‘Thank you fellow Brooklynites!’ • Brooklyn Paper

‘Thank you fellow Brooklynites!’

To the editor,

I ride four buses a day. Every day an empty bus with the sign “Not in Service” passes my stop. So many useless buses are on a regular schedule that it is infuriating.

I recently waited a half-hour in broiling heat for one to come. Finally a pack of buses arrived. I got on the first one and made my way towards the back praying for a seat, while the sweat poured off me like rain.

I spied a seat occupied with someone’s pocketbook. “Please, I need to sit down!” I cried out. Three people stood up, including an old man. This incident shocked me to my core. I never expected kindness from strangers, especially in a packed city bus, on such a hot sweltering day.

Thank you my anonymous fellow New Yorkers!

Justine Swartz

Sheepshead Bay

Shav’s ‘got moxie’

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo (“A Britisher’s View”), I love to read your stories. You tell it like it is, and call a spade a spade.

You got moxie girl. Keep up the good work . Your editor should be proud.

Name withheld upon request

End the violence!

To the editor,

Most of the shootings in the city’s outer boroughs are mainly black-on-black in predominantly black neighborhoods. These are facts we must deal with, so why would anyone living in these neighborhoods be against saving their life and the lives of loved ones?

If stop-and-frisk is stopped, it will once again be the “Wild West” in the city, with the murder rates quadrupling like in years past.

Augie A. Pazzo

New Port Richey Fl.

To the editor,

There is plenty of blame to go around for the mass killing at the Colorado cinema. The most important belong to the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the N.R.A.

They all hide behind the Second Amendment. Granted it refers to the right to bear arms, but it should interpreted as in times of peace. The Bill of Rights was drawn up during time of war. Further, any member of Congress who takes money from gun lobbyists is just as guilty of murder as the shooter. Congress should also be acting to restrict guns instead of bickering over nonsense.

The Supreme Court ruled a couple years ago to prevent states from implementing restrictions on the sale of guns and ammunition. Once Congress made this determination, we knew we were not safe anywhere.

Doesn’t anyone notice that people cannot be trusted with guns? They carry the guns around with them. If someone bothers them, they use the gun. Bystanders a long distance away get shot thanks to stray bullets. Businesses feel threatened, out come the guns. I feel extremely lucky when I get through each and every day. Why isn’t there a worldwide database tracking all types of guns and ammunition purchased by anyone to prevent anyone from accumulating and creating an arsenal.

Congress has to get its head out of the ground and stop accepting contributions from gun lobbyists, and start passing and enacting laws that will allow society to curb the sales of guns.

Ronald Cohen


Co-op blues

To the editor,

The city or state must start regulating co-op boards. I’ve lived at my building for 38 years and the building was converted to a co-op 24 years ago.

During the last several years a quorum has not been achieved at our yearly meetings; as a result, we are unable to vote for candidates to represent us. Those members whose terms are expiring for the year are automatically in for another year. To compound matters, we have had several resignations from the board within the last year or so, and the “incumbent” members just choose people to come onto the board.

A day after the annual meeting, I expressed interest in going on the board. A week or so later, I found out that the board, which never bothered to post that applications were being accepted, went ahead and interviewed people and selections were then made. Due to the fact that I’ve criticized the board on occasions, I would never be considered.

This board selects people who haven’t lived in the building for that long and will go along with their decisions, which have included paying thousands of dollars for bedbug extermination and an eight-percent increase in maintenance in Januuary. This spring we were notified that all residents will be paying a surcharge for the pool. Imagine, paying for something that you don’t use? Their excuse is that the pool is part of the co-op. True. My apartment is also part of the co-op and when I had it painted in January, would I dare to ask other co-op owners chip in for the painting? Of course not. I could have said that my apartment is part of the co-op!

The fact remains that residents who don’t use the pool facility should not be required to pay for it. Basically, we’re subsidizing fellow residents so that the pool should be kept open. If the finances of pool continue southward, the pool should be closed. The board has stated to others questioning this action: “So join!” Perhaps, people can’t join due to medical and other reasons. Those who use the pool should be the ones paying more for it. Obviously, if the board took this action, the pool has been failing financially. Therefore, those of us not using the pool, must be made to come to the rescue of it. Am sure the surcharge for this will go up each year.

Democracy no longer exists in many of these complexes.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Life-saving bill

To the editor,

Regarding the legislation about CPR in schools — anyone can learn to save a life, and everyone should.

I ask for the support of your readership to send a strong message to Albany that collectively we want to empower our children as a new generation of lifesavers to create a generation where all New Yorkers are trained in “hands-only” CPR, and save lives. Nearly 383,000 people die of cardiac arrest outside hospitals, only 11 percent survive because they don’t receive CPR, which could double or triple survival rates.

Heart disease struck our home, and our family when I was just 17 years old when Dad slumped over the steering wheel. As a high school student and a CPR-certified lifeguard, I saved my father’s life that day, and many more times over the next few years as he battled heart disease. My father passed away at 60, heart disease had taken its toll, but thankfully he lived 20 more years with our family just because I happened to know CPR as a teenager.

You’re powerless against your DNA, but what is in your control is to vote to pass the CPR in Schools Legislation, because one of those high school students can save the life of a parent, a family member, a stranger, or maybe even you. Wouldn’t you want the help?

Mary H. Oldak


Dollar-van sham

To the editor,

I used to drive up and down Flatbush Ave. between Kings Plaza and the Manhattan Bridge until the stress of the trip made me use alternate routes.

The illegal “dollar” vans that drive up and down the street are the ones that constantly stop in the middle of the street, pull out without regard for others, make illegal turns, scream their locations, and beep their horns incessantly.

Last week, I decided to walk down Flatbush Avenue. Except for the vans pulling in and out, all of the other issues created a stress almost as strong as when I used to drive it. The noise pollution by the vans and their drivers creates a miserable quality of life for anyone within range.

At one time, the federal government shut down a private mail carrier because she was undermining and undercutting the post office. For the local public she seemed good, but the post office has to serve everyone, everywhere. Although the MTA is far from perfect, the same is true for the MTA versus the vans. These vans use bus stops to park in, make turns in bus only lanes, cut around buses and other vans on the right, and do anything else that gives them an edge to get in front of the competition. The convenience for their riders is at the expense of everyone else.

The city’s desire to license these drivers shows how out-of-touch our politicians are. The city’s claim that these people are working and paying taxes is a false argument. In looking at the license plates of the vans on Flatbush Avenue, more than 75 percent did not have TLC plates, and 25 percent of those had out-of-state plates.

I am so happy and lucky that I don’t live on the blocks adjoining Kings Plaza, or anywhere along Flatbush Avenue. The MTA got rid of graffiti on the subways, although it was hard and time-consuming. The same needs to be done by the city about these vans, or forget about a decent quality of life for anyone driving on — or living within earshot of — Flatbush Avenue!

Name withheld upon request


To the editor,

Did all your loyal readers miss our invitations to attend President Obama’s appearance at Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village townhouse at $40,000 per plate, or $10,000 for the Plaza Hotel? Both combined raised $4.5 million toward Obama’s goal of $1 billion reelection campaign fund.

How ironic that Obama comes to the Big Apple at a time 9.7 percent of New Yorkers are out of work, with another 7 percent who have just given up looking, resulting in a real unemployment rate of 16.7 percent. Is this the “change we can believe in” that Obama’s promised on his 2008 campaign trail? This most recent visit to the city resulted in disrupting travel for tens of thousands of commuters along with contributing to traffic gridlock. Obama continues to enjoy building up his “frequent flyer” mileage with his 27th visit here for campaign reelection fund-raising events. Each trip on Air Force One costs taxpayers a fortune for logistics and Secret Service protection, and we are stuck with the tab for police and traffic support.

The White House’s standard operating procedure is to start with a public event, such as a visit to the World Trade Center construction site. By fortunate coincidence, he is also able to use this visit as a vehicle to generate publicity for his reelection campaign. While conveniently “in town” for so called official business, he has an excuse to participate in a series of fund-raising events later in the day. This trick has been repeated by Obama dozens of times during the year all over the nation. Perhaps his time might be better spent in Washington attempting to conduct the nation’s business rather than attempting to win a second term.

No previous President has spent so much time away from Washington to participate in a record number of public events followed by fund-raising events than Obama.

Do as I say, not as I do applies to Obama and Congressional Democrats. Bash the wealthy with one hand, but get the big bucks with the other hand. Those in attendance included the usual one percent crowd along with Wall Street lobbyists, trial lawyers, real estate developers, Hollywood celebrities, special interest groups, millionaires, and the pay-for-play crowd. At those prices, the 99 percent working or middle class people like us were hard to come by, except in the kitchen, or serving.

What was that tired old refrain about the Democratic Party being the friend of the working and middle class while those nasty greedy old Republicans are the wealthy, big-buck, fat cats? Seems like Obama prefers hanging out with the one percent.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

To the editor,

Sorry, I am dead set against voting for Barack Obama come November. What has he actually done to help citizens? Who is paying for his mother-in-law to live in the White House, he or taxpayers? Why must Michelle and their daughters take so many costly vacations, compliments of taxpayers?

What is Obama hiding regarding his birth certificate, his college records, his college thesis paper, and his Selective Service registration? Why was he getting foreign student aid as a college student? Why is Obama spending our money like it’s water, and is continuing free government aid to illegal aliens when the majority of Americans want them deported?

Bring back the quota system. Illegal aliens from third world countries are invading the U.S. and this government is closing its eyes to this huge problem. Make English our official language for unity — it would be much less costly to print government papers in only one language. We need unity, not diversity for strength.

What’s happened to our once great melting pot? It has evaporated.

Name withheld upon request

To the editor,

When Obama said the private sector was doing just fine, he should have had in the background a large grandfather clock with a pendulum swinging back and forth while repeating “the private sector is doing just fine.”

He could have tried hypnotizing the American people into believing it.

Millie Gotts

Ditmas Park

Council ‘pork’

To the editor,

Once again, tradition has been maintained for decades as City Council Speaker Quinn — just like her predecessors, the late Tom Cuite, Peter Vallone, Sr. and Gifford Miller — allocated several hundred million dollars in yearly member items for local pork barrel projects.

This year’s earmarking of member item projects by the council leadership totaled $147 million while it continues to be a growing public scandal. Too many members view the funding of member item pork barrel projects as a path to grease the wheels of re-election or run for higher public office. Like a monkey on their back, they appear to be addicted to this spending.

It is common knowledge about the quid pro quo between those seeking funding and councilmembers. This sometimes included campaign contributions from the recipients senior management, hiring of family, friends and Democratic clubhouse colleagues by the recipients, invitations to ribbon cutting ceremonies, prominent promotions in recipient newsletters, along with honoring the councilmember at the organizations’ annual fundraising dinners, etc. in exchange for receipt of the funding.

Taxpayers must send a message that pork is not kosher. Don’t either re-elect or promote these same elected public officials to higher public office who promote this type of illegitimate spending.

Intelligent voters should challenge 2013 Democratic Mayoral candidate wannabes — Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, former comptroller Bill Thompson, and media publisher Tom Allon — on this issue.

Ask them all if elected mayor would they have the moral courage to veto any budget which included pork barrel member item spending? Consider voting for a mayoral candidate who will support a kosher budget minus the pork.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Food for thought

To the editor,

Mayor Bloomberg I need your help. I am a man in my mid-50s and have been called big-boned, well-nourished, and many other words describing my size, including many that aren’t as nice as the ones mentioned.

I know all the things you do are for our own good and someday history will prove you to be a man way ahead of his time. Anyway I have tried almost every diet in the book and have lost hundreds of pounds over the years and gained it all back, and then some. When I read about the ban on super-sized sugary drinks I thought it was a great start, but you didn’t go far enough. My problem is all-you-can-eat buffets. These should be outlawed. Not only do I overeat at them, but after sitting and eating at them for four or five hours I have to put up with dirty looks and derogatory comments from the proprietors of these places. One guy even gave me my money back and asked me never to come back. You could imagine how humiliated I was. Naturally I turned down his offer and the police were called.

Please Mayor Bloomberg help me and others like me who just can’t control ourselves when it comes to all these buffets. Maybe you can make a law mandating that chubby people have to wear a piggy nose in public. I know you will think of something. Please help me before I explode!

Joey Apancia


RIP, Ed Caulfield

To the editor,

My wonderful friend and colleague Ed Caulfield passed away suddenly in June. Ed’s passing creates a void in our lives that can never be filled.

A kind, compassionate gentleman, Ed taught English at the former IS 320 for 27 years until his retirement in 1995. Ed never said “no” to anyone. It just wasn’t part of his vocabulary. He asked for so little from life, but gave so much of himself to all of us. We never hear about the Ed Caulfields in the city school system. The media will never talk about the teachers such as Ed who made a very positive difference in the lives of children.

After retirement, Ed hosted a Sunday evening radio show at Kingsborough Community College. His topic was music because he loved that subject, as well as old movies. He was also active in his neighborhood church — Mary Queen of Heaven. How fortunate I was to know Ed for 43 years. His good deeds and that he was a “mensch” in every sense of that word shall never be forgotten.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

For Pete’s sake!

To the editor,

After all we know about now of the widespread abuse of steroids in Major League Baseball — some proven, many not — isn’t it time Pete Rose take his rightful place in Cooperstown?

Give him the honor he deserves now while he is alive to see it. Charlie Hustle did it the old fashion way: He earned it, while so many other players who did make it in hustled us.

Cronin Miller


Toll raise

To the editor,

Governor Cuomo reminds of the old cartoon character Wimpy who said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” when it comes to him coming clean as to how the state will find $6 billion dollars to pay for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Previous construction of any new freight, public transportation tunnel, or bridge project takes decades by the time all feasibility studies, environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements, construction, budgeting, and identifying and securing funding is completed. This is before the project reaches beneficial use.

Based on previous planning initiatives, some have estimated a cost for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge ranging from $14 to $18 billion. This also could have included options of adding either Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, or Heavy Commuter Rail capacity. Not paying for any of these options today, could be penny wise and pound foolish tomorrow. It might cost far more money decades later to construct any public transportation component to an existing bridge.

What was the basis of the new $5 billion estimated cost? Cuomo’s promise to put a shovel in the ground by June 2012 has come and gone. The anticipated final potential cost will never be known until design and engineering is complete. This cost will be further refined by award of construction contracts, followed by any unforeseen site conditions and change orders to the base contracts during the course of construction. No one today can really predict when we will see a shovel in the ground, followed years later by completion of this project or the final price tag to taxpayers.

The only real dedicated funding source for fully funding reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge is raising the toll with additional revenues placed in a lock box to cover costs.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Dick’s wisdom

To the editor,

These quotes by none other than former president Richard Nixon apply strongly today: ”In our own lives let each of us ask not just what government will do for me, but what I can do for myself,” and “By the time you get dressed drive out there, play 18 holes, and come home, you’ve blown seven hours, there are better things you can do with your time.”

If the shoe fits, wear it!

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Dim Hizzoner

To the editor,

We know very well that the late Mayors Wagner, Lindsay, and Beame would have had both Con Edison and the locked-out union at Gracie Mansion for round-the-clock talks. Each of these mayors would have sat there, despite the fact that Con Edison isn’t a city agency.

Other than using profanity at a hot-dog eating contest and his constant bashing of the United Federation of Teachers, where was Mayor Bloomberg during this crisis? He should have actively been involved. We know he wouldn’t since we know where his sympathies are regarding this situation.

Several summers ago, while parts of Queens were darkened for days, our mayor heaped praise on C.E.O. Kevin Burke!

Bloomberg’s third term has been a disaster beyond belief. This life-long Democrat might consider voting for Mitt Romney if the latter promised to put Bloomberg in a cabinet position. It would be worth it just to get him out of town a year before his term expires.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

Governor Mitt Romney should tell President Obama: “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine, let’s put it all out on the table for everyone to see, medical records, college records, and anything else that the public has a right to see by a candidate for the presidency”.”

It took three years and a lot of arm-twisting to get Obama to print up — oops, I mean come up! — with his birth certificate, so why the big rush for Romney to show his tax records when he isn’t even the official republican nominee yet?

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Foul call

To the editor,

So more than 1,000 former football players are suing the NFL because they weren’t aware that getting banged around the head hundreds of times by other huge football players could possibly cause brain damage.

I played some football in high school and it didn’t have any ill affects on me. I mean it ain’t brain science and I no rocket surgeon, but I guess it could happen.

Ernesto Cavalier


MTA goes our way

To the editor,

Happy 48th birthday to public transportation!

The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of the late President Lyndon Johnson’s greatest accomplishments which continues benefiting many Americans today. On July 10th, 1964 he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law. Subsequently this has resulted in the investment over time of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation.

Millions of Americans, including many residing in Kings County today, utilize various public transportation alternatives on a daily basis. They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway, and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single-occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars thanks to President Johnson.

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail or subway. Most have forgotten that up until the 1960s, bus drivers made change and drove the bus at the same time. Nobody would dare bring soda or food on the bus or leave any litter behind.

Fast forward to today. Fortunately we have the MTA and its various operating agencies, including New York City Transit subway and bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, Staten Island Rapid Transit Authority, and MTA Bus.

Chartered by the State Legislature in 1965 as the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority, it was created to purchase and operate the bankrupt Long Island Rail Road. It changed its name to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1968 when it took over operations of the New York City Transit Authority. The ancestors to MTA Bus that operated in NYC were eight private bus operators, including Command Bus (previously Pioneer Bus that ran one local route from the Kings Highway East 16th Street subway station to Mill Basin) along with six express routes from various neighborhoods such as Starrett City, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush, and Midwood to either downtown Brooklyn or Manhattan. Metro Apple provided similar services from other neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and Bensenhurst to Manhattan with no public subsidies. There was also Steinway Bus and Queens Transit, (which combined to become Queens Surface Bus Corporation along with Green Bus, Jamaica Bus and Triboro Coach. They all provided both local and express service along with New York Bus and Liberty Lines Bronx Express operating primarily express routes from the Bronx to Manhattan. One could also travel around the city using their services.

Several years ago, the city took over the franchises and entered into long-term leases to use the facilities owned by these operators. MetroCards now provide free transfers between the subway and bus. This has eliminated the old two-fare zones making public transportation an even better bargain. Purchasing a monthly Long Island Rail Road or MTA subway-bus pass reduces the cost per ride and provides virtually unlimited trips.

Elected officials and government employees can turn in their taxpayer- funded vehicles and join the rest of us by using public transportation to get around town. In many cases, employers can offer transit checks which help subsidizes a portion of the costs. Utilize this and reap the benefits. It supports a cleaner environment.

Many employers now allow employees to telecommute and work from home. Others use alternative work schedules which afford staff the ability to avoid rush hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon. Join a car or van pool to share the costs of commuting.

The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical appointments, library, etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

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