Volume 74, Number 14 | August 04 - 10 , 2004

Letters to the editor

Dog owners won’t back down

To The Editor:
Thank you for publicizing the plight of our neighborhood dog owners (“Owners hound Trust to improve Hudson Park dog run,” news article, July 14). The Trust continues its “transparency” policy by shutting dog owners out of any decision making concerning the run. This has resulted in dangerous conditions and many dogs injured.

Dog owners have learned the hard way that we need to be part of the decision-making process for the run. We are at a loss as the Trust continues to be unmoved by the large amount of injuries. It is especially galling to read in The Villager — “Large art installment is planned for a pier in Hudson River Park,” news article, July 7 — that the Trust might be hosting an “exhibit celebrating humankind’s relationship with animals.” Well, let the Trust start celebrating the animals and people who live in the neighborhood they are supposed to be serving, by providing basic safety improvements in our recreational facility!

The Trust’s skewed online questionnaire indicates that the change of the surface, if any, will be to plain asphalt, since “porous surfaces such as stone dust, crushed granite, wood chips or plain old dirt cannot be properly drained into the city’s sanitary sewer system.” Asphalt is dangerous to bones and soft tissue, which is why it is no longer used in children’s playgrounds. Repetitive falls on this unforgiving surface cause acute trauma as well as long-term wear and tear (arthritis). All that is needed to give dog owners a safe surface is a drainage system (which can be drained into the same drain that is currently in the run). It seems simply that the Trust is unwilling to spend money on this dog-owner facility even as our loved ones are being injured. But it is spending almost $1 million on three tennis courts!

Dog owners are organizing again, as we cannot let unsafe run conditions continue to threaten us. This must be stopped as soon as possible. It would help dog owners greatly to have the support of our councilmembers, Christine Quinn and Alan Gerson, to successfully lobby the Trust, as well as our senators.

We all agree that the most significant requirement to providing an adequate recreational facility is to enlarge the run south into the top of Segment 3. Adequate enlargement will immediately stop many injuries (try playing ball in a field that is one-third the recommended size!) and also allow for a separate section for small dogs.

Dog owners will be holding a meeting in the run on Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m., at the run. To fill out the Dog Owners Action Committee questionnaire, go to www.weiser.com/DOAC/. Our online petition is at http://www.pulitzer.com/dogrunsurvey.html.

Lynn Pacifico

Porn plagues Chelsea, too

To The Editor:
Regarding “SiXXXth Ave: The new Times Sq.” (photo article) on Page 19 of the July 21 issue:

Do not think that the new Times Sq. stops at 14th St. On SiXXXth Ave. between 17th and 18th Sts., there is plenty more sleaze. There has been an adult video store there for years that faded into the background under the Giuliani administration with the 60/40 law. In the past couple of years, however, a sex store moved in a couple doors down that sells all kinds of kinky paraphernalia that they proudly display in the window. This bold display has emboldened the old video store north of it that now too hawks vibrators, leather and the like in their window. I try to cross the street on that block (it’s across the street from Old Navy) when I walk with my children; and it’s open 24 hours. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for some 20-odd years and have seen lots of changes on that block. This change is definitely for the worse.

Mary C. Citarella

Wag the sneakers

To The Editor:
Re “Air Jordans in the air and throwing up Red Bull” (news article, July 28):

About this ongoing urban myth saga about the hanging sneakers. I still can’t believe nobody mentions in these stories that great movie from a few years ago, “Wag the Dog,” with Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Anne Heche. They totally made fun of the sneaker tradition by making up a war hero who’s nickname is “Old Shoe” or something. As part of their phony campaign, people start throwing shoes around lampposts to show their support for this “war hero.” There was a pair of sneakers hanging on Fifth Ave. around 27th St. long after they filmed them for the movie.

Lisa Malcolm

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