Volume 80, Number 51 | May 19 - 25, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Kurland shoots blanks

To The Editor:
Re “Yetta’s got a gun; Claims she needs it for language school” (news article, May 12):

Kurland’s shifting explanations on why she needs a gun (“officer of the court,” language school safety officer) are ludicrous and classic Kurland. She has big credibility problems because she is constantly twisting the truth.
Robert Townsend

Pistol-packin’ progressive?

To The Editor:
Re “Yetta’s got a gun; Claims she needs it for language school” (news article, May 12):

Loved the article on how a progressive candidate for New York City office thinks that guns should be brought on school campuses.
Jon Winkleman

Yetta’s gun is not an issue

To The Editor:
Re “Yetta’s got a gun; Claims she needs it for language school” (news article, May 12):

This article underscores what is so disappointing about The Villager.

Choosing to write a story a full month and a half after a topic that did not have substantial news value has come and gone, shows The Villager’s partiality and immaturity. Yetta has dedicated herself tirelessly to the restoration of a new Village hospital. Instead of covering her heroism, you choose to write an asinine article on Ron Kuby’s irrelevant past and somehow connect that to Yetta Kurland and whether or not she is the owner or founder of a language school.

Why don’t you bring attention to issues that Village residents truly care about instead of trying to lobby them against their leaders? Perhaps it is because you are subservient to the Rudins’ wishes, and just writing negative articles about Yetta on the St. Vincent’s fight will only draw backlash to their plans. So you choose to sidestep that issue entirely while finding another way to assault the candidacy of a beloved community activist. Other candidates may be in the Rudins’ pocket, but Yetta joins with a team of advocates to assure us that the people are not.

You seem keen on trying to make Yetta look bad even with non-issues, as she truly is picking up support for her effort, exposing the Rudin plan for what it really is. Perhaps this article calls for a boycott of The Villager. 
Dodge Landesman

Even we get confused

To The Editor:
Re “Worries N.Y.U. project would endanger blocks’ ‘ecosystem’ ” (news article, May 12):

Thank you for including LaGuardia Corner Gardens’ concerns in your article. It was a very accurate report of the testimonies and concerns of the community. However, the fifth paragraph should be attributed to Ellen Halloran, not Ellen Horan.

I gave the reporter printouts of both of our testimonies, and the “garden member since 1987” who wrote the concerns about butterflies is Ellen Halloran. The article’s sixth paragraph, about Battery Park City’s environmental guidelines, is correctly attributed to me, Ellen Horan.

I understand we have almost identical names — and even we get confused. So, I am setting the editorial record straight, and I do know that our names won’t be included in the final scoping study. 
Ellen Horan
Horan is vice chairperson, LaGuardia Corner Gardens

Mission accomplished?

To The Editor:
Re “‘Mission accomplished’ on park, BID broadens focus” (Focus on Union Square, May 12):

If privatizing one of the city’s most important public parks, destroying the protected free-speech rights of artists and public speakers, cutting down healthy trees, installing a huge “Holiday Market” for a month selling trinkets, and allowing corporations to abuse the park on a daily basis as an advertising billboard was Jennifer Falk’s “mission,” then she has surely accomplished it.

The public is being force-fed nonsense about improving the city’s parks by the media while our parks are literally being gang-raped. Everything the mayor does is about helping corporations, real estate interests and his wealthiest friends get more, while the public gets less.

When will the media cover the real story about park privatization, and the crooked real estate deals that have become the entire agenda of our formerly public parks?
Robert Lederman
Lederman is president, ARTIST (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)

Adieu, Billy Bang

To The Editor:
Since the early ’80s I am so saddened how the East Village has changed.

Even you, The Villager, are not in the spirit anymore, because you haven’t mentioned once the passing of Billy Bang! This great, great, great musician. He was also a poet and his words reflected the violin he played.

When I came down here on April 1, 1974, I of course knew Allen Ginsberg. I knew him when I was in India. He was such a humble man. He did his own laundry on Avenue A.

Since I am vaguely related to Diane Reinhardt, Billy liked to talk to me, often at the Frog Pond, where we used to hang out on E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Ave. There was also the Kiwi on the same block and the Park Inn on Avenue A. All gone now. So is the crowd that used to hang around there and were very much like Allen Ginsberg.

When the “new” crowd started to move in, having a terrible attitude toward me, I became homesick. I went back to France for a few days. But what did I encounter there? The same thing!

I was walking down the Rue Mouffetard, my old haunt. I used to know everybody. I stopped in front of a card shop. There was a picture of Allen with Peter Orlovsky. “Hey, Ginette,” somebody said, “we haven’t seen you for so long!”

“I live in New York,” I said.

“Where in New York?”

“The East Village.”

The year was 1982.

“Do you know Lydia Lunch?” they asked me. “And Keith Haring?”

“No,” I said, “but I live right around the corner from where Allen and Peter live.”

“Who are they?” they asked. “You are a liar, you don’t live in New York.”

Later on, I was walking the dog when I saw them in Tompkins Square Park. They were there with a bunch of Eurotrash who had invaded the neighborhood in the ’80s — before the yuppies and the bridge-and-tunnel trash on weekends.

This is how Billy Bang is forgotten even by The Villager.

The East Village became Rue Mouffetard and Rue Mouffetard became the East Village, and I am happy that instead of Keith Haring, I know and will always know Chico!
Ginette Schenck

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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