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Democrats should united behind Steve Harrison

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

I am amazed that Democratic Party leaders on both sides of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge have endorsed Councilman Mike McMahon (D–Staten Island) instead of supporting Steve Harrison for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Vito Fossella, who is not running for re-election (“He’s the McMahon,” May 31).

Harrison is the obvious choice for this race. In 2006, he came within just a few percentage points of defeating the then-very-popular Fossella, with very little funding and not a bit of support from the national party leaders.

Now that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee finally has its sights on this district — and with the unfortunate recent events regarding Fossella — Harrison could easily win this seat for the Democrats.

I urge all Democratic Party leaders to make the obvious choice and immediately back Harrison for the 13th Congressional District. 

Eric Rouda, Bay Ridge

He’s a ‘Yards’ party pooper

To the editor,

Last week, this page had a letter to me from a group calling itself United Neighbors of Brooklyn (“Yards foes extend hand to critic of Ratner and DDDB,” Letters, May 31). But this letter was certainly not a response to my words of May 17 (“This guy faults Bruce Ratner and Atlantic Yards foes,”).

I did not express the desire for the broadest coalition possible against the Atlantic Yards proposal. I jotted down some thoughts on Bruce Ratner’s depredations and how I have sat out the fight against him because his foes are also arrogant.

I rue the disrespect shown Ratner backers. The animosity will linger whether Atlantic Yards gets built or not. If it doesn’t, what a bitter victory. Their letter made assumptions about me.

In my mourning for lost human ground, they heard a cry for city services. A big jump. I am hereby turning down UNB’s invitation to join them in their continued effort to bring together all the communities negatively affected by Forest City Ratner’s past and current plans.

In closing, I do not know even one signer on the UNB letter, yet all five have felt free to call me by my first name, Leon — twice. They couldn’t give me the common respect of Mr. de Augusto.

Leon de Augusto, Bushwick

On their hook

To the editor,

In “Red Hook Ikea prepares for auto onslaught” (May 31), you wrote, “Ikea has declined to say how many people from Red Hook have been hired at the store.”

It baffles me that public officials and community leaders who supported Ikea have accepted silence on this important point, especially when creating jobs in Red Hook was the prime reason to support this mega-store in an area ill suited to handle the traffic it will generate.

We must demand transparency! Is Ikea making good on its promises or not?

Alan Mukamal, Red Hook

Comrade (up) in arms

To the editor,

I read your paper because I find news about Brooklyn that I can’t find anywhere else. Unfortunately, I also notice that when you write about Park Slope, you continuously use language that relates it to Mother Russia and all things Communist.

It’s about as offensive as writing about Fort Greene in relation to the politics of the Black Panthers. But you don’t do it with other neighborhoods, just Park Slope.

I’m a childless, thirtysomething, non-white person who lives on Fifth Avenue, so I hear you when you write on issues regarding the Slope. But your derogatory political classification of the neighborhood weakens your writing.

Kimberly Bliss, Park Slope

Great podcasts

To the editor,

I just wanted to send a bit of fan mail your way: I am truly obsessed with watching The Brooklyn Paper’s podcasts.

No joke. The one documenting bird-on-bird violence (“Bird on bird,” April 26) has gotten me through some tough times (I love it when your editor screams, “It’s pigeon insanity on Fourth Street!!!!”).

Thank you! Keep it up!

Erin Mills, Park Slope

Editor’s note: All our podcasts and videos can be viewed at www.brooklynpaper.com/sections/media/podcast. Enjoy.

Change of direction

To the editor,

The Brooklyn Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which recently objected to the use of “park land” for judges’ parking next to the Adams Street courthouse (“Judge them!” Letters, April 26) has withdrawn its objection to the judges’ parking lot.

The Chapter now knows that the parking lot was constructed as an integral part of the Supreme Court building, which also sits in Columbus Park — property owned by the Parks Department. Thus, the parking lot did not in any sense take away “park land,” and the Chapter no longer has any objection to its remaining in its location.

However, the Chapter urges the judges not to expand the lot by parking on the walkway that adjoins the parking lot.

Donald Weston, Brooklyn Heights

The writer is chair of the urban design committee for the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Editor’s note: According to city records, the courthouse does not sit on “property owned by the Parks Department.” The judges’ parking lot, by comparison, does.

Caton place

To the editor,

I am truck driver, and if people on Caton Avenue think we should ban all the trucks off that street, they should remember this: You will have to go grocery shopping in New Jersey (“Trucks driving Caton Av nuts,” Jan. 27, 2007).

What are these people thinking, that we just cruise down Caton Avenue for pleasure?

What we are doing is delivering the stuff that people are buying in the stores.

So, go ahead and demand that the police fine us. Soon, the stores in your neighborhood will be empty or will have to charge 40 percent more for products sold in your area.

Lucas Kalkman, Kensington

Updated 4:01 pm, November 10, 2010
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