Courier Life’s

‘Sound Off to the Editor’ — where readers take to the soapbox

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To the editor,

Thanks so much for the story so beautifully done on the late Aaron Banks (“Martial artist Aaron Banks dies at 85,” June 7).

Grand Master Maurice Elmalem

Bronx, N.Y.

Seeing red

To the editor,

Can you distinguish a dark, olive green uniform from a blue and yellow one (“Nation’s oldest Memorial Day Parade marches in Bay Ridge,” online May 29)?

The man in the photograph, was photographed walking proudly, wearing several medals on his Russian uniform, but who the hell knows what he did in those years.

To me, seeing that was a slap in faces of American war heroes.Outraged

Bay Ridge

Frank-ly speaking

To the editor,

Jerome Frank said [in a letter responding to Shavana Abruzzo’s column, “Impeach Bam for Bengazi,” A Britisher’s View, May 17)], “On George W. Bush’s watch, we had 9-11 and thousands died. He lied us into the Iraq War and many thousands of soldiers died.” (“Dubya’s war crimes,” Sound off to the editor,” May 31).

However, this is a gross understatement. What Mr. Frank fails to consider is that President Woodrow Wilson ran in 1916 on the slogan, “He kept us out of war” and on April 2, 1917 received a declaration of war from Congress.

Perhaps Mr. Frank is unaware that Woodrow Wilson’s second Secretary of State Robert Lansing stated in his memoir that he was pushing the president, almost openly, to declare war against Kaiser Wilhelm II, and agreed he erred because America was not militarily prepared at that stage.

It is true Wilson used guile because he felt if he would tell members of Congress and his Cabinet the unvarnished truth, there would be many blabbermouths, and America would have taken a bad beating at the hands of the Germans.

Also note that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said at the home of his former ambassador to England, Joseph P. Kennedy, on Oct. 12, 1940, “My friends I have said this before, and I am going to say it again and again and again, your boys shall not take part in any foreign wars.”

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR did get a declaration of war from both the Senate and the Congress.

Mr. Frank, you are correct about Dubya Bush lying us into war with Iraq, but very naive about the fact that other presidents have done the same thing, whether right or wrong.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach


To the editor,

Why do we need a mayoral candidate like Anthony Weiner, who sent obscene pictures of himself over the internet, and is famous for his temper? And what is so attractive about a candidate like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who reveals her teenage problems with alcoholism and bulimia?

How about a candidate who is running on ethics reform, like Joe Lhota? Or what about a candidate who is a successful businessman, like John Catsimatidis, who will try to reduce our outrageously high bridge and tunnel tolls?Vicki Wulfken

Bay Ridge

Sandy survival

To the editor,

I live in Sea Gate, Coney Island. Sea Gate is a community more than 100 years old. It’s a peninsula in southwest Brooklyn that has the Atlantic on one side and Gravesend Bay at the other.

My home, which faces the Atlantic Ocean and had a concrete seawall, was greatly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The concrete seawall was completely dislodged and crushed.

The cost of a new seawall, which needs to be made of steel, is over $100K. My neighbors do not have the funds. Many are selling their homes. I am not rich, but am making this a priority to build a seawall. Those alongside me, who don’t build a steel seawall, will be at the mercy of the next storm.

My car and many others were covered with seawater and destroyed. None of us were prepared for this extent of damage.

To my surprise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is not planning to build a seawall in this community, nor in others like the hard-hit Rockaways or Gerritsen Beach. The Sea Gate Association told me that homeowners are responsible for their own properties.

How do we convince FEMA to put the money into preserving these beachfront communities? Who do we call? I have called the Army Corps of Engineers and get a voicemail saying there’s no more room for a message. I dial other numbers and no one answers.

We pay taxes and deserve a seawall for protection. Homes and possibly lives are going to be lost when the next storm hits.

There seems to be no leadership in Sea Gate or in Brooklyn to address this problem. What can we do?

Ellen L. Mausner

Sea Gate

NIMBY for homeless

To the editor,

It’s too bad that people are irked by the homeless men in Sheepshead Bay (“Homeless home irks neighbors,” May 24).

People don’t enjoy being homeless, exposed to the elements, being malnourished, etc. Many get pneumonia and die.

There should be more shelters, but people don’t want them in their neighborhoods. The thing to remember is that homeless people are human, and many of them are veterans. We need better shelters and social workers.

The law that homeless people can’t be taken to a shelter or hospital without their permission is ridiculous. They could die out there. Many, who have mental illnesses, don’t realize they’re sick. This law supposedly protects their civil rights, but it seems to protect their right to suffer and die in the street.

Since it looks like homeless people will not be leaving the Ocean Parkway stretch under the Belt Parkway anytime soon, it might be a good idea to put portable toilets there.

It’s more comfortable for the homeless, and more sanitary for the neighborhood.Jerome Frank

Coney Island

Holo-denying Neal

To the editor,

The remark by Neal Patrick Harris at the Tony Awards, regarding the “Diary of Anne Frankenstein” was tasteless, inappropriate, and serves only to further trivialize the Holocaust.

In view of the Holocaust deniers out there, Mr. Harris shouldn’t have uttered this. This offensive remark hurt our Holocaust survivors, and was insulting to the memory of the six million and more who perished during this dark period.

I suggest that he leave Broadway for a while, and rent the old movies “Crossfire,” as well as “Gentleman’s Agreement,” and “Schindler’s List.”Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Select election

To the editor,

How disheartening it was to learn of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Marquis of Queensberry-like decision (“We must allow our citizens to have their say”) to schedule an election this October for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat, rather than sending to the Senate a Republican who would have remained there at least until November, 2014.

Does the good governor believe for a minute, for a second, for a milli-micro-nanosecond that, had the shoe been on the other political foot, that foot would have behaved similarly?

It’s almost enough to make one wonder if the speculation about the governor’s plans to seek higher office will now begin to shift to exactly which party’s nomination for higher office he plans to be seeking.Stephen Finger, M.D.

Marine Park

True-blue grimebusters

To the editor,

I loved your story about the volunteers who gave their time to help repair Sandy-damaged Gerritsen Beach (“Gerritsen Beach invaded by 500 volunteer builders on anniversary of D-Day,” online June 10).

It’s heartening to learn that there are still selfless people left in our dog-eat-dog world. Their hard work and commitment to their neighbors and Brooklyn is a lasting memory of the good we can all do, when we come together as a human team.

It was also great that the clean-up fell on the anniversary of D-Day. At that time, we sent the Nazis packing. And this time, we packed a mean punch to the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.

Long live the U.S.A. And long live Americans, whose spirit just cannot be destroyed or replicated.Marie Preston

Marine Park

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