This senior is pissed off about our toilet coverage

To the editor,

Seniors want to live full and respected lives in their own homes, and within the community that they know and are comfortable with (“What do seniors want? A new survey seeks to find out,” online, Nov. 30).

To do that, most seniors need some assistance, which can vary from an occasional helping hand to some serious aid. Instead, your article nitpicks about benches, traffic lights and toilets. Sure, those things are necessary, but they apply to virtually every resident of this city. I would hope that the community would share a greater vision that addresses bodily necessities and comforts in addition to the mental well-being of seniors.

It is unfortunate that the question of toilets even came up in the survey, given your newspaper’s proclivity to take a sophomoric approach to any subject.

Your paper has been taken to task many times for making fun of what the subject of the article does not find funny, and for pushing the envelope regarding off-color innuendos. Fortunately, you did not carry the reference to toilets to extremes, but you did deflect attention from the real purpose of the article, which should have been to make the community aware of what is being done for its growing senior population.

It’s a social and economic problem, too, because keeping a responsible senior homebound is cheaper than shelling out big dollars for nursing homes.

Dick Nininger, Park Slope

Historic mistake

To the editor,

As a proud New Yorker, I believe that buildings with architectural merit should be landmarked (“Slope historic district expansion moves ahead,” Oct. 15).

To include whole swaths of the city by extending landmark districts calls for a frank evaluation, however. The extension of the Park Slope landmark district will contribute significantly to the exclusion of future new middle class homeowners, helping make Park Slope a less diverse neighborhood, economically.

I would like to have a neighborhood where newly arrived, middle-class neighbors can imagine moving, working to raise their children, and paying their mortgage — like me. The real irony is, in the South Slope that is what we have without landmarking.

Landmarking whole areas of the city, and in particular the extension of the Park Slope district, is conservative, discriminating, exclusionary and unnecessary.

Matthew Urbanski,
Park Slope

Good reporting

To the editor,

My gratitude for your very fine profile of “our” Councilman Steve Levin, “Who does Steve Levin represent — you or Vito Lopez?” (online, Dec. 8).

This is the kind of incisive reporting that reassures me that I am not reading an advertiser, but a real newspaper.

Bill Harris, Boerum Hill

Flock-ing over it

To the editor,

I’m really tired of the bird-huggers who put airline safety in jeopardy by protesting the killing of the geese in Prospect Park, and I’m tired of your newspaper continuing to publicize their demands (“Slope man’s art felt tribute to slaughtered geese,” The Brooklyn Angle, Dec. 9).

We live in a 21st-century city, not in a wilderness — like it or not.

The people who live here and fly out of Kennedy and LaGuardia airports should realize that the safety of people is a bit more important than protecting a flock of birds.

I bet the passengers on the plane that had to make a forced landing in the Hudson River because of the geese who flew into the engines would all opt to be safe than sorry.

Jeffrey Talan, Flatbush

Respect others

To the editor,

I am not Christian, yet I find the atheist billboard that shows a Christmas image with the message, “You know it’s a myth,” to be deeply offensive (“Atheists is more than non-belief,” op-ed, online, Dec. 3).

The wonderful thing about America is that we have freedom, including the freedom to believe and practice any religion we choose, or no religion at all. With that freedom comes the responsibility to respect the fact that others have the same freedom, and to respect their views even if you don’t share them.

I’m sure that atheists would be offended if Christians put up a billboard stating, “You know in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So why do they feel it’s OK to tell Christians that they “know” the Christmas story is a myth?

Since atheists by definition do not believe in God, that means they think the Hanukkah story is also a myth, along with every other story that’s the basis for a religious holiday. It’s ridiculous to claim that this Christmas-bashing billboard supports other holidays in any way.

The worst part of his opinion piece is the line: “We are not intent on insulting Christianity — we tell the truth.”

I respect all religions as well as atheism, but one thing I have no respect for is any group that insists that it alone holds the “truth” and anyone who disagrees is wrong. For atheists to claim that their beliefs alone are the “truth” is just as offensive as the extremist Christians who tell non-Christians they will go to hell unless they worship Jesus.

If we are ever to achieve peace in this world, people must learn tolerance and understanding. It’s really very simple: Believe what you want, but respect the beliefs of others as well, even if you don’t agree with them. Seriously, how hard is that?

Trudi Rosenblum,
Windsor Terrace

Bike lane ‘farce’

To the editor,

The Prospect Park West bike lane is lovely, but the traffic is now more frantic than ever with horns blasting, trucks double parked and livery drivers clashing with parking cars as pedestrians try to cross with dogs and kids (“Survey says! Despite protests, Prospect Park West bike lane is a hit,” Dec. 10).

Bikes mostly won’t yield to pedestrians along Prospect Park West. Cars and trucks still race to make the light sequence while swerving around slower cars looking for parking. Pedestrians are stuck between passing bikes and speeding cars.

One “study” compared pre-bike traffic speeds in March with post-bike lane speeds in July, and concluded that the bike lane slowed traffic. Then, we have the survey conducted by Councilmembers Stephen Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), clearly subjective opinion and not objective data. If the Department of Transportation is collecting data on vehicle and cycling volumes, speeding, illegal cycling behavior, accidents and crash injury rates, we should wait for its results before making any final decisions.

I’m a cyclist who bikes about 400 miles a month. I like the lane, but the goal of this project was to calm traffic, which it hasn’t accomplished.

The solution to the problem is the police. If cops gave out a few speeding tickets a few times a week, drivers would slow down. After a month, the enforcement can be reduced to as little as once a month because Prospect Park West will become known as a speed trap.

This farce needs to be stopped.

Frank Favia, Park Slope

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