Editor’s coffin comments make some readers sick

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

In his column about the Long Island Rail Road’s new Atlantic Terminal (“Fear factor,” The Brooklyn Angle, Jan. 8), Gersh Kuntzman criticizes the bollards in front of the station, claiming they were dictated by the “so-called realities of the so-called post-9-11 world.”

Such an attitude is astounding, particularly in light of the so-called aborted Christmas Day airplane terror attack.

Kuntzman’s rant is childish whining at best; irresponsible journalism at worst.

The Atlantic Avenue station was a target of a bomb plot in 1997; the perpetrators admitted the attraction was its position as a major transportation hub.

And this was the world before 9-11.Alexander Goldstein, Brooklyn Heights

• • •

To the editor,

Kuntzman gave himself space on the front page to complain about the LIRR’s security measures. It was hard to know if Kuntzman was upset because of the aesthetics of the mammoth cement bollards or whether he was venting about the “so-called realities of the so-called post-9-11 world.”

If it’s the latter, then Kuntzman becomes part of the problem of having no one to blame but ourselves. For the last six years, local electeds, community groups and professionals have been raising the issue that Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner claims that no special security measures are required for his basketball arena. This is counter to what both Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly publicly acknowledge.

This is the so-called real world, the one that resulted in the bollards that Kuntzman so rightfully dislikes. Pretending it’s otherwise is what gets us the after-the-fact imposition of the 21st-century medievalism he deplores. Pretending otherwise is what allowed the Empire State Development Corporation to avoid looking at security-related traffic impacts in its flawed 2006 Environmental Impact Statement.

Simply put, had the agency looked at the security implications, then Atlantic Yards might not have been approved.

And because no one has factored in security, Kuntzman will get, at best, bollards designed by the elitist architecture firm ShoP. But the LIRR terminal is an underground facility, while the Barclays Center is above-ground, with lines of sight directly into its interior. That means that traffic along Atlantic and Flatbush avenues will be impacted when adequate security measures are finally imposed just as they were when two streets were closed hardly two weeks before Newark’s Prudential Center opened.Alan Rosner,

Prospect Heights

• • •

To the editor,

The coffins are a reality of the times.

What is not a reality of the times is the filthy conditions of the MTA transit walkways and steps and the general maintenance of the place. What is the point of building all of these new facilities and not keeping them clean?

Al Pankin, Downtown

Mean streets

To the editor,

In reply to Benjamin Shepard’s letter (“Pedal Pusher,” Jan. 1), I had to ask this: Benjamin, you wrote that “no biker ever killed an automobile driver.” Perhaps that’s true. But they sure have come close to killing their share of pedestrians, including myself and my sister, who was hit by a biker in Manhattan and had to have surgery on her wrist as a result. (He was going to ride away when a group of pedestrians surrounded him and held him until the police arrived.)

They ride through our streets on vehicles capable of inflicting severe damage, even if said damage is not as deadly as a car or truck. It is absolutely the responsibility of “drivers” to exercise due care, but that includes bicycle “drivers.”

Tom Angelo, Crown Heights

Fly in the ‘Soup’

To the editor,

As a recent former Brooklynite, I found Andy Campbell’s takedown of the “bridge and tunnel” crowd that frequented the Neon Indian show a little hard to take (“Hey, Brooklyn, where were you on Thursday?” Campbell’s Soup, Jan. 1).

Rather than celebrate the change in Brooklyn’s profile — out-of-towners now want to come there rather than Manhattan — he takes a gratuitous potshot at the very customers the borough’s music venues need to survive.

And what’s the deal with the “we’re-better-than-you” attitude so common among Brooklynites these days?

And as for the borough’s celebrated uniqueness, as far as I can tell, you all have the same problems — poverty, poor schools, and a housing shortage — as any other borough.

Lawrence Goodman, Providence, R.I.

Updated 5:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Gill Bates from Park Slope says:
Well, they could have put trees or large plants in them, to make the eye appeal better.

Call it what it is - they look like coffins.
Jan. 13, 2010, 8:37 pm
Alan Rosner from Prospect Heights says:
First off, i am glad that Gersh printed my letter to the Editor in response to his front page piece on the LIRR entrance security.

My problem is that he deleted my saying that he, along with most all other NYC editors and reporters, has essentially ignored this issue over the years. He now demonstrates the continuation of this ongoing Emperors Clothes situation.

This is what Gersh deleted:

"So why is Gersh and other NYC editors and journalists part of the problem Gersh identifies for us? Simply because in the last six years they have never found a way to ask any of our governors – today’s being Paterson - to explain to the public how a five inch street curb and some security cameras are sufficient for an 18,000 seat sports arena and the surrounding crowds of pedestrians"

Even the idea of asking someone in authority is made to vanish. Simply put, the on-the-ground reality of this project is why post construction security measures will be imposed at some point by NYPD fiat - if they are NEVER addressed before hand.

Alan Rosner
Jan. 14, 2010, 11:22 am
Joey Bots from Botsenhurst says:
Gersh is just another silly liberal with his head in the sand. "So called realities" my foot!!!
Jan. 19, 2010, 4:14 pm

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