Letters week of March 8, 2012

Pointless passion and noise

To The Editor:
Re “ ‘Priest of O.W.S.’ says to expect shock and awe” (news article, March 1):

I hope they “shock and awe” in parks all over Community Board 1, especially by the homes of the C.B. 1 members who love the movement so much. Notice, he speaks about how much press they’ll get, but he is still not articulating a coherent agenda. The media is the message. Blogging themselves is the only point. Passion with no reason. Noise with no conductor. Coming this spring to a public park near you!
Dave Stanke

Try Uptown progressive churches

To The Editor:
Re “ ‘Priest of O.W.S.’ says to expect shock and awe” (news article, March 1):

What about asking St. John’s Cathedral on 110th St. and Amsterdam Ave.? They’re incredibly progressive and have quite a lot of outdoor space. And it doesn’t have to be just one church — why not several, or any that want to offer an “anchor area” for O.W.S., like Riverside Church? Or maybe there are churches that want to offer rooms or spaces for meetings.
Stephanie Low

Alumni prez defends Bharucha 

To The Editor:
Re “Save The Cooper Union without losing its identity” (talking point, by Barry Drogin, Feb. 23):

I agree with Barry Drogin’s op-ed that Cooper Union’s financial troubles have brought forth an impressive outpouring of creative thought and support for the preservation of this unique college, but I strongly disagree with his personal attacks on Cooper’s president, Dr. Jamshed Bharucha.

It was Dr. Bharucha who early on revealed the true extent of the challenge — a chronic deficit of roughly 30 percent of the operating budget rapidly devouring the school’s liquid endowment. The easy path would be to continue to keep this hidden, hoping for a miracle or an economic rebound, until too late. Instead, Dr. Bharucha has engaged the Cooper community from day one, describing the extent of the problem and discussing solutions. Has all of this gone smoothly? No, but I think that gives the lie to the theory that he is part of some grand conspiracy with a preordained conclusion.

Mr. Drogin obfuscates by incorrectly attributing a mixed bag of assertions to Dr. Bharucha, and — in the tradition of some of our would-be national leaders — Drogin makes goals of being interdisciplinary, outward-looking and relevant to the needs of today’s world appear somehow subversive.

In the end, we all must realize that Cooper has to be both financially stable and forward-looking to truly live up to the mission that Peter Cooper established more than 150 years ago. I am optimistic that Dr. Bharucha, working with the Cooper community, will be able to do that.
Peter Cafiero
Cafiero is president, Cooper Union Alumni Association (Bachelor of Engineering, Civil Engineering, ’83)

Barone talking point rocked

To The Editor:
Re “Let’s not miss this chance for precious park space” (talking point, by Richard Barone, Feb. 23):

Right on, Richard Barone. I could not believe the dreadful “final design” for our precious triangle.

For my entire adult life I lived a block away from the triangle, including more than 25 years as chairperson of the Mulry Angle/W. 11th St. Block Association. In 1969 I testified against a 12-story building for the plot. The recycling center that followed that was good, but was soon co-opted by the hospital, and I’ve been dreaming of a real park there ever since.

Having been born in St. Vincent’s, I have been far from happy with the Rudin plan and the lack of a real hospital, but was surprised and pleased by their ideas for the triangle space. All that was missing was a fountain feature in memorial tribute to the hospital and the huge losses from AIDS.

Now we are supposed to cheer for a walled-in space that rejects rather than invites. Please don’t do this. This is a rare opportunity to make up for the lack of green space for the entirety of Greenwich Village. Don’t blow it!
Cynthia Crane Story

So what’s your position?

To The Editor:
Re “Don’t expect District 1’s borders to change too much” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, March 1):

So, Ms. Chin, if you’re not concerned about redistricting — and the rumors about losing votes in the Village and Soho aren’t true — what is your position on the N.Y.U. 2031 Plan? State it now and really stop the rumors.
N. Shipman

A full investigation is needed

To The Editor:
Re “Phony letters sink expansion plan for Mulberry Mall” (news article, Feb. 23):

Props to Community Board 2 and The Villager for exposing the facts.

Friends of Petrosino Square joins the Little Italy Neighbors Association in requesting that the Street Activity Permits Office withhold approval of the Mulberry Mall pending a full investigation.

For years the community has questioned the financials of the Little Italy Merchants Association (LIMA). Now is the time to require those documents.

The community calls on Borough President Scott Stringer and the Department of Investigation to do their utmost for the Little Italy Special District.

Our park’s namesake, Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino, gave his life a century ago to protect this community from wrongdoing in pursuit of financial gain. May his spirit and integrity inspire a gust of fresh air.
Georgette Fleischer
Fleischer is founder, Friends of Petrosino Square

Disagrees with Vallone, again

To The Editor:
Re “Council votes for medical pot bill” (news article, March 1):

I have lived in New York for my entire life. I’m familiar with Peter Vallone, Jr. Most often, I don’t agree with him, as in the case presented here. Any medicine can be “sold near schools.” Alcohol is sold near schools, as is tobacco.

I speak from experience. Once you are past grammar school, pot is being used in most schools, public and private. I know it has been since I went to an all-girls private high school in the 1970s.

There is much more going on in schools as well, but it sounds better for Vallone to use this argument for his “reasoning.”

Nothing has stopped marijuana use. It’s costing us too much money to incarcerate marijuana offenders. It should be legalized and regulated the same way as alcohol. That is a drug as well, often used, often abused. If you don’t like pot, don’t smoke it.

Prohibition has failed miserably. The rounding up of marijuana offenders is taking both money and manpower away from going after cocaine and heroin offenses, along with other “killer” drugs.
Kathleen Hayes

Pot stopped the puking

To The Editor:
Re “Council votes for medical pot bill” (news article, March 1):

As a chronic pain patient on high-dose opiates, cannabis saved my life. I had lost more than 180 pounds from vomiting, when I decided to take matters into my own hands. I tried every antiemetic known to science, even Marinol. Nothing worked as well as plain, old cannabis.

I am currently taking 480 milligrams of Oxycontin daily on top of two other opiates for acute pain. My wife’s insurance would save thousands if I could grow 12 plants of six different strains of pot in my backyard.
Charles Edson Rogers Jr.

End this ridiculous policy

To The Editor:
Re “Council votes for medical pot bill” (news article, March 1):

Prohibition has failed, so it’s time for a sensible repeal. Regulate and legalize as we do beer and wine. The model is in place. It’s so simple! There is no justification not to end this ridiculous policy.

Treat it like a business, not a crime. Al Capone made way for Bud and Coors. I guess 40-plus years and a wasted trillion dollars of taxpayer-funded propaganda and policy is no easy hurdle to overcome.
Mike Parent
Parent is a member, LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), and a retired member of the New York Police Department

Not fooled by cute frogs

To The Editor:
Re “Sculptor dogged by a past act deserves forgiveness” (Clayton, Feb. 23):

While Clayton Patterson’s call for forgiveness is a touching plea for a close friend, it fails to take one major consideration into account. While discussing Tom’s “evolution” we are not discussing someone who committed a crime, paid a debt to society and made redemption through art afterward. In fact, we are discussing an artist whose entire career is the profit of that “youthful indiscretion.”

There would be no cute sculptures at schools if Otterness had not made himself a name in blood. In fact, the very cuteness of these pieces could be considered evidence, not of a change for the better, but of an attempt to misdirect those who know the difference between high art and murderous self-promotion.
Dominic Cloutier

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