Hey, Brooklyn Paper: Stop picking on the Italians

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

I am appalled that your article about Ernie Nardi (“Dyker man on YouTube ignites GOP fisticuffs over immigration,” Dec. 8) describes Nardi’s voice as having “accent unmistakable to anyone who has seen even one Scorsese movie.”

Such an unnecessary reference had nothing to do with the nature of Nardi’s video — and, as such, demonstrates that negative stereotypes continue to be promoted when it comes to Italian Americans.

Shame on you, Brooklyn Paper. I always wonder if reporters would have the audacity to make similar statements if the character(s) they were writing about came from other ethnic, racial groups or because of their gender or sexual orientation.

Michael Giammarella, Brooklyn Heights

Got some ‘tail’

To the editor

I saw the red-tailed hawk about two weeks ago (“Hawk moves into Greenpoint,” Dec. 1). I was jogging around the track when I looked over and saw this huge beautiful bird stepping up and down in a pile of leaves and looking around surreptitiously.

A closer look revealed that the hawk was stepping on a pigeon, making sure the pigeon was dead.

Then in a moment, the hawk flew across the street, clutching the carcass, and into the area of the baseball field. As he took off you could see his triangle-shaped tail, as red as a brick. There was a flock of pigeons huddling together in the field and as the hawk approached bearing the dead one, the pigeon flock rose and flew off.

Emily Legutko, Greenpoint

Bruce’s Brooklyn

To the editor,

Regarding your recent editorial on Bruce Ratner’s new building at City Tech (“Another backroom deal,” Dec. 1), I can’t believe how we continue to lose what makes Brooklyn, Brooklyn— while elected officials turn a blind eye. Incredible!

Niel James, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Big mixup

To the editor

The headlines in your Dec. 1 issue were reversed: Bruce Ratner’s 1,000-foot spire is “Jarring Change,” while Charlie Sahadi is “Mr. Brooklyn.”

Wanda Fleck, Boerum Hill

How dumb is Gersh?

To the editor,

Gersh Kuntzman’s fifth grade math teacher may have taught him the formula for the volume of a cylinder — but in The Paper’s “team coverage” of Christmas trees (“Xmas trees light up — and The Brooklyn Paper team is there,” Dec. 8), Kuntzman is actually standing in front of a cone, not a cylinder.

Eric Richmond, Gowanus

Editor’s note: Our exclusive “Team Coverage” feature is a parody of local television news coverage. So the “mistake” about cylinder was intentional, clearly!

Hanukkah harried

To the editor,

It is the morning of the first night Hanukkah and I’m in a mad scramble to get it together for my kids, so I rush over to Rite Aid on Seventh avenue to buy last-minute Hanukkah candles, Hanukkah gift wrap, and a few Hanukkah decorations to make my apartment look festive.

To my dismay, Rite Aid did not have any of the above-mentioned items! But it’s not that they were merely out of these things. They never had them to begin with!

The night before, I went to Target at Atlantic Terminal only to discover that the “seasonal” department was crammed full with boxes of Christmas decorations waiting to be unpacked, yet the only Hanukkah candles were contained in a tired-looking box of broken, bent, old, waxy candles. When I asked the “associate” for some Hanukkah gift-wrap, he produced one crumpled gift bag.

The point of this rant? This is New York City, not some small town in the Midwest. How can it be that stores in our area don’t carry Hanukkah items? What is the underlying message these stores are sending to the many, many Jews who live and work here?

More important — and more frightening — is the message being sent to the rest of the community about how these stores’ Jewish customers are regarded.

Come on, big box stores! It’s time to review your policies at this, “the most wonderful time of the year” — as your piped in music so unrelentingly reminds us!

Barbara Beard Trocco, Park Slope

Radio reaction

To the editor,

I recently heard your editor on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show and want to thank him for stating the community’s concerns about Atlantic Yards in a balanced way and for putting the security issue in context.

Opponents’ supposedly “unreasonable” concerns turned real in Newark, where, two weeks before that city’s hockey arena opened, people were informed that two local streets would have to be closed every home game.

It’s no wonder Brooklynites fear that two weeks before our basketball arena opens, the NYPD will announce that there will be lanes closings on Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, or rerouted traffic, or vehicle inspections.

Given the size and location of Atlantic Yards, any one of these actions would cause incalculable harm to Brooklyn’s economy, traffic movement, air quality and public health by gridlocking the intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth avenues. The effects would extend far beyond the area studied in the state’s narrowly focused environmental study.

The only thing that’s unreasonable is to pretend there is no problem.

Alan Rosner, Prospect Heights

A rave for Smartmom

To the editor,

This is a fan letter — from a Smartsingle — to say how much I enjoy Smartmom every week in The Brooklyn Paper. I especially enjoyed “Smartmom trots with the turkeys” (Dec. 1).

I grew up on Third Street in the 1940s and 1950s. I moved to Greenwich Village and lived there for a number of decades and recently moved back to Brooklyn.

There have been so many changes, but the family business — Tarzian’s Hardware — is still there. My uncle, Harry Tarzian, still lives above the store and is still a fine photographer.

I love Crawford’s column for other reasons, including its honesty and humor. Brava, Louise Crawford! You will always be Smartmom to me.

Rachel Gallagher, Brooklyn Heights

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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