Councilman: Indeed, I do have a great bladder

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

I write to thank you for awarding me “Bladder of the Year” (“Here’s to the winners,” Year in review, Dec. 30). Indeed, my bladder deserves this award, as it boldly withstands a daily barrage of coffee that would destroy most other bladders. But even the boldest warriors must find relief at times, and my bladder does quite often, as it must in order to survive the hell that I put it through.

The difference between an ordinary bladder and the “Bladder of the Year” is the wherewithal to capitalize on these instances of relief to the fullest extent possible. As you note, my bladder did this brilliantly approximately one year ago, allowing me to support the election of Council Speaker Quinn in spite of my inability to vote for her for religious reasons.

The alternative could have been to do something that I have yet to do at a Council meeting but many of my colleagues do quite often: abstain.

I have given my doctor permission to suspend doctor-patient privilege so that you may discuss with him the science behind my extraordinary bladder.

I look forward to speaking to you about your findings in the near future.

Simcha Felder, Borough Park

The writer is the City Councilman from the 44th district

Ratner hypocrites

To the editor,

As a former Brooklynite, I have watched with a certain bemusement as my former borough cohorts have battled Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project. My current distance from New York City has given me a perspective that, I feel, current residents lack.

Many opponents of Atlantic Yards moved into the borough fairly recently, shelling out $1 million or more for brownstones and then delighting when coffee bars and restaurants opened that catered to their every need and predilection.

Now, they turn around and accuse Ratner of “gentrifying” Brooklyn. This strikes me as utter hypocrisy.

For a previous generation of Brooklynites, who lived on moderate incomes and couldn’t afford $30 dinners, it was these newcomers who gentrified and ruined Brooklyn.

Is Ratner going to destroy the borough? No more so than the 20- and 30-somethings who’ve transformed it in recent years.

My suspicion is that these gentrifiers are using Ratner as a scapegoat so they don’t have to face the truth that it was they who are most responsible for the changes Ratner now seeks to capitalize on.

Really folks, wherein lies the difference?

Lawrence Goodman, Providence, R.I.

Mad Marty

To the editor,

The edited print version of the interview with Borough President Markowitz as compared with the unedited, audio version should be required for Journalism 101 (“Marty’s humble opinion,” Dec. 30).

In the print version, Marty comes across as somewhat sane and rational. In the audio version, he comes off as a filibustering, defensive, screaming, potty-mouth.

In a sane world, it would be his career ender.

Marty doesn’t care about affordable housing like the sincere Saint Stuckey. He wants excitement to come to Brooklyn. He obviously wants a monument to point to in his upcoming mayoral run.

Hey, Marty, Brooklyn has enough spirit and excitement. Try the rock and jazz clubs in the Slope and Billyburg. Great restaurants are everywhere. Run around Prospect Park. Go to Cyclones games. Stay healthy in the new year and don’t get too excited.

Paul Heller, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

I read your Markowitz interview with great dismay. He obviously remains an unqualified supporter of the Atlantic Yards project despite the well-reasoned objections of numerous city organizations, from the Park Slope Civic Council to the Municipal Arts Society, and many in between.

His support seems to be premised on two very flawed concepts: The first is that Atlantic Yards will foster secondary development along the avenues leading to it — a vision on which he almost waxes poetic in the interview.

This frequently repeated argument fails to acknowledge that such development would happen with any reasonable proposal for site. It is not necessary, and in fact may be counterproductive, to proceed with an oversized, taxpayer-subsidized project when the momentum of private development is already poised to add substantially to the housing supply and development of the borough.

Subsidized sports arenas carry no development advantage over the free market and in many cases actually have negative net economic impacts.

His second concept is some sort of quaint and romantic notion of a throwback to Ebbets Field. Unfortunately, the professional sports arenas of today are not the stuff of his nostalgic memories.

If other stadiums in the city are any indication, the children of Brooklyn will not be able to afford seats at the arena — any more than their parents are going to be able to pay for the “affordable housing,” if it ever gets built.

I admire Marty Markowitz’s civic pride, but I strongly believe it is misplaced. His legacy will not be the return of professional sports to Brooklyn, but a monumental scar in the heart of the city — a testament to political leaders that wanted to mimic Manhattan, but ended up marring Brooklyn at their constituents’ substantial expense.

Greg Hopper, Park Slope

• • •

To the editor,

Thanks to your recent interview, we can once again be reminded of Marty Markowitz’s blatant ignorance and how he does not listen to nor understand his constituents.

If he thinks the concern about Atlantic Yards is based on shadows and light, then he clearly has been sitting in the darkness far longer than anyone thought.

But we will have to just let the next generation of working families explain what was meant by shadows and light when they are living far far away after being kicked out from the high-rise above market-value condos built in Phase I of Messiah Ratner’s plan.

Deb Goldstein, Sunset Park

You go, guys

To the editor,

While I don’t always agree with the positions taken by The Brooklyn Paper, I think you have done a great public service in your coverage of the Atlantic Yards development.

Until Nicholas Confessore started writing for the New York Times, there was an astonishing lack of discussion of the impact of the development on Brooklyn, especially given the other mega-developments underway at the same time.

Markowitz speaks from both sides of his mouth when he lambastes the Atlantic Yards’ critics (a group that includes a great number of his constituents), since he himself has raised concerns about the size of the project, among other things.

Please continue your good work in examining the matters that affect the lives of all Brooklyn residents.

Sarah Flanagan, Park Slope

Talking turkey

To the editor,

During this holiday period when Americans pause to share with others and give thanks to God, how could The Brooklyn Paper publish an article with a recipe of hostility and foreign flavors (“Thanksgiving turkey smackdown,” Nov. 18)?

Was it in response to you and yours who hunger for so-called Old World tastes of tyranny and domination?

Linda Setlech, Bay Ridge

Updated 4:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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