Sound Off to the Editor

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To the editor,

I’ve always enjoyed reading your newspaper, reading up on all the local news, but I was really disturbed when I came across your story, “Burlesque goes ape” (Oct. 15).

It wasn’t the article, as much as the photograph. I truly don’t enjoy seeing pictures of bare behinds in what I thought was a family newspaper.

If you continue to print such photos, please don’t leave any on my doorstep.

Evelyn Zelmanowitz


Sandy tale

To the editor,

A year ago on Oct. 28, I spent the day visiting senior centers, on calls with the Office of Emergency Management, and touring temporary hurricane shelters that were being set up inside high schools.

I spent the night like many other New Yorkers: making last-minute preparations for what I knew would be a treacherous tomorrow. For days, everyone on the East Coast had been bracing themselves for what was supposed to be one of the most destructive tropical storms in recent memory. We all knew what was coming and when it was coming. But on the eve of Superstorm Sandy, no one knew just how unprepared we really were for the destruction that would be unleashed on our city the next day.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, the estimated monetary cost of Superstorm Sandy for New York City was approximately $19 billion. Even such a large number doesn’t come close to capturing the true loss that was suffered that day, and in the weeks and months that followed. Breezy Point in Queens was rendered a blazing inferno — more than 100 homes burned to the ground. The subway — completely flooded. Some of our city’s most treasured landmarks like the then-newly refurbished Cyclone in Coney Island were completely wrecked. Hundreds of thousands of families were displaced from their homes. Those that were lucky enough to still have a home were forced to go without power for weeks. And even now, many families throughout the city are still awaiting repairs for damage caused by Sandy.

This Oct. 29, it will have been a full year since Superstorm Sandy wreaked this destruction on our city. But the question remains: if another storm like Sandy hit tomorrow, how prepared would we be? In the City Council, I made it my job to make sure this city never experiences that sort of devastation again.

Overhead power lines posed one of the biggest dangers during Superstorm Sandy. These lines were torn down during the storm and not only caused numerous fires but also made it difficult for the city to restore power to damaged areas. After the storm, I called on the city to bury overhead power lines underground. Underground lines are safer because they are not susceptible to heavy wind and rain, and can be easily restored to full operational capacity after a power outage.

I helped pass a legislative package of 10 bills that set the groundwork for recovery as well as future preparedness. Goals of this package included protecting the vulnerable, bolstering emergency infrastructure, and helping small businesses recover. Senior citizens, the sick, and children — these are the members of our community who are the most helpless when disaster strikes. Part of the package requires the Office of Emergency Management to identify households with vulnerable persons, and conduct door-to-door assistance to develop disaster response strategies. In addition, the agency must assess the operational capacity of shelter facilities. This was a huge problem last year, as many emergency shelters were simply unprepared for the volume of people that needed help. The administration is also required to develop a plan to efficiently distribute food and water to disaster-hit areas — yet another huge problem we faced last year.

It is simply unacceptable for families living in one of the richest cities with one of the most developed infrastructures, to not have access to basic sustenance in emergency situations.

It is so important that we learn from our response to Hurricane Sandy, in order to prepare for the next storm. To that end, my colleagues and I in the City Council are continuing our efforts — and our promise — to find ways to strengthen our city’s infrastructure following the storm. Together we can ensure that our city is even better prepared to meet Mother Nature’s next challenge.

Councilman Vincent Gentile

Bay Ridge

Barrel forth

To the editor,

Residents of E. 28th Street and Avenue Z in Sheepshead Bay have been getting the run-around from the city officialdom over removing the traffic barrels in their area, but I say, they need not fret or wring their hands in despair (“Residents angered by abandoned traffic barrels,” Oct. 15).

There is a very simple solution. Just handle it the traditional Brooklyn way — by yourselves.

All someone has to do is rent a van for a couple of hours, throw the barrels in the back, drive to some isolated spot, and dump them. Problem solved. No fuss. No muss. Glad to be of assistance.

Steve Danko

Dyker Heights

Ulurp burp

To the editor,

New York City’s Urban Land Use Review Process, including excessive zoning, land use, environmental reviews, and historic preservation rules and regulations, has stifled financial investments from the neighborhood homeowner or small business person up to major developers.

These investments would support economic development, the creation of jobs, and expansion of the local tax that is essential to fund municipal services. The procedure has generated a cottage industry of highly compensated lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations people who know how to navigate this maze of rules and regulations. Even a PhD would have difficulty understanding them.

There has also been a relationship between pay-for-play campaign contributions from developers to elected officials looking for favorable legislation, private property condemnation under eminent domain, and building permits — along with direct and hidden subsidies from economic development corporations — in exchange for zoning variances.

Don’t forget the conflict of interest for senior staff and board members from the Department of City Planning, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, as well as other municipal agencies.

Many leave in the twilight of any mayoral administration, after having written the very same rules and regulations that their new employers will want to get around.

Excessive zoning is a hindrance which needs to be seriously scaled back. If today’s ancestors of past generations of naysayers had their way, we would be a neighborhood of farmers and estates — like the good old days.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Clean air

To the editor,

With the alarming rise in asthma and other chronic respiratory illnesses, it is imperative that environmental concerns, particularly clean air, not be put on the political back burner.

Let us all work to keep this — literally — vital issue in the forefront. Never before has the human race as a whole, due to shortsightedness and greed, been so close to committing suicide and murdering its offspring with indifference.

Beth Phillips, M.D.

Bronx, N.Y.


To the editor,

“If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. If you like your money...”

Well, ‘zero out of three ain’t bad.’

Dr. Stephen Finger

Mill Basin

Tabby toys

To the editor,

Are you always buying toys for your kitty cat? The toys can be quite expensive. Here’s an idea that won’t cost any money and you’ll be recycling instead of discarding good stuff.

Save a bunch of the dry lint that you remove from your clothes dryer and stuff the lint into an old sock. When the sock foot area has enough to puff it out, add a smidgen of catnip to the lint and tie the top of the sock into a knot. My cats love it. Cost? Zero.Joan Applepie

Mill Basin

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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