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To the editor,

Complaints about horse manure are just one more chapter in a long line of Park Slope–area non-issues (“Double stan-turd! Dog owners must scoop poop, while the horsey set can ride on,” July 10).

Horse manure, as Mike McLaughlin correctly notes, is mostly hay, oats, the occasional carrot, and grass. It certainly doesn’t smell very bad out in the open air on a bridle path. And it’s highly sought after by organic gardeners for composting.

Dog manure, on the other hand, can contain pathogens and other harmful things because dogs eat meat (or what passes for it in commercial dog foods). That’s the reason one doesn’t spread dog poop on one’s garden.

It seems to me that the folks at Kensington Stables are pretty conscientious about trying to clean up, and the presence of horses in Prospect Park certainly adds greatly to the park’s ambience, even at the expense of the occasional pile of road apples (there’s one euphemism Mike missed, alas).

Ride on, horses!

Eric McClure, Park Slope

Medical pain

To the editor,

Brooklyn parents are rightfully concerned that the closure of four school-based health clinics sponsored by Long Island College Hospital will have devastating effects on the community. Thousands of children would be put at risk by the closures, including many who have serious medical conditions or are without health insurance.

It is particularly distressing that the Department of Health would shut down these clinics this fall at a time when the Obama Administration has warned of a likely and aggressive resurgence of swine flu, and is providing more money, not less, to states and hospitals so they can begin vaccinations in October.

These clinics have been a wonderful resource to our children, their families and our communities. Their closure would be devastating to the health and well being of young people throughout Brooklyn.

Please stand with parents, educators, concerned citizens and most importantly the children of Brooklyn in opposing these closures.

Bob Zuckerman,

Carroll Gardens

The writer is a candidate for the city council seat being vacated by Bill DeBlasio, who currently represents parts of of Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Gowanus and Borough Park.

Going green

To the editor,

Thank you for the article about David Pechefsky’s Green Party campaign for City Council petition drive (“It ain’t easy going Green,” July 10).

This is the second mention in a Brooklyn Paper article about the difficulty David, or any non-ballot-status party candidate, faces to get on the ballot.

In an earlier story about David, you wrote, “If he gets on the ballot, it’ll be a miracle.” Let me offer a more suitable description: unfair and undemocratic. Ballot access laws purposefully create barriers to keep new parties from forming or independent candidates outside the mainstream party machine from being a choice for voters.

Voter choice is already limited by these unequal election laws. This is compounded by the vast amounts of money lavished on particular candidates. “Choice” and “democracy” have been severely compromised.

State election law comes to citizens from the same body that has used other rules of their making to just recently, stall state government, put alleged criminals at their helm and used their elected position for their own selfish, partisan reasons.

True democracy would allow for a proportional representational system to change the lopsided balance of Democratic Party power in the Council. New York City had it for council elections between the 1930s and 1940s.

Volunteers from a different parties, or no party, who are defying the obstacles and working diligently to get signatures of thousands of voters are fighting to ensure real choice on Election Day.

I do not think the many Democrats or Republicans can make the same claim.

Gloria Mattera, Park Slope

The writer ran for borough president as a Green Party candidate in 2005.

You got F’ed

To the editor,

I read your article about the poorly maintained F train (“MTA vows to figure out what the ‘F’ is going on,” June 16) and composed this poem in response:

Subway Sub-Standard

I used to take the F

Until I cried “First Aid!”

And someone clued me in:

It’s not a line but a grade.Leon Freilich, Park Slope

The writer recently appeared in The Brooklyn Paper’s article about possible successors to late poet laureate Ken Siegelman.

Posted 5:19 pm, July 16, 2009
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