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To the editor,

I decided to go shopping at Stop and Shop early this morning and walked past Sheepshead Bay. I did see a few ducks, which for some time had vanished. On my way home, to my amazement, I saw swans. What a pleasure to see them again. I guess they took a very long vacation, but they didn’t tell me where.

Had the city been smart, instead of building condos and stores, Sheepshead Bay could have been a real tourist attraction with a real fishing village. In the 1970s it was not uncommon to see men and women waiting in the early morning on weekends to go fishing. One major complaint was there was no parking, even though there were many empty lots available. Those same empty lots were given to developers to build condos. Without off-street parking the number of people fishing declined. Another reason was boat-docking fees went up and many fishing boats went to Long Island.

Sheepshead Bay also had popular eating establishments, such as Lundy’s with a capacity for 2,500 patrons, Tappan’s, and Randazzo’s. All of them were packed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. For entertainment there was Pips Comedy Club, which featured Woody Allen, Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Klein, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, Elayne Boosler, David Brenner, Andrew Dice Clay, Adam Sandler, Joe Piscopo, and Richard Lewis. By 5 pm the crowd started packing Pips, but like everything else, it’s just a memory now. Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Abruzzo’s assault

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo is an insult to her column (“A Britisher’s View”). When a person is blinded by racial prejudice, he or she vomits insults against others without using their brain. Abruzzo’s continuous assault against Islam and Muslims forced me to respond to her column, “Christians make the world a better place” (Dec. 25, 2015).

I fully believe that Christianity, as a religion, is a dynamic force for good and its founder, Jesus Christ, is peace and love. However I disagree that the majority of Christians are peaceful people, as Abruzzo claims.

Looking at our past history, we find that Christians are the most violent group of people in the world. We learned the vicious killing and destruction done by the crusades in Palestine during the 11th century. If you want proof just read your history books. The crusaders came to the Middle East to rid Jerusalem of the infidel Muslims. In the process they killed every man, woman, and child. Is that peaceful?

Christians came to America and annihilated millions of native Americans just for who they were. We learned in school of the massacres committed by Christians against native Americans without remorse. Furthermore the enslavement of Africans was done by Christians. Black men, women, and children were sold on the auction block like animals. Africans were separated from the children in chains. They were treated like a piece of property. Is that peaceful?

Christians waged two world wars where tens of millions died, including the Holocaust where six million Jews died. Is that peaceful? The Christians occupied all of the Middle East: Spain in Morocco; France in Algeria, Syria and Lebanon; Italy in Libya; England in Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, and Sudan. They plundered and destroyed the fabric of everything they touched. French Christians slaughtered a million Algerians, England split the whole of the Arab world into a small kingdom and supported every tyrant leader. They planted the State of Israel in a country they did not own. Millions of Palestinians were expelled, killed or jailed because of Christians. Is that peaceful?

President George W. Bush declared a crusader’s war in Iraq, where he slaughtered more than two million Iraqis in an invasion that was based on lies. Is that peaceful? Most of the weapons of mass destruction are invented by Christians. Is that peaceful?

These are only short paragraphs to show how violent most Christians are. I know that Christianity as a religion has nothing to do with what the Christians are doing. If Christ comes now, he will be heartbroken to see what his so-called followers are doing to the rest of the world.

I believe all religions are good — Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and many other beliefs. It is their respective followers who make them look bad. No religion calls its followers to kill and destroy and cause mayhem.

M. Muthana

Bay Ridge

Moving on

To the editor,

Your article “Big wheels keep on turnin’: Checking up on the B44 Select Bus Service” (online Jan. 7) refers to the B44 Select Bus that runs on Nostrand Avenue.

Did you know that the dedicated bus lane it uses is only in effect three hours in either direction during morning or evening hours, and is only about four city blocks long from Avenue X to the Belt Parkway ramps? That is hardly two-thirds of a mile long and makes no impact at all on traffic flow in the neighborhood. However, it is very effective in extracting revenue from unsuspecting motorists. Shirley Ranz

Brooklyn

Sounding Off

To the editor,

I’m one of those “survivors” everyone’s been talking about, and while I didn’t live on fried grasshoppers like my television counterparts, I am a New Yorker and one of those “real survivors” coined by news columnist Cindy Adams who, after moving to Manhattan, missed her old Brooklyn neighborhood, her vegetable garden, and her roomy apartment just a short ride away from Brighton Beach.

What sane person, I asked myself about 17 years ago, would trade Mrs. Stahl’s knishes, the ocean breezes of Sheepshead Bay, and the quiet, tree-lined streets with fabulous views of the clear, blue sky, for the noisy, polluted streets of Manhattan, before I made my own journey across the East River? What finally convinced me to make the move was commuting to my job as a high-school librarian on crowded, dirty, smelly trains, and the long waits on smoky subway platforms. What drew me to the city was the thought of being catapulted into a world of high-rises, health nuts, vitamin shops, joggers, and bars with thin women looking for love. It seemed appealing compared to being held prisoner on trains in underground tunnels with sick passengers and panhandlers who recited bad poetry or assaulted my senses with wild drum solos and Lawrence Welk-like accordion music.

I soon found myself living on the Upper East Side in a shoebox-sized studio with my daughter and a dog, and an air shaft where the window was supposed to be. But for $700 a month, who was I to complain about the lack of space or the paper-thin walls? The big city introduced me to new pleasures, including walks in Central Park, Jackson Hole burgers, thrift-shop bargains, and Mayor Koch’s movie reviews in the New York Spirit, as well as new displeasures, including drug-addicted neighbors who played their stereos all night long, and crazed bus drivers sped across Central Park like ambulance drivers racing to their appointments.

All was well until the mice and roaches arrived, unannounced. I soon discovered the roaches had come to stay. I could tolerate the stream of bag ladies who picked through our garbage, but the armies of roaches played havoc on me. Getting rid of them seemed like a job for Napoleon or Crazy Horse. After several weeks my apartment began to take on a strange new look, with original glue-trap collages and cris-crossed adhesives pointing in various directions decorating walls where no artist had gone before.

I beat back the blues and reinvented myself at every turn, in order to survive roaches in a cold, fragmented world. Now, here I stand like New York’s Finest, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, first on the trail (with glue traps and more). At night when I dream, in my mind’s eye a note on the door to my apartment reads, “Beware woman warrior, little devils!”

Time has passed and I find myself retired and living in my beloved Brooklyn neighborhood once again, looking back on my roach invasion as the time I found the courage to confront the enemy. Why, I now wonder, do people not rebel against the horrors of oppressive regimes, where people are tortured for expressing their beliefs, where writers and librarians get prison sentences of up to 20 years in some nations for speaking their minds, and for daring to speak through literature, poetry, and editorials about injustice and abuse?

Here in this great nation of ours, where opinions can be heard and diversity rules, I took my place as a librarian, and now armed with a writer’s voice, I, too, am an agent of protest and change.Joan Geller

Bath Beach

Nuke mook

To the editor,

So now it’s the little fat guy with the bad haircut from North Korea trying to shakedown America by pounding his chest like a gorilla to show his strength so he doesn’t have to fight another gorilla. We used to call this “selling woof tickets” when we were kids growing up in Brooklyn — it was all for show.

Obviously President Obama, who is said to be a poker player, probably isn’t a very good one because he can be bluffed over and over again. I doubt Obama ever read Trumps’ book “Art of the Deal” or Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” a book written more than 2,000 years ago, and still used today by generals and leaders all over the world. Obama telegraphs his intentions to our enemies, telling them when we are sending troops and when we are leaving, complete with date and time. He traded five hardened terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter whom he praised and who is now being court marshaled.

Obama made a deal with the devils of Iran, a country whose mantra is “Death to America,” giving them billions of dollars and withdrawing sanctions so they won’t continue making a nuclear bomb. They went back on their word and broke the agreement before the ink was even dry. So now the little fat guy with the bad haircut is going to see what he can get from Obama, like some other tyrants will certainly be doing soon because they only have about another year before he leaves office. They have to work fast, but they also know that if the new president has some cojones, like a Trump for instance, they will be out of luck.

Let’s not forget Iran held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days during the Carter administration. Jimmy Carter — a good, decent and very intelligent man, but a poor president in many ways — wasn’t respected at all by the Ayatollah of Iran at the time. Yet only hours after Ronald Reagan was sworn in, the hostages were released. Any guess why?

Maybe Trump is pounding his chest with his fists like the others who have been shaking Obama down, and maybe he isn’t, but either way I really don’t think those who bully Obama will try their crap on a Trump.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Reader-to-reader

To the editor,

In response to J.J. Lauria (“Elliott Kibosh,” Sound Off to the Editor,” Dec. 18, 2015), I proposed sodium pentothal (truth serum) for terrorists and other violent criminals and suspects because I regard America to be very hypocritical in trying to preach and teach justice abroad when we can’t practice it at home.

Are not the members of the Ku Klux Klan — whose ranks included late President Harry Truman, late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W-Va.), and late Supreme Court Judge Hugo Black — and the American Nazi and Communist parties terrorists? Yet the First Amendment guarantees them the right to speak freely within the confines of reason.

Supreme Court Judge Abe Fortas, who served from 1965 until 1969, was a member of the Community Party, and even his most vocal critics — Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) — did not even bother to bring this issue up during his nomination because he was a hawk on the Vietnam War.

I would also like to point out to J.J. Lauria that if we engage in waterboarding what will our enemies do to our imprisoned soldiers? Remember, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Get a grip

To the editor,

There is always an excuse for outrageous behavior. As the years have gone by, the new one is that the perpetrator was off their medication. In a recent case, several women were slashed by someone in and out of hospitals for mental illness. Why was he always released after each episode, only to cause additional mayhem? Same thing in school. Any teacher can tell you which of their students will go on to commit crimes. No one bothers to listen to them as children, when they are literally crying out by acting out for help. Instead, we either play their friend or just pass them on.

Since the family of the slasher knew what he was capable of, it was their responsibility that this individual be looked after. That is what families are all about. Don’t throw your problems on society and expect them to clean up the mess.

I just love when they say that the recalcitrant was in the process of getting his or life together. It is time for individual initiative and responsibility for one’s actions to rest on the individual and family members. Sure, many of these recalcitrant people and family receive welfare benefits and therefore they feel that everything is coming to them.

Ed Greenspan

Sheesphead Bay

****LARRY PENNER****

Tarnished Silver

To the editor,

The legacy of former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in the area of transportation leaves much to be desired. Consider the schedule, budget, and the cost for four major transportation projects that he took great pride in promoting.

Washington paid twice with your tax dollars for building the new South Ferry subway station. First, for almost $600 million in 9-11 funding, a second time with more than $300 million in Hurricane Sandy funding to rebuild what was damaged. The downtown Manhattan Fulton Street Transit Center was first paid for with 9-11 funding. Cost overruns of several hundred million were covered by American Recovery Reinvestment Act funding.

Fourteen years after 9-11, the Cortland Street World Trade Center subway station is still several years away from being back in service. If there are no new delays, perhaps the station will reopen by December 2018. Transit officials fought for years over budget, funding sources, scope, and schedule. Construction for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority portion of the project just started a few months ago.

There is no funding in the agency’s propose 2015-2019 capital program to initiate construction for the second segment of the Second Avenue subway, north from 96th Street to 125th Street. It will take several decades and $20 billion more for completion of the next three segments of the Second Avenue subway, north to 125th Street and south to Hanover Square downtown in the financial district. The project was originally proposed in 1929!

Silver claimed to be a friend of both commuters and the 99 percent. In reality, he lived the life style of the one percenters. He frequently traveled around town with a personal driver at taxpayers’ expense. I doubt if he ever purchased a MetroCard or rode the subway, like several million New Yorkers do daily.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Two-fare drone

To the editor,

The proposal by state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) to offer two free transfers for those who have to ride two buses before boarding a subway is wishful thinking. People who moved to Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and Gravesend — areas represented by Golden — knew full well that they would be living in a two-fare (bus to subway) and sometimes three-fare (bus to bus to subway) zone with longer commutes to and from work.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority services continue to be one of the best bargains in town. Since the 1950s, the average cost of riding either the bus, subway or commuter rail has gone up at a lower rate than either the consumer price index or inflation. The MetroCard, introduced in 1996, affords a free transfer between bus and subway. Prior to this, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing either a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Many employers offer transit checks, which pay even more of the costs.

For years, local politicians would stir the pot on this issue. Now the latest cause is the cost for those handful of people out of several million daily riders who have to pay two fares versus one. An overwhelming majority can afford and already purchase either a weekly or monthly unlimited MetroCard, which makes the “double fare” issue moot.

Residents, taxpayers, and commuters in Golden’s district would be better off if he worried more about how the State Legislature will find the $8 billion Gov. Cuomo promised to bridge the $8.3 billion shortfall in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-proposed $28 billion, five-year capital plan when they reconvene in January.

It all comes down to the availability of increased funding for additional transportation service to serve residents of two fare zones in the outer boroughs. Operating subsidies are required to increase the level of service and reduce the amount of time one waits for a bus on existing routes. Same for adding more off-peak, late night and weekend service.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

MTA delay

To the editor,

No one should be surprised by the recent news from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that the Second Avenue Subway won’t be open by next December. The agency reminds me of Capt. Renault from “Casablanca” when he said, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on!”

Riders who have been waiting since construction restarted in 2007 with an original service date of 2013 may not be able to pick up their “winnings” until 2017 or 2018. The project was originally proposed in 1929!

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

****ROBERT LOBENSTEIN*****

Crooked pols

To the editor,

First Shelly, then Skelos, then others. So our dear New York State democratic leader, Shelly Silver, has been convicted on all counts of bribery and other misdeeds of directing clients’ money to his own pockets. Shelly lamented in his defense that it is standard practice by all legislators in Albany to do what he did.

A few months ago the State Senate refused to fund an expansion of jails. It was sad to hear that, as the good citizens of New York are eagerly waiting to hear about the next round of indictments and convictions of crooked politicians who infest Albany. Their next stop should be a few years in this fine state’s overcrowded jails.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Hill-n-Donald

To the editor,

Hillary Clinton was complaining that the Muslim terrorist groups were using Donald Trump for video recruitment purposes. That lie was quickly exposed and Hillary wound up with egg on her face. Then a video surfaced where Muslim terrorists actually were using footage from Trump’s campaign to recruit new terrorists. I wonder how much Hillary paid them to do this?

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Pie in the $ky

To the editor,

Our dear Gov. Cuomo has been on a media blitz unveiling grandiose building schemes — rebuilding the old Pennsylvania Station to an almost former glory, expanding the Javits Center to house the world’s largest ballroom and exhibit center, and other fantastic municipal works endeavors.

One thing that was silently spoken about, off camera, was the way the multi-billion-dollar projects will be paid for. Yes, it will be you and I, and our children and future grandchildren, who will be paying off his follies for decades to come. To build any project on time and within budget is a pipe dream, knowing the ineptness of state and city governments. After these clowns leave office, we all will be saddled for years with the debt load created by their schemes.

Maybe most of these plans should be voted down until Albany straightens up its own corrupt financial mess though, as these politicians are busy picking our pockets, I doubt it.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

*****ED GREENSPAN****

Mitt’s a hit

To the editor,

Given the current crop of Republican presidential candidates for 2016, a new “three Rs” should be in vogue — “Run, Romney, Run.” Millions of voters now realize the mistake that was made in 2012, and many will cross party lines and vote for him. Why not? Richard Nixon came back from defeat in 1960 to win the presidency in 1968.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Classroom trenches

To the editor,

As Warner Wolfe used to say, “Let’s Go to the Videotape,” when he would want something investigated further. Similarly let’s go to the school records of violent criminals, or better yet, do something with them in their formative years so that they don’t resort to such violence. If you opened the school records, you would see evidence of cutting class, constantly disrupting the class, roaming through the hallways, cursing, screaming, fighting, and causing all sorts of mayhem.

The city’s school system has failed these students and others by their complete refusal to deal with disruptive youth. As a result, the latter become more emboldened with each passing year, and their deviant behavior worsens until an innocent life is lost.

We keep such students in regular classes if the parent refuses to sign for special placement. As a result, chaos results as teachers desperately try to keep order with burgeoning class sizes. When are we going to face this problem head on and not keep sweeping it under the rug? This is not a racist problem. Disruptive pupils come in all races, religions and all backgrounds.

Empty out the regional and district offices and get teachers back in the classroom. We need more psychologists and psychiatrists in the schools. Less suspensions will not solve anything.

So-called staff development is a complete joke and everyone knows it. Let all the militants, ultra liberals and critics of teachers get themselves teacher licenses and get a taste of what it is like in the trenches.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

‘Demagogue’ Donald

To the editor,

It has become apparent to me that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would be absolutely perfect in still another remake of the great film, “All the King’s Men.” After all, as demagogue Willie Stark, Broderick Crawford received a well-deserved, best-actor Oscar. Trump could easily pass that, if not do even better in the part. He gives new meaning to the term demagoguery. Hollywood should definitely take notice.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Pledge allegiance

To the editor,

Of course the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited in schools. As a student of public schools in the 1950s, I remember “the lord is my shepherd” being recited from the Bible in the auditorium until someone finally realized that this was a violation of separation of church and state.

Religion does not belong in our public schools. This means that all symbols representing a religion should not be in the school either. After all, by doing this, we are doing a disservice to those students not of a particular religion, as well as students who are atheists.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Bernie Panders

To the editor,

Bernie Sanders, what’s so bad about living in a rent-controlled building? You bemoaned that fact about living in such a building in Brooklyn at the last debate.

The rent-controlled buildings on Kings Highway were, and are still, lovely buildings with affordable rents. Ditto for rent stabilization. You’ve been away so long that you probably don’t know that since 1970, if a rent controlled apartment is vacated, it becomes rent stabilized. May the Lord bless rent control and rent stabilization.

At the first sign of any change, you and so many other phony liberals are the first to move out of neighborhoods. Your remark about rent control shows that you’re a landlord’s man. Without rent control or rent stabilization, rents would be over the roof and this would lead to more homeless.

Apparently in Vermont, where you fled to, no such problems of homelessness exist to the degree we’re facing in New York.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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