Wishing for a Brooklyn not so tall, or congested

To the editor,

I wholeheartedly, and sadly, agree with Rocco Vanasco and Barry Brothers, whose letters, “Don’t Overbuild” and “New York Squeeze” appeared in the October 5-11 issue of the Bay News. New construction is destroying Brooklyn!

Every time a new high-rise apartment building, office building or giant store is built, the quality of life for Brooklyn residents goes down. Traffic and air pollution increase, traffic accidents and crime rates go up, and beloved, much-needed plants and trees that we all used to enjoy disappear.

I still remember when the tree-lined streets on Ocean Parkway and Kings Highway were relaxing, peaceful and safe. Now I feel as if I am taking my life in my hands every time I try to cross either of these streets. The streets I and many of my fellow senior citizens have to cross to reach our senior center, Council Center on Quentin Road, are a traffic nightmare which keeps getting worse as new construction in the area increases.

Thanks to new construction, the little family restaurants we seniors and others used to enjoy are gone, as is my veterinarian’s office and many other small businesses. The giant stores and office buildings that have been built to replace them have increased traffic congestion, made parking in the area almost impossible, and have created more crowding on already crowded public buses and subways.

It is my belief that the changes caused by the huge increase in construction all over Brooklyn have caused extreme hardship to everyone who lives in and tries to get around in Brooklyn. Children and senior citizens who have to navigate the increasing traffic on foot, as well as those who drive, are in increasing danger as they try to drive, or cross streets on foot to get to their schools, senior centers, stores, public buses, subways, or school buses or Access-a-Rides. Need I add that public transportation in New York is horrendous, and more new stores and businesses make the buses and subways, as well as the streets, more crowded. I might also add that some once lovely old apartments in picturesque older buildings now get no sunlight because newer, taller buildings are blocking out their sunlight. Building in Brooklyn must stop! The safety and comfort of those of us who live here now must come first!

Elaine Kirsch


Food for thought

To the editor,

Glad to hear that a pilot program is being set up to feed New York City school students either kosher or halal foods, if they request it. For far too long, the food that has been served in school cafeterias was not fit for human consumption.

Having taught for 33 years, I can attest to the low quality of food that was served. Every three years, along with your regular teaching chores, teachers were assigned to cafeteria duty. The food literally reeked with such a terrible odor. On days that they served franks and beans, I was so nauseous that I made sure to walk away as much as I could from the tables.

Is it any wonder why, after lunch, so many students were requesting permission to leave the room to use the bathroom?

I never stopped laughing when school dietitians spoke about the nutritious lunches being served. Nutritious? That food wasn’t fit for a dog, or anyone for that matter.

Until improved food is served in all the schools, students, where inferior food is served, should bring their own lunch to school from home.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Trashing the Dems

To the editor,

Just when I thought the Democrats and their supporters could go no lower, they continue to amaze me by going even lower.

This was the most mean spirited senate hearing I have ever witnessed. A bunch of United States Senators combining together to destroy a decent man’s character on national TV. Just to boil it down to the essentials, we had several Senators say before the hearing ever started, that they would never vote for any Trump nominee. Once the hearing began, Sen. Feinstein trotted out Prof. Ford, who promptly accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her, or kill her, depending on which version she told.

Originally Ford wished to remain unidentified, but someone leaked her identity. She told her story to the committee in a very credibly baby-like tone. What was notable was that she had no details whatsoever, other than Kavanaugh was the perpetrator. She didn’t know where it happened, when (even the year) it happened, how she arrived, who brought her, when she left, or who took her home. She named several witnesses who would corroborate her story. The committee Democrats found her credible. There were four witnesses that she named and they all testified that they could not recall any incident which Ford described and two of them said the incident never happened. Brett Kavanaugh then testified. He denied any interaction at all with Ford and never attempted to have sex with her, consensual or otherwise.

The Democrat members accused him of being a heavy drinker and asked questions that implied that he drank so much he blacked out and just doesn’t remember assaulting Ford. Kavanaugh became visibly agitated at this character assassination, made without any evidence. Then they asked him if he was present at any location where the incident may have occurred. Kavanaugh said he had diaries made at the time that showed him out of town on all the estimated dates it could’ve happened. The Democrat Senators got up in turn and harangued Kavanaugh, even to the extent of calling him a liar, which is unconscionable and totally uncalled for. Thankfully Lindsey Graham sprang to his defense and questioned why Ford had never in 35 years made a police report, waited 12 years to see a therapist and the very first person she contacted was a politician. Further, he asked why she alerted nobody during the other six FBI background checks Kavanaugh went through on his way up the federal judicial ladder.

Meanwhile, the media had him tried, found guilty and executed, as did all the loudmouthed left wing agitators outside the building. I would note that every senator on the Judiciary Committee and probably the whole Senate for that matter, are attorneys. As such they supposedly are familiar with the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, particularly the 14th Amendment which requires that 1). Every accused is legally presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, and 2) That every accused person is entitled to due process. As far as I could see, at that hearing, every one of the Democrats assumed he was guilty and treated him as if he was already convicted.

Predictably, the confirmation vote was strictly partisan. All but one Democrat voted “no”, and all but one Republican voted, “yes”, so Kavanaugh is our newest Supreme Court Associate Justice. End of story, right? Nope. The left is saying, ‘This isn’t over.’ They plan to do what they do best— throw hissy fits in the streets. They plan to keep investigating until they find “something”, and then they will try to impeach Kavanaugh. Come to think of it, that’s the same thing they’re doing to Trump.David F. Podesta

Marine Park

Weed’s not a crime

To the editor,

Legalization of marijuana in New York is long overdue. Consumption of marijuana for both medical and recreational use is part of mainstream America, transcending generations.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval. Consumers have voted with their dollars, making marijuana consumption a multi billion-dollar enterprise today. Legalize it and add a sales tax. Revenues will more than cover the costs of any abuse. Our tax dollars will be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those who consume or distribute marijuana.

Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins than individuals who get high in the privacy of their own home. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property. Non-violent first time offenders locked up in prison could be paroled, opening up space for those who commit real crime against society.

At 18, you are old enough to vote, consume alcohol, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a student loan, serve in the military and die for your country — but not consume marijuana. This makes no sense.

What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their own home or private social club isn’t the concern of government. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace.

It is time to permit consenting adults to access any so-called illegal products or substances without fear from government harassment.

Larry Penner

Great Neck