Brian Vines, host of Brooklyn Independent Television’s Intersect show, contacted me a few weeks back. He wanted to know about the Voorhies Avenue mosque, and invited me down to the studio to discuss it. When I got there, though, I discovered it was an ambush. Vines was having me on as part of a panel discussion, alongside Courier-Life’s Tom Tracy and New York Observer’s Dana Rubinstein. What’s more, the mosque was only a teeny, tiny segment of a larger discussion about recent news in Brooklyn.

Well, I kicked butt. Watch the video. My nerves got to me at first, and I wasn’t as articulate as I would’ve liked, but I think I made some important points. Not to mention, I got to bring up the damage at Plumb Beach, which no one outside of our neighborhood seems to know about.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Brian Vines had you confused with another blogger, one who has a blog named Sheep Heads Byte. Never read that one, wonder if it's any good.

    You did good. The other two were nervous too, their voices quavered slightly at times.

    It's nice to see more interest in what happens outside gentrified Brooklyn.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Hahah, at the end we actually did three takes and I told him that he made the mistake in the beginning. But he made it over and over again. I was trying hard not to burst out laughing. I wasn't insulted – Brian is a good host and I appreciated the invite. And Sheepshead is an admittedly hard concept… when I live in NJ and was asked where I was raised in Brooklyn, people gagged at the concept of a bay filled with sheep's heads…

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Brian's good, he knows how to time each segment and segue easily from one topic to another. He also was sensitive to pauses, not jumping on them like some moderators do.

    He seems like a warm person.

    And I always said I was from Homecrest, even when it was just a postal zone. Wasn't going to go there with the sheep.

  • Local Broker

    Good job Ned.

  • nolastname

    You did get the last word. Thanx for mentioning a very real concern.
    There have been more trucks with sand moving around.
    Rockaway, Plumb Beach (with a b for the fruit), Floyd Bennett Field and the conservatory on Ave U. have all been getting deliveries.
    It is a race against Mother Nature. You know you can't fight M.N. you have to work with her. Unpredictable at best.
    We need to utilize every Dept. to get the job done—yesterday.
    When storms kick up that oil we will see hell at work.

  • JanMatvanGuilder

    Thank you! It may be a disregarded and disrespected corner of non hipster Brooklyn, but when the Belt Parkway is shut down because the ocean has undermined a 1/4 mile of it, every roadway, parkway, avenue and side street in the city will feel the ripple/tsunami of auto traffic increase. You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

  • Abu Aymen

    Very Good concerns and well explained by everybody…

    Keep the Great, Hard, and excelent work up..

  • aherring

    Hey, Ned. Not bad. Don't think you were really ambushed. I usually see panels on these kinds of shows. Everyone was very hard to hear, though, except Tom. Love putting faces to all your names. Dana so hard to hear but I think she said it was 'racism,' basically, the anti-mosque thinking, to which I reply, as a Jew, it's fear.

    I've been trying to avoid discussing this, but here's my opinion:

    There is a real concern about any institution being located on a residential side street. This is not a big avenue. It's a small street. Bad planning.

    There's a Yeshiva within a few blocks. Didn't anyone take note of that?

    The Mosque supporters say they want to teach their children to be peaceful & not to hate & not to learn from the Internet, but no one can predict the future. From everything I've seen about madrassas, for example, children are taught to memorize prayers that say all Jews are disgusting animals that should be killed. I've never read the Koran, I have enough trouble with the Torah, all I know is what I read or hear on the news, but to me a mosque here arouses fear and with it anger. I remember Daniel Pearl like yesterday. I cannot forget. As Tom noted, there are lots of cops & firefighters & soldiers' families in this area. We are still at war with an enemy that is basically Muslim.

    Where should Muslims who live here pray? I wish I knew. It's not fair anyone should have to spend hours going back and forth to worship. But antagonizing people with demonstrations is not the answer.

    Back to the show — MetroCards for kids for free — public, free education means free transit. Seniors ('old people') pay half or something like that.

    Next, kids cleaning toilets. Did they have to use toothbrushes? Did the unions complain?

    Next, budget. State Legislators stink. I would vote for Paterson if I could.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrAlex16 Alex Nathanson

    Great job Ned! Your comments were sparse but pointed. Cruel of them to throw you into the lion's den without some kind of list of topics to be discussed.

  • ozw

    Didn't Oberman drop out already?

  • Ray Johnson

    So, now that we're stars, do we get our own dressing room. ;-) What was the message on your t-shirt? Did you wear that for a special reason?

  • Ibrahhim1345

    In regards to the Mosque Issue,
    at that Sheepshead Bay all zoning districts are either residential, or mix, with residential and commercial,,
    So the word residential exist , and no one can avoid it.. Wide or narrow street, We wished to have in a bigger street, but nothing found at that time, and this one was available…. we still have options,, one if we get 1.2 million on this we can see and try to find another one. Otherwise we have no choice but to proceede at this place…. as long as it is permitted…

    ABout Quraan, I think it is better to read it rather than select new ,, stuff,

    a hint, Quraan reveal at that time,,, which some of the stories applied back there,, ( notice stories only, facts are applicable any time anywhere…. in the Quraan,,,

    Regards,

  • aherring

    His web site's still up, showing people where to go VOTE on 9.14.10. Don't think he dropped out.

  • ozw

    Must have been a rumor. Glad to hear it's not true.

  • ozw

    Didn't Oberman drop out already?

  • Ray Johnson

    So, now that we're stars, do we get our own dressing room. ;-) What was the message on your t-shirt? Did you wear that for a special reason?

  • Ibrahhim1345

    In regards to the Mosque Issue,
    at that Sheepshead Bay all zoning districts are either residential, or mix, with residential and commercial,,
    So the word residential exist , and no one can avoid it.. Wide or narrow street, We wished to have in a bigger street, but nothing found at that time, and this one was available…. we still have options,, one if we get 1.2 million on this we can see and try to find another one. Otherwise we have no choice but to proceede at this place…. as long as it is permitted…

    ABout Quraan, I think it is better to read it rather than select new ,, stuff,

    a hint, Quraan reveal at that time,,, which some of the stories applied back there,, ( notice stories only, facts are applicable any time anywhere…. in the Quraan,,,

    Regards,

  • aherring

    His web site's still up, showing people where to go VOTE on 9.14.10. Don't think he dropped out.

  • ozw

    Must have been a rumor. Glad to hear it's not true.