Letters, Week of Sept. 20, 2012

On front line versus pipeline

To The Editor:
Re “Frack opponents fight back by filing suit, blocking dig” (news article, Sept. 13):

Kudos to The Villager for covering this important issue. I’m a longtime Village resident, and the idea of running a dangerous pipeline into our beautiful, historic neighborhood is, to say the least, curious.

As to Spectra’s assertion that the radon their pipeline will bring into our kitchens is harmless, I’d love to know who the “independent experts” who determined this are and what relationship they have to Spectra. I’m very skeptical of this claim, especially when you consider Spectra’s boast about its safety record. To the contrary, they have a terrible safety record and have been cited numerous times.

I say hats off to the brave protesters who put their bodies on the line to call attention to this danger. Everyone in the Village, indeed everyone in the city, who cares about public health and climate change, should be up in arms.
Elliot Figman

Some of my best friends drive cars

To The Editor:
Re “Communication breakdown: Bikers and critics just can’t see eye to eye” (Spin City, by Keegan Stephan):

A thoughtful point. Yes, I have some good friends who drive cars and dislike the bike lanes, and claim that the bike lanes make the streets dangerous for cars and that bike lanes with concrete dividers cause traffic jams. This is not a cogent argument, in my opinion, to justify more gas-devouring, smog-emitting vehicles and more danger to those of us on the road, not to mention more carbon in our delicate atmosphere. Yet we remain friends.

I find myself dodging parked and standing vehicles all the time in what are supposed to be our lanes, and have to keep watching out for passengers opening their doors on me. I bet the accident rate on being doored in a bike lane is pretty high. Thanks for this article. Keep ’em coming.
JK Canepa 

I remember Shulie…

To The Editor: 
Re “Shulamith Firestone, radical feminist, wrote best-seller, 67” (obituary, Aug. 30):

Of course the loss of Shulamith Firestone happened many years ago. What we have now is closure. Under heavy influence of antipsychotic drugs her life became a movie spooling inevitably toward this sorry end.

I remember Shulie as the hippie ex-girlfriend of my new boyfriend. I first met her on St. Mark’s Place. We sat on a stoop and she read my palm. It has all come true.

I remember her sense of humor, her genuine caring. And her generosity to me.

When I think of Shulamith, I think of Prometheus or Icarus, transgressive figures who altered history. There was no measuring their pain.

Well, Joan of Arc is probably a better analogy. She heard voices.

I know that many lives today are shaped by her far-sighted vision — from 50-year-old, first-time parents to gay marriage partners and their children…and all women.

Her last work, “Airless Spaces,” tells the story of her life off the deep end. You can still see flashes of her genius.
Laura Zelasnic

The Leaf-Spangled Banner

To The Editor:
Oh, say can you see that a tree blooms in sight

Which so proudly we hailed through the summer’s last greening?

Whose broad branches and leaves through the perilous fight

From our windows we watched were so gallantly streaming?

Chain-sawing in the air, 2031’s big dare,

It stood tall, through it all, and our tree is still there.

Oh, say may that leaf-spangled rooftop wonder long wave

O’er the land of N.Y.U. and the homes of the brave!
Susan M. Silver

The stupidity, the cruelty

To The Editor:
In your Aug. 30 Police Blotter there is a bizarre pattern to three items.

The items included “Didn’t lock locker,” in which a woman lost $1,000 in cash and property by not securing her gym locker; “‘Untimely’ bike loss,” in which a $12,000 wristwatch a man left attached to a bicycle was stolen along with the bike; and “Suitcase gets swiped,” in which a woman lost about $1,200 worth of property by leaving a suitcase unattended on the street.

Why would any sane or semi-sane person leave valuables unattended in a city like New York where theft is rampant?

My 95-year-old mother told me her cane was stolen when she put it aside to pay a cashier.

Theft is a major part of our morally decayed society. But the three above Police Blotter stories seem bizarre — to place valuables out there almost asking for trouble.

I was the victim of a pickpocket on the subway some years ago. One man, at least, witnessed the theft but did not want to get involved.

Even when you secure your property, thieves can steal. The moral decay of our society is obvious. Is the moral corruption of our society, from top to bottom, as widespread and pervasive as I believe it is?

Wickedness comes in many forms and guises. Indifference to the pain and suffering of the weakest members of our society, those who are mentally and/or physically disabled — this may be the pervasive moral corruption I refer to.

As a World War II orphan, I know the cruelty, the indifference, the coldness, the brutality of our society.
Michael Gottlieb

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