Volume 21, Number 5 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | June 13 - 19, 2008

Letters to the Editor

A Taxing Issue

To The Editor:
Re “Taxing Issue” (Letter by Tim Clark May
23 - 29):

Every artist or vendor must carry a state issued tax ID and report their income. However it is clear that taxes are not the real issue here. Mr. Clark and a few other highly frustrated people simply use their extreme ignorance and raging bias as a club against hard working creative people, many of whom are his neighbors.

It would be far more useful if Mr. Clark and a few others who support him would work with those of us who have tried for years to find an actual resolution to the issues facing not only those in the neighborhood but legal vendors, veterans and artists as well.

In the end we gain nothing by attacking each other. We do have much to gain if we will work honestly with each other.
Lawrence White

Tune in

To The Editor:
 Re “Hot town, summer in the city” (arts article, June 6 – 12):

Any Baby Boomer -- not just this former music critic -- could set Lee Ann Westover straight that Janis Ian’s huge hit from the mid 1960s was “Society’s Child,” not “At Seventeen.” The latter was recorded a decade later. Sounds like Westover read the press release wrong. As a kid growing up in the ‘60s, I was moved by the teenaged Ian’s poignant observations about the stigma of interracial couples at that time. The song holds up, mainly because the lyrics of  “Society’s Child”  are incredibly prescient. As she breaks up with her boyfriend, due to social pressure, she sings “ when we’re older things may change, but for now this is the way it must remain.”  
 Kate Walter

Where have all the pigeons gone?

To The Editor:
Living in Southbridge Towers in Lower Manhattan I had a daily routine. Something was missing and I couldn’t figure out what it was until recently. What was it you ask? Pigeons. The area’s pigeon population has significantly decreased. The possible reason?  While taking sun on my terrace, I noticed an odd bird on the roof of my building. A few minutes later a second odd bird. I got a good look at the birds through my binoculars then went on my computer and identified the birds as falcons. Pigeons are a main prey for falcons

If Downtown, keep your eye out for these beautiful birds.
 Michael Wishner

Real safety threat

To The Editor:
Re “Downtown’s health & safety abandoned” (editorial, May 16 – 22):

Why is the Downtown Express wasting ink editorializing against President Bush and FISA and the torture, real or imagined against “enemy combatants” when the real threat to your readers’ “health and safety” is being built at ground zero?
While the Downtown community is keeping a hawk eye on the construction in the area, as they should (less than an hour before I write this another crane toppled on the Upper East Side killing one) there’s been more protest over the lack of a performing arts center at ground zero (this is Manhattan where scores of performing arts center are a very short, green subway ride away) than the addition of roads to your neighborhood that the finished ground zero will bring.

Roads equal traffic. Traffic is bad. Traffic means air pollution, noise pollution and accidents. People getting run over.

“Returning the street grid” may conjure romantic notions of hot summer nights with people sitting out on lawn chairs on the sidewalk with the kids playing hopscotch nearby. But nobody’s building three story walk ups at ground zero.

The legacy of Sept. 11 for Downtown is going to be buses and cabs and delivery trucks driving past two immense pits, dry again as workmen for the umpteenth time and gee, how long have they been doing that now, it seems longer every time they do, fix the pipes that supply “Reflecting Absence.” 

To the people of Downtown: Forget Bush and FISA and blah, blah, blah. Forget about remaking the World Trade Center site into some ideal mini-city of your very own with “performance arts centers” and high falutin’ museums brought to you by people literally, from a mountain top all designed to serve the very few. You have the chance to make something at the W.T.C. site that is both respectful and appreciative of the history of the site and at the same time serves the area very nicely. But I gotta tell ya, you’re blowing it.
Michael Burke

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 news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.




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