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To the editor,

Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Brighton Beach), as a concerned senior citizen I am writing about the many problems that affect the lives, the safety, and the health of the residents living in Brighton Beach. The most important thing that needs to be taken care of are the streets — the broken sidewalks, the broken curbs, the cracks and potholes on the gutter, especially when seniors and others have to cross the streets. Is it possible to correct this situation this year? What is causing the delay? When is this problem going to get resolved?

Another factor is the poor structure of the light system that does not give enough time for the seniors to cross the street with their shopping cart. Recently my shopping cart, filled with packages, got stuck in the crack in the middle of the gutter. The big wheel on the left side of the cart came off. I could not lift the cart up. The cars were coming. Luckily a man across the street came over, lifted the cart up from the crack, and took my hand and got me to safety. I could have been killed. The man saved my life.

As for the crime and homeless, it is rampant here. There is a criminal element circulating again around the community, attacking vulnerable seniors and other residents. For instance, when residents go to the bank or do shopping in the stores, they can get robbed. What can be done to bring the crime rate down and make the streets safe?

There is also a problem with the fruit stores extending their produce in the streets beyond the required limit, making the streets unpassable. Merchants should be required to keep the sidewalk along their premises free from any obstruction that could impede pedestrian traffic. What can be done about this?

Another factor that has become difficult for the Americans who speak English is that there is no American supermarket in the neighborhood. It has been almost three years since Met Food and the M&I International Supermarket closed. Met Food lost its lease because of a three-fold rent increase. The M&I International Supermarket demolished its supermarket. In its place there will be a four-story building, which will include a Russian supermarket. American seniors would like a section to be reserved for American groceries. Is this possible? We would like your help in this endeavor.

This has become a serious problem for the American seniors, forcing them to go out of the neighborhood to shop. Seniors living near Ocean Parkway walk a long distance to Key Food on Neptune Avenue and W. Fifth Street to shop for groceries. Seniors living in Sea Coast Towers take car service to Waldbaums in Sheepshead Bay to buy groceries. It is a big expense which they cannot afford. It has become a hardship for many seniors who are frail and in poor health, and are struggling to survive. A van is needed to transport the seniors to the supermarket. What can be done to get an American supermarket in Brighton Beach that delivers groceries to the seniors? What is causing the delay in completing the M&I International building and renting out the six stores in the Met Food market building?

Another factor is the problem with the Boardwalk. Not everyone wants a wooden Boardwalk. There are residents who prefer a cement one because it is level. But they have not raised their voices to the contrary. Greedy landlords are another serious problem. There is a bill in the City Council — the Small Business Survival Act — that supports commercial rent control to prevent greedy landlords from driving out small businesses. I urge you to support this bill.

I would like a personal response to the problems in our community — the American supermarket, the M&I International building, the fruit stands, a cement Boardwalk, and the Small Business Survival Act. I look forward to your response.

Francis Gerber

Brighton Beach

Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Brighton Beach).

Thanks, Bravest

To the editor,

On September 1 my mother Rose Fremder went outside to get her hair done in anticipation for her 100th birthday celebration on September 10. We returned to her building and her elevator was “out of service.” My mother is in a wheelchair and lives on the fifth floor.

The super called a mechanic who did not show up. I called 311 and got the number for the Fire Department. They arrived with sirens blasting and evaluated the situation. Then they strapped her to a special chair. The firemen carried her up five flights and also carried her wheelchair. I understand the mechanic did not show until the next morning.

We don’t give the firemen the thanks they so deserve. Many thanks to them and to their caring spirit.

Sara Hirst

Kings Highway

Zoning out

To the editor,

I have been following all of your articles with interest, concerning the Community Board 10 zoning proposal. The latest article (“CB10 to city: Zoning proposal too dense for public review,” online Aug. 17) gives away the whole scheme, which is in favor of the contractors.

Ask anyone who has ever had a job in a federal, state or city installation what “the books” look like and mean. They are going to laugh. Those thick books hold all the rules and laws pertaining to that specific installation. The only time anyone ever used them was when some organization or person was making it difficult for them to continue with the status quo.

In my opinion, the CB10 zoning proposal is too confusing on purpose. It gives freedom to the city as well as the developers in the future. Ergo, your statement in the article to the effect that in the future it will be easier to demolish old buildings in Bay Ridge is true. There goes the flavor of one of the sweetest “little towns” in Brooklyn.

I moved here because I was raised in a small town and was happy to find a place similar to that small town. Do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening.

Barbara Grebin

Bay Ridge

School fools

To the editor,

It is wonderful hearing that Schools Chancellor Farina will be concentrating on school attendance this year. Where has everyone been on this issue through the years?

I am sure that many teachers (including myself) have heard the following from parents throughout our classroom years: “We’re going to Puerto Rico for two weeks, please give my child all the homework and reading assignments for that period.” The best part was that the parent demanded immediate gratification.

Improving attendance should also not mean that behavior problems will increase, so that learning virtually comes to a halt. How about alternate learning centers for the unruly? How about re-establishing the 600 schools for troubled youngsters?

Have schools made the effort to call in parents of the trouble makers and read them the riot act? Of course not, it’s easier to blame the teacher. You’d see a vast improvement in student deportment if wages and welfare check payments were reduced for parents of unruly children. No one would dare do this. After all, let’s keep the abysmal conditions in far too many schools going.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

It will take 52 years or until 2067 for all 468 city transit subway stations reach a state of good repair, according to a new report. If so how could Gov. Cuomo previously state that the proposed Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $32 billion, five-year capital plan was bloated by billions? To this day Cuomo has never identified which projects and programs are “bloated” that he would support being cut. Who has seen the details of what was reduced in scope, cost or postponed to the next 2020-2024 five year capital plan that justifies reducing the program by $5.2 billion to $26.8 billion? Who has seen the source of Cuomo’s proposed, additional $7.3 billion contribution over five years to support the program?

We will have to wait until Albany reconvenes in January 2016 before any of these dollars possibly become real. The original 2015-2019 capital program request of $2,989 billion for improvements to many of the 468 subway stations is clearly insufficient to get the job done.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

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


To the editor,

I have a number of bots out looking for news articles about transsexualism. One of them turned up the “I am Nancy” columns by Shavana Abruzzo (A Britisher’s View).

As it is in a Brooklyn paper it caught my attention. I was born in Greenpoint, many years ago, so I have ties to the city. I check Brooklyn papers every now and then.

This is a comment on the comments others have made in reply to Shavana’s three-part column: The DNA argument is tiresome. It is something that has been discussed over and over online. Repetition adds nothing to the “debate.” I see its as rationalization for existing prejudices.

Let me ask, do any of you insisting that DNA (actually chromosomes) as the sole determinant of gender know what is in the nucleus of your own cells? How about the woman in the next office? Do you know if she is XX, XY or some other arrangement? What about the checkout clerk at the store? The answer is, of course, you don’t. Without a medical test you cannot know. When you see a person, talk with him or her, transact business or whatever else, you go on appearance, dress, hair, and other externals. If the person before you has a women’s hairstyle, and is wearing a dress and makeup, you will see a woman and respond appropriately, and hopefully courteously. In other words DNA is a total non-issue. And that is all that most transsexual people want: to be able to live our lives, work our jobs, hang with friends, or do any of the myriad of things everyone does daily in peace. Just so the point is made, I transitioned (male-to-female) 30 years ago.

Patricia Malone

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


To the editor,

It is touching to read how many countries (Germany, Hungary, Australia, etc.) are taking in thousands of Syrian refugees, providing them with safety and resources as their country is battling extremists, but I am also dismayed and appalled that no other Muslim country is taking in their own people.

There are many rich Muslim countries, such as Dubai and Saudia Arabia, that have plenty of room and money to help their brothers but choose not to, allowing the Europeans, whom they despise, to take them in. This says a lot, but are we listening?Alex Lapin


Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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