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Men are domestic-violence victims, too

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To the editor,

Supervising Judge Jeffrey Sunshine correctly cites the rise in reported domestic violence incidents as causal of the skyrocketing divorce rate (“Splitsville: Brooklyn divorces up 30%,” The Brooklyn Angle, June 14). But he only references women as victims of abuse.

Every credible study of family violence shows that men are assaulted by their spouses at about the same rate as females. I can confirm that from 35 years as a marriage and family counselor.

Men are much more reluctant to report violence because they mistakenly believe that they should be able to take it in stride.

Wayne Johnson, Brooklyn Heights

DeBlasio weighs in on our school crowding story

To the editor,

I was troubled to read about the rumors that the Department of Education may rezone some of the city’s public schools in order to combat overcrowding (“Some children left behind?” Park Slope edition and online, June 13).

New Yorkers are hugely invested in the public school system: homeowners and renters often choose their homes based on the location of their public schools, and homes zoned for high-performing schools command a premium.

Any school rezoning, anywhere in the city, will adversely affect the children currently enrolled in the school, the families who have moved to a neighborhood in anticipation of using a school and the property values of all residents.

Before resorting to drastic measures, the DOE should consider other options.

The DOE could lease space in underused parochial schools in the neighborhood, and use these annexes to house ancillary programs, such as pre-kindergarten.

I will strongly oppose any rezoning of our schools and fight to protect the investments that residents have already made in the futures of their children.

Bill DeBlasio, Park Slope

The writer is a City Councilman.

Wal-Mart woes

To the editor,

In your June 14 editorial, “Dreaming of a Wal-Mart,” you say bringing a Wal-Mart to Downtown Brooklyn would also bring business to existing Mom-and-Pop stores.

Sir, what Mom-and-Pop stores do you speak of? Hardware stores, luncheonettes, candy stores, record stores and shoe stores are all gone. Everything is a chain or a 99-cent store.

Shopping in these stores is horrible compared to shopping in real stores — long lines, no service, items missing, empty shelves and broken merchandise are some of the horrors of big box stores. Wal-Mart is the biggest and worst of them all.

People with limited income are forced to shop in these stores, so you will see [no one else] on the Fulton Mall, including Macy’s. At one time, there were many middle class stores there, like Korvettes and Martin’s; Fulton Street served all incomes and was prosperous until the Long Island malls and Kings Plaza came along.

There is nothing left for Wal-Mart to kill; it’s been dead and gone for decades.

And yuppies in Park Slope and surrounding areas aren’t interested in JCPenney or anything else Brooklyn has to offer for shopping.

Len Shapiro, neighborhood withheld

• • •

To the editor,

I read that editorial with my heart pounding in my throat. As an urban planner, I shudder at the prospect of big box bad boy Wal-Mart setting up shop on the waterfront as it is incongruous with the city’s own waterfront revitalization program, which seeks to bolster water-dependent uses and public access in the Red Hook area.

However, as a Red Hook resident, I am far more anxious about how this epic land use struggle will further divide an already racially and economically bifurcated community.

While I steadfastly opposed Ikea and worked earnestly to derail its arrival in Red Hook, I was offended by the vitriol hurdled by both sides during the Ikea environmental review process and completely put off by some members of anti-Ikea camp.

One lingering effect of the Ikea battle is the widening schism between households of the [more well-off part of the neighborhood] and Red Hook public housing residents.

This divide makes Red Hook far more prone to the proliferation of big box stores as real estate developers quickly capitalize on dissent among neighbors.

Moreover, fighting mega-projects not only requires an inordinate amount of time, money and skill, but also diverts vital resources away from civic matters that may unite Red Hook residents such as lowering crime, increasing mass traffic, improving parklands, landmarking historic structures and working towards top-performing public schools.

Will normal neighborhood business be put on hold for years while we duke it over Wal-Mart?

Elizabeth Ernish, Red Hook

Keep the circus

To the editor,

I am both elated and troubled by Friday’s performance of the Metropolitan Opera in Prospect Park (“Nine days in Brooklyn,” June 14). After the [earlier] announcement of the renovation of the Wollman Rink and its surrounding property, it was quietly disclosed that the annual visit from the UniverSoul Circus would end.

Each year, the park makes space in the Long Meadow ball fields for the New York Philharmonic — and now the park is making space for its largest event ever, with an expected attendance of 150,000 for the Met Opera.

Is the park willing to make space for highbrow events like opera and symphony but not for the more common pleasure of clowns and tigers? 

Lorne Loggia, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Marty is slippery

To the editor,

It was ironic to see Marty Markowitz leading up the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island on Saturday (“Editor’s picks,” June 14).

Markowitz is one of the signature enablers of the ongoing plans to bulldoze the place.

For such a supposed Brooklyn booster, he sure is trying hard to turn it into Manhattan.

Scott Powell, Park Slope

Updated 4:01 pm, November 10, 2010
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