Volume 78 - Number 50 / May 20 - 26 , 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Mike and Joel must go

To The Editor:
Re “A new equity and transparency in school admis-sions” (talking point, by Joel Klein, May 6):

I for one am tired of Joel Klein and tired of the Department of Education. I am tired of the lack of communication and transparency, and I am tired of the skewed numbers that are used to try to make D.O.E. look good. I am tired of the blocking and the “cannot do” attitude. This has been going on for years. 

What passes for a Department of Education is in essence a business model that has failed in the company of other failures like AIG and Lehman. It is the result of bad management, incompetence and a general disinterest in children. 

At the head of the failure is Mike Bloomberg, who with his rhetoric of “the buck stops with me,” has taken no ownership for the overcrowding and insufficient budgets and planning of D.O.E. Instead, he has padded the pockets of his cronies in real estate, making billions while ignoring the very clear urban planning issues that have caused this inexcusable mess. 

I think it’s time for change, Obama style. And it needs to begin with Joel Klein and Mike Bloomberg. Mr. Bloomberg will most likely be able, with his billions of dollars, to buy the next election. But that is not the case for our other elected officials. The parents of New York City have a lot of power at the polls. And if we band together, as has happened in the past few weeks, I believe we can bring real change to what stinks about D.O.E. For starters, if our elected officials cannot — or choose not to — overturn mayoral control of the schools, then I for one will vote for the ones who will. D.O.E., Joel Klein and Mike Bloomberg are out of time.

David Rosenberg

‘Bring back the corruption’

To The Editor:
Re “A new equity and transparency in school admis-sions” (talking point, by Joel Klein, May 6):

It is outrageous that Mike Bloomberg and Joel Klein have made our city such a desirable place to raise children and our school system so attractive. We must correct this immediately by bringing back David Dinkins and restoring control to the incompetent and corrupt local school boards of yesteryear. Urban flight is the answer!
Paul Piccone

Problem goes back years

To The Editor:
Re “A new equity and transparency in school admis-sions” (talking point, by Joel Klein, May 6):

This is a citywide problem that needs to be dealt with by the whole City Council. There was very poor planning from the past administrations — not just Rudy Giuliani, but mayors prior to him as well. On the Upper East Side, we have more than 150 youngsters that do not have a place in September. What a shame.

Richard Kayatt 

NYCHA dogs its residents

To The Editor:
Re “Housing Authority puts bite on pit bulls, pinschers, rotties” (news article, May 6):

This is not effective policy making and NYCHA gets away with it all the time. They have targeted all types of behavior without getting to the root causes of the social and economic problems affecting public-housing residents. 

Crime, poverty and disenfranchisement are rampant in the Housing Authority’s developments, and all the agency does is set more and more regulations that don’t solve anything and create a greater need by displacing rather than aiding. The Housing Authority wants to be a landlord when it’s convenient and a city agency when it benefits its public image.

I grew up in public housing my whole life and I went on to become a happy, healthy individual, and it was against extreme odds: not because public housing was horrible but because the community I lived in didn’t have enough social and economic opportunity to survive. All my friends and family around me were, and still are, fighting just to survive and in need of a helping hand. 

We need to tackle policies that target us and our pets as vicious and aggressive. Tenants are organizing around this issue and need all the help they can get. Make sure you sign the online petition going around (http://www.PetitionOnline.com/NYCHAPPE/petition.html).

The A.S.P.C.A. is against this new pet policy and they are the animal experts in New York City. They have told this to NYCHA but have been ignored and the public has been lied to about grandfathering registered dogs. Many of the dogs got denied registration or the owners’ paperwork was not accepted. NYCHA lied and we must demand an inclusive and effective policy.

Angel R. Seda

Lack of communication 

To The Editor:
Re “Have hookah, will travel” (Mixed Use, May 6):

Thank you for your Mixed Use mention of State Liquor Authority/New York City licensing enforcement. To clarify: The community board does not investigate or enforce; we work with enforcement agencies.

The S.L.A. cannot enforce at locations that do not have a license, and therefore cannot enforce after a license has been cancelled or revoked. The problem is communication breakdown between the S.L.A. and New York Police Department.

After a meeting following the incident described in Mixed Use, this communication problem seemed to be rectified in Community Board 3. However, since then, we have lost our cabaret units at the Ninth Precinct, so the future of this communication is in danger. 

For instance, in the Seventh Precinct, we recently lost both the commanding officer and the special operations lieutenant. Is there an officer in charge of local S.L.A. matters? Has anyone updated contact information with the S.L.A.? 

With the loss of our cabaret units, we need to be even more concerned about this problem, the burden on the community boards and the impact on the community.

Susan Stetzer
Stetzer is district manager, Community Board 3

Obit did ‘Barnacle’ right

To The Editor: 
Re “‘Barnacle Bill,’ the last sailor of Tompkins Square, dies at 44” (obituary, May 13):

A wonderful, loving and true obituary. The photo of Barnacle Bill is amazing and goes right to the heart of this original, sweet-natured man.

Suzanne Stout

‘Armed thug’ goes free

To The Editor:
Re “Delivery robbery” (police blotter, May 13):

Your police blotter refers to a robber who was armed with a gun being released on $2,000 bail. Please follow this case, and name the judge who released the accused. Information may help prevent someone dying at the end of this thug’s weapon.

Tim Ferguson

Violence isn’t funny

To The Editor:
The headlines in the police blotter in the May 13 issue were in poor taste. As a public-health nurse and feminist, I was particularly disturbed by the report on domestic violence titled, “Domestic punch-up.” Domestic violence is epidemic in this country and globally. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S., with an estimated 4,000 women killed each year. There is nothing funny about intimacy violence.
Barbara Glickstein

Editor’s note: The headline “Domestic punch-up” was not intended to be funny, but factual. However, a better word than “punch-up” could have been used, since “punch-up” indicates a fistfight, as opposed to one person striking another. The Villager would not, and does not, make light of domestic violence.

Motorists monopolized mic

To The Editor:
Re “Traffic changes are driving them crazy on Lower East Side” (news article, May 6):

I had the misfortune to attend the May 4 forum on traffic and parking at P.S. 137.

Albert Amateau accurately reported what occurred, but omitted the fact that City Councilmember Alan Gerson permitted the first, second and fourth speakers from the audience to collectively consume some 60 minutes of time, instead of the three-minute-per-speaker time limit Gerson had repeatedly announced beforehand.

These speakers self-righteously and hypocritically denounced bike lanes and bicyclists while ignoring their own motoring habits, which pollute the air I breathe. If they are so concerned with lack of space and congestion, let them refrain from driving their polluting cars.

Michael Gottlieb 

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

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