Volume 81, Number 7| July 14 - 20, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

A real gift from Tallmer

To The Editor:
Re “Hero Andrew and the Invisible Man at Pride March” (talking point, Jerry Tallmer, June 30):

The Villager, long a “must read” as soon as it arrives in my mail, still manages to surprise me with an extra-special treat, along with its regular, interesting and timely coverage of our community events. The June 30 issue was one of those that included that special gift. I refer to Jerry Tallmer’s talking point.

Tallmer’s column on former Governor Mario Cuomo is one of the finest pieces of writing that one could find. He captured for the reader the very essence of Mario Cuomo, a man for all seasons — the great teacher, professor of law, dedicated public servant, philosopher.

Tallmer reveals Cuomo as much more than the conscience of the Democratic Party; he is the conscience of all of us, regardless of party affiliation or lack of affiliation. Tallmer gives the reader a key to better understand Mario Cuomo, especially his commitment to human diversity.

I agree that the signs at the Pride March urging “Cuomo for President” meant Andrew. And I also agree with Tallmer, who read “Mario Cuomo for President.”

There is only one thing I would have added to this thoughtful and moving piece: I would add that it was Mario and Matilda Cuomo who shaped the current governor and possibly the next president. Enough said!

Thank you, Jerry Tallmer, for your talking point and thanks to The Villager for bringing it to me.

I look forward to my next copy of The Villager.

I made copies of Tallmer’s column and am sending them to friends and some of my former students at St. John’s and John Jay College who were greatly influenced by Mario Cuomo. He is their hero.
Lorraine Colville

The evil behind gentrification

To The Editor:
Ed Koch has been talking a lot lately about how “gentrification on the Lower East Side is a good thing.” But somehow I don’t see gentry like the Economakises buying a building, forcing out more than 30 working-class people and turning it into a one-family home as a “good thing.” Koch is even acting as though he had a part in gentrifying the Lower East Side.

Gentrification is the second part of a process known as spatial deconcentration / gentrification that was put together by the Kerner Commission in the late 1960s. To prevent riots in places like Watts, Detroit and Newark, it was decided to deconcentrate the poor (most of whom were people of color) from the inner-city ghettos. This was done by cutting back on services and by allowing drugs and crime to run rampant.

And Ed Koch and his sidekick Police Commissioner Ben Ward were the perfect duo (or should I say, “dupes?”) for the job. I was once arrested (or was it twice?) defending a school on E. Fourth St., a school that sat empty during the Koch years, and was then being occupied by a group of squatters and community activists.

And on the streets, drugs and crime were the order of the day — not only in the Lower East Side, but in places like Harlem and Bed Stuy, as well as Times Square, Bryant Park and Union Square. Speaking of parks, let’s not fail to mention the homeless encampment in Tompkins Square Park, as well as people sleeping in every piss-stinking doorway of the neighborhood.

All of the while, thug cops, like Bernard McCauly, along with Michael Doud and the Morgue Boys, terrorizing innocent civilians.

It is not at all surprising that in the Lower East Side the Koch regime ended with, and was followed by, years of rioting. Riots that the process of spatial deconcentration / gentrification was supposed to end.

Yes, I suppose you could say that Ed Koch played a part — indeed, an important part — in the process of spatial deconcentration / gentrification. But I don’t think it was a part that I would call a “good thing.”
Jerry Wade a.k.a. Jerry The Peddler

Same standard, gay or straight

To The Editor:
Re “To marry or not to marry? Houses of worship divided” (news article, July 7):

The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields has done same-sex blessings, and will continue to do so. There is one standard set of expectations for all couples, same-sex and straight, wishing to be married in the church. The couple must be active members of the parish for at least a year, and must complete premarital counseling with a member of the parish clergy.
Mary O’Shaughnessy

Homeless youth trash park

To The Editor:
Re “Shunning heroin un-chic, homeless youth head west” (news article, July 7):

This really is a puzzling report, making these folks sound like harmless, free spirits who just want to avoid being hassled by police. I’m sympathetic to the concept of homelessness and needing a place to be. But these people have taken over large parts of the park, have screaming matches and fights with each other and park staff, piss and defecate in public and scatter their belongings all over the grass.

I’m there every morning, early, and have seen several sauntering back into the park already with their beers. There are a few who just sleep on the benches, but the majority are obnoxious, loud and spread filth. Park hours need to be enforced and these people need to move on. Washington Square Park users are not “cool” with having them there, at all.
Victoria Pohlmann

Strouse sign is lacking

To The Editor:
Re “Strouse leaves her mark on a park” (news brief, June 30):

The Evelyn Strouse sign at the Union Square playground is inadequate since it tells the reader nothing about Evelyn, who worked to see this playground completed.

The Honorable Adrian Benepe, commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, promised the Union Square Community Coalition that a plaque would contain helpful information about Evelyn.
Edith Charlton
Charlton is chairperson, Union Square Community Coalition

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, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, 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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