Volume 81, Number 20 | October 20 - 26, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Here for the long haul

To The Editor:
When Mayor Bloomberg arrogantly suggests that Occupy Wall Street will not last the winter, I would remind him that King George III said the same thing about the revolutionaries at Valley Forge.
Jerry The Peddler

Occupiers are heroes

To The Editor:
As I watch these protests on Wall St., I am reminded of the civil rights marches of the ’60s. Yes, I lived through them and saw the police response every night on the news. I listened to my father complain that “those people” should be happy they’ve got what they got. “They never had it so good,” he said.

Yesterday, I bought a new phone. The saleslady behind the counter mentioned that she used to play volleyball in college. Well, now she’s got her bachelor’s degree. And her college education got her student loans, a crappy minimum wage retail job, and no time for such frivolity as volleyball.

God forbid she gets in an accident or gets sick. God forbid she gets old.

These kids marching on Wall St. are heroes. To the extent that they make people wake up and see the class warfare that has been going on in this country for decades, they should be applauded — not corralled, pepper-sprayed and sent to jail.

Politicians (yes, Republicans, you know who you are) need to face reality the way these protesters face it.

Healthcare should and can be free. It always is when I travel to Canada — and yes, I’d consider Canadian citizenship but I shouldn’t have to. Everyone (even Republicans) should want healthcare for themselves and their neighbors. And we’d all have it, if we had the healthcare President Obama wanted and Congress gives to itself.

Jobs should and can be plentiful. The Obama Jobs Act provides jobs that bolster our national infrastructure. Considering the extent of present decay, everyone (hear me, Republicans) should be on board. Politicians need to wake up and be happy these protests are confined to Wall St., because they may soon migrate to their district offices and (gasp!) Republicans will not want that.
 William Cooke

You say you want a revolution

To The Editor:
Re “The voice of the turtledove: It’s really overdue” (talking point, by Daniel Meltzer, Oct. 13):

I love the sentiment of “chaos vs. complacency” and the spirit of this column over all. The problem goes deeper than the greed and poor decisions of the heads of corporations, bankers and politicians. 

Capitalism is driven to “expand or die” and even those at the top are compelled to chase the greatest profits or go under. This means those across the seas who are taking the calls in call centers or assembling computer parts and stitching clothes are being super-exploited far beyond what happens here.

The only way out is real revolution. Check out the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic of North America (Draft Proposal) for how things could really work after that revolution is made.
Sunsara Taylor

Raps ‘hip-hop hypocrites’

To The Editor: 
“Can’t deny Occupy” (editorial, Oct. 13) missed the irony that many of the celebrity visitors to the Occupy Wall Street protest, such as Kanye West and Russell Simmons, are multimillionaires.

Democratic Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (personal net worth $35 million), who supports the protest, has raised tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions over recent years from the same crowd. 

They are all part of the 1 percent of America who Wall St. protesters claim are not paying their fair share of taxes that the other 99 percent of America contribute. 

By the way, the infamous 1 percent already contribute 40 percent of all taxes paid. It is the billions in taxes on profits, income and bonuses that Wall St. companies and their employees pay that fund many of the essential public services we count on from both city and state government. Haven’t they already done enough?

Can’t some of the 46 percent of other Americans who pay $0 contribute something? Did the bright lights of Broadway, Hollywood, hip-hop and V.I.P. visitor celebrity status blind the protesters to these people’s hypocrisy?
  Larry Penner

Left and right sound alike

To The Editor:
Re “Occupation is trying to create a more fair nation” (picture story, Oct. 6):

The protesters who were arrested were part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Opposing Wall St. and supporting Main St. sound very much like the words of Sarah Palin and of the Tea Party. Extremes meet.

I am reminded of retired Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, who said, “We have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have” (New York Times, Page 1, Jan. 25, 2011). 

Dickey sounded just like the counterculture protesters of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The far left and the far right have much in common.
George Jochnowitz

Rezoning crisis response

To The Editor:
Re “‘There is panic’; School rezoning comes as shock” (news article, Oct. 13):

Thank you for quoting my earthquake analogy about rezoning local schools. I said, “Instead of panic leading to doing the right thing, it led to New Yorkers fleeing out of their buildings.” It was not clear from that quote that I believe that the Department of Education is wrong.

Overcrowding is the crisis. The D.O.E. solution is to break up five communities (P.S. 234, P.S. 3, P.S. 41, P.S. 11 and P.S. 33) instead of building new schools.

Within three years, five new zoned schools may open to relieve overcrowding in our communities (Peck Slip and Foundling for certain, Trinity and 75 Morton St., we hope, and N.Y.U. perhaps) and D.O.E. should speed that up, not do a temporary rezone.

Crowding leads to panic, and rezoning is the wrong impulse. Opening new schools is the right response.

And next earthquake, heed our California friends and stay inside. 
Keen Berger
Berger is Democratic district leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A

Save the Sasaki Garden
 
To The Editor:
Parkland is priceless terrain in New York City, particularly in Manhattan. Between the two multicolored Washington Square Village buildings lies a little-known 1.5-acre green space, one of the most singularly stunning parks in the city, which was formerly for residents only and is now open to the community, the city, the world. 

There are cherry trees, robins and chess tables here. There is picnicking, socializing, sun-worshipping, meditating. This is the Sasaki Garden, designed by the Harvard-affiliated landscape architect Hideo Sasaki.

This exotic oasis sits precisely where New York University plans to plant its “boomerang” buildings, and, in order to do so, intends to destroy the garden. Despite the fact that the garden is being reviewed for historical status, N.Y.U. owns the land and will proceed anyway, if at all possible, at any time. “Temporary” buildings, including a gym and a children’s playground, are scheduled to be built in the near future, thus devaluing the property as a recreation area.

There has been almost no coverage of this impending tragedy. This is an emergency appeal for you to send one of your capable reporter/photographers to document its beauty and bring the issue to light for the city. It has never been made clear that N.Y.U. is forced to use this, or any other, green space on the superblocks — only that “N.Y.U. must grow and this is the university’s own property.”
Jefferson Smith

Market move not super

To The Editor:
New York University’s declared plan to replace the Morton Williams supermarket on LaGuardia Place with a new one on Mercer St., between Bleecker and Houston Sts., will leave residents west of LaGuardia Place without a nearby supermarket. Plus, there is already a Gristede’s supermarket at Mercer and Third Sts.

Without Morton Williams, for those who shop there, the nearest supermarkets are at Sheridan Square and Sixth Ave. and 12th Street.

The loss of Morton Williams would cause a great inconvenience to residents west of LaGuardia Place that will not be remedied by the creation of a redundant supermarket on Mercer St.
 Charles L. Walker

We need people power

To The Editor:
Re “Can Hudson Square handle a major rezoning by Trinity?” (talking point, by Deborah Glick, Oct. 13):

Dear Ms. Glick: Hudson Square is not a dense residential neighborhood. We need more residents of mixed incomes. More people would mean more power for making changes here.

We desperately need to rescind the state decision that permits New Jersey-bound cars to use the Holland Tunnel’s free egress — instead of Staten Island’s egress — to New Jersey. Sharing some of the traffic is only fair, and would help rid the abominable pollution and horn-blowing traffic on Varick St.

And we sure could use a supermarket!
Harry Schroder

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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