Volume 79, Number 20 | Oct. 28 - Nov. 04, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Glick: Mayor is out of touch

To The Editor:
I was quite taken aback to read Mayor Bloomberg’s comments regarding parents’ role in the community in the article “Only some school issues are for parents, Bloomberg says” in the Oct. 14 issue of The Villager. 

It is well known that many parents who are active in the schools are also community leaders. How is it that this eludes the mayor’s comprehension? This is all the more infuriating since it has been parents, acting as community leaders, who have repeatedly raised the red flag regarding overcrowding and population trends that should have been recognized far earlier by the Department Of Education. 

Parents have also been responsible for identifying school sites and have offered solutions to the problem of school overcrowding, such as this year’s pre-kindergarten classes being placed at Greenwich House. 

Not only does the mayor have it wrong on school policy, he is also out of touch with the current reality.
Deborah J. Glick
Glick is assemblymember, 66th District

Schools are worse, not better

To The Editor:
Re “Re-elect Bloomberg” (editorial, Oct. 14):

The mayor has been uniformly scornful of parent input, dismissive of our concerns about overcrowding and class size, and refuses to spend the additional state funds coming to our schools as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, according to law.

The author of this editorial obviously bought into the mayor’s line that the schools are overcrowded because they are so much better. No, our schools are not better; actually, our schools are worse, because of increased overcrowding, rising class sizes and the emphasis on testing and test prep over all else that makes for a quality education. 

The overcrowding results primarily from overdevelopment — a trend that the mayor has encouraged, without putting any thought into the need for more schools to educate all the new kids living there. And yet, parents are supposed to thank Bloomberg for giving us “the ability to hold mayors accountable for their children’s education,” meaning we should thank him for insisting that he continue to have dictatorial powers to ignore our views? 

“With divided powers under the old system, frustrated parents had no effective place to turn,” the editorial states. Actually, now we have no place to turn. No one is held accountable in a system where the mayor has unlimited powers, can use his political muscle and private money to overturn term limits, and then spend another $100 million to get re-elected. 

This is not democracy. The votes on term limits and school governance proved the sad reality: This city is run by a narrow band of business and media elites, none of whom send their own children to public schools; and none of whom would stand for their own children’s schools being run in the way the mayor rules over the public schools. Clearly, the person who wrote this editorial belongs to this group.

Leonie Haimson

Mike shouldn’t get credit

To The Editor:
Re “Re-elect Bloomberg” (editorial, Oct. 14):

To suggest that somehow, some way, Mayor Bloomberg is the driving force behind some sort of parental trust in the public school system is simply wrong. There are so many other reasons for the growing numbers of school-age children in the public school system, and to give him credit for that is a very sad, scary proposition. I say this as a parent of two children who has experienced the situation firsthand. 

In fact, it is exactly the opposite conclusion that one should draw based on the mayor’s inaction. So many parents ask the question: Why do I need to protest for a new school? A strange proposition, indeed, but one that is the direct result of our mayor’s disgraceful failures. But then again, I’m just an activist and not a parent who simply cares about the future for our children.

Robert Ely

Swayed by ‘Bloombucks’?

To The Editor: 
Re “Re-elect Bloomberg” (editorial, Oct. 14):

As if your endorsement of Christine Quinn wasn’t bad enough, the editorial pandering to Bloomberg was an affront to our community. Both these politicians have consistently abandoned our interests.

Bloomberg’s full-page color adds must be a boon to The Villager in hard economic times — but please, not at the expense of the neighborhood, which he and Quinn are determined to destroy with their massive three-district Sanitation facility and salt pile. 

How irresponsible when we have a better plan. Hudson Rise has many community amenities, including a public park. Shame on The Villager for not speaking for its own readership. Please cancel my subscription, effective immediately.

Victoria Faust

Sadly, it’s all too clear

To The Editor:
Re “Re-elect Bloomberg” (editorial, Oct. 14):

At one point, I believed The Villager reflected the community. It is now clear The Villager reflects the “narrow band of business and media elites” who, along with Bloomberg, have made millions at the expense of children, parents and teachers. Shame on you!

David Rosenberg

Endorsement downer

To The Editor:
Re “Re-elect Bloomberg” (editorial, Oct. 14):

As the leading media voice of Downtown Manhattan, your endorsement of Michael Bloomberg smacks of the same “What are we gonna do?” capitulation that has seized the whole of New York City. 

Sadly, most of the city is unaware of the way that Mr. Bloomberg has driven up the city’s budget; increased the public-sector pension liabilities so dramatically that the future of the city will be one of increasing taxes and decreasing services; reduced the civil liberties of New Yorkers, who can no longer gather in groups larger than 50 without a permit; imposed the responsibility for a greener city on citizens while taking all the credit for himself; and bought off every civic group and intimidated every weak-kneed politician.

Bloomberg also will destroy a significant part of the Lower West Side with his half-billion-dollar Sanitation facility.

Most New Yorkers are not aware of all of this, and will bray their way to the polls confident that a billionaire must know more about the city’s finances than the other guy. Most New Yorkers — but not the editor of The Villager. You know — and should know better.

Mayors have not made New York City livable; New Yorkers, working in tandem with an outspoken press, led this city from the depths of the 1970s to the heights of the 2000s. In the grip of this downturn, my optimism is fueled only by the hope that a public discourse will be possible.

When the independent press capitulates, my hopes for the city are dashed.

Rosemary Kuropat

Should have Googled it

To The Editor:
Re “Meet the Millay Sisters” (arts article, Oct. 21):

I should have known you were going downhill when you decided to back Bloomberg. 

Now things have gotten worse: Jerry Tallmer, would you check your facts before you go to print? It’s 2009 — all you have to do is Google.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Maine, not in St. Vincent’s Hospital. Her mother’s sailor brother was seriously injured in a storm at sea and St. Vincent’s saved his life. She was so grateful, that she gave Edna that middle name!

Feeling disgruntled and losing faith.

Pamela L. La Bonne

Scaffold, and I, gotta go!

To The Editor: 
Re “Ol’ Jeff is in a sorry state” (letter, by Joanna Roos, Oct. 7):

I’d like to add to the recent letter about the endless scaffolding on the Jefferson Market Library, something that really bothers me as a regular at the library, my local branch: No public restrooms in that big building!

It’s full of busy staff that have one. But if nature calls, the best you can get is a whispered, “You can visit the McDonald’s down the street on Seventh Ave.”

Pretty amazing they can’t manage a single restroom for library users. Sad and frustrating, really.

Douglas Bushek

Sensible solutions

To The Editor:
I wanted to comment on excellent items in The Villager’s Oct. 14 issue: 

How humane and sensible Ted Rall is in his talking point, “Build stuff. Then leave. Our new Afghan mission,” especially compared to Dexter Filkins’s New York Times Magazine cover story on that war — what a horror! Why is it so hard for good sense to prevail

Also the letter to the editor by Barrett Zinn Gross (“Healthcare, by the numbers) made a lot of sense — making all the endless recent discussions and articles in the healthcare debate even more boring and senseless.

Marianne Landré Goldscheider

Loves triangle

To The Editor:
Re “Neighbors wrangle over angles of hospital triangle” (news article, Oct. 21):

Under the heading of “No one is ever satisfied” add this latest quibbling over a perfectly lovely design for the garden, intended to give back some open space to us all. At one of the busiest intersections in the city, with activity night and day, 24/7, why all the fears, the hue and cry for a fence? 

With the imminent loss of Mulry Square to the M.T.A. — yet another monstrous intrusion on this neighborhood — this design is a breath of fresh air, for which we (the Mulry Angle/W. 11th Block Association) are most grateful.

Cynthia Crane Story, Marie Tupot and Tim Stock
Crane, Tupot and Stock are co-chairpersons, Mulry Angle/W. 11th Block Association

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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