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Bloomberg and Occupy
To The Editor:
The Bloomberg administration shows its true disdain or disregard for the First Amendment by the hostile way it engages Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. (This seems to evince a pattern exhibited with the Republican National Convention demonstrators and the Critical Mass bike rides.)
The administration could find and offer any number of public parcels in proximity to Wall St. — in spots that would not significantly disrupt life or business — to the Occupiers for overnight use. Encampments, a historic form of American protest, send a different message than other types of protest, or place a distinct emphasis on a protest. The First Amendment is supposed to accommodate the full spectrum of political messages and peaceful protest accentuation.
The New York Police Department should show zero tolerance for continual drum banging or other noise invading people’s premises or for other illegal activity within an encampment. But if demonstrators conduct themselves quietly and lawfully, the city that never sleeps should conduct itself according to the spirit — and many would argue the letter — of the nation’s highest law of the First Amendment: by accommodating a demonstration which never sleeps.
Alan J. Gerson
Awaiting Weinberg’s book
To The Editor:
Re “Reflections of an old freak in the new East Village” (talking point, by Bill Weinberg, March 14, 2012):
This was a great column expressing deep personal reflections, impressions and history of the East Village. Like Mr. Weinberg, I grew up in a rather provincial town on Long Island, graduating high school a year later than him in 1981, and was a weekend bridge-and-tunnel tourist. I never had the balls to actually live in the East Village, only moving to Manhattan in the early ’90s, and when I did, it was on the Upper East Side. You had to have a certain mettle and ambitious spirit to move to the East Village, even in the early ’90s, which I did not possess at the time, and probably still don’t.
The talking point, though, was something I feel that a lot of people our age (late 40s) can probably identify with, and I applaud its accuracy and the personal feelings he expressed in it. The rest of Manhattan has now gone the way of the East Village — check out Harlem and Manhattan Valley, and now the same thing is happening in Washington Heights and Inwood. Even Downtown Brooklyn has become a luxury, bourgeois destination!
Anyway, time marches on, and there is nothing anybody can do to stop these neighborhood transitions and changes. Perhaps Mr. Weinberg can expand his reflections and anecdotes into a full-length book. (Remember? Those bound paper things!) If he did, I would be the first on line to buy it!
Birds would take a beating
To The Editor:
Re “City spins idea for wind rotors atop buildings” (news article, Feb. 29, 2012):
I oppose the positioning of these 55-foot wind turbines on top of buildings. These turbines can pose a danger to the community in the event of storms and hurricanes. These turbines pose a hazard to our rapidly declining birds. Large numbers of these passerines, hawks and other birds would be mutilated and killed by these turbines. Warblers, swallows, vireos, flycatchers and other birds eat vast numbers of mosquitoes. Hawks eat rats. These large turbines are very noisy and disturbing.
There are plans for the Spectra gas pipeline to cross the Gansevoort Peninsula and bring methane, also called natural gas, to the city. There is no indication that these turbines are going to cancel that project.
I believe solar is a better way to go. There are projects underway to produce solar panels without the use of rare metals. There are also companies working on small units of wind-generated energy that will not kill birds or put the community in danger of an inevitable, tragic accident.
The truth about wabbits
To The Editor:
Re “Hoppy ending as Soho rabbit rustlers return boutique bunny” (news article, March 28):
After recognizing the thieves who stole the rabbit, named Miss Cooper, out of the Soho boutique window, a “good Samaritan” called a man who knew the rabbit-napers. They retrieved the rabbit that very evening since they felt it was important to get her back to her owner A.S.A.P.
On the way to bring Miss Cooper to the Sixth Precinct they passed a restaurant that was advertising its “rabbit special.” How ironic that so many factory-farmed rabbits end up as dinner while news outlets focused on the welfare of this one stolen rabbit.
Unfortunately, keeping Miss Cooper in the window might encourage people to buy a bunny. At Easter many baby rabbits, chicks and ducks are sold. These frail babies, taken away from their mothers for the sake of profit, require very specific care in order to survive. These animals do not belong in the city and few survive.
Please, if you must have a rabbit, adopt it, as well as any pet, from a shelter or rescue organization. (Most pet rabbits end up in shelters and are euthanized.) If you really love animals, spay and neuter your pets — including rabbits — volunteer at a shelter, and if you can, foster a rabbit, cat or dog on death row.
And make sure that the products you buy are not tested on animals; many rabbits are used for this purpose. The choices we make create a big difference in the lives of animals.