Your Letters, Week of Aug. 29, 2013

Cut to the chase on Council race

To The Editor:
Re “Yetta Kurland: Bold in vision and yet spare on the details” (news article, Aug. 22):

As I did for the Corey Johnson article, I tried to sift through this one for facts. This article provides very little:

“[This is] Kurland’s second attempt to win the seat. …

“Kurland’s signature issue is replacing the defunct St. Vincent’s Hospital…she is stingy with specific answers as to how she will achieve any goals. …

“The state Department of Health, which would have to approve a new hospital, opposes building such a facility there. Kurland would not say how she would overcome that resistance. …

“Kurland touts her roots in the community, citing work she has done with the AIDS groups…her efforts to successfully enact marriage for same-sex couples…and the legal cases she has brought that aided women and the L.G.B.T. community. …

“Kurland gave her most detailed responses when talking about her opponent.”

If all Kurland provides as qualifications are her volunteer work for gay causes, her work as an attorney fighting the city, and a failed attempt to get on the City Council four years ago, then I think the candidate “with his hair freshly cut, his light beard artfully trimmed, and his suit neatly pressed” is better prepared for the job.
Jim Connolly

Details on Yetta’s grooming, please!

To The Editor:
Re “Yetta Kurland: Bold in vision and yet spare on the details” (news article, Aug. 22):

Duncan, I’m so disappointed. After your near obsession with Corey Johnson’s grooming habits, not one word about whether Yetta Kurland was freshly showered or wearing clean clothes when she arrived for her interview. But more to the point, this article does highlight the difference between the candidates. Corey Johnson has specific ideas to help the residents of City Council District 3. Yetta Kurland’s campaign consists of two things: broad, unrealistic platitudes and attacks on Corey Johnson.
Lowell Kern

This time a slap — next time?

To The Editor:
Re “Publisher slaps pol as campaigns spar over St. Vincent’s” (news article, Aug. 22):

Anyone familiar with the East / West / Greenwich Village political scene knows we have more than our fair share of “crazies” who are passionate about politics. Though trying at times, these over-the-top types bring a certain color to community activism that is an indelible part of the Village’s culture.

That being said, when an angry George Capsis slapped state Senator Brad Hoylman at a pro-Chris Quinn rally on Aug. 19, it reminded me of nothing of Village politics. It reminded me of Tucson, Arizona, and the day Congresswoman Gabriella Giffords was tragically shot. There, as here, a man whose mental state was compromised (Mr. Capsis later admitted as much) committed an act of violence against an elected official; although here the perpetrator’s weapon of choice was a hand rather than a gun. Next time, we may not be so lucky. The N.Y.P.D. needs to take the threat of violence against elected officials far more seriously and be extremely proactive in the face of potential violence.

If, as The Villager reported, the N.Y.P.D. was present at the event (as should be required at all outdoor political events), they should have intervened no later — and probably much sooner — than the point at which Mr. Capsis raised his clenched fist to within inches of former state Senator Tom Duane’s face. Waiting until after an act of violence occurs to respond, as they did on Aug. 19, is insufficient, unacceptable and dangerous.
Chad Marlow

Where was Capsis’s attorney?

To The Editor:
Re “Publisher slaps pol as mayoral campaigns spar over St. Vincent’s” (news article, Aug. 22):

I was not surprised by the news about Mr. Capsis awaiting me upon recently returning from a vacation. We all have sad days in our lives, though, and do not resort to violence.

I may sound harsh in condemning him, but his actions were real. Deborah Glick, whom I push hard in these pages, was the only person to have the courage to speak the truth, that Mr. Capsis should have been arrested on the spot. He slapped the face of a sitting state senator and then immediately committed a second assault.

Most distressing, at least from what I could see in the video, was that his attorney did not step in immediately to prevent his actions, and worse yet, neither counseled nor physically restrained Mr. Capsis after his assault of the senator. I would have had him, 85 years old or not, in a headlock, to save him from himself, or at the least, to salvage his pending and now meritless case against the New York Police Department.

Glick refers to the de Blasio camp as “Tea Partiers,” when it is amply clear that the hastily arranged Quinn response to a scheduled de Blasio event is what exacerbated the situation.
Patrick Shields

Suddenly fighting for hospitals

To The Editor:
Re “Publisher slaps pol as mayoral campaigns spar on St. Vincent’s” (news article, Aug. 22):

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio while public advocate and as a city councilperson and when he was not in elected office was never at a hospital closing rally that I was ever at — and I have been to hundreds.

Christine Quinn negotiated an emergency room for the Lower West Side. No one could save St. Vincent’s Hospital unless former Governor Dave Paterson gave up some state money, and he didn’t.

So this new condos vs. hospitals campaign is hypocritical and false! Where were Susan Sarandon and Cynthia Nixon when people were fighting to keep St. Vincent’s open? Don’t be fooled by phony election propaganda! Give me a break.
Ralph Palladino

Choose your stars wisely

To The Editor:
Re “Publisher slaps pol as mayoral campaigns spar on St. Vincent’s” (news article, Aug. 22):

Where was the star power when St. Vincent’s really needed it? Yes, healthcare facilities equally distributed to meet needs and maintain public health codes are vitally important. With so much star power residing in New York City — especially in the West Village — I wish it had been mobilized when it was truly needed and not after the fact.

Shame on you, Susan Sarandon, for even appearing at this rally when you vocally opposed plans for expansion of St. Vincent’s in your neighborhood, which would have helped to prevent its closure. Mr. de Blasio (a good, smart guy) should choose his star power wisely. True fighters like Rosie Perez get their hands dirty when it really counts.

I hope these folks continue to shine for this cause, especially when Yetta Kurland reinvigorates the fight to restore a hospital on the Lower West Side when she is elected city councilmember for District 3.

Support from all constituents who work both in Hollywood and on Broadway is going to be needed; just as will be the support from our regular folks who operate the food trucks, the local restaurant workers, small business owners and residents that actually work or reside in this area. It was St. Vincent’s that served the needs of these average and often uninsured people for more than a century.
Michael Kerr

A window into Weiner’s world

To The Editor:
Re “Wounded Weiner just a symptom of society’s isolation” (talking point, by K Webster, Aug. 15):

K Webster’s insights on Weiner’s isolation and our society feels absolutely, painfully true. Hers is the only thinking and feeling on Weiner that I’ve read anywhere, that allows us not to point fingers, but evokes an inclusive empathy that opens us to think about the how and why this occurred, the need to heal it, and what it means for us all. Thank you, K Webster.
Suzanne W. Stout

Liu pot plan sparks some thought

To The Editor:
Re “It’s time to end Pot Prohibition in New York City” (talking point, by John Liu, Aug. 22):

People say Comptroller Liu’s proposal is inapplicable since only the state legislators could enact such a law. But he brings the conversation to the table.

Some eye-opening statistics here, such as that arrests in the Bloomberg administration have been higher than those in the Giuliani administration, or at least equal. Yet the mayor claims support for loosening the laws on marijuana arrests and making them violations.

The problem is, with stop-and-frisk, these kids get sent to Central Booking for having a small amount of pot in plain sight — after the officer, of course, forces them to empty their pockets after being frisked.

If they fail to show up at court since they might not want to miss a day of work due to low family income, then the victim gets put in Central Booking for 24 to 48 hours, since not responding to a violation automatically generates a warrant. These individuals then even spend time in jail, missing out on their education, job and whatever else allows them to live somewhat comfortably and focus diligently on their careers.

Upward mobility is often close to impossible for certain minority communities, and these arrests are the final nail in the coffin. Kudos to Liu for bringing this up. I might have just switched my vote.
Dodge Landesman

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2 Responses to Your Letters, Week of Aug. 29, 2013

  1. No wonder Dodge Landesman is so positive on John Liu – he is one of his spokesmen! LOL

  2. Guest, your comment made me laugh. Thanks for thinking I have the prestigious job of being the Comptroller's spokesman but alas I am not that lucky! Though hell, if he's hiring I'll take it! I haven't even fully declared my support for one mayoral candidate yet (deciding between Liu and Thompson).

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