Volume 20 Issue 20 | Sept. 28 - Oct. 04, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Thanks, police

To The Editor:
I think the N.Y.P.D. should be commended for taking quick action in trying to quell the increase in robberies and muggings near the East Broadway F train stop.  Police vehicles were on 24-hour duty at Straus Square, providing the neighborhood enhanced security for days on end.  It was also very impressive to see a sky tower installed at the corner of Essex and East Broadway. I always feel a deep sense of comfort when the N.Y.P.D. is in charge.

Rima Finzi-Strauss

Respectful dissent

To The Editor:
I have been disturbed by the many comments that were made in the press leading up to this year’s 9/11 anniversary, in which we were told it was time to “get over it.” Like so many others, the course of my life was completely altered when our neighborhood was attacked — and of course, thousands of lives were not only changed, but ended completely. While being able to live fully and joyfully is indeed healthy, I do not believe it would ever be appropriate to walk away from one of the most traumatic days in our nation’s history.

I have also been disturbed, however, by the way in which many people have responded to these calls for us to “get over it.” While I agree in principle, but not in practice, with those who responded with name-calling and bitter invectives. There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction among many to interpret a difference of opinion as a personal insult, and to respond with anger rather than logic.

And then there is Alyson Low’s letter of this past week, in which she firmly yet respectfully took issue with your editorial of two weeks ago (Letters, Sept. 21 - 27, “Grieving on Sept. 11”, and editorial, Sept. 14 – 20, “A date that changes with time”). She did not hurl insults, but rather beautifully explained better than I could that living our lives and mourning our losses are not mutually exclusive.

Thank you, Alyson, for your gracious and compassionate letter.

Rachel Snyder

Schools left out

To The Editor:
As the mother of a sixth grader at Manhattan Academy of Technology/P.S. 126 on Catherine St., I found it interesting that our school was not covered in the article “Parents, teachers grade Downtown schools & principals” (news article, Sept. 21 – 27).

Nor were several other Downtown schools, including P.S. 130 (where my daughter went to elementary school), P.S. 1, P.S. 2 and P.S. 124. Nor were any District 1 schools, most of which are also Downtown.

There was a separate article about M.A.T.’s afterschool athletic program in the same issue (youth article, “M.A.T. students hit the ground running”).

I wonder if the only schools deemed worthy of academic coverage are those where the majority of the students are white. That describes the elementary and middle schools in the article (P.S. 234, P.S. 89, I.S. 89 and P.S. 150), according to the Department of Education Web site.
Roberta Ferdschneider

Southbridge risks

To The Editor:
There are many ways by which the middle-income part of our society can be squeezed. To rescue the middle class the Mitchell-Lama bill was enacted. It was the last housing effort to save the middle class.

We are now at a crossroad here at Southbridge Towers, and we are being told by those in favor of privatization that we face no financial risks in privatizing. Are those who are willing to take those risks aware of the financial problems that we will all face?

There has been no real effort by the board of directors to investigate the usual application of a $26 million transfer tax when going private.
We should know that, once privatized, our real estate taxes will quadruple, going from almost $2 million to almost $8 or $9 million due to reassessment.

The plan to submeter each apartment (now being discussed by our board) may cost us heavily for installation and for separate utility bills on our individual privatized apartments.

If you vote in the next referendum to spend $300,000 for the first prospectus (called the Red Herring), it may be rejected by the attorney general and therefore cost us another $300,000 to rewrite it to satisfy the state government — as often as mistakes are found.

Many of those privatizers want to move away or may already have holiday homes elsewhere to move into permanently. They plan to leave the rest of us holding the financial bag, especially older folks who cannot go to work and who have little to live on.

This financially dangerous way of life should never be considered. S.B.T. shareholders and the elected officials must vote against this. Yes, leave our savings in the Mitchell-Lama program just where they are. The least we can do is fight to keep what we have enjoyed for the last 37 years.

Geraldine Lipschutz, Larry Vide and Barry L. Cohen

Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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