Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004

Letters to the editor

Hold R.N.C. protest in Times Sq.

To The Editor:
There is a reasonable alternative to trampling Central Park and marginalizing the protests to the edge of the Hudson River: Times Sq. This is where similar political demonstrations took place during the 1992 Democratic Convention. Times Sq., which has a history of handling large crowds, is in the heart of the city, much closer to the convention site than Central Park and more accessible to the people of New York. There would be the corollary benefit of having a traffic-free environment for a day. The Fine Arts Federation of NY has endorsed this as the preferred alternative.
Barry Benepe

Koch is older, but not wiser

To The Editor:
Re “Koch: How’s Bush doin’? Great, and he’s got my vote” (talking point, by Ed Koch, Aug. 18):

With age, often comes wisdom and the insight to accept and transcend one’s mortality, but his recent talking point column revealed former Mayor Ed Koch to have turned into a frightened, bitter, old man in his senior years. It saddened me to hear a former champion of individual rights and a just society openly admit that his overarching fear of “terrorism” has caused him to abandon those beliefs to support someone with whom he doesn’t “agree with on a single domestic issue.” His argument seems to follow the “we must destroy it to save it” approach to protecting our liberty.

Michael Doyle

Stop discriminating against porn!

To The Editor:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the arguments I keep hearing about getting rid of sex shops are identical to the arguments they used to discriminate against homosexuals and black people in the past. You can dislike adult shops all you want, but it is not truthful to say they lower property values or increase crime. And I fear that most people who hate these shops do so because of personal taste and no legitimate complaints.

Hey, I’d like to never see another Starbucks, but I respect their right to exist (sort of). If you follow their logic then we should ban all churches in New York City because an incredible amount of crime has been happening in hundreds of churches across the nation by hundreds of bad priests, right? Certainly, more lawbreaking happens in churches than in adult bookstores or sex-toy shops, so we have to be honest. I’d like to also point out that this nation has a long tradition of moral hypocrisy, so I don’t understand the anger it incites in so many people. How many politicians have passed laws legislating moral behavior while they were cheating on their wives? And if God didn’t want us to be naked we wouldn’t have been born without clothes, right?

And if sex is so evil, then why do all the moralists have it?

Am I missing something here?

Christopher X. Brodeur

We’re not in Kansas anymore

To The Editor:
Hi, I just have a question about the Village area. I’m currently living in the East Village; just moved here a few days ago in search of work.

What do most people do job-wise out here? I see so many people with dreadlocks, and such outrageous styles — it would seem implausible that they work at traditional business jobs. And they somehow have time to party late into the night.
Matt Alland

Don’t let Cooper destroy mural

To The Editor:
As an artist, I would like to express my complete disgust with Bob Hawks, vice president of business affairs, and all the others at Cooper Union who have the nerve to destroy the beautiful 9/11 mural at 35 Cooper Sq. Purpose: to sell the space for advertising to the highest bidder — for shame!

Artists and all East Villagers — especially Cooper Union students — organize and protest before it’s too late!

Carol Joyce
Joyce is president, 6th and 7th St. Block Association

Covering over 9/11 art is a sin

To The Editor:
In San Francisco someone bought a store and painted over a gorgeous rainbow and caught so much flak over it that the rainbow was restored and never touched again.

Please do not blame New York as a whole for not respecting “Forever Tall.” Obviously, people do care about it. It is bad enough that George Pataki wants to turn the 16 acres into a Pity Park — now this is happening. People must protest as loudly as they possibly can. Raise hell over this. The twin towers stood for peace every day that they lived. To replace their message of courage and strength with greed and vandalism is sin and shows another tribute to terror. New York is my home and I don’t want to be ashamed of it. Those towers are sacred.
Regan MacBannon

Villager captured ‘Olympic moment’

To The Editor:
Before the Republican Convention monopolizes all the press, I would like to thank and congratulate The Villager for the excellent pictorial recently on the Village synchronized swimming group event at the fountain in Washington Sq. Park. This marvelous, tongue-in-cheek event was so Village and so enjoyed by onlookers. It was wonderful.

Once again, The Villager gets the scoop and photographs it for all time. Good show! Bravo, to the athletes!

Mary T. Johnson

Please shed light on arch mystery

To The Editor:
Could someone please tell me what is going on with the lights at the renovated Washington Sq. Arch?

The new lighting, it seems to me, was on for about a week when the arch was first rededicated in early summer. The arch looked spectacular. Then, the lights were turned off for a month. Now, the old, vastly inferior lights on poles across the street are being used.

What gives? After all the time and money that was spent, why are the new lights not being used on the arch? I can only assume that the arch was deemed too bright by someone in the neighborhood. I’d really like to know the story. Please do tell.

John Morrison

Not waiting for last Roundup

To The Editor:
The Hudson River Park Trust is spraying Roundup throughout the park, including around the children’s play areas and dog run. Glyphosate, Roundup’s active herbicide, has shown a wide spectrum of chronic toxicity in laboratory tests and is acutely toxic to humans. Initial symptoms can present as eye and skin irritation, lung congestion and digestive problems through erosion of the intestinal tract. Roundup also contains toxic trade “secret ingredients.” These include polyethoxylated tallowamines, which cause nausea and diarrhea, and isopropylamine, which causes chemical pneumonia, laryngitis and headaches.

People are lying on and toddlers are crawling on lawns that have been saturated (at this point in the season) with poison. Roundup was linked to a threefold increase in neurodevelopmental (attention deficit) disorders. This is alarming and demonstrates that the Trust values the appearance of the lawn above the welfare of the people who use the park.

New York State’s attorney general successfully sued Monsanto for claiming that Roundup is safe and environmentally friendly. In certain states an applicator’s license number is required and Roundup cannot be sold in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska or Washington. This list is growing, but the Trust has children, off on summer vacation, spraying regularly without masks or training. Herbicides can drift up to 1,300 ft. during ground applications. The Trust cares more for how the park appears than it does its employees.

A study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden revealed clear links between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a study by Walsh, McCormick, Martin and Stocco1 of the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University, Roundup has also been conclusively identified as an endocrine disruptor.

Despite Monsato’s claims that glyphosate magically disappears, studies have shown that Danish drinking water is suffering from glyphosate as it filters down through the soil to pollute the ground water at a rate of five times more than the allowed level for drinking water.

By killing all weeds and earthworms, crickets, etc., the Trust is creating a wasteland for migrating wildlife (the Hudson River is a migratory path.) This demonstrates how much the Trust cares about the life of the river.

The Trust is poisoning the environment as well as the people who use the park. There needs to be an investigation of the continued mismanagement and “transparency” of the Trust. The Hudson River Park Trust needs to stop spraying around the children’s areas, dog run and lawns immediately. The people of the city of New York need to be able to relax in our parks without fear of being poisoned. Can’t we do better? We must.

Lynn Pacifico

Red memories of England

To The Editor:
Re “Communists are working for a presidential revolution” (news article, Aug. 11):

Bravo! Anybody but Bush. He’s destroying the country. He is the squatter of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He stole the election of 2000. And he’s a creep.

Communists in the 1930s tried desperately to alert capitalist Christendom to the dangers of German fascism, but they wouldn’t listen till we got W.W. II.

I first attended Communist Party meetings in England when I was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. (At the time of Pearl Harbor, already 9,000 Americans had enlisted in the Royal Air Force. The first American to go down in flames in the RAF was Billy Fiske, 601 Fighter Cmd., RAF, on Aug. 17, 1940. I enlisted in ’41 in Montreal.)

It was a member of the C.P. at Bolton, Lancashire, where I was on a radar course, who lent me his civvie clothes to go on leave to Ireland, to Balinasloe, for the Balinasloe Fair, in October 1942.

All during the 1930s the C.P. supported progressive causes, including union struggles for better wages and working conditions — for example, the Cushman bakery strike in the late 1930s.

John Stanley

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