Sections

Sound Off to the Editor

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

To the editor,

I have profound respect for Shavana Abruzzo’s column “A Britisher’s View,” but she is way off base about the use of torture on our prisoners of war (“America’s ethical thrombosis,” Dec. 19). If we do this then we can expect other nations to do likewise. Lie detector tests are only accurate 51 percent of the time, and guilty people with good nerves will pass them while emotionally weak ones will fail, even if innocent. A friend who majored in criminal psychology told me that sodium pentathol, the truth serum, is 95 percent reliable. Therefore I do not see why we can’t use it on prisoners who claim they are innocent. In 44 states the governor can grant pardons or commute a prisoner’s sentence depending on the outcome.

The truth serum may cost $30,000 to administer, but it costs the states and the federal government much more to keep a prisoner behind bars. Nothing is foolproof and this technique may have devastating side effects for the innocent and the guilty, but if prisoners are willing to take a chance on their liberty being restored, the government should be willing to give it a try.

Let us not forget that graffiti suspect Michael Fay was ruthlessly beaten by police in Singapore in 1992 until he confessed. He claimed he was innocent when he came home, but Singapore used duress. I believe sodium pentathol should be used at home and abroad, even on terrorists and thugs. If we engage in waterboarding our prisoners of war, their nations will use torture on us. Shavana Abruzzo needs to realize that what goes around comes around.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Greed vs safety

To the editor,

A representative of the real estate company preparing to build a 40-story tower in Trump Village shopping center was totally disingenuous when he stated that he was unaware that the property is located atop an old contaminated gas manufacturing area (“Troubling Trump talk,” Nov. 21, 2014). A multi-million-dollar company unaware of this fact? How ludicrous. Well they know it now.

The hardship from the destruction of the shopping center will cause problems for seniors with limited mobility. In addition the clean-up of the toxic contaminants will cause many medical problems for this population.

The owner of the company, Rubin Schron, a senior himself, seems not to care. In his case greed seems to be the prime motivator. Let me ask Mr. Schron a simple question: Who in his right mind would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy an apartment in a building that is built on poisonous land like this?

Alvin H. Turk

Trump Village

American enterprise

To the editor,

Martin Boxer’s frustration with Aldi supermarket’s “blatant indifference to its Jewish customers” (“Jew diss,” Sound Off to the Editor, Dec. 19) begs the question: Why should Aldi sell Jewish holiday provisions if it doesn’t want to, regardless of their motives? He expresses the management may be anti-Jewish, or perhaps there is little profit to the company in stocking Jewish items on their shelves. Either way this sets up an opportunity for an agile competitor to step in and fill this market void. Aldi supermarket is a business, first and foremost. It has an obligation to pull a profit from the items it sells. Has Boxer considered the possibility that there is too little demand for his requested items? In a capitalist country like America, the concept of supply and demand governs the way a business operates.

So while Boxer finger points and provides “evidence” of anti-Jewish leanings at Aldi, other economic factors should be considered as well. In keeping with the holiday spirit, Martin Boxer should not be too hasty in judging Aldi so harshly.

Let’s not forget, Boxer (perhaps with the financial help of his friends and family) can open his own neighborhood supermarket and sell to the consuming public what Boxer feels they want to buy. Boxer’s Supermarket is a catchy name, don’t you think? I for one would drop by and purchase matzoh, shabbos candles, and Menorah supplies at Boxer’s. Isn’t America great?Aaron Rybstein

Brooklyn College

Fees squeeze

To the editor,

I am so tired of hearing individuals and even our elected officials complain about the city charging 10 cents per plastic shopping bag instead of handing them out for free with purchases (“Plastic bag fee sees backlash,” Dec. 5, 2014). Costco, BJ’s and other big box stores do not carry plastic bags, they have boxes that you can put your purchases in. Even Food Basic on Coyle Street doesn’t use plastic bags, but you can purchase a nice heavy bag from them at 10 cents and you can use their cardboard boxes also. I was in Stop & Shop yesterday and they now carry a bigger shopping bag for 10 cents, but their bags are not the same quality as those at Food Basic.

I have a few canvas bags for my groceries and I have a thermal bag for frozen items or products that need to stay cold. They’re nice and big and I would suggest a canvas bag that can be thrown in with your wash rather than those small plastic bags sold at the supermarkets. Additionally you can purchase a shopping cart for your trips to the store. I’d also like to ask why you need a shopping bag to carry a product such as milk, orange juice or other items that have handles on them?

We must all do our part to protect and save the environment, especially when you see all those smelly landfills and hear that it can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate once its thrown away. So stop crying about having to pay 10 cents for a plastic shopping bag and do your part to protect the environment.Rosalie Caliendo

Gravesend

...

To the editor,

Enough is enough about the plan to charge 10 cents for shopping bags. The way some supermarkets bag items we will end up paying more for the bags, which I use for garbage. The use of tote bags will lead to a lot of shop lifting, especially when there are no police on the streets. Just the other week at the Bay Ridge Foodtown, cops were called to arrest a man for stealing food. These people who want to charge 10 cents per bag should be put at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. These supermarkets make enough money as it is.

Every day supermarkets throw away more bags than they use to bag groceries, and they use the very cheapest of bags whose handles sometimes break off as the cashier is handing them to you. Customers can also be pigs. They combine some of their groceries and dump the empty plastic bags in shopping carts to be tossed away. This city and country are getting more mentally retarded every second of every day. God help us.Richard Martin

Bay Ridge

Bus diss

To the editor,

Thanks for the article on the B49 bus service (“Bus lane is slow lane, say locals,” Nov. 25, 2014). The drivers are nasty and pass you by in cold weather. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not doing anything about this. It is wearing blinders. Buses without service are too frequent to be true. I called to complain and many other residents have too! The schedule is a farce. Gerald Lefcourt

Bay Ridge

Gun-shy pols

To the editor,

I applaud the reason and the cooperation of many agencies regarding the gun buy-back program, but it seems that illegal guns from out of state are always involved. The other day it was reported that a handful of guns came aboard an airline from out of state. The people that let this happen were workers who were supposed to check each and every passenger. So we hear about security at the airports, but not this time.

Vast amount of money will always do the talking. Lucky for those passengers nothing happened. So dear friends and neighbors how safe are we really? Once again the politicians will hit the mic in frustration, but still do nothing. All I ever hear are empty words with no action. Then again had the Supreme Court ruled the second amendment to carry guns unconstitutional many of these problems would not be a burden of society. We all pay for loss of life, no matter who or what.

Solomon Rafelosky

Brighton Beach

Dante’s hell

To the editor,

Mayor Bill DeBlasio coaches son Dante to be wary and suspicious of police. However Dante is thousands of times more likely to be killed or become a victim of violent crime by his own peers than by a member of the NYPD. His biggest worry should be going to bed at night in close proximity to the enemy, including the live-in boyfriend of his mother’s former chief of staff. He was convicted of killing a young black male.

Hells Kitchen-bred Deborah Cox sang, “There’s a stranger in our house.” So true. Michael Jackson sang, “The life you save just may be your own.” Take note, Mayor DeBlasio. Coach your son not to go north of 96th Street, especially if he is wearing jewelry and brand-name attire.

Al Chiappa

Sheepshead Bay

Red-icals

To the editor,

If you were watching the news broadcasts about the protests in the city, you undoubtedly saw many people carrying signs reflecting their beliefs. But wait. The people holding those signs don’t look even barely capable of having printed the signs themselves, so you might wonder who the sponsor of the rally could be. Who furnished the signs?

On the bottom of the signs is the name of the sponsor — revcom.us. So, if you’re at all curious, just click on its website and you will find, as I did, that it is “the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.”B. Banks

Marine Park

Cuba libre?

To the editor,

Even a broken clock gets it right twice a day. Was this Obama’s “am or pm” moment? Either way, he got it right this time.

If we limited diplomatic relations to only those countries that lived up to our standards, we’d be able to fit the entire foreign service into my waiting room, and you know those guys would never pay their co-payments. Republicans should lick their wounds for not having done it themselves when they had the chance and graciously congratulate the president for doing the right thing — this time. Cuba libre? Maybe a step closer.

Stephen Finger, M.D.

Mill Basin

...

To the editor,

The car aficionados are more than excited to hear that relations between Cuba and the U.S. are thawing. Once the restrictions are lifted collectors can head to Cuba have their choice of 1940s Hudson Terraplanes, ’53 Buicks, ’55 Plymouths, and a plethora of ’57 Chevys. Yeah!

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Phony Sony

To the editor,

President Bush called North Korea evil more than a dozen years ago, and he was right. Who would ever think a little fat guy with a lousy haircut would make a mammoth corporation like Sony buckle under to his threats? That crazy little fat guy must be laughing his fat arse off. I for one wouldn’t ever buy another Sony product. I wonder if his pal Dennis Rodman congratulated him for stumping on our first amendment rights and winning?

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Freedom blighters

To the editor,

From now on Hollywood should run new movie scripts by all rogue nations and terrorists before wasting millions of dollars on movies they won’t be able to show because one of them doesn’t want it shown.

This should also apply to book writers and publishers, and other artists and teachers. This isn’t the first time I’ve been ashamed of my country since Obama became president, but it is the first time I ever felt so angry because we are losing a constitutional right — freedom of expression — that our men and woman in uniform fought and died for.

Cronin Miller

Midwood

Boardwalk blues

To the editor,

For years there has been an intense campaign by friends, neighbors, and those with affection for the Boardwalk to keep it as it should be, and not allow it to be reconstructed as the essentially concrete sidewalk the Parks Department proposes.

We are pleased that Councilmen Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) have supported our position and oppose the plan, but are very concerned that Assemblymen Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island) have procrastinated and sent mixed signals to a public that needs to be assured of their support.

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny has not responded to calls or emails on the subject and sent someone to support rather than oppose the plan at the design commission hearings. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz never offered a position at this crucial hearing, and although he has offered, recently, to rescind funding for the project, it may be very late in the game, and unless done with more energy, too little to win.

We are very pleased with the support our concerns have had from Deutsch and Treyger and hope that Cymbrowitz and Brook-Krasny will join them, and assure their very concerned public that successful action can happen before the December 31 deadline.

The answer to the continual threat to the integrity of the Boardwalk is to join Councilman Treyger in recognizing for all time that it is a landmark, and as such should be preserved by the New York City Landmark Commission for this and future generations.

Stuart K. Pertz

The writer is an adjunct assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s Grad Center for Planning.

...

To the editor,

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz should be embarrassed to make a U-turn at this stage of the game. His obvious piggybacking on the good deeds of Councilmen Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch in their efforts to truly represent their constituents is a lame effort to make us think that he cares about our community. His claim that his reversal is due to now realizing how the project was changed from its original plan is either false, or points to ignorance or indifference on his part. The community’s fight against this project has been well documented for a long time. Let us turn our attention to a real representative, Councilman Treyger, and his idea to landmark the iconic Boardwalk!Rose Cherry

Sheepshead Bay

...

To the editor,

I am a lifetime resident of the Brighton Beach community, and as such, along with my fellow residents of the area, have always enjoyed and appreciated the Boardwalk, which for us has become a virtual iconic landmark.

In common with the vast majority of my fellow residents, I am greatly dismayed by the city’s plans to modify the surface and replace the boards with a concrete and plastic material. We have expressed our concerns over this plan on numerous occasions, and thus are feelings about this matter are well known.

Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger have offered our communities much support to our concerns.

What is puzzling to me at this point is the position of Assemblymen Steven Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook-Krasny. Cymbrowitz, as a result of numerous communications addressed to his office, is now taking a position of opposing the Parks Department project, after providing funding for work which in this honest opinion is being misused, whereas Brook-Krasny has not responded to any form of communication regarding this matter from any constituent.

It would appear to be incumbent on these two representatives to clarify for our community precisely where they stand on this issue. It is important for us to be informed of the truth of this matter, as these two gentlemen provided the funding for the Parks Department work, without any further inquiry as to the exact use of this funding and the exact work contemplated. One would hope that these issues would be clarified, and at the same time the Parks Department work be immediately called to question, and the funding for it cancelled.William Zucker

Brighton Beach

Kim Gone-un

To the editor,

I think the response to North Korea’s cyber attack on Sony was a little harsh by the U.S. — if in fact we were behind their nine-hour internet interruption. Kim Jong-un must have been jumping mad when he couldn’t watch his daily cartoons or episodes of “The Three Stooges” that he watches everyday because he likes to watch Moe dropping young Kim Jong-un on his head over and over, and also believes Moe is his real grandfather. I don’t think they’ll try anything again.Nufigity Sanzone

Coney Island

...

To the editor,

It is a crying shame to see that Sony entertainment knuckled under to the demands of terrorist scum. Their cowardice has again empowered low-lifes to threaten our people and land, and possibly carry out another 9-11 attack. Each time Americans cower under threats we sink faster and faster into a shivering, sniveling, third-world power.

I say that the people of America, its leaders, military, and corporations come to terms of how great this country really is, grow a big pair, then stand up and launch a large scale 9-11 attack of our own. It’s time to silence and ignore the spineless, politically correct jellyfish that control our once-proud government, and put our full answer to terrorism where our military is.

The world is being taken over by threats from North Korean slime, Taliban cretins, and other religious and governmental dictatorships. The longer we and the remaining democracies let things slide, the more terrible the inevitable war between them and us will become.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Cop-n-community

To the editor,

What really bothers me when I hear my neighbors in Brighton Beach and Coney Island complain about the lack of adequate police protection: Gee, the only time there are more police presence is during the summer, and mostly in Coney Island.

So the bottom line is other precincts lose officers because they are on detail elsewhere. Under Mayor Bloomberg he decided to cut the starting pay for police rookies, so why would anyone think of becoming a police officer

Where are the auxiliary cops that once were a presence in Brighton Beach? What happened to the uniformed officers I’d see on a daily basis walking up and down Brighton Beach Avenue? I’m aware that the 60th Precinct has undercover cops, but seeing uniformed cops would be a greater deterrent to any potential crime.

I’ve have been going to the community council meetings month after month, and the constant concerns from the resident about shootings seems similar to Chicago. To quote Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island), the police force needs to keep pace with the city’s population growth,

Many years ago Chicago had high-rise projects where crime was rampant. People did not know who their neighbors were, and shootings became a way of life. What the smart politicians finally did was to take down the projects and replace them with small townhouses. Then people began taking pride in their neighborhood and got to know their neighbors. Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

When, oh, when?

To the editor,

When are black leaders going to speak up and condemn black-on-black crime, instead of blaming cops? When are Muslim leaders going to condemn the senseless murders of innocent people by the radical Muslims? When will parents take responsibility for their young children? When will fathers raise their children with their wives, instead of just making a baby and walking away? When will the exaggerated claims of racism and the war on woman finally end? When will teachers stop getting the blame for failing students who don’t do their homework or even show up for school? When will the borders be secured? When will politicians stop lying to us? When will the streets in my area pave the streets that have been torn up for months?Maureen Parker

Sheepshead Bay

Toll-light robbery

To the editor,

The article on the toll of the Verrazano Bridge was more telling than you know (“Bridging the gap: MTA wants to raise Verrazano tolls to balance budget,” Nov. 20). So there are 180,000 vehicles crossing the bridge daily with a daily revenue of $936,000, according to a transit spokesman. If you take half of the 180,000 and they pay $10 for EZ-Pass and have the other 90,000 vehicles ride free, that would still bring in a revenue of $1,800,000. Realistically, where is all the money collected in tolls really going?Joe Donato

Park Slope

Problem students

To the editor,

It has often been said that teachers and the police know the city best. Both have been under the gun by either the Bloomberg or DeBlasio administrations. What’s the liberal answer for unsatisfactory schools? More teacher training. What’s the liberal answer to alleged abuses by police? More police training.

Let’s stop the nonsense and put the blame squarely where it deserves to be put. Our schools are failing because of the students who get away with everything and as a result feel that they can continue their disruptive ways as adults. Hence they meet confrontations with the police and soon learn that with the police you don’t play.

Let’s examine the school records of all those accused of crimes, and who did not follow police instructions not to resist.. We would find unsatisfactory behavioral records in schools. As students, they caused such mayhem that the teacher probably got blamed for not being able to “control” them and therefore received unsatisfactory ratings. Let’s end this cycle of stupidity and concentrate on the students who are disruptive in school. When nothing is done, they will invariably become emboldened criminals as adults, fully eager to challenge authority. There is a complete lack of respect for authority figures. That’s when our problems begin.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Mayor DeDozio

To the editor,

New York Republican Committee chairman Ed Cox suggested the Mayor DeBlasio will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. That reminded me of the commercial that Hillary ran in 2008 in her bid for president: “Your kids are safe and asleep and the phone rings at 3 am in the White House, etc.”

I could only imagine if DeBlasio was president and the phone rings at 3 am while he is asleep, the phone would just ring and ring, and he would turn over and pull the covers over his head and continue to sleep.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

War heroes

To the editor,

When I read that soldier Brent Grommet’s German shepherd was taken from him when they returned from war, it made me very sad and as mad as hell. This young soldier and his dog, Matty, were together from the beginning at basic training to deployment in Afghanistan. Both were injured by a roadside bomb.

Specialist Grommet suffered traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This soldier who fought for his country, sustained serious injuries, and was almost killed only wants his partner and best friend back with him. This is not only a very small price to ask for, but it is also the law. Robby’s Law passed in 1990 and was signed by Bill Clinton.

This hero was told by higher-ups not to speak to the media about Matty the dog or he would wind up in Leavenworth. Talk about loyalty. These two want to be together again and deserve to be. Didn’t the government already do enough to disrespect and harm our veterans with the Veterans Administration scandal? I’m not holding my breath for the return of the dog to his best friend, after we saw the way the U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was held in a Mexican prison for more than 200 days, but I sure will be praying that Specialist Grommet and Matty are reunited. I would hate to think some bigwig took the dog home to his family and won’t give it back or worse. This is the very least we could do for one of our hero’s who was willing to put his life on the line for us.

I think those monsters being held in Gitmo are being treated better than we treat our own veterans. Our president authorized the release of five monsters for the return of one army deserter. Mr. President can’t you authorize the release of one dog for a hero?Rosie Boxer

Rockaway, N.Y.

Credit gas-bags

To the editor,

I went to a gas station expecting to use my VISA card to fill up my tank. Imagine my horror when I was told that by my using VISA to pay for the gasoline, the price would be 13 cents more per gallon! Yes, $3.45 cash per gallon versus $3.57 VISA per gallon. Outrageous.

I always knew VISA to be 10 cents more per gallon, but now it’s 13 cents more per gallon if one uses a credit card. Aaarrrgh.A. Smith

Mill Basin

Edu-vacation

To the editor,

I saw in the paper that so many children were absent more than 10 percent of the time during the last school year. This doesn’t take into account the students who are marked present and then proceed to cut classes and cause mayhem during the day.

My favorite was when parents would come to school and inform me and other teachers that they were going on vacation for 10 days to two weeks and demand that we give them the work in advance so that their child wouldn’t fall behind. This is absolutely ridiculous. If the child was not there when the work was being taught, the best the teacher could do was to give them pages to read and questions to answer from the texts. The supervisory staff should have stepped up to the plate to remind the parent that school was in session and that these vacation days were totally illegal. This was never done because principals fear parents.

Years ago if a child was absent excessively, the child was not promoted. This would never occur today, as supervisors look to get rid of children who are chronic discipline problems and whose absences are a relief both for them and the teacher.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Dems the breaks

To the editor,

Yes, it’s super important to be informed and to have opinions but a constant, repetitive drone of negativity, cynicism, anger, and fear accomplishes nothing. It’s far too easy to be critical of others. It’s much more difficult to devise something positive and or good, or to invest the time and effort necessary to become actively involved in local or larger issues and programs in place, or to spend some time trying to offer up something positive: an idea, a movement, or even something already in place that might spark change for the better.

C’mon, two wrongs do not make a right. Just because the other (red) side does it does not mean “we” should too. “We” lost the 2014 midterm elections because the right messages weren’t getting put out and what was being said did not engage the voters enough to get them to actually vote. Maybe it’s time to try other tactics?Barry Brothers

Homecrest

Blott Stringer

To the editor,

Comptroller Scott Stringer is a spoiled child having a temper tantrum. Perhaps he needs a time out. Who knew that taxpayers are paying for members of the NYPD Intelligence Division to serve as his personal security detail. Stringer recently fired four of New York’s Finest from this security detail because they were late in picking him up from his expensive Manhattan home one morning. Is anyone aware that Stringer is the target of any terrorist groups which would merit this level of protection? I seriously doubt that al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic State or any other terrorists are even aware of his existence.

Municipal employees could never get away with the same abuses. They could not use city vehicles during work hours to chauffeur spouses around town. At a minimum, they would have to reimburse the city for the costs of all these personal trips. The Department of Investigations needs to take a look at this serious potential waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers dollars.

Let Stringer assign one of his several hundred staff members to serve as his personal chauffeur. Better yet he could set an example and follow Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick’s bill requiring employers with 20 or more workers to sign up for transit checks. Stringer could do likewise and give up both his free parking space at City Hall and his special police parking permit. He can use his transit check to purchase MetroCards. This will afford Stringer the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment. Stringer talks about being a friend of the 99 percent, yet he prefers the perks of a one percenter.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: