Letters, Week of Feb. 6, 2014

Pete was good folks

To The Editor:
Re “Pete Seeger, folk singer, activist icon, dies at 94” (obituary, Jan. 30):

I received this news with great sadness. People who are not for sale and stand by their convictions are a dying breed.
Jo Ellen Cole

De Blasio on N.Y.U.

To The Editor:
Re “ ‘End this war’: N.Y.U. antis” (news article, Jan. 30):

Glad to hear that the new mayor isn’t rushing to help N.Y.U. in this situation. Too bad we can’t recall Mrs. Chin, who has proven to be N.Y.U.’s ally instead of the community’s representative.

Appreciation to all who are working to protect our community. No matter how many appeals from N.Y.U., we shall overcome.
Sylvia Rackow 
Rackow is chairperson, Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood

It’s just not kosher

To The Editor:
Re “Hot dogs will return to park, but questions simmer” (news article, Jan. 30):

As instructive as the hot dog battle may be, there is an underlying issue that remains the most important one: Why are those desiring to raise money for the park allowed to make decisions privately — whatever those decisions may be — pertaining to the use and so-called “beautification” of Washington Square Park?

Those decisions should and must remain subject to public input and scrutiny — but right now, they’re not.

This conservancy has been built on a pile of lies and disinformation from both conservancy members and public officials, like the Parks Department’s Bill Castro, the latter who coached the novice conservancy members on how to avoid answering questions from Community Board 2 members on everything from their intentions to N.Y.U. Inc.’s involvement.

In fact, Parks officials have now taken it upon themselves to answer questions directed to the conservancy members, and are clearly trying to sweep the corporatization of Washington Square Park under the synthetic turf that covers so many other parks in our city.
Mitchel Cohen 
Cohen is a member, Brooklyn Greens/Green Party 

Free the carriage horses

 To The Editor:
Re “Some horse sense from the L.E.S. on carriage horses” (talking point, by Clayton Patterson, Jan. 16):

Horses belong in the natural world Clayton Patterson evokes, but not schlepping carriages through the lights, traffic, noise, fumes and asphalt of 21st-century Times Square. New York City carriage horses don’t lift us, we debase them.

As prey animals, horses are easily spooked in the modern city, causing dangerous accidents.  They don’t belong on streets, breathing exhaust and prone to lameness.

As herd animals, horses require pasture turnout with other horses. This is denied them.

They work long hours in extreme weather. Drivers don’t rotate horses to give weekly pasture time because it cuts profits.

Let’s be clear: There is no unbroken tradition. In 1906, Outing Magazine described horse-drawn cabs as the elite’s quaint ostentation, and criticized the industry, announcing its replacement by the first automotive taxis. Horse-drawn carriages were quickly superseded and gone. The change was also done for equine welfare. But horse-drawn carriages were then brought back mid-20th century as a moneymaking tourist trap.

London, Paris, Toronto, Beijing and Las Vegas all ban horse-drawn carriages as cruel. It’s time New York City joined them: New Yorkers agree, by 80 percent. Operators can battery-motorize their horseless carriages, profitably and cruelty-free, as is done elsewhere.

Homes and sanctuaries await these liberated beasts of burden. Rescued carriage horses change from worn, depressed nags to the glorious creatures of Clayton’s, and our, dreams.  Free the horses, free our spirits.

For nature-deprived New Yorkers, create city-subsidized buses that make nature runs to natural beauty beyond the city limits. Own the dream of horses, manes, tails streaming, running free in pastures — not bent down to harness on 42nd St.
Casey White 

Thanks, great article!

To The Editor:
Re “Bid to name MacDougal St. block for founder of BID” (news article, Jan. 23):

Thank you so much for Sam Spokony’s wonderful article in The Villager regarding Norman Buchbinder Way. Many of our friends and colleagues e-mailed us to congratulate us, and we were able to spread the news by sharing Spokony’s articulate prose in our office last week.
Lori R. Buchbinder
Buchbinder is a principal, Buchbinder & Warren, LLC 

South Village under assault

To The Editor:

The South Village is undergoing massive development projects in a small, historic area, destroying the fabric of this neighborhood.

Not only are there at least four condo projects in development in a four-block area, there is serious damage to the quality of life by nonstop noise on the Sixth Ave. project, where a developer bought air rights from Godʼs Love We Deliver in order to erect another condo tower (just what the neighborhood needs), shroud buildings in darkness, and possibly create damage to the subway entrance on Spring St. near Sixth Ave.

It is impossible to walk on the sidewalk down certain streets because both sides of the street are undergoing construction at the same time.

We’ve lost favorite neighborhood shops like Joe’s Dairy and longtime local hangouts like Milady’s, and are probably in danger of losing others.

Increased noise, traffic and density are not good for creating a viable city life. Those of us who live and work here are fighting for a quality of life that is irreparably damaged. We are trying to save the rest.

I hope the Visigoths who are destroying this neighborhood can sleep well at night. We don’t sleep well — we don’t have that “luxury.”
Rhoma Mostel

Big Brother is watching

To The Editor:
Did anyone really believe that Obama was actually going to do something about the N.S.A.’s spying on the American people? And what is a lackey “third party” going to do with these records anyway? Just as soon as a paid-for judge gives the go-ahead, they are going to turn the records back over to the N.S.A.

But the government spying on its people shouldn’t come as a surprise; it dates back at least as far as Richard Nixon tapping the phone of his own brother.

And what does the future hold? In the guise or preventing crime and stopping “terrorism,” we will have medium-size drones flying overhead, keeping tabs on the general population, and insect-size drones hovering outside of windows, spying on people at work and at home. Of course, we know every bit of this is unconstitutional; but when anything is said, they will just drag out another paid-for judge to declare it legal.

Then we can all sit back and relax, knowing that Big Brother really is watching us.
Jerry The Peddler

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One Response to Letters, Week of Feb. 6, 2014

  1. Re: Casey White's letter about the horse carriages. Clearly Casey White is a member of NYCLASS, the fanatics funded by real estate money who are looking to buy legislation to ban carriage horses when 61% of New Yorkers are in favor the carriages. Working horses love what they do. They live longer lives by working. They avoid slaughter. Nine hours of work is nothing for a horse. Pulling a carriage of people is like pulling two gallons of milk for a human. Last year 154 humans were killed by cars in New York. How many horses? Zero. London and Paris still have carriage horses. I could go on and on. But why not just read Jon Katz, the wonderful writer about our bond with animals, instead. He's written several blog pieces about what is going on with the carriage horses, which can be found here: http://www.bedlamfarm.com/?s=carriage+horses

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