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Arrested pol Karim Camara finally speaks out

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To the editor,

I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment this matter [being arrested for driving while intoxicated] may have caused my constituents, the people of the state of New York, and my family (“Goat of the week: Karim Camara,” May 5).

I appreciate and I am thankful for the outpouring of support I’ve received from my community. I am fully cooperating with the authorities in this matter and I will be glad to comment further at the appropriate time.

I have dedicated my life to serving my community and look forward to continuing to serve my constituents by addressing the significant issues before us.

Karim Camara

The writer is a state assemblyman from Crown Heights

Atlantic Yards: The Great Mistake

To the editor,

Why has nobody addressed one of the most obvious disasters that Ratner’s Atlantic Yards plan would cause: severe overload of the transportation infrastructure?

He picked the worst intersection in the city to build a stadium and mini-city. Flatbush, Fourth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue are already gridlocked all the time. How could it possibly support the extra traffic of a stadium and thousands of office workers and residents? And the trains that pass there are already sardine cans at rush hour. The subway as it is can’t withstand further burden on such a scale.

Yet I have heard no plan from Ratner — or the politicians in his pocket — for handling this surge in traffic.

This is all beside my main objection to Ratner’s scheme: Go hang around Madison Square Garden at night. Would you want to live there? Heck, no. It’s scary. Well, that is exactly the type of neighborhood a stadium creates. This is a residential neighborhood first and foremost. To portray this as “Downtown Brooklyn” (as Ratner — and many newspapers like the New York Times — does) is simply another lie from the Ratner machine.

I hope the Supreme Court can reverse the Kelo decision before this awful plan destroys the hub of Brooklyn.

Jim O’Neill, Park Slope

Litter bugged

To the editor,

I just read Gersh Kuntzman’s column about litter (“Law would destroy my livelihood,” The Brooklyn Angle, May 5). I giggled when I read that Gersh is a litterbug exterminator like myself.

He mentioned that he hands random trash back to the person who has strewn it about my neighborhood and then tells them, “Oh, you dropped something.” I’ve done exactly the same thing. I’d smack them in the head with their trash if I thought I could knock some sense into them.

The filth in this city is sometimes just too much. I come from California, where for the most part, it’s just cleaner. People tend to care about their environment there.

But I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who is disappointed with those who are such slobs that dirty up this city.

Leisah Swenson, Red Hook

Run down

To the editor,

Cristian Fleming’s cartoon with the taxicab lobby smashing a pedicab (“All drawn out,” April 28) reminded me that recent legislation passed by the Council limiting the number of pedicabs is bad news for those who support a cleaner environment, free enterprise and transportation alternatives.

Pedicabs are a nonpolluting form of public transportation powered by people, not fossil fuels. It represents a pure free-market service with no government subsidy. Consumers are afforded another mode of choice as opposed to walking, taking a bus, taxi, subway or driving.

The excuse that pedicabs contribute to traffic congestion is absurd. Several hundred pedicabs are outnumbered by thousands of other vehicles including taxis, limousines, FedEx, UPS, delivery trucks and automobiles that take up far more space.

Everyone should read the next Campaign Finance Board filings by our councilmembers. It will be interesting to see if there was any political quid-pro-quo for those who voted to limit pedicabs and, by fortunate coincidence!, received campaign contributions from the taxi industry.

Larry Penner, Great Neck

Bag people

To the editor,

I’ve hoarded plastic bags ever since the Carter administration with the thought that they’d stay out of the wastestream if they’re in my basement (“Bagless writer tree-filled block,” Park Slope Edition, April 28).

For the last few months, however, I’ve been taking them to the Park Slope Food Co-op for recycling: anyone can participate — you don’t have to be a member. You can find the schedule on their Web site.

I agree that bags in trees are ugly and I fish for them with a helium-filled balloon partly covered with double-sided sticky tape. It’s fun and effective.

R. Kathleen Dillon, Park Slope

Save Duffield St.

I attended the City Council hearing on Duffield Street (“Council takes up ‘Railroad’ fight,” May 5). The city-hired consulting firm, AKRF, said it was paid a half-milion dollars for its research, which appeared to be three interns sorting through old church records.

Their conclusions were dismissed by five of 12 peer-reviewers as flawed, and a majority of the peer-reviewers did not agree that the buildings should be torn down.

It’s interesting that none of these facts were mentioned in the executive summary.

David Giglio, Greenpoint

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