Letters, week of March 15, 2012

Please, think of the birds!

To The Editor:
Re “City spins idea for wind rotors atop buildings” (news article, Feb. 23); and “The answer isn’t blowin’ in the wind, not at C.B. 2” (news article, March 1):

The possibility of wind turbines being installed anywhere in Manhattan is alarming. While many municipalities are doing what they can to minimize dangers and help birds safely navigate a high-rise city, it appears that the New York City Planning Department does not believe that nature exists here — or, if there is money to be made, doesn’t care. In fact, Manhattan Island, especially along the rivers, is a flight path for migrating birds and the monarch butterfly.

The addition of tall buildings along the waterfront is a crime against nature as the buildings significantly add to bird mortality. For example, during the day, reflections from the buildings’ shiny surfaces blind birds, or the birds, instead of seeing the building, see the sky and clouds reflected on it. At night, especially when there is fog, indoor lights confuse birds into interpreting the lights as pathways through tree branches. Birds then fly directly to the light and crash into the building. New York City Audubon, which began its “Lights Out NY” campaign in 2005, estimates that “90,000 birds die in collisions with buildings here each year.”

Not only do we not need to build any more tall buildings in our neighborhood, the addition of wind turbines on rooftops, reaching stories into the sky, along this migratory flight path would be a cruel step in the wrong direction. While it’s wonderful for buildings to become more green, and even as wind turbines have been improved so as to lower the mortality rate of birds, we need new standards to make buildings safer for birds.

City households, to help prevent needless bird deaths, can draw their drapes in the evening (especially during migration times — spring migration is starting now), not put trees inside a glass wall or window and use fritting (placing designs, frosting, etc. on glass). For more information go to  flap.org/ .
Lynn Pacifico

Fought for freedom to read

To The Editor:
Re “Barney Rosset, publisher of Miller, Ginsberg, Beckett” (obituary, March 1):

Barney Rosset was the hero of the 20th century’s freedom to read. His lawyer won Grove v Christianberry by stating that Grove Press’s audience read for the literary, artistic, political or social value of a book, and not for prurient interest.

Rosset risked losing enough money to go bankrupt by fighting this case through the courts. Two years earlier, Samuel Roth, an infamous publisher, was sent back to prison because the government attorney convinced a jury that if excerpts from Beardsley’s “The Story of Venus and Tannhauser” were allowed for a general audience, “the sewers would open.” But without the minority opinion in the Roth case, Grove would not have won its appeal.

Grove’s edition of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (which Roth had published underground in 1929) was marketed as a literary classic, and defended on the basis of “variable obscenity”: Its serious audience would not read for prurient interest. That was the most liberating fiction in First Amendment history, although Lawrence and Roth would sneer at it.

I am preparing a biography of Samuel Roth which has been accepted for publication by the University Press of Florida.
Jay A. Gertzman

Dealing with Alzheimer’s

To The Editor:
Re “Losing Bialystoker home; Losing the love in L.E.S.” (talking point, K Webster, March 1):

Thanks for this. It’s pretty great. Both of my parents died of Alzheimer’s, in a nursing home. First my father. Then my mother. My mother lived with him in the nursing home in the same room — before she was diagnosed — until he died. She then moved to an assisted-living wing in the same facility until she had to move back to the dementia wing. It was a hard time, and a sad time. There were times of anger and frustration, especially in the earlier stages. But I have many memories of visiting them with my wife and our young boys and seeing the joy on their faces whenever we walked into their room.

The other aspect of this subject is the fact that, with us baby boomers coming of age, this will be a huge economic and emotional burden on our families and the country. For several reasons, funding for research on the causes and treatment of Alzheimer’s is a fraction of what is spent on heart disease, strokes or cancer — although the numbers of people with Alzheimer’s will soon be many, many times more. And there won’t be enough nurses and nurses’ aides from cultures that think that caring for elders is a sacred obligation.

Thanks for the reminder, K. We have to take care of our own, on a national level (with sensible, single-payer healthcare) and on a local level, preserving our neighborhood resources.
Ted Glass

N.Y.U. should build in FiDi

To The Editor:
Re “C.B. 2 votes unanimous No! on N.Y.U.’s superblocks plan” (news article, March 1):

New York University should build in the Downtown Financial District area where 20 years of construction would be welcomed. In fact, the offer to utilize the Downtown area was made by Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1, several years ago. That’s an area where this sort of project would truly be needed.

N.Y.U. should go back to the drawing board with the Financial District envisioned.

Just as the N.Y.U. 2031 overbuilding plan was rejected by Community Board 2, the City Council will also reject it — or know the wrath of voting Villagers.
Sylvia Rackow

Frogs could be a warning

To The Editor:
Re “Not fooled by cute frogs” (letter, by Dominic Cloutier, March 8):

I respect Cloutier’s perspective on “making it” as an artist. However, looking closely at this artist’s public works we see many overblown frogs and men crushed by dollar signs. Isn’t Otterness warning us of how “making it” really feels, and that some prices are too high to pay?
Diana Carulli

Still looks pretty good

To The Editor:
Re “Politico accused of grand larceny” (news article, Feb. 2):

But he looks good for a 53-year-old. I guess it’s not from clean living.
Alan J. Jacobs

Looking forward to Toby’s

To The Editor:
Re “Will pub be a problem? A bar battle brews in Nolita” (news article, Feb. 9):

I’ve lived on Mott St. for years. Toby’s sounds like a nice addition and I look forward to hanging out there.
Pete Armstrong

Thanks for the memories

To The Editor:
Re “Back in the day at No Rio” (letter, by Philip Van Aver, Feb. 2):

Thanks for printing this Nov. 8, 1986, journal entry written by Philip Van Aver. It’s a fascinating account of a time and place gone by.

In good weather, Mr. Van Aver can sometimes be found sitting on a bench in Tompkins Square Park, observing the scene around him and writing in his journal. One day, a friend stopped by to say: “Hello, Philip — someday you may be as famous for writing in your journal as for your art.”
June Hildebrand Abrams

Pie Man hospital visit

To The Editor:
On this beautiful sunny day I made a kooky greeting card and picked up some daffodils for a fun friend trapped in a hospital that once tried to kill me. On arrival, I threw a potpourri of confetti, glitter and shiny little stars at…the Pie Man (who was not wearing one of his knit hats).

I made bad jokes about his feet. The doctor didn’t know what to make of the festive mess I made in his room, and then Aron’s awful lunch arrived. Upon leaving, he handed me a very groovy, hippie necklace — a well-worn pendant with a pot leaf embedded into a pinkish background with miniature bright pink stars and “LOVE” at the bottom. Also upon departure, he gave me the hideous prepackaged bread product from his food tray to throw out. Since it contained at least 27 mostly poisonous ingredients, I dropped it on the floor and stomped on it with my big black Frye boot heels. There was a small explosion.
Dottie Wilson

 

 

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