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To the editor,

Ralph Waldo Emerson railed against “foolish consistency.” Surely he had even less respect for foolish inconsistency. A newspaper’s editorial opinion means nothing if it is inconsistent. In last week’s editorial (“Just do it,” June 11), The Brooklyn Paper seems to be priding itself on some imagined consistency when it advocates for a taxpayer-funded arena on top of private property, city streets and the Vanderbilt Rail Yards — part of the proposed Atlantic Yards project — even more vehemently now that starchitect Frank Gehry has been dropped from the whole project.

But The Paper is downright defensive in its claims of consistency. That defensiveness is understandable because there is nothing consistent in the Paper’s opinion. In March, 2008, it editorialized: “The state must take back the development rights over the rail yards and put them out for bid. Doing so would not only cleanse state officials of the Original Sin of Atlantic Yards (namely selling Ratner the air rights for $100 million less than their appraised value), but it would also set right Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project.” So, while the Paper may now claim it has always wanted this arena, it hasn’t; it has never actually supported Ratner’s plan and never supported eminent domain or public subsidies upon which the arena and the rest of the project are dependent.

Did “Bruce Ratner’s very wrong project” suddenly become very right because the developer dumped the architect whose reputation he levered for project approval? The Paper of late likes to make the argument that we need this arena now more than ever because of the state of the economy, that the arena “will be an economic engine.” We need this arena like a hole in the head now. It would be a money-loser for the city, and is the chief impediment to the creation of truly affordable housing and union construction jobs over the rail yards.

For us, the issue isn’t who the arena’s architect is (though the bait-and-switch with Gehry is emblematic of a project defined by multiple bait-and-switches on cost, housing, public space and design, to name just a few). The concept of an arena simultaneous with a housing crisis, in the middle of and on top of an existing residential community, is what we oppose, as do city zoning regulations which were overridden in a state takeover of the Atlantic Yards site — part of the “Original Sin” that The Paper editorialized against last year. But that editorial is from the pre-Rupert Murdoch era, not that we think The Paper’s new ownership has anything to do with the inconsistent editorial opinion expressed in its pages.

Daniel Goldstein, Prospect Heights

The writer is the spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, and lives on Pacific Street in the Atlantic Yards footprint.

To the editor,

Just do it???????

Are you f—ing kidding me?

On the front page of our newspaper????

You f—ing traitor!!!­!!!!!!!!!!

Just build a f—ing shack so Ratner can make money??????? What the f–????

Do you have any principles??? Do you have any balls at all????

“Just do it”???? I’ll just stop reading the only paper that told the truth!!!

Holy f–!! I’m disgusted!!!!!!!

Shame on you!!!!!!!

Shame on you!!!!!!!!

Robert Frumkin, Prospect Heights

It’s the principal

To the editor,

I am the parent of a student who attends St. Saviour Elementary School (“Catholic school parents see only turmoil in Flanagan’s wake,” June 4). I was very selective in choosing a school for my daughter to attend. I looked into multiple schools before making the final decision to send her to St. Saviour because of its good reputation and the great academic success it has had.

St. Saviour has continued to thrive under Principal Flanagan’s leadership. The school’s success has next to nothing to do with Rev. Daniel Murphy, who has not even stepped foot into the school in over two years.

St. Saviour Elementary School has had many graduates who have successfully gone on to high schools and colleges of their choice. Many of these students earned scholarships. In fact, the number of the scholarships given to students at St. Saviour over the last 25 years (under Principal Flanagan) should speak for itself!

Why would Rev. Murphy want to fix something that is not broken? He mishandled this entire situation from the very beginning. It is our children and their education that are going to suffer the consequences. I am outraged over his decision not to renew James Flanagan’s contract.

Joyce Pisciotta, Bath Beach

Updated 10:25 pm, June 18, 2009
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Reasonable discourse

Don Sovey from Crown Heights says:
Does Brooklyn deserve an NBA team? Better yet, why doesn't the fifth largest city in the country have ANY professional sports teams?
If you agree that Brooklyn does rate a major league team, then you tell me where you want to put the stadium. If you answer isn't Atlantic Yards, you're simply not paying attention.
'Nuff said.
June 19, 2009, 1:01 pm
North from Park Slope says:
Mr. Sovey -

I'll give you 4 choices. Pick one:

1. Coney Island
2. The Brooklyn Navy Yard
3. The Sunset Park Waterfront
4. Your block via eminent domain

Ratner never engaged with the people who actually live in and around the footprint. If you think the immediate neighborhood is ACORN and construction workers from Ronkonkoma and Haverstraw, then you are the one not paying attention. Those of us in and around the footprint want more jobs here in Brooklyn and virtually all of us want the yards developed. Some of us, including me, would like to see a pro team in Brooklyn. But NEVER on these terms with it shoved down the community's throat like this.

It's a disgrace to use public money and eminent domain to provide land for a billionaire to build an arena and luxury condos (and shame on the fools – yes, fools, who believed this was about affordable housing. Were you born yesterday? Where is all of the affordable housing in the revised plans? This was all a con to get folks on board, like we warned years ago). He's a BILLIONAIRE - he should use his money to buy the land at market value. If people don't want to sell, than he should choose someplace else or rework his design. Our country is built on the primacy of private property. Anyone who isn't bought off by Ratner can figure out that a sports arena and luxury condos are not the same as "public use" for which eminent domain was designed.

Mr. Sovey, if your home were about to be seized by the state – if you were told you must move and accept less than market value, uprooting you from your community and potentially bankrupting you and your family in the process, how would you respond?
June 25, 2009, 2:26 pm

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