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Trees grow in Brooklyn – for how much?

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To the editor,

The New York City Council approved and allocated $5 million dollars to renovate the playground and replace the several hundred trees and bushes that had been lost during and after Hurricane Sandy in Asser Levy (Seaside Park) in southern Brooklyn. I don’t know who received the contract for the work, but the park has been closed to the residents of the area since early October last year and no work has been done there ever since.

In addition, I recently learned that according to the contract the Parks Department signed, each tree planted there will cost the city, and thus the taxpayers, the outrageous exorbitant amount of $15,000. This is 20 times of what it should cost!

I was the chair of the landscaping committee of one of the large co-op developments in the area, Trump Village. I selected and purchased fairly mature trees directly from a Long Island tree farm for under $600 each. Planting those trees cost us $100 each.

If this is how the city typically spends its taxpayers’ money, then the taxpayers should know about it. I think this news deserves the front page.Andrea Bobrow

Coney Island

Curb those cuts

To the editor,

Like Mr. Morris — depicted in the article about illegal curb cuts (illegal driveways) and the frustrations of parking in Bensonhurst — I am also a decades long homeowner. Parking in my neighborhood has become a full-time job. (I live in the 80s off 20th Ave.) I feel lucky when I find a spot 8–10 blocks away from my house these days. I applaud Marnee Elias-Pavia of Community Board 11. I attend the Community Board meeting once a month. At the last meeting, Marnee detailed her efforts to persuade the Buildings Department and our legislators to take seriously this growing problem. This a dangerous trend. By taking the law into your own hands and creating your own private parking space in front of your house you are thumbing your nose at your neighbors and the rules that govern the city. I consider it a dangerous trend because I can see other aspects of scofflaw creeping into the neighborhood. Cars parked by fire hydrants. Trash in the streets. Graffiti plastered across private and public property. Illegal apartments, just to name a few. I can also predict that parking in front of an illegal driveway, which in some cases are unrecognizable as driveways, could lead to vandalism and violence.

So, we know the problem. The solution is not so clear. If our laws and fines are not potent enough to correct the violation, we need new stronger laws. We also need municipal parking lots and perhaps other solutions that require parking permits for residents. We need leadership on this issue, which I am happy to see coming from my community board and your publication. Something has to change. We can’t wait 30 years for someone to sell their home to enforce the law.

Thank you for running the article.Bob Quigley

Bensonhurst

Not digging routes

To the editor,

Councilman Deutsch told constituents that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city had agreed to hold off on the B82 SBS, taking more time to hear from the community. (Park it! Locals demand city not trade spaces for buses, April 27). Meanwhile, construction is continuing and comments on the Department of Transportation website has been temporarily halted. The MTA website has no information about planned SBS routes. So exactly how and when will the MTA and the DOT obtain additional input? They have not even met with the full community boards where the people can weigh in.

Yet, the MTA continues to lie to the public to gain acceptance for SBS. Last week, MTA spokesman Shams Tarek told a local newspaper, the Queens Chronicle, “The Comptroller’s report affirms that SBS runs much faster than local routes and is a vast improvement over regular bus service, and that riders like it.”

The Comptroller’s report actually said: “Over the last decade, bus ridership in New York City has nosedived and many local routes have become less reliable, slower, and increasingly outdated. While Select Bus routes have performed slightly better, there is ample room for improvement.” It further states: “Select Bus routes travel only slightly faster than the average local route (8.9 mph versus 7.4 mph) and are identical in their on-time performance — a meager 62 percent.”

“Slightly better” and “slightly faster” is not “vast improvement” and “much faster.” As for passenger satisfaction levels with SBS, the Comptroller’s survey showed a 64 percent satisfaction rate whereas the MTA’s faulty methodology showed a 95 percent satisfaction rate. The Comptroller does not state if local riders were also surveyed. If not, then the 64 percent approval rating would most likely be even lower, since those riders did not opt for the SBS service.

There needs to be a moratorium on future SBS routes until its problems are corrected as I explained in the Gotham Gazette.

http://www.gothamgazette.com/opinion/7599-the-great-select-bus-service-conspiracy-part-i

Allan Rosen

Sheepshead Bay

Replace plastic

To the editor,

A few years ago Friskies pet food offered shoppers a plastic pet food dish for a certain amount of accumulated bar codes from pet foods sent to them. Great incentive to buy the product! Useful pet dish.

My idea is to offer shoppers a fabric shopping bag for a certain amount of accumulated sales slips from individual stores — say, offer a fabric shopping bag for $300 worth of shopping sales slips from individual stores. It would save plastic and advertise each store, for the logo printing on each fabric bag would give publicity to, and throw the spotlight on, certain stores. What a wonderful incentive to stop using plastic bags! All winners and no losers. Agree?

Joan Applepie

Flatlands

Don’t slow … stop!

To the editor,

The hump is not in the road.

The call for a simple stop sign on Avenue T and East 33rd Street is nothing but a common sense cry for safety from neighbors and school officials as well. While city Department of Transportation officials only want to install a hump — which is a bone-headed recommendation from the humps running DOT — I believe it is in the best interest of all school children at Marine Park Junior High School for parents to take matters in their own hands. Let them erect temporary-portable stop signs during school hours, as is done in many localities in and outside of the state. Demand that the NYPD station a car on 33rd Street to stop and ticket speedsters using this road to escape the many traffic lights on Gerritsen Ave.

Doing this before a tragedy occurs may wake up the DOT and then, and only then, will a permanent fix of a stop sign and whatever flourishes they might add, can be installed to enhance the safety of all.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Honoring Barbara

To the editor,

Barbara Bush led a full but tempestuous life. It was one that was truly blessed and just as stressed. A life that was not free from strife, yet she bore it with poise and grace.

As First Lady, she was not the great student who graduated No. 1 in her class like Hillary Clinton, who graduated first in her class at Yale Law School, with Bill Clinton being No. 6.

She was not Eleanor Roosevelt, who felt we have to Americanize the world. She certainly did not care to use her position as First Lady the way Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton did to draw attention to themselves. She was not the good trooper like Pat Nixon, who hated politics but felt it was a man’s world and would have preferred to be the wife of a Wall Street tycoon, buying all the finer things.

She was typical, being the everyday housewife and the elderly “Mary Poppins” who believed in being firm but kind. However, she wanted to improve American literacy as her legacy.

It’s true that she was pro-choice and felt it was wrong to deny a woman the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, but stood loyally by both her husband and son, when George H.W. Bush became president in 1989 and their son “Dubya,” who became president in 2001.

May she rest in peace.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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