Big deal. Astroland has been saved. Now what?

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To the editor,

I was disappointed to hear that Astroland had been given a one-year lease extension by developer Joe Sitt (“Ride on! Sitt gives Coney Island fave Astroland a new lease on life,” Oct. 27).

Astroland’s champions do not necessarily have the area’s best interest at heart — and are convincing other naive people that Sitt’s plans can be thwarted if only Astroland remains another season.

This is foolishness. Sitt’s plan will succeed or fail based on whether there is a market for the proposal he’s pushing. Astroland’s future has nothing to do with it (besides, if Astroland was so intent on staying, why did its owner, Carol Albert, sell her land to Sitt in the first place?).

To be charitable, Astroland is a dump. I’m not saying the city should turn the land over to Disney, but must a theme park be filled with garbage to be considered authentic? Is there no middle ground between Disney and a trash pile?

“Saving” Coney Island means restoring the area as a full-year, exciting amusement attraction that draws tourists from all over the world. Astroland ain’t that.

Richard Monstein, Park Slope

No fare!

To the editor,

The first hearings on the proposed transit fare hike is this Monday in Brooklyn. I believe it is important for concerned Brooklynites to sound off, but also for all New Yorkers to send a message.

Considering that the MTA had four consecutive years of record budget surpluses, ridership increasing 15 percent across the board in the past 10 years — the L train has increased to the tune of 48 percent alone! — how is it possible the MTA is facing a budget deficit?

As I learned in Economics 101, when you cut costs, you have an increase in demand, which means an increase in revenue.

Please come to the meeting and tell the MTA: “NO FARE HIKES.”

Thomas Brice, Staten Island

Save the kudos

To the editor,

As with Forest City Ratner’s 16-acre Metrotech high-rise office campus, Atlantic Yards is rife with planning problems that are entirely foreseeable (“Big step forward for Downtown,” Oct. 27).

Those elected and appointed officials acquiescing to Bruce Ratner again — and leaving these problems to the next generation of planners to fix, as is being done in Downtown Brooklyn — are being wholly negligent.

Lumi Michelle Rolley, Park Slope

Begs to differ

To the editor,

As a tenant of the Pratt building featured in your recent column (“Model landlord is tenant-tough,” Fort Greene edition and online, Oct. 20), I am compelled to say that the property management is very tolerant when it comes to issues like late payments, even though we did have heating problems in the past years.

I feel lucky to live in a rent-stabilized building and to have had my lease renewed — even when I was late (months late) in my rent.

I also would like to thank the maintenance people for keeping the building clean.

Roberta Philippe, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Miss you, too

To the editor,

I was born and raised in East New York, and was recently held to my end of a promise I made to my wife. I told her that when I retired from civil service, we would move to Atlanta, Ga. So here I am — and I am hating it.

I mean, the South has its pros and cons. No more harsh winters, no alternate side of the street parking, cheaper real estate, friendlier people (especially the women), the Bible Belt, and I haven’t seen a rat since I moved down here a year ago.

But I will be always loyal to Brooklyn!

James E. Lewis, Atlanta, Ga.

Canal moan

To the editor,

One of the neighborhood groups that was NOT invited to be part of the coalition for “Responsible Redevelopment of the Gowanus Canal” was FROGG: Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus (“Big plans for Canal’s future,” Carroll Gardens edition and online, Oct. 27).

It is known that FROGG does NOT support redevelopment without responsibility. Responsible redevelopment means facing reality. The reality is that the canal is an aquatic brownfield. The land east and west of the canal are brownfields.

If this coalition is truly responsible, how can it possibly consider such things as rezoning for mixed-income housing and other flights of fancy?

Recently, gonorrhea was found in the canal. The coalition’s platform calls for using city-owned Public Place for housing. The Public Place site was designated for recreational use circa 1974. This would mean that the city would need to go through a land-use review process to change the zoning (and usurping the land from the community), something it has not yet done. Responsible development?

Margaret Maugenest and Linda Mariano, Gowanus

Let Maggie be

To the “editor,”

What is this Tourette-like need to pick on Maggie Gyllenhaal (“We threw a lemon and Maggie made lemonade,” Oct. 27)? Leave her alone!

First, you gratuitously splayed her across the front page last year, offering what may be the least-neighborly welcome ever and offending most of your readership along the way. Then, last week, you manufactured a fake controversy by confronting her on the street about your earlier offending item. We love The Paper, but showing bad taste doesn’t make you “controvers­ial.” It just makes you look like weasels.

Welcome, Maggie and Peter, to the neighborhood. If you’re ever looking for compromising pictures of the editor of The Brooklyn Paper, we can help you out no problem.

David Shenk, Park Slope

Editor’s note: The photo of Gyllenhaal was provided by the company that produced her movie, “Secretary.” The photo of the editor referred to in the above letter is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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