Letters to the Editor

D.O.E.’s recipe for obesity

To The Editor:

Re “Not none — one a month” (letter, by Marge Feinberg, March 31):

Congratulations to The Villager on eliciting a response from the Department of Education on school bake sales!  

Remarkably, spokesperson Marge Feinberg actually seems proud to announce that Chancellor’s Regulation A-812 does not prohibit sales of home-baked goods, but allows them once per month. The new D.O.E. policy regulates an activity as American as apple pie, and even the baking and eating of apple pie itself, while encouraging free access by children to vending machines. These machines offer only the processed foods that, along with reduced access to active recreation, are the true causes of the obesity epidemic.  

Is this just another Nanny State paroxysm? Or is the department locked in a battle with local schools over revenue from food sales? Does the variety and quality of foods offered at bake sales, whose revenue stays local, pose a threat to the department’s revenue from vending machines? If this were truly about obesity, the department would see bake sales as an opportunity to educate families and children about healthy food, and would reach out to New York chefs to create recipes for healthy, inexpensive and simple-to-prepare foods for children to sell to their classmates.

Worst of all, D.O.E.’s micromanagement is destroying traditions that provide opportunities for children to learn about business, nutrition, cooperation and community while they build the school pride that’s essential to quality education.

Tobi Bergman

What about the M9?

To The Editor:

Re “L.E.S. bus routes will get ‘restructured,’ and M8, cuts” (news article, March 31):

While the excellent article by Ms. Shapiro rightfully celebrates the restitution of M22 service to Battery Park City, albeit the loss of the M train to Lower Manhattan, it’s surprising that no one in the media (other than The Villager), or apparently our representatives, has noticed the total elimination of the M9 service from Battery Park City: the line which does for the east side of B.P.C. what the M22 does for the west.

The M9, in addition to those traveling to work, carries a heavy concentration of parents, toddlers and children traveling to schools in the Chinatown and Alphabet City area. Also, many Asian senior citizens attend social and community facilities in those areas as well. With the M9 no longer traveling south of Chatham Square, other than to City Hall, one will have to board the M20, take it to Water St. and switch to the M15, and if necessary take a third bus — the M9 — to areas north and east! Up to three buses instead of one. 

As we all know, both the M20 and especially the M15 are notoriously not on time, with spotty service. Just think of exposing our young and old — the most vulnerable members of our community — to the cold, wind, snow and rain as they wait for three buses. We can only hope all in the public arena will regroup and fight for the M9 as they have successfully done for the M22. 

John Brindisi

M9 is our ‘school bus’

To The Editor: 

Re “L.E.S. bus routes will get ‘restructured,’ and M8, cuts” (news article, March 31):

The M.T.A. canceled the M9 bus route that ends and starts in Battery Park City south. This is the school bus (for lack of a better word) that middle school and high school students use to take them to M.A.T. (my son’s school), Salk, Baruch, NEST, Bard and even Millennium. There are about 18 students that just use it for M.A.T. alone.  

A lot of parents whose children are going into sixth grade next year, based their decision on the transportation of the M9 (M.A.T. and Salk). I hate to hear how they might not have put those schools down as first choice if they had known what lay in store for the bus route.  

The M9 is also the only transportation that B.P.C south has to take us up to Union Square. Also, for those that go to South Ferry, Water St./South St. Seaport, Chinatown and the Lower East Side — we are now cut off. 

The only other bus line we have is the M20, and that is for West Side use. I know we have the free Connection shuttle bus, but that does not start till 10 a.m.

Judi Davis

N.Y.U.: ‘The beast within’ 

To The Editor:

Aside from the greedy expansion of New York University — razing historic sites, closing mom-and-pop businesses and displacing longtime Village residents, like some corporation that needs to keep growing in order to stay alive — I wonder if the quality of education the university provides is not endangered by such growth. 

After all, it’s not some shoe factory or soda bottling plant, but an institution of learning, and there must be a limit to how well it can provide and oversee university-level scholarship while it seems to be busy becoming the largest realtor in New York. 

And even more important, an increase of 40 percent in its size also means an equal proportion of city property that will no longer be eligible for property tax since N.Y.U. is exempt from property taxes. 

We are under attack once again, not from Robert Moses’ attempt to scuttle our neighborhood, but from the beast within. And it’s time we put it in check before there is no more Village — just a large dormitory for transient students. 

If Mayor Bloomberg and Christine Quinn and our other elected officials cannot do anything for us, then it is indeed time to oust them from office and elect honest and diligent politicians who will do the job. And perhaps it’s time for the entire neighborhood to be landmarked as historic, so that no more ugly, oversized buildings can be erected.

Jay Matlick

Congrats on awards

To The Editor: 

Re “Villager wins 12 awards in NYPA newspaper contest” (news article, March 31):

The Villager consistently, without the resources of a larger paper, breaks news and wins awards. This is largely in part because of your hard work, long hours and dedication to the journalistic profession.


John Penley

Art in action: A real treat

To The Editor: 

Re “Beret…check; Brushes…check” (photo, March 31):

The photo by Milo Hess and the accompanying caption of an artist creating a painting of a building in Soho tell us a lot about what was going on at the time.

However, I was struck by the impressive quality of the artwork itself. The Soho neighborhood was fortunate to be able to observe such a talented artist in public during the process of creating this impressive work of art, reflecting the unique quality of the architecture in our neighborhood.

It just goes to show that Soho is still the place for a creative spirit to find inspiration.

P.S.: Congrats to The Villager for the NYPA awards. You and the Downtown Express deserve the recognition all the way. Kudos.

Lawrence White

Pier market, buses, cops

To The Editor: 

Re “Pier 40 plans?” (Scoopy’s Notebook, March 17):

Why not try to install an international food market on Pier 40 similar to the one in Singapore? It would have different, authentic cuisine from all around the world. Make it affordable, but with good food and service. And make the green market similar to the one in Seattle — a place people would love to hang out, with trees, benches, entertainment, etc.

Most of all, make it very accessible to the public. City buses should run frequently. 

Also, install clean public toilets. If people have to pay a quarter to use them to maintain the toilets’ cleanliness, so be it. And have someone police the place to get rid of vandals, loiterers, the homeless and those who litter. Someone has to make sure people are disciplined.

Mario Buluran


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.