downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 | Issue 25 | November 3 - 9, 2006

Letters to the Editor

W.T.C. box beams

To The Editor:
In response to “9/11 families don’t care about W.T.C. box beams” (Talking Point by Michael Burke, Oct. 27 – Nov. 2), the author speaks for himself. I’m not sure he has reached out to the vast numbers of 9/11 families. I know he does not speak for me. Mr. Burke, it is fine that you established that all these experts were consulted and that no one mentioned the box beams. That does not mean that they are not important enough to preserve. Yet in your next breath you say how sacred bedrock is. It is a bit confusing.

You say that the memorial should be above where the towers once stood and people saw them destroyed. But I don’t see how the design as it stands would be less honorable. I must tip my hat to Mr. Gardner. His position has always been the same, and he has the right to hold those people who told him that those beams would be preserved to their word. The foundation of those towers still exists; it is truly a part of what happened on that day. People do see that, I know. All you have to do on any given day is ride the PATH train into the W.T.C. stop and you will see the somber faces of all those around you as you ride past the supporting Slurry walls with their twisted rusted support beams embedded in them. Lastly all sites that you called 9/11 crack pot sites have something to say only because important questions about how 9/11 came to be are still not being answered. I pray and hope that the words “Failure of Imagination” are never seen at any 9/11 memorial. That would be a disgrace.
Barry Zelman
Brother of Kenneth Zelman, who was killed on the 99th floor of the North Tower Sept. 11, 2001.


To The Editor:
Michael Burke can only speak for himself and his family.  He certainly does not speak for me and my family. I lost my sister Lorraine Mary Lee on Sept. 11 and every anniversary I journey down to bedrock to stand on the only remaining artifact of the building where my sister worked.  She loved working at the World Trade Center and I feel a real connection to her when I stand on bedrock.  So too must thousands of family members, because each year we journey down to touch them — why else would we go down — we could stay at street level to honor our loved ones if bedrock means so little. I respect Mike’s feelings and he should respect those of family members who have fought to preserve bedrock for future generations. 

Patricia Reilly
Staten Island, N.Y.


Art and Ali

To The Editor:
Good article about Ali G. (Essay, Oct. 13 – 19, “How I was duped by Ali G.” ). I doubt I would agree with all the politics of the author, but I completely sympathize with the duping of a serious artist and trivializing her work and life.  Trivialization, when not duping, can be funny sometimes.  But it has become epidemic, especially in TV commercials.  It makes people look like fools after awhile, and leaves one questioning the value of what is being advertised.

Trivialization in the movies has been a trend for several years as well, although it has a long history going back to the Three Stooges.  However, those movies were probably recognized as trivialization, not to be taken seriously, and also geared somewhat to children. Today’s trivialization sometimes has an unreal feel to it, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. 

Phil Morales


To The Editor:
Perhaps you could suggest — oh so very kindly, to avoid litigation — that Linda Stein go find a sense of humor.

She claims that the performance of Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a. Borat, undermined its own premise, demonstrating male inferiority by claiming the reverse.

Sadly, he seems to have been trying to make fun not of women but of humorless feminists.  While I would normally say that the “humorless feminist” is a mythical beast, in Ms. Stein’s case, Mr. Cohen found a live one.

If she ever finds a sense of humor and applies it to herself, Ms. Stein might just learn one art form that eludes her now completely: The art of being a good sport.
Edward O’Neill
San Francisco


Southbridge’s chains

To The Editor:
Many thanks for your wonderful coverage and editorial regarding privatization of Southbridge Towers (news article and editorial, Oct. 13 - 19, “Big bucks at Southbridge – residents will be rich, study says,” and “Southbridge Towers’ big decision”).

The study has not yet been given to the cooperators and already many rumors are being circulated.

It is time to leave Big Brother (New York State and the state Dept. of Housing and Community Renewal). We need to leave not only for perhaps compensation, but to be on our own, without the myriad of rules and regulations.

Some of our elected board members who promised and swore to do only what is in the best interest of the cooperators seem to be hiding. Let those board members rethink and remember their promises and give serious thought to really what is best for the cooperators who elected them.
Shirley Espriel


Harassing look

To The Editor:
Re “Revealing essay” (Letters, Oct. 27 – Nov. 2):

Hurry, women…order your burkas and cover up. J. Andrew Smith is being passively sexually harassed by women (whatever that means!). He’s complaining about sexually revealing clothing, which is certainly defined by the eye of the beholder, but will get women executed in certain parts of the world.

It’s the same tired but very dangerous argument that women, wearing their chosen fashion, in whatever way they please, will drive men to think and do dastardly deeds…therefore, blame the victim if she is stared at, and even verbally or physically assaulted.

It seems that Mr. Smith, describing the shameless young woman in his letter, with the three unzipped layers, etc. did all but whip out his tape measure to determine her square inches of exposed skin. That isn’t looking, that is harassing.

Women have the right to wear anything, anytime in whatever way they choose. This is America.

Excuse the cliché, but if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
 Bonnie Lynn


Less than saintly

To The Editor:
I am writing to bring public scrutiny to St. John’s practice of routinely allowing their garbage haulers to befoul the northeast corner of Murray and West Sts. with disgusting kitchen refuse that leaks from their trash. This is one of the few remaining crossings of West that is not consumed by construction. I have attempted to correct this problem by bringing it to the notice of their security and facility management officials over the past several months. Yesterday (Oct. 30) I noticed another soupy, goopy mess and notified the management, which assured me that the external building was cleaned daily and that this would be taken care of. By the afternoon, however, the mess persisted and when I went inside to resolve the matter, I was told to remove myself from the premises and stand directly under the construction outside with my dog while they found the person responsible (who happened to be “in a meeting with the Fire Department” and was not available for comment). The campus police sergeant then said that it wasn’t really their fault because the garbage haulers make the spill anyway.

I find it hard to imagine that this practice of dumping on Downtowners is in line with the university’s self-image as a good member of the Downtown community. Perhaps a little publicity will encourage them to be better citizens.
Nathaniel Hupert


Far East meets Midwest

To The Editor:
Re “Scenes from a Japanese restaurant” (The Penny Post, Oct. 13 – 19):

Nakato’s was my son’s favorite restaurant. As a child he was an extremely picky eater. In fact, he still won’t eat nuts or onions. He did like Nakato’s though. It serves a Midwestern form of Japanese food, much as our Chinese and Thai restaurants Midwesternize their cuisines. But my son is now grown up, and when he visits us in Springfield, he likes to go out with us for sushi, which he eats expertly with chopsticks. I’m glad that Nakato was available to us 15 years ago. It gave the boy an opportunity to become a more adventurous eater. Maybe he became a more adventurous adult.

I am glad that you liked the place.
 Marc Cooper
Springfield, Missouri

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