Letters to The Editor, Week of Sept. 12, 2019

Stuy High-pocrisy 

To The Editor:

Re “Stuy H.S. Christian case irked students, parents” (news article, Sept. 5):

Let me get this straight. The people complaining have issues with the public school mixing with the Christian religion but have no problem mixing with the Muslim religion by having a longtime Muslim prayer section there? Such hypocrisy. 

Either allow both or none at all, if you want to be consistent.

Will Danielle Filson, the Department of Education offical quoted in the article, remove the Muslim prayer posters as well?

Luis Gomez 


Woe is Petrosino

To The Editor:

Re “W. Village isn’t pining for street trees, unlike Little Italy” (news article, Sept. 5):

A dearth of trees in Little Italy is sad and too true.

As the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation increasingly subcontracts out its work, including the planting and maintenance of trees, standards plummet. In Petrosino Square, the only park in Little Italy, we discovered that one peripheral gingko died because the contractor failed to remove the thick metal wire from around the tree ball, so as the tree grew, it strangled itself. 

Another tree was sheared to a stump by one of the ubiquitous film trucks. Other trees were planted in improperly prepared tree pits, which caused water to run off into the street instead of to the roots of the trees. 

A fix, an agreement by Parks to expand the tree pits, was abandoned halfway unfinished, years ago now. Many appeals were made to 311 and Parks — all the way up to Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. But the upshot is that, of the dozen peripheral trees in Petrosino, one tree has been missing for close to a decade, and two standing gingkos have been dead for two years; that is, one-quarter of the peripheral trees in Petrosino are missing or dead.

Through gross mismanagement, the city of New York is failing to husband our precious public resources, and Little Italy suffers, especially.

Georgette Fleischer
Fleischer is president, Friends of Petrosino Square


Its canopy of trees helps set Minetta Lane apart from the surrounding “honky tonk,” one of its residents says. However, the street’s trees are sadly being destroyed by hits by trucks — and, in one case, a healthy tree was chopped down by the Parks Department. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

Trees tragedy

To The Editor:

Re “W. Village isn’t pining for street trees, unlike Little Italy” (news article, Sept. 5):

Our home on Minetta Lane was designed around the very concept of the relatively unique way the trees formed an almost gothic arch crossing Minetta St. and was represented in the facade of our building. 

Well, after an incredible debacle of the Parks Department marking the wrong tree for removal — and then cutting it down, despite its being perfectly healthy — it’s no longer a supportive concept. 

But more than that, it was one of the very things that made our neighborhood unique, interesting and a lush respite from the honky tonk of MacDougal St. and Sixth Ave. The trees getting hit and subsequently destroyed by wayward construction trucks — or theater-set trucks moving in equipment and scenery for the Minetta Lane Theater — has become unfortunately commonplace. The installation of tree guards — paid for by the community — still cannot sustain keeping these trees alive.

It’s a very unfortunate situation that really does demand a more substantive response than to continue to plant new trees without accounting for protecting them for future enjoyment.

Adam Kushner


End tracking

To The Editor:

Re “Don’t cut Gifted programs” (editorial, Sept. 5):

I must dissent from this. The whole notion of a two-track education system where the “sharpest” are groomed for “success” and the presumably duller majority relegated to the proletariat (or joblessness) is repugnant. 

We should be demanding a better education system for all, one that expands the sphere of the “sharpest,” rather than leaving the rest behind.

Bill Weinberg


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