Volume 80, Number 14 | September 2-8, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Keep up fracking coverage

To The Editor:
Re “‘It’s our land,’ defiant owner tells fracking forum” (news article, Aug. 26):

Thank you for your numerous articles on hydrofracking gas drilling in Upstate New York.

I am a Greenwich Village resident of 30 years and own a weekend property in the Catskills by the Delaware River. Pressure to drill is great from the gas companies, local town and planning boards and large landowners. 

Natural gas development is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and the gas companies do not disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process, claiming to protect their “trade secrets.” These chemicals get into the aquifers, rivers, streams, creeks, ponds and lakes. Whether it be in the New York City watershed or not, eventually Upstate water contamination will get downstate and to New York City.

In my town we, mainly New York City, second-home owners and relocated New Yorkers, formed a grassroots organization, Keep Cochecton Green, to fight the drilling (keepitgreen@cochecton.org). We get our message out through community meetings, street fairs, signs and bumper stickers, letters, faxes and e-mails.

Help from fellow New York City residents is needed to pressure politicians with e-mails, letters and faxes over the next year while the gas moratorium is in place and to work toward a statewide ban on this dangerous fracking process. Other Web sites include Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, at www.catskillcitizens.org, and www.drillingisntsafe.org .

Again, thank you for covering this topic. It has been uplifting to see the fracking articles in my hometown Village paper, knowing someone is on the watch.
 Robin J. Solvang

Don’t be a fracking idiot!

To The Editor:
Re “‘It’s our land,’ defiant owner tells fracking forum” (news article, Aug. 26):

This man who made the comment in the article’s headline is an idiot. I heard him speak at the forum. All I can say to him is: When we have cut down the last tree, killed the last fish and poisoned the last river, man will realize: You can’t drink money!

Bel Gonzalez-Jordan

Stop romanticizing ‘crusties’

To The Editor:
Re “Photog’s blog let’s park’s ‘crusties’ tell their stories” (news article, Aug. 26):

I read with personal interest the article on the “crusties.” I would assume they are called such, for they are encrusted with dirt, with layer upon layer of filth, unwashed for God knows how long, so that even their palms and the natural grooves are filled with that black filth.

To write of these lost and desperate children as if they were the hobos of yore is disingenuous. I live around the corner from Tompkins Square Park and grew up on St. Mark’s Place, and have lived here more than 60 years. I’ve seen it all, the druggies of the late Sixties, the junkies on the nod. They populated St. Mark’s by the St. Mark’s Hotel, once called the Valencia. That was where the hookers took their dates so long ago, when it was a drug supermarket in the early Seventies. I was accosted there innumerable times, with the word “Smoke, smoke, smoke.” The Five Spot, long gone, is replaced by tourist shops, hats, sunglasses and myriad tchotchkes.

I grew up just west of Tompkins Square Park, and again, I’ve seen it all. How many lost souls lingered on, and by winter’s end were dead all through the decades?

I know that these “crusties” are on a downward spiral into the grave. How you can make it so romantic is beyond me. Have you ever read their signs that ask for donations?

These are kids who have dropped out, are soon to die, in the full bloom of youth, while so many kids come down to the Lower East Side and live the good life. The neighborhood was a residential enclave for the working poor so long ago, and old men like me remain, the remnants of a now-vanishing population. This neighborhood is the destination of tourists, rich kids and the crusties. Pathetic.

I could tell you stories. 
Bert Zackim

The politics of Family Day

To The Editor:
Re “All in the Family (Day) at the Bernard Baruch Houses” (photo caption, Aug. 19):

The New York City Housing Authority encourages each development’s tenants association to organize and hold annual Family Days. For the fifth consecutive year, the Bernard Baruch Houses Tenants Association has refused to extend an invitation to City Councilmember Rosie Mendez because of her refusal to allocate capital budget funding for the restoration of the Dr. Simon Baruch Bathhouse and security cameras for Baruch Houses.

At the 2009 Baruch Houses Family Day, Mendez chose to attend even though she was not invited. Mendez actually had the audacity to bring her political entourage with her: Anthony Feliciano, district leader; Teddy Reich campaign treasurer, and Donna Ellaby, campaign manager. We have now dubbed them the “Baruch party crashers.” The only difference between the White House party crashers and the Mendez crew is that the former wear attire suitable for the occasion, while the Mendez crew just shows up flashing their “ghetto wear,” and this from a councilmember that earns an annual salary of $112,500, plus an additional $10,000 stipend. You go figure!

At the 2010 Family Day, Borough President Scott Stringer announced an allocation of $400,000 earmarked specifically for Baruch Houses security cameras. Mendez only pays lips service, and has the senior citizens of our development jerking their chains by having them running around the entire development circulating petitions for security cameras that Mendez refuses to devote one penny of her capital budget or discretionary funding to. Instead, Mendez used the occasion of Family Day to pose for a NY1 television interview on crime in Baruch Houses.
 Robert Caballero

It’s moot now, but…

To The Editor:
Re “Birth control and rent said to delay urgent-care center” (news article, Aug. 26):

The public need trumps religious demands any day of the week. The bankruptcy court should enforce this deal, no strings attached. And as usual, where is Mayor Gloomberg on this issue? When does he stand up for the community instead of big business interests? He’s a lame duck, so now is the time for him to take a stand pro-New York. A lesson for all of you who voted for this non-New Yorker.
Jay Matlick

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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