorized the release of five monsters for the return of one army deserter. Mr. President can’t you authorize the release of one dog for a hero?Rosie Boxer

Rockaway, N.Y.

Credit gas-bags

To the editor,

I went to a gas station expecting to use my VISA card to fill up my tank. Imagine my horror when I was told that by my using VISA to pay for the gasoline, the price would be 13 cents more per gallon! Yes, $3.45 cash per gallon versus $3.57 VISA per gallon. Outrageous.

I always knew VISA to be 10 cents more per gallon, but now it’s 13 cents more per gallon if one uses a credit card. Aaarrrgh.A. Smith

Mill Basin


To the editor,

I saw in the paper that so many children were absent more than 10 percent of the time during the last school year. This doesn’t take into account the students who are marked present and then proceed to cut classes and cause mayhem during the day.

My favorite was when parents would come to school and inform me and other teachers that they were going on vacation for 10 days to two weeks and demand that we give them the work in advance so that their child wouldn’t fall behind. This is absolutely ridiculous. If the child was not there when the work was being taught, the best the teacher could do was to give them pages to read and questions to answer from the texts. The supervisory staff should have stepped up to the plate to remind the parent that school was in session and that these vacation days were totally illegal. This was never done because principals fear parents.

Years ago if a child was absent excessively, the child was not promoted. This would never occur today, as supervisors look to get rid of children who are chronic discipline problems and whose absences are a relief both for them and the teacher.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Dems the breaks

To the editor,

Yes, it’s super important to be informed and to have opinions but a constant, repetitive drone of negativity, cynicism, anger, and fear accomplishes nothing. It’s far too easy to be critical of others. It’s much more difficult to devise something positive and or good, or to invest the time and effort necessary to become actively involved in local or larger issues and programs in place, or to spend some time trying to offer up something positive: an idea, a movement, or even something already in place that might spark change for the better.

C’mon, two wrongs do not make a right. Just because the other (red) side does it does not mean “we” should too. “We” lost the 2014 midterm elections because the right messages weren’t getting put out and what was being said did not engage the voters enough to get them to actually vote. Maybe it’s time to try other tactics?Barry Brothers


Blott Stringer

To the editor,

Comptroller Scott Stringer is a spoiled child having a temper tantrum. Perhaps he needs a time out. Who knew that taxpayers are paying for members of the NYPD Intelligence Division to serve as his personal security detail. Stringer recently fired four of New York’s Finest from this security detail because they were late in picking him up from his expensive Manhattan home one morning. Is anyone aware that Stringer is the target of any terrorist groups which would merit this level of protection? I seriously doubt that al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic State or any other terrorists are even aware of his existence.

Municipal employees could never get away with the same abuses. They could not use city vehicles during work hours to chauffeur spouses around town. At a minimum, they would have to reimburse the city for the costs of all these personal trips. The Department of Investigations needs to take a look at this serious potential waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers dollars.

Let Stringer assign one of his several hundred staff members to serve as his personal chauffeur. Better yet he could set an example and follow Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick’s bill requiring employers with 20 or more workers to sign up for transit checks. Stringer could do likewise and give up both his free parking space at City Hall and his special police parking permit. He can use his transit check to purchase MetroCards. This will afford Stringer the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment. Stringer talks about being a friend of the 99 percent, yet he prefers the perks of a one percenter.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

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