Volume 80, Number 20 | October 14 - 20, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Why John topped Paul

To The Editor:
Re “Imagine: John Lennon would be 70 years old today” (person on the street, Oct.7):

My favorite Beatle was John. I know Paul was the greater genius, and the tablet-keeper of history, but I also know that without John there would never have been the Fab Four. John was what Ezra Pound said poets were: “the feelers of the race” — like the antennae of an ant colony’s avant-garde, feeling their way around the unexplored regions of experience and belief.

Paul couldn’t do this. He was never intending to be a priest or an artist. He wasn’t a Spike Milligan worshiper. He just wanted to make pretty music and be successful. That’s the difference.
Monika Shaw

‘Bash dad’’s twisted logic

To The Editor:
Re “Accused Stonewall basher hit with hate-crimes charge” (photos, Oct. 7):

Matthew Francis’ father alleged that this was not a hate crime, merely a “bar fight.” What none of the media bothered to ask the man was: “So then, are you saying that your son was in the Stonewall because he’s gay?” Because there is no other natural conclusion that could be reached from Mr. Francis’ interpretation of those events. Somehow, I get the feeling that if that was suggested to him, Matthew Francis might own up to a hate crime sooner than admit homosexuality. Anyone who has come into contact with homophobia understands that these people hate and fear most what they loathe in themselves.
Jay Matlick

The folly of fossil fuels

To The Editor:
Re “Explosions, fires, fouled water: Welcome to hydrofracking hell” (news article, Oct. 7):

It’s ridiculous how the special interests are so successful at duping so many into following down this fossil fuel folly. There are so many less toxic and innocuous alternatives to fossil fuels, if we just applied ourselves like our lives depended on it; our way of life, at least, does. It seems like every day some story reaches the headlines about some new fossil fuel-related concern or disaster, and those are just the ones that get reported.

The new push to replace diesel- and gas-powered vehicles and boilers with a natural gas system may make some sense to the end user in terms of cost and relative emissions reductions. But even this new system ultimately perpetuates the same concerns we are faced with in the extraction, storage and delivery of the other fossil fuels upon which we are so dependent.
Dehran Duckworth

Pedestrian in a panic

To The Editor:
Re “Bike lanes on a roll” (editorial, Sept. 23):

I am like a deer caught in the headlights both day and night on my turf, the East Village. As a pedestrian (yes, I admit it!) walking along First and Second Aves. between Houston and 14th Sts., I wonder what will hit me as I attempt to cross the fancy (brown and green), specially designated lanes.

Will my end come by way of car, bus, cab, bicycle, stroller, scooter, food cart, pedicab, limo, skateboard, shopping cart, moving van, roller skates, truck, tricycle, rolling luggage, mystery van, Con Ed vehicle, fire truck, ambulance, police car, street cleaner, cherry picker or motorized wheelchair? Is this the bike lane, the delivery-truck stop lane or the have-we-all-gone-insane lane?

The pedestrian needs some courtesy and consideration from the “wheels”!

Sorry for the outburst!

I must be on a pedestrian roll!
Jacqueline Carol

NYC cyclists are scofflaws

To The Editor:
Re letters to the editor on bicycle lanes (Oct. 7):

If I had a dollar for every New York City cyclist that I have seen stopped at red lights in the past decade I wouldn’t have accumulated $50! That’s the God’s honest truth.

Sorry, but maybe you are referring to Copenhagen or Munich where cyclists obey the traffic law. The vast majority in New York City do not — hence, that is why you witness a backlash against cyclists.

I walk. I own neither car nor bike. I find cyclists much more reckless and unlawful and terrifying than motorists. That is my opinion derived from years of unbiased observation.

I have no agenda.
Sally Fried

Working bikers are worst

To The Editor:
Re letters to the editor on bicycle lanes (Oct. 7):

I am a cyclist and won’t defend cyclists who break the law — but it’s not the vast majority who do break the law. I stop at red lights and only ride the right way on streets, and so do lots of other cyclists. The vast majority of cyclists who break the law are messengers and deliverymen. I fully support efforts by the City Council to fine these cyclists’ employers when they break the law. And I, personally, yell at those who break the law, and can’t for the life of me figure out what’s running through their heads.

But what about me? All anyone seems to notice are the ones who break the law. Of course! Those are the ones who stand out, inconvenience you and might even put you in harm’s way. But stand on a corner sometime. Notice how many people actually do follow the rules. You’d be surprised.

And what do we do about this? Ban cyclists because they can’t follow the law? No. Rather than just moan and complain about them and their self-righteousness, how about proposing solutions? Education programs for all street users. Enforcement. Whining won’t do anything.
Chris O’Leary

Chewing up our greenery

To The Editor:
Re “High winds (and hemlines) are taking out our trees” (talking point, by Daniel Meltzer, Oct. 7):

When you compare New York to London, Paris, Quebec, Toronto or even Chicago and Philadelphia, we are clearly suffering from a deficit of parks and trees. If whoever runs the city would stop ruling in favor of architectural dentistry over nature, New York would be a lot more pleasant for residents and visitors. And our air would be easier to breathe.
Laurie Nadel

Mulch praise for Meltzer

To The Editor:
Re “High winds (and hemlines) are taking out our trees” (talking point, by Daniel Meltzer, Oct. 7):Thanks to Daniel Meltzer for enlightening us about the loss of our valuable trees. This latest assault on quality and healthy living in New York City had gone pretty much unnoticed until his column. What’s next — tearing down buildings to make space for beauty pageants? Well written and well done, Mr. Meltzer.
Joan Wile

‘Virtual’ token booths

To The Editor:
Recently, I have been to several subway stations and seen the sad remnant of a removed booth and no attendant in sight. I would like to suggest a way to bring back personal service in the subway while limiting additional new personnel. Set up video kiosks — a “virtual attendant” with two-way communication — at each subway station.

If a tourist wishes to speak French, he or she would be able to select that language and a French-speaking attendant would appear on the screen. The next person to approach the same kiosk, might want to speak Spanish and a new attendant would appear who speaks Spanish. Each kiosk could dispense MetroCards and printed maps with current activities near the station, view and unlock the gates and enhance security. Videos could be recorded and centralized, system changes would be implemented more quickly and any innovations would be disseminated faster.

Each station would have 24-hour coverage, unlike now. Virtual attendants would also be responsible for watching the platforms, increasing security and speeding aid to injured or ill passengers. I am hopeful that this suggestion will save the M.T.A. money while increasing service.
Greg Gomez

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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