Volume 17 • Issue 23 | Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2004


Religion in school

To The Editor:
Re “Church in public school — Sunday services at P.S./I.S. 89 raise questions” (news article, Oct. 15–21): Thank you very much for your enlightening article about Mosaic Manhattan. I recently moved to the neighborhood and I was very surprised to learn a church was holding its services in a public school. It disturbed me greatly. To me it is a clear violation of church and state. When I first saw the Mosaic Manhattan banner in front of the school I thought it was a multicultural, multiethnic program sponsored by the school. P.S. 89 must have approved it.

All this has made me think of my grammar school, P.S. 41 in Queens. If a church had held services in that school, as a child I would have assumed that school and church were very related. If the church had passed out literature at a school function then I would have been sure that the school approved of the church. I attended a Mosaic Manhattan service on the same day you did. Yes, I saw those men at the front of the auditorium competing to hold up the boxes the longest.

When I walked in the door I still expected this to be something all embracing and nondenominational. I still say to myself, how could a conservative southern Baptist church hold services in a New York City grammar school? If the church is allowed to hold services there, then there should be a large sign under the Mosaic Manhattan banner saying something like: “This is a Southern Baptist Church which is renting space in this School. It is not in any way affiliated with the New York City Board of Education.”

Thank you for your fine article.

Katherine Keenan

Kerry’s record

To The Editor: 
Downtown Express endorsement of John Kerry for president is deafening in the total avoidance of any criticism of his various positions (editorial, Oct. 22 – 28, “John Kerry, the right choice for president”).  Even staunch supporters of President Bush and I can be forthcoming in pointing out the president’s failings as they are confident his positives far outweigh his negatives: you apparently lack that confidence.   

You say, like Kerry, we went to war in Iraq without the support of most of our allies.  Really?  Would you tell that to the “gold star” parents of the British, Polish, Australian, South Korea, etc., soldiers who have lost their lives in a coalition numbering over 30 countries. 

Are those missing allies the French, Germans, and Russians?  Those very same nations that have supplied nuclear technology to Iraq (France), and have participated in the $11-billion oil-for-food scandal?  They were in Hussein’s hip pocket and you wonder why they did not join us? 

You state Kerry is principled and experienced.  His 19 years in the senate was condensed to less than a minute in his nomination acceptance speech, plus, quickly, name all the things he has accomplished in those years. 

After stating he would vote for the $87 billion appropriation for Iraq and the war on terrorism, and that anyone who voted against it would be irresponsible, he voted against it. 

He sat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, yet the year after 9/ll he failed to attend a single public hearing.  When confronted with this he stated he attended, instead, the private meetings.  When asked to release his attendance records he steadfastly refused.  Why?  

John Kerry should be commended for his time in Vietnam, but that is just part of the picture.  In his infamous speech before Congress he admitted he was a war criminal, and despicably tarred a generation of American heroes by calling their actions the equivalent of the brutalities of Genghis Khan.  Yes, as in all wars, atrocities occur, but his broad brush was unforgivable. 

To support John Kerry is not unpatriotic, but to avoid the full picture, the measure and essence of the man and candidate, draws only one conclusion.  You know from all points he cannot stand the light of day, and thus you chose to keep as much of him in the dark as possible.  America deserves better, and the Downtown Express should demand more of itself.
John Brindisi
Condo on gardeners

To The Editor:
The truth is that the Liberty Court community gardeners (news article, Oct. 22 – 28, “Gardeners fight B.P.C. ouster”) have, with a couple of exceptions, left the gardens in a barren, ugly state, especially in the eight or so colder months of the year. This is our home. Would you let someone neglect a section of your home, that you weren’t allowed to touch, for the majority of the year? You have a total of fifty-odd gardeners leaving a section of a home to 1,000 people as a rotting mess.

The Liberty Court community gardens were always a temporary measure since the erection of that horrific Rector St. “temporary” bridge.

All the pre-9/11 West St. bridges are operational again, so why is that disgusting eyesore still there? If the Battery Park City Authority follows through on its promise of a “temporary bridge,” then the gardeners will have their original gardens back. It is disingenuous for the B.P.C.A. and the gardeners to blame Liberty Court for the loss of their gardens. If the gardens are wanted, it’s the B.P.C.A.’s responsibility to provide them.

If you go to the gardens now you’ll see one or two attractive gardens, but they have only appeared since the gardeners’ letter-writing campaign has commenced. It’s a lie for the press.

David Karnowski
Putting stock in Social Security?

To The Editor:
Your article, a reminder of Black Thursday, the stock market crash of 1929, is a reminder that should be noticed by every American, elderly and future retirees (news article, Oct. 22 – 28, “75 years after Wall St.’s crash”). Some may have a good pension as back up, but what if the company goes bankrupt or gives up the business? President Bush can’t wait to be a booster, more likely “a used car salesman” of the stock market, suggesting for the future of Social Security a) invest in the stock market and b) open a savings account.

One example of a stock market investment fiasco is Enron where the employees lost everything and the officers of the company came away with much of the money. Savings accounts can easily be depleted when money is needed for emergencies (emergencies are unforeseen) or loss of a job when money is needed for everyday living. Mr. Bush’s patriotism is discredited if he thinks the stock market is a safer investment than the U.S. government.

Don’t give up the fight to keep Social Security!

Geraldine Lipschutz

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