Volume 80, Number 33 | January 13 - 19, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

The killers among us

To The Editor:
Last month, Sylvie Cachay was murdered in my district. Last week, her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Brooks, was charged with second-degree murder. She is just one victim in an upward trend of intimate-partner violence; yet membership to an exclusive club and family ties to an award-winning musician made this particular story infiltrate the media. Even stories about the poodle the victim left behind were published.

Each day in the United States, an average of three women are murdered by an intimate partner. Of female murder victims, one-third are killed by an intimate partner and this percentage is on the rise. In New York City, most crimes are committed by someone the victim knows, and rates of murder and rape are both on the rise. Yet victims of intimate-partner violence rarely become more than a statistic as the media fails to cover all but the most sensational of these stories.

All victims of intimate-partner violence were also sisters, friends, co-workers, daughters, mothers and girlfriends, yet not all victims have ties to prestigious places and people. This does not mean they do not warrant our attention or our empathy.

The gruesome reality of intimate-partner violence is that it is pervasive in society — but in order to curb the epidemic, we have to first acknowledge that it exists. We need to continue to shed light on all of these egregious acts, not just the ones with catchy headlines. We need to give voice to all of those who are no longer able to do so for themselves.
Deborah J. Glick
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th District

The carnage continues

To The Editor:
In New York City gun deaths have declined somewhat since stricter regulations were put in place, according to Violence Policy Center statistics.

However, gun violence in Upstate New York recently claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy who was accidentally killed by his young friend while playing with his friend’s father’s handgun. This tragedy then led to the demise of the dead boy’s grandfather, who walked headlong into freeway traffic. Next came the gory slaughter in Arizona and a police officer’s killing in Baltimore.

In spite of this national, ongoing, daily carnage, gun advocates and the N.R.A. are as unreasonable, dogmatic and perverse as ever.

For instance, in response to a call for a renewed effort on the Brady Bill and new regulations that would call for childproof gun locks, a typical hard-line gun advocate wrote the following poem in the local paper in Saratoga Springs, where the young boy was killed:

“John Lennon had his fun,
Wrote ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun,’
But he wasn’t laughing none,
When David Chapman pulled his gun.

Ol’ karma came around,
And John Lennon he went down,
You can hear that gun ban sound,
Way down in New York town.

And its loud, yeah its loud,
Yeah its loud, yeah its loud,
That gun ban sound.”

As a New Yorker, a Lennon fan and a person touched by these senseless tragedies, I am horrified by this sort of cavalier and jocular attitude toward gun deaths by opponents of reform. Yet this is exactly the sort of madness those of us who advocate common-sense regulations face every day.

Naturally, this white-hot rhetoric is terribly frightening. With that in mind, is it any wonder that nothing is likely to come from all the bloodshed?
Lawrence White

Let’s get ready to ride!

To The Editor:
Re “Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes” (talking point, by Barbara Ross, Jan. 5):

Good, sensible argument. Get the word out on that “Love Your Lane” ride next month! Let’s have hundreds of cyclists show up!
Danny Garcia

Back at you, ‘screamers’

To The Editor:
Re “Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes” (talking point, by Barbara Ross, Jan. 5):

This is a very reasonable and well-written response to the small group of people who are able to scream loudly against bike lanes. Very well done.
Jacob Mason

Lanes should be low priority

To The Editor:
Re “Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes” (talking point, by Barbara Ross, Jan. 5):

I’m writing from Brooklyn. On Dec. 26 the street in front of my home was not cleared and would not be cleared for 48 hours. The arterial avenue at the end of my street was not yet cleared. At least your roadway in Manhattan was clear and accessible for emergency vehicles or bikes.

Councilmember David Greenfield, who spoke out from Ocean Parkway, again in Brooklyn, noted that the segregated bike lane had been cleared but the heating-fuel delivery truck could not access the side street. People were at risk because of misinterpreted priorities.

What’s not mentioned in these discussions is that biking in New York City is a mode of transit of any significance only in Lower Manhattan and in northern Brooklyn (think Williamsburg). As noted in a recent Rutgers survey: The intensity of biking in the rest of New York City is equal to that of New Jersey.
Tom Murphy

For shame — snow in lane

To The Editor:
Re “Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes” (talking point, by Barbara Ross, Jan. 5):

I live in Brooklyn, where many of our streets were not cleared until Dec. 30. However, as of Jan. 6 — 11 days after the big snowfall and a week after all the roads had been cleared — the bike lane on Prospect Park West still had not been cleared at all. In fact, huge mounds of snow had been pushed into the bike lane at various places. This is a heavily used, two-way bike lane. Could loud opposition to this particular bike lane by a small minority have influenced the city’s ongoing neglect?
Madeline Nelson

Bike solution is so simple

To The Editor:
Re “Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes” (talking point, by Barbara Ross, Jan. 5):

Barbara Ross goes on for almost a full page about the benefits of bike lanes and how we should “listen to the sensible majority and keep expanding the bicycle lane network.”

I guess those of us that have problems with the lanes are irrational and stupid. Walkers should just shut up and benefit from the cleaner air while they hobble around on crutches.

Actually, it is not the lanes that are a problem. It is the people that use them, and those that don’t — riding in all directions, with the light or not, on the sidewalks and in traffic.

Many times, work vehicles, delivery trucks and even police cars occupy the bike lane and riders are forced into traffic, but most times this is not the case.

Bike riders on my block are on the sidewalk every day. First and Second Aves. have almost as many bikers going the wrong way as the right way. I don’t know how fast a bike can go, but there are times when I’ve felt the wind of a bike as it almost hits me, usually going the wrong way. They are also all over the place in traffic or riding against the light.

It doesn’t take an entire page to be for or against bikes. The benefits of bicycling are clear. The dangers, too. This is not rocket science.

We can solve most of the problems by forcing bikers to learn traffic rules — as do car drivers — licensing bicycles, and giving them tickets when the don’t obey traffic laws, which is very often.

Allow vehicles — any vehicle — with a handicapped person to pull up to the curb, bike lane or not. The same should apply for school buses and Access-A-Ride vans. Allow actual deliveries or pickups at curbside, for both cars and commercial vehicles.

Ticket cars that stand in bus and bike lanes. Park around the corner to pick up that coffee or donut.

If we are going to live together in this crowded city, we must all compromise, and more important — pay attention to other people. So many folks act like they are the only ones alive that count.
Susan Leelike

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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