2001-04-19 / Letters/Opinion

Letters To The Editor Garbage Breeds Garbage Editor:

Letters To The Editor Garbage Breeds Garbage Editor:

Letters To The Editor Garbage Breeds Garbage Editor:

Through the efforts of Christopher Huggan, a resident of Seaview Village, District 18 Park Manager Artie De Ciserio and Supervisor Lucia, the empty area bordering the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve on East 108th Street, has been thoroughly cleaned.

There are not many individuals like Mr. Huggan who are able and willing to make the effort he did. The number of park employees has been drastically cut in past years, and District 18 does what it can with limited personnel. The people of our community have to help by being responsible citizens.

If homeowners hire contractors to make household repairs, please tell them to remove the discarded material to the proper collection area (call the Department of Sanitation for the location) or have the contractor bag and tie the debris to be left at your curb area for pick-up on your scheduled bulk pick-up day.

If you are driving or walking past East 108th Street or any area in our community, don’t throw your litter on the ground. Garbage breeds garbage; litter breeds litter.

When putting your garbage out for pick-up, make sure the bags are tied and secure so wind and animals don’t overturn the debris onto the streets. Department of Sanitation will pick up any bulk material on your pick-up day (including broken air conditioners, refrigerators etc.). There’s no need to dump it in our community.

Be a good citizen; take pride in our neighborhood; do the right thing!

Thank you.

Gerry C. Weiner

Thanks For Loyal Support

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing my rather lengthy letter in its entirety.

I am writing in regard to Neil S. Friedman’s editorial column, This Week’s Attitude (3/29/01), in which he responded to several of the issues raised in my letter. There are two sides to every argument, and Mr. Friedman is to be credited for presenting the position opposite to that expressed by me. He has raised many valid points, and I hope that his column will stimulate further discussion upon this issue.

I sincerely appreciate Mr. Friedman’s reference to my encyclopedic knowledge of Canarsie’s history. While I will never achieve the level of knowledge attained by my late mentor, the eminent local historian, John F. Denton, to whom I am indebted, it is still gratifying to be recognized in this manner.

Mr. Friedman is correct in his assertion to the effect that a landmarked property may become a "white elephant" and, deprived of care and maintenance, may ultimately become a blight upon the community. Numerous people, including historians and preservationists, have expressed the same concern to me.

However, I must take issue with his reference to the preservation of the Wyckoff House and of Marine Park’s Hendrick I. Lott House. I am extremely gratified that these properties have been preserved, and, in fact, I am a major supporter and a member of the Board of Directors of the Wyckoff House and Association, Inc. However, it must be recognized that these properties are not located in Canarsie proper.

From the very beginning, the specific goal of the Canarsie Historical Society has been to preserve a portion of Canarsie’s history, and although the preservation of the structures mentioned by Mr. Friedman is admirable, they are simply not Canarsie.

While I realize that we cannot preserve every historic (to Mr. Friedman, old) building in Canarsie, I do not believe that it is an unreasonable expectation that a community of this size preserve a small number of such properties.

Mr. Friedman erroneously asserts that the removal of some of the structures to which I referred in my letter were necessary to facilitate the development of the Canarsie Line (L train), and of thoroughfares such as Rockaway Parkway and Flatlands Avenue. However, the Canarsie Line was developed approximately 130 years before any of these structures were demolished, and quite possibly even before some of them were built. Moreover, early maps and atlases, as well as Pearl Minsky’s thesis upon Canarsie’s street names, verify that the thoroughfares, to which Mr. Friedman refers, were opened over 100 years ago, long before any of these structures were demolished.

In his column, Mr. Friedman facetiously apologizes for his ignorance, in connection with his statement to the effect that he cannot understand preserving an undertaker’s house, unless the basement was utilized as a burial ground. He also states that if we were to remain true to the history of the area, we would be living in teepees made from animal skins left behind by the Canarsee Indians. The disdainful and condescending tone of those statements is unbecoming to Mr. Friedman, and detracts from his otherwise intelligent argument.

Several of my associates have expressed to me the opinion that the Courier should not have published Mr. Friedman’s editorial, given the manner in which it had been written. I, however, have no problem accepting the fact that other people, including Mr. Friedman, may hold opinions, which differ from my own. However, if Mr. Friedman chooses to disagree with me, I merely ask that he do so in good faith.

I am extremely grateful for the Courier’s loyal support over the last nineteen years, and for the positive relationship, which you and your colleagues have maintained with the Canarsie Historical Society.


Ira M. Kluger, Co-President

Canarsie Historical Society

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