This soldier’s story is pro-Palin

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To the editor,

This is an open letter to Smartmom after her column slamming Sarah Palin (“Palin and boro: Imperfect together,” Sept. 20):

My own “Sarah Palin,” 30-year Park Slope resident, gun lover, McCain/Palin supporter and fantastic wife for over 25 years asked me to write. You’ve probably seen or even spoken to us on the street. We’re the ones wearing McCain buttons, holding hands and walking with our half pit/half shepherd rescue dog all over our neighborhood.

You might have also seen me in uniform during Desert Storm or when I placed my life at risk protecting you from future terrorist acts after the slaughter of Sept. 11. Maybe Smartmom was one of those holding candles on the corner of Third Street and Seventh Avenue, calling me a baby killer. No matter, because I’ll protect you whether you hate me or not.

That’s what being a soldier is all about.

If my wife and I met Sarah Palin, we would tell her that while we don’t hunt, our firearms saved our lives on three occasions in Park Slope. We would tell her we appreciate the really close, loving relationship she has with her husband, because it’s the same with us.

My lovely wife and I would tell Sarah that while we are personally pro-choice, the United States Constitution assigns medical decisions to the states and not the federal government. And even if Roe vs. Wade never existed since the Supreme Court is constitutionally not allowed to write legislation, we would strongly support pro-choice state legislation.

We would also tell her that as two people very interested in paleontology and possessing the most extensive fossil collection in Park Slope, most people haven’t got the slightest idea about Darwin (a very religious man) and Natural Selection was all about.

We would also agree that she or we are not anti-homosexual, just because we don’t feel it should be taught in schools as a fun alternative to the heterosexual lifestyle of some 98 percent of the population.

We would then invite Sarah to our home, and I would cook her a good meal, telling her how nice it is to see two decent, hard-working mavericks like her and John McCain running for office.

Michael G. Leventhal, Park Slope

‘Toll’ too high

To the editor,

There’s a flaw in the logic of your editorial last week (“Toll plan has merit,” Sept. 20). You suggest that having people living and recreating near the Gowanus Canal will cause a cleanup to magically happen. The flaw is basic earth science.

It isn’t just the water that is polluted: the ground surrounding the canal is toxic for over 100 yards on either side as a result of a century of leaching. For the Toll Brothers to build, they will likely do as minimal an excavation as possible and then attempt to seal the site.

Once that happens, aggressive and meaningful cleanup of the canal itself will be counterproductive to the ground sealing and stabilization. The water has to be cleaned as much as possible before the ground pollution gets addressed. Otherwise, the Toll Brothers are building a luxury Love Canal.Jim Vogel, Park Slope

A GAP in plans

To the editor,

I viewed all of the design proposals for a new Grand Army Plaza offered on the Web site and found all of them wanting (“Mind the GAP, Brooklyn,” Sept. 20).

With a 450 acre Prospect Park recreational space nearby desperately needing maintenance funds, does Brownstone Brooklyn really need yet another recreational space right near there?

What is needed is a easy way for pedestrians to get to the existing center of the plaza and give them the opportunity to view it and the magnificent Bailey Fountain, an undervalued masterpiece. What is also needed is a way to slow the traffic madness on the existing road bed.

Sometimes the existing overall design is better than any of the alternatives that are offered. This seems to be the case here.

Of course, a design competition can be fun, too.Bob Ohlerking, Park Slope

Powell for people

To the editor,

I am very confused about the negative article about Kevin Powell (“Powell returns to his day job,” online, Sept. 18). The tone of it was very condescending. As I understood it, journalists are supposed to deliver unbiased reporting that gives the reader enough information to make an informed decision on any particular topic.

Your opening sentence, “Turns out, running for Congress was just a part-time job for losing candidate Kevin Powell,” sounds like an opening of a story in the National Enquirer.

Kevin received over 11,000 votes against Rep. Ed Towns within a grassroots campaign that was dominated by incumbent money. Some people could see Kevin not as a loser, but as a winner depending on how you report it.

I don’t understand why we have to tear down talented enthusiastic people for wanting to offer a new vision to the people of Brooklyn.

Moreover, you act as if Kevin should not do anything but campaign when there are so many issues affecting our communities. He is obviously a talented young man who utilizes his talents to help the community whether he is campaigning or not.

Laurie Cumbo, East Flatbush

Cumbo is the director of the Museum of Contemporary African Arts (MoCADA) in Fort Greene, where the Powell-curated exhibit, “I Am a Man,” runs through Jan. 18.

No to no limits

To the editor,

Your editorial “No to term-limit change” (Sept. 13) was enlightening. It confirmed why borough presidents, including Marty Markowitz, are as useless as most city councilmembers. Borough presidents earn $160,000 per year, which is four times the $41,000 what average constituents earns based upon the 2000 census.

Spending their salary on hiring new police officers whose starting salary is far less makes more sense.

Ordinary New Yorkers can only dream of such a job which includes such perks as staff drivers, out-of-town trips and travel abroad for political junkets along with free tickets to events. They could support a cleaner environment by joining millions of their constituents who ride mass transit daily.

I wonder how many of them, including Markowitz, have ever purchased a MetroCard or even know how to use it?

Borough presidents should remember there is no government draft for their positions. They ran for public office, knowing about the salary, fringes and perks.

In the day-to-day lives of most New Yorkers, no one would notice if all five borough presidents were gone tomorrow.

Larry Penner, Great Neck, NY

Posted 4:44 pm, September 25, 2008
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