The Brooklyn Paper mailbag - Brooklyn Paper

The Brooklyn Paper mailbag

To the editor,

Thanks for your article on the candidates forum held by the Windsor Terrace Alliance on Feb. 26 (“Steve schools ’em! ” March 7).

We are proud to be supporting Brad Lander for in the race, and believe that he was best at the forum, and is best for the job.

Brad has the most consistent record of results for our community on the issues that matter to us — livable neighborhoods, affordable housing, public education. He has been working with us on the East Windsor rezoning, improving Park Circle, dealing with 23 Caton Pl., and helping the PS 154 PTA.

At the forum, he gave the only remarks that were not boilerplate campaign rhetoric, when he presented results from a survey of over 300 community residents, identifying the issues that matter most in our neighborhood and that will drive his campaign.

Brad has the strongest support in Windsor Terrace, including the chairman of Community Board 7, the president of the PTA at PS 154, and many community leaders and residents. We believe that he was the best candidate at the forum, and the best candidate to represent us in the Council.

Randy Peers, Ryan Lynch,
Channa Camins, June Reich,
Deb Capone & Ellen Honigstock

The writers are all from Windsor Terrace. Peers is the chairman of Community Board 7.


To the editor,

Wow. As part of his rant about an alleged boycott of Israeli products, Michael Leventhal foams, “Virtually all of the Park Slope Food Co-op members voted for Barack Hussein Obama” (letters, Feb. 28). Aside from wondering exactly how Mr. Leventhal came by this information (we still have a secret ballot, don’t we?), I might inform him that the majority of the country voted for Barack Hussein Obama, despite numerous cheap attempts to portray him as a terrorist sympathizer.

One final word of advice to the self-appointed apologists for Israel on your letters page: if one is accusing others of prejudice, it’s kind of counterproductive to blatantly display one’s own bigotry. The crude anti-Arab statements will merely add to an already-confounding problem.

Ray Albieri, Cobble Hill

• • •

To the editor,

Everyone is entitled to his opinion. But when an argument like Leventhal’s is supported through nasty divisive remarks, all credibility is lost. I found his remark about the Co-op’s membership — “15,000 lonely angry women and feminized males” — particularly offensive.

It seems to me that Michael Leventhal is the “Rush Limbaugh” of Park Slope.Terrence J. Allen,

Prospect Heights

‘Park’ talk

Your article and editorial regarding Marianna Koval’s resignation from her position at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy indicate ignorance of the history of the park plan’s gestation (“Koval quits ‘Park’” and “Koval’s departure,” March 7).

In fact, your paper has rarely, if ever, acknowledged the struggle that the early leaders of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition faced in getting former Borough President Golden and other elected officials to reluctantly accept the concept of a park; the mandate of the city and state’s memorandum of understanding that this park, once built, must be self-sustaining; and the previous leadership of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation which, together with lawsuits, played a part in the delayed park construction.

To claim that the development corporation’s financing scheme — and Ms. Koval’s advocacy of it — are the cause of the park plan’s being “virtually dead” is utterly ridiculous.

I urge you to consult the Central Park Conservancy and the Prospect Park Alliance to learn how much park maintenance and programming cost.

Ursula Hahn, Downtown

• • •

To the editor,

For 10 years, Marianna Koval has worked tirelessly for Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

With $231 million committed, $150 million already invested or under contract, site demolition complete, park construction under way on Pier 1, and the first new section of park slated to open in late 2009, Brooklyn Bridge Park is hardly “virtually dead.”

David Kramer,

Brooklyn Heights

The writer is chairman of the

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

He’s the ‘Man’

To the editor,

While we all acknowledge the significance of an African-American being elected president, I take great offense to my categorization as “The Black Man” in your article about how Brooklyn responded to the historic inauguration of President Obama (“Hope! Obama inspires Brooklyn,” Jan. 24).

When approached for the story, I was more than willing to share my opinions about President Obama’s election. I assumed my opinions were sought as an attorney and an active member of the Brooklyn community. Had I known your reporter was seeking a token “black man,” I would not have shared my time and views.

For me, this past election was not about race. It was about hope, change and new vision for America. Our society has come a long way to get to where we are today. What was so remarkable and telling of America’s progress is that race was never a focal point in the 2008 election.

Your paper’s minimization of the importance of this political milestone to mere issues of race is divisive and counterproductive.

Sidney Cherubin,

Carroll Gardens

Editor’s note: We certainly did not aim to minimize the milestone. Our story was an attempt to allow a cross-section of Brooklynites reflect on the historic inauguration. Each participant was given a label, but the goal but to give voice to a diverse group of people — not to stigmatize.



To the editor,

We live in dark economic times. Just last week, our nation’s unemployment rose to 8.1 percent, the highest it has been in over 25 years. A key component of preserving Brooklyn during these bleak economic times is creating more affordable places for people to live. That it is why I am pleased that Toll Brothers will get the public assistance it needs to deliver 130 units of much-needed affordable housing to Brooklyn (“DeBlasio backs the Brothers,” March 7).

The project has already been determined to be eligible for the 421(a) property tax abatement by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development — subject to the provision of the required affordable housing within the development. Toll Brothers and L&M Development Partners therefore have a strong incentive to obtain the subsidies needed to provide the affordable apartments, as the 421(a) tax abatement is a critical component of the project’s financing.

Without this tax abatement, the project’s economic viability is greatly affected. In addition, this project can only be built to the proposed density if the affordable units are indeed built at the same time as the market-rate units. If Toll Brothers does not build the affordable housing units, the floor area ratio of their project would be reduced by 33 percent.

I realize that market conditions are presently in flux, but the public subsidies that allow for the construction of affordable housing offer developers strong incentives to build the affordable housing. I have no reason to believe that Toll would jeopardize their project in this way.

The entire project’s viability relies profoundly on the success of its affordable housing subsidies.

Bill DeBlasio, Park Slope

The writer is a member of
the City Council

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