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The Brooklyn Paper mailbag

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To the editor,

Your editorial about the new lawn litter regulations (“This law is trash,” Aug. 7) is itself littered with misleading information.

First and foremost, the “Lawn Litter” law is a state law, not a city law, which was signed by former Gov. Spitzer on Jan. 28, 2008. The city Department of Sanitation is designated with enforcing this law and, as such, has offered residents a sample sign that complies with the state requirements. The sample sign is available on our Web site, and has been distributed to community boards citywide as a public service.

In order to report a complaint, citizens must download a complaint form, attach it with the unwanted materials, and send it to the Department’s Enforcement Unit.

This clear-cut system, not “bureaucratic morass” as you stated, allows homeowners to submit complaints to determine whether or not a violation should be issued to the companies responsible for the unsolicited ads.

Lastly, residents of multi-unit buildings are not solely at the mercy of the building owners. The law clearly states that in a multiple dwelling building, the property owner can only post a sign when all the residents agree to the posting. If one or more units of the building choose to receive unsolicited ads, the property owner may post a sign designating a particular location or receptacle in the building where unsolicited ads can be left, as well as the number of ads that can be left in that area. This allows residents in multiple dwellings who want to receive ads the ability to do so, even if their neighbors choose not to receive them.

We would hope that the next time The Brooklyn Paper chooses to criticize the city, it will accurately state the facts, not simply toss them out with the trash.

Matthew LiPani, Manhattan

The writer is assistant director of public information for the Department of Sanitation.

Editor’s note: The Brooklyn Paper did not say that the “Lawn Litter” law was a city law. But the city did draft the arcane regulations and create the “bureaucratic morass” — including the impractical multi-unit component — that our editorial criticized.

Dylan a must-miss

To the editor,

I appreciated your review of Bob Dylan’s concert in Prospect Park (“Two Dylans show up at Prospect Park,” Aug. 13), because like your reviewer, I was severely disappointed by the whole experience, though I was one of thousands of people who camped out on the lawn outside the bandshell perimeter.

I went with my daughter to share with her the Dylan experience that I had so loved years ago, but was stymied by the Park’s Department, which had put up an ugly green wall around the concert to make sure that only paying ticket-holders could see the show.

Rhudi Elizabeth Eagle, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

Sadly, I must agree with your review of the Dylan show.

As you stated, “Lay Lady Lay” is an absolute horror these days. I wish someone, anyone, would tell him to scratch that one from the set list. (Even if he could sing it decently, at age 67, he shouldn’t be singing this song regardless.)

Unlike most of reviewers, you bravely wrote the truth. Those other guys said Bob’s voice was “strong” or “sounding better than it has in years.” Maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t mean much.

I continue to listen to Dylan and revere him as the top artist of my lifetime, but seeing him in concert is not something I will ever do again. I don’t want to become one of the enablers.

Kenny Cramsey, Reading, Penn.

Raises: Heck no!

To the editor,

I respectfully disagree with letter writer Bill Harris (“They deserve raises,” Aug. 16). State Sen. Marty Connor and colleagues applied for the job knowing the requirements and benefits. There was no draft.

The Senate’s mediocre record also speaks volumes.

Consider for 20 out of the past 23 years, members of the legislature couldn’t even pass a balanced budget on time. Adding insult to injury, they get bonuses for chairing committees, they get day-to-day meal expense accounts and reimbursement for travel to and from Albany.

Add this all up, and they earn almost three times what the average constituent earns.

Sen. Connor has a very lucrative election law practice on the side. Each year, he assists Democrats in keeping their challengers off the ballot to avoid primaries. He is the poster child for insider clubhouse politics who long ago gave up any pretenses of being an Albany reformer.

Don’t shed any tears for our state senators. They are laughing at us all the way to the bank when cashing their paychecks at our expense!

Also, your recent editorial about the MTA’s vending machine malfunctions (“The MTA’s un-fare-ness,” July 31) reminded me of the history of the MTA.

In 1953, the old Board of Transportation gave control of the subway system to the MTA. The governor, the mayor and city business leaders appointed board members for the new organization, ensuring no one elected official controlled a majority of the votes.

When operational problems occurred or fare increases were needed, however, everyone could put up his hands. Decade after decade, city officials would all play the same sad song: “If only we had control of the Board things would be different.”

All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement is an escape clause. The city has the legal right at any time to take back control of the transit system.

If municipal elected officials feel they could do a better job running the nations largest subway and bus system, why not step up to the plate now and regain control of their destiny?

Larry Penner, Great Neck

B’klyn Bridge blip

To the editor,

The five-year delay to Brooklyn Bridge Park that you rightly decried in your front-page story last week (“The ‘park’ stops here,” Aug. 14) is just the beginning. Consider: the reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway “Triple Decker” is being planned now and will probably not be complete until around 2020. This enormous project will postpone full use of the park during construction, despite official statements to the contrary.

In the grand scheme of things, the five-year delay of the piazza is a mere blip, well worth complaining and writing about (which you do consummately), but at the end of the day, it’s but a blip.Bill Harris, Boerum Hill

Green machine

To the editor,

After reading your columnist’s take on the “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” award (“It’s the pits! ‘Greenest’ block contest mired in muck,” Aug. 7), I feel strongly that the winning block deserves recognition for the efforts that residents of Eighth Street between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West made for their improvement to the block.Judy Zehnder, Park Slope

Posted 6:08 pm, August 21, 2008
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Reasonable discourse

Joseph Sheppard from Bed-Stuy says:
To The Editor,

Regarding Mr. LiPani's comments on the Lawn Litter Law I have to agree with him. The city has been placed in the position of enforcing a law sent down from Albany and has done the best it can, considering that they do not want to kill an industry and lose the jobs that it provides. I recently read in the NYTimes about an advocacy group that has a website where I got a free sign for my home. The address is: www.stoplawnlitter.org The signs have exactly the language specified in the law and even have a color logo for those workers that do not read English. I put the sign on my house, and I have seen a ninety-percent drop in the "deliveries" on my steps.
Aug. 26, 2008, 2:27 pm

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