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Editor’s neighbor not pleased with beer bust story — The Brooklyn Paper mailbag

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To the editor,

I think your article about the legality of drinking beer on your own stoop misses a larger point (“This Bust’s for You,” Sept. 4). I agree that the officers in the incidents in question used poor judgment, ticketing people who were apparently doing nothing wrong.

However, the tone of the story, especially when the writer compared the stoop-drinking summons to the incident when the 6-year-old got a chalk-ticketing warning last year — implies that this is all just silliness, that the law shouldn’t exist and that it certainly shouldn’t be enforced.

As someone who has lived for years across the street from rowdy, beer-drinking, stoop-sitting alcoholics, who have a penchant for screaming and shouting up and down the block all night (and into the early hours of the morning), I can tell you this law should be on the books … and the police should employ it when called for.

Unfortunately on our block, the police have in the past dismissed our complaints about these people as the price we pay for living in Brooklyn. That echoes your article’s tone and seems deaf to the concerns of ordinary families.

Stuart Miller, Park Slope

Tree bather

To the editor,

I’ve read with great interest your stories about damaged and dead trees adjacent to the public art installation, “The New York City Waterfalls” created by Olafur Eliasson (“More aborcide from art project,” Aug. 23).

I am very glad to see that a certified arborist was brought in by the Parks Department to assist in these efforts.

There is no question that salt spray, such as that generated by the waterfalls, can have deleterious effects upon trees, both on the foliage as well as on the roots in the soil. The steps taken to “wash” the salt deposits from the foliage AND the soil are very positive measures that should greatly reduce any long-term negative effects.

Action taken to reduce the hours of operation for the waterfalls as well as the duration of the installation are also very appropriate.

Please don’t hesitate to call upon the International Society of Arboriculture as a valuable resource if we can be of any assistance.

Lauren Lanphear, South Euclid, Ohio

The writer is president of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Buzz off!

To the editor,

Thank you for that article about the Asian tiger mosquito invasion (“Buzz off!” The Brooklyn Angle, Aug. 21).

Three summers ago, I was bitten on my ribs in long strands and circles; I guess they got me when I was trimming the higher reaches of the wisteria in my backyard.

The welts were so painful that I wondered if I had shingles, and actually went to a physician. Last winter, I even had mosquitoes in my house — through February. This Brooklyn native has never experienced critters quite like these.

Nowadays, I put on Deet, trim the wisteria almost in panic-mode, and then, in a sweat, get back indoors as fast as I can.

I’m so glad I bought a detached house so that I could enjoy nature all around me!

Barbara Minakakis, Ditmas Park

Fourth Ave freezout

To the editor,

With the primary elections come and gone, perhaps this is a good time to thank our elected officials for the atrocious rezoning of Fourth Avenue a few years ago.

As a result of that misguided upzoning, developers have constructed the most excruciatingly banal buildings known to man to house trust-fund kids — the poor can’t afford them.

Because of this construction, more than 1,000 poor people have been displaced.

Because of this construction, Brooklyn is an uglier and morally diminished place.

Because of this construction, gentrification around these ugly buildings will force more poor people to compete for a diminishing number of affordable housing units.

For this we should thank our elected officials.Bob Ohlerking, Park Slope

BBQ alternative

To the editor,

Regarding your article about illegal grilling in Prospect Park (“Park goes to pork,” The Brooklyn Angle, Park Slope edition and online, Sept. 4), I have been sickened to see people setting up grill spots wherever they pleased.

I am a big fan of charcoal grills, but this year at the park, I had some family get-togethers, and a charcoal grill sometime doesn’t cut it with respects to volume cooking.

I am one of those people mentioned in your story who brings a gas grill with a cargo van, and propane tank. Yes, it is more like a small station wagon, but I usually have parties with 15 to 20 people, and there is no way a small grill would put out that much food. But I stay in the designated barbecue zones — and no matter how packed it is, there is always room.

I do bring a fire extinguisher with me and stay in the shade to prevent any propane tank issues or mishaps. I make sure I can do everything possible so that the experience is a safe and happy one.

It’s possible to barbecue in the designated areas, and if it spills over a bit, I don’t see an issue, but some idiots barbecue near brushes, and that poses a fire hazard. I have pointed this out to some people, and some were quick to thank me for the tip, and relocated while other snickered, and kept doing what they were doing.

I think that if people stayed within the zones or spilled out near the existing barbecue spots, there would be no issue. But people who setup grills wherever they want should have them confiscated or higher fines because I saw way too many rookie mistakes while I was there this summer.

Al Spahi, Kensington

• • •

To the editor,

I wish your column about illegal barbecuing came out sooner because after reading it, I decided to forgo the park for my post-Labor Day barbecue. The upside? I found Moonshine bar in Red Hook. You bring the meat, then beautiful gas grills are yours for the using.Jenny R. Horne, Carroll Gardens

Updated 4:54 pm, September 11, 2008
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