Volume 79, Number 41 | March 17 - 23, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Hard to get into hearing

To The Editor:
Re “Students, Villagers ride M.T.A. board, trying to derail cuts” (news article, March 10):

Thank you for covering the M.T.A. hearing and my testimony. I would like to make a few clarifications.

I did say the real story was outside. I was not referring to the demonstration on Seventh Ave. as you reported. The issue was that there was a long line at the door on 27th St. that continued on the block east to Seventh Ave. and 27th St. was crowded. Instead of managing the pedestrian flow and lines, the police closed off 27th St., so that for a period of time people could not even get in line for the hearing. 

I was waiting at the door for the chairperson of the Community Board 3 Transportation Committee since we had both preregistered. But he could not even get on the block, which was closed by the police, and had to leave. It is not acceptable that people not have access to a public hearing, or it is no longer a public hearing.

Also, when I was referring to the perfect bus route, but few buses, I was not referring to the M9. I was referring to the Avenue A bus that crosses 14th St., all of Avenue A and Essex to Grand, and then travels east on Grand. I said that fewer buses meant fewer riders because people will not wait, and that in turn creates more cuts. However, the M9 route also already suffers from too few buses.
 Susan Stetzer

Game is a real bummer

To The Editor: 
Yesterday morning, as I always do, I walked into my son’s room to kiss him goodbye before going to work and wish him luck in school. Like most mornings he was on his computer, but an image of a decrepit old man on his screen caught my eye. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was playing “Bumrise.’’ He went on to explain that you start off as a “homeless bum’’ and you are supposed to get in fights, beg for money and drink beer to get more points! My son said, “It’s fun.’’ I asked him where he got this game and he said it was online for free. I immediately turned off the computer and asked him to go to school.

I have never been so disappointed in my life. Once at work, I decided to look at the game for myself, and my son was right. This game is based on being a homeless person on the streets of New York City, and you are supposed to fight, join gangs, beg and do a number of other horrible things to get ahead. There is even an indication of how drunk you are! This is absolutely the worst thing I have ever come across. 

Normally, I am pretty relaxed. My kid plays plenty of computer games where he has to shoot and kill aliens, or is a ninja or any number of other things that are clearly fictional, and he understands that. But to play a game based on a real social problem is absolutely grotesque. How can we teach our kids to be morally and socially conscious and at the same time have a game making fun of the very problems we are trying to prevent?

Needless to say, I had a long discussion with my son, who is only 10, about why this game is wrong and should not be played. I have told him he is not allowed to play this game, as I firmly believe it may have serious social repercussions, such as a desensitization toward homelessness.

I looked online and apparently other countries are having the same concerns as I do. Some French and German politicians tried to get the game banned without success. Perhaps we in the U.S. can succeed in getting this atrocity banned.

I ask parents, please do what you can to ban this game from being played. A game like this can only damage the fragile and easily influenced minds of our youth.
Martin Rankins

Grave question

To The Editor: 
Re “The oldest spot in town” (arts section article, March 10):

Thank you so much for printing this story on the First Cemetery. I had known where the second and third Shearith cemeteries were, but didn’t know the first still even existed. However, since burials were prohibited below Canal St. in 1813, and the cemetery is dated until 1833, did the law provide a grace period or grandfather in allowances to still bury there?
 Joe Preston

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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