Readers: What are kids doing in bars, anyway?

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To the editor,

Your story about parents who insist that local bars allow them to bring their young children and strollers into these establishments was disturbing to say the least (“South Slope stroller spot,” March 29).

This demand is indicative of the “not-to-be-denied” attitude that permeates places like Park Slope. Parents routinely allow their toddlers to run around and make all the noise they want in restaurants as if they were in their own living rooms. Did it ever occur to them that other patrons find this offensive? Is a drinking establishment the best place for young children to be exposed to?

If I frequented a bar, the last thing I would want to see is a bunch of small children with their coddling parents in my midst. The bar owners should take a stand and side with their regular patrons against this invasive behavior.

Earl Cantos, Park Slope

Dog soldier

To the editor,

I have worked at an animal shelter, and I know both how hard and how rewarding it can be (“Better off dead? Ban on Slope group could mean death for pound dogs,” March 15).

Nothing feels better than watching an animal go to a loving new home. Unfortunately, for every good experience there will be a dozen bad ones.

Animals come in abused, sick, aggressive, and neglected, some so unhealthy or ill tempered that they have to be euthanized. A pet you thought was going home forever may be returned to the shelter by an irresponsible owner.

There are people who try to take advantage of the shelters, sometimes financially. People who do not meet pre-screening requirements will argue and cause a scene in the middle of the shelter. There are many who will treat you badly because you want to treat animals well. But seeing how someone treats an animal is the best way to gauge who they are as a person.

Animal rescue is a hard situation, and, yes, sometimes you have to be tough and firm with people. The city needs more rescues and shelters, and more people who care as much as Laurie Bleier obviously does. It certainly doesn’t need to put hundreds of animals on death row because a few people didn’t like the answer they got.

Liza Eckert, DUMBO


To the editor,

I was dismayed to read your front-page article comparing pressed-sugar-cane trays with Styrofoam trays (“Field test: It’s a tale of two trays,” March 29). Rather than attempting an unbiased analysis of the costs and benefits of the two food trays, you chose to toss objectivity and any pretense of scientific method out the window and instead play it for laughs — or so I have to assume after reading of your fundamentally flawed “battery of experiments.”

Rather than testing the trays with a normal student lunch in a school cafeteria (in the manner they are intended to be used), you instead had a local restaurateur pile an obscene amount of food on them, smothering each tray with a mass of carbohydrates that (as your own photo proves) would be more than enough to feed several children.

The article almost audibly snickers as the grossly overloaded tray becomes flimsy “after a few minutes,” but then immediately moves on to even grosser distortions. You didn’t include actual numbers, but I’ll do you the favor: a Styrofoam tray lives in our landfills for at least 10,000 years, steadily adding to the dump’s toxic leakage until it finally decomposes. Ten thousand years. The cane tray safely biodegrades after 45 days.

But hey, why bother doing a real comparison when your apparent goal is to simply laugh at the idea (and by extension dismiss the forward-thinking efforts of a school)? While you amuse yourself in this manner, the rest of us will continue to seek alternatives to plastic waste and toxins that are poisoning us, our children, and our planet.

Chris Wallace, Carroll Gardens

Editor’s note: Our “field test” was just that — an experiment to see how each tray held up under extreme conditions. The accompanying article reported all of the statistics and information that the letter writer mentions above.

Across the park

To the editor,

Thanks for the nice coverage of Prospect Lefferts Gardens (“Prospect Lefferts Gardens gets big,” April 5)! If you’re in the neighborhood again, try dinner at Cafe Enduro on Lincoln Road. It’s very warm and homey, and the food and drinks are pretty good as well.

Judy Jones, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

R.I.P. Bertha

To the editor,

Thanks to The Brooklyn Paper for prominent mention of the passing of Bertha, the tiger shark from the New York Aquarium (“Circle of Life (Death),” April 5).

Bertha’s death follows on the heels of the death of four of these amazing creatures at the new Atlanta Aquarium. These sharks swim across tremendous ranges each day and putting them in captivity is like putting an eagle in a parakeet cage.

I hope the Aquarium will forego any attempt to place more sharks in their proposed expansion.

Wayne Johnson, Brooklyn Heights

Power to the people

To the editor,

I read your article on the rejection of that power plant in Williamsburg (“Park without plants,” April 5) and was upset. Once again a neighborhood cheers a power plant’s denial. But I wonder: will these same people be cheering when the city calls for reducing power consumption when the temps rise this summer or when Con Ed reduces voltage? I think not.

Look, I am no great lover of Con Ed, but give them a break. Every time they try to build a power plant, they are fought. Con Ed should tell the Gloomberg administration that they cannot hook up any new power sources for any of the ridiculous building boom (disaster) going on throughout the five boroughs, and that these greedy, mega-developers, who always get their way, supply the power source for their own projects.

Richie Hecht, Bay Ridge

Updated 4:01 pm, November 10, 2010
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