Volume 80, Number 27 | December 2 - 8, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Tea Partier takes on Glick

To The Editor:
Re “Tea Party’s brew doesn’t go down well Downtown” (news article, Dec. 25):

No, Assemblymember Glick, we Tea Partiers did not say we don’t want government to touch our Medicare. Rather, we said firmly, we want our elected leaders to abolish Medicare. And while they’re at it, abolish Medicaid, as well, and completely privatize Social Security.

We want the government to get the hell out of our lives. Don’t tax us, and don’t give us any stupid entitlement programs. Fund defense against radical Islamic terrorists, run the post office, take care of the national parks, secure our borders and that’s about it.
Eric Dondero

Schwartz’s ‘whine’ wasn’t fine

To The Editor:
Re “It’s time for Obama and us to get back to basics” (Progress Report article, by Arthur Z. Schwartz, Nov. 18):

Mr. Obama and Mr. Schwartz, being so far left of center, feeling the ineffable rightness of their cause, became so parochial in their view, they did not raise up their heads and smell the stench of dissatisfaction and dismay, but went on their way, smug and self-righteous, devoid of awareness of what is and what is not. Mr. Schwartz’s whine, sad to say, reveals that after the shellacking, he still is tone deaf. Too late to save ACORN, as the squirrels have devoured it.
Bert Zackim

Pit bulls terrorize at Tompkins

To The Editor:
Five dogs and three people have been brought to the hospital after pit bull attacks in the Tompkins Square dog run in the past two months. This is too much for this community to handle and I fear their level of frustration is about to blow.

Folks are standing around the dog park bracing themselves for the next pit bull attack. I have witnessed folks carrying knives into the park to protect themselves and their dogs from out-of-control pit bulls in the dog run.

Other individuals are standing around discussing ways to kill a pit bull with a shovel to get it to release its grip on their dog.

I certainly don’t condone this behavior. I would not advise anyone to intentionally harm a dog at the run, lest one find oneself in more trouble than the negligent owner who brought the dog into the run in the first place.

However, I would be acting irresponsibly as a community volunteer if I did not bring to people’s attention the degree to which individuals now feel they must go to protect themselves.

Details of attacks:

1.) A couple entered the dog run with their senior Doberman, which was attacked by a pit bull named Bean. The Doberman received $6,000 worth of injuries. Both of the Doberman’s owners were bitten and went to the hospital. A lawyer for the Doberman’s owners reported that the wife may require plastic surgery to her breast, which was bitten by the pit bull. Police arrived on the scene.

2.) Mable, an English spaniel, was attacked in a clampdown bite from a pit bull. Vet bill to be determined. The owner was not able to get the pit bull owner’s ID or information.

3.) John and his dog Jesse, a foxhound mix, were both bitten by an unneutered, brown pit bull that was accompanied by three teenagers. The vet bill for Jesse was $215. However, John had to go to the hospital for bite wounds and underwent a round of 10 rabies shots. John reported that after the attack the teenagers told him, “Our pit bull is the toughest in the park and could kill any dog there.”

4.) Oriol’s dog, a cocker spaniel, was attacked by a gray male pit bull being walked by a woman named Geona. The cocker spaniel required two surgeries to close wounds and remove dead tissue. The vet bill so far is $4,500. The pit bull owner refuses to pay the bill. Police arrived on the scene.

5.) A couple came in with a gray male pit bull and took out a Frisbee. Kuma, a small cattle dog, picked up the Frisbee and the gray pit ran over and grabbed it tug-of-war style, then attacked Kuma. The pit bull clamped onto Kuma and would not let go. The male owner had to strangle the pit bull to get it to release its grip as the small cattle dog dangled from its mouth. Kuma received multiple bites and puncture wounds. The vet bill pending. Police arrived on the scene.

Every time a pit bull attacks, it further maligns the breed and puts us closer to breed-specific legislation in our state.

Representatives from animal-control agencies must visit the Tompkins Square dog run as soon as possible to defuse the situation and bring much-needed education to pit bull owners about safe handling of their dogs.

Many pit bulls use the park without incident each day. However, clearly, there is a pattern to note, since nearly all of these dogs have been placed in negligent hands by New York City Animal Care & Control or its affiliated rescue agencies. 

Let’s work together to put an end to this needless carnage before the situation escalates. 
Garrett Rosso

Yes, Bettina, Hudson Square is real

To The Editor:
Re “There’s no Hudson Square” (letter, by Bettina Goldstein, Nov. 4):

Perhaps it’s because the holiday season is rapidly approaching, but when I read Bettina Goldstein’s letter regarding Hudson Square, I thought of a letter received by The Sun in 1897 from a young girl named Virginia.

So with all due respect to the brilliant editors of The Sun, who so powerfully assured the 8-year-old girl, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” it seems appropriate to say, yes, Ms. Goldstein, there is a place known as Hudson Square. It exists as certain as the creative energy that flows through the minds and souls of the people who work here, in the synergistic relationships developed among the companies based here, and in the light-filled streets characterized by the warmth and charm of a small town.

And in the months and years ahead, as the neighborhood continues to progress, soon the streets will have a look and feel that distinctly defines Hudson Square, as well.
Ellen Baer
Baer is president, Hudson Square Connection

Cobb’s letter is spot on

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. scraps plans for fourth tower in landmark site after I.M. Pei objects” (news article, Nov. 18):

Henry Cobb’s letter is a gem. It explains the beauty of University Village and provides an understanding of why building a tower on the supermarket site will also be destructive of the integrity of University Village.
Tobi Bergman

Bootleggers are not artists

To The Editor:
Re “Art squeezed out of the parks” (letter, by Robert Lederman, Nov. 25):

Mr. Lederman makes some good points in his letter, but as usual he misses the point as well.

It is true that Mr. Benepe has a tin ear when it comes to the issues of artists or art in the parks. At the same time, he does have the evident propensity to sell out the parks to private retailers who take up much more space than private, individual, legal vendors. Mr. Lederman’s photos illustrate that nicely.

You can go all the way back to the removal of Bob Bolles’s public sculptures in the small park at Broome St. and West Broadway to see that Mr. Benepe is more likely to destroy a local artistic heritage than to preserve it. In spite of support from the community, the sculptures were removed, with only one minor piece returning to its original location, and then only after years of arm-twisting by community members.

Now Mr. Benepe has attempted to institute a new policy that would harshly restrict the numbers of “artists” in the parks. This overkill policy is clearly unconstitutional and has led to more expensive legal battles for the city. Unfortunately, this policy affects everyone who sets up a display in the parks in exactly the same manner. In other words, an outright art bootlegger gets the same treatment as a bona fide artist. The motive to remove them all and to privative the parks is obvious.

This brings us to the real problem and the one glaring omission from Mr. Lederman’s comments. It is a fact that after all these years of strife, no one seems to have the guts, brains or willpower to simply be guided by the judge’s words in the court finding that gave artists their rights in the first place. Art, he ruled, is painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography. An artist is a person who creates art.

Until someone in a position of authority gains the backbone to actually do something about art bootleggers and illegal vendors, Mr. Benepe and Mr. Lederman will carry on with their war, while true artists, other legal vendors and the public will continue to be caught in the middle. Same old, same old, as they say.
Lawrence White

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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