To The Editor:
Kudos to your reporter Joe Maniscalco for the excellent story on the proposed Asser Levy Park amphitheater (11-20-08 issue).
In this report, Borough Hall’s director of Planning and Development is quoted as asking, “...whether or not people want [handball] courts there.”
Yes, the people certainly do want the handball courts. Multitudes play and watch all year, many coming from other boroughs. There are national, high school and youth tournaments.
High schools use these courts for their teams and training. A variety of races, religions and ethnic groups meet here and learn how to appreciate and understand each other.
These handball courts add, enormously, to the desirability of living in, or visiting the Brighton Beach-Coney Island areas. This promotes real estate values and business in the area. The highway past the courts, connecting Ocean Parkway to Surf Avenue, is vital to transportation.
In Asser Levy Park, there are playgrounds, chess tables, facilities, shaded areas and several species of endangered birds and animals. This park is used all year round. The handball courts are more vital to the area now that the Brighton Baths are, alas, gone.
Our elected representatives and city officials must preserve the handball courts, located where West 5th Street meets the Boardwalk. Our city government will not allow a park, and the facilities on it to be destroyed and replaced by any commercial ventures that charge admission.
The un-named city officials who, according to the article, “view...Sea