Letters to The Editor, Week of Sept. 14, 2017

Letters to The Editor, Week of Jan. 3, 2018

Allison would vote Sal

To The Editor:

Re “Sal Albanese for mayor on Sept. 12” (editorial, thevillager.com, Sept. 9):

My late mom, Allison, would vote for Sal. She may have not liked him 25 years ago. But he can’t be any worst than “YMCA Bill.” No pun intended to the Village People.

Richard Nixon Greaker


‘Statutory’ nonsense!

To The Editor:

Re “City’s monumental statues debate” (news article, Aug. 31):

Why didn’t De Blasio come out and tell us his plan before the election?

Let’s also rename the F.D.R. Drive, my old high school in Brooklyn (also F.D.R.), the George Washington Bridge and many other landmarks because someone was “offended”!

I remember a time when New Yorkers and Americans were tougher than that!

Charles Frank


Monocrops: The root cause

To The Editor:

Re “The great GMO freak-out exposé” (Rhymes With Crazy, by Lenore Skenazy, Sept. 7):

There is a reason that entire species, such as bananas and papayas, are now threatened by outbreaks of pests and diseases. There is also a reason that scientists are trying to artificially insert Vitamin A into plants that it doesn’t belong in, such as cassava and rice.

These problems, however, lie not within the banana, papaya, cassava or rice, but within unhealthy and unbalanced, chemical-based, monocropped agricultural systems. These are systems that serve to eradicate biodiversity and promote an overreliance on high-carbohydrate, low-nutrient foods, while exacerbating the very problems for which genetic engineering is now literally being “sold” as the solution.

Using genetic engineering to adapt our crops to these unhealthy systems is simply covering up the root causes of the problems. We can keep throwing band-aids at these problems, or we can start to heal the wound. The choice is ours.

My wife and I have been implementing, teaching and advocating for diversified and sustainable agricultural solutions to food and nutrition security here, in Malawi, Africa, for nearly two decades. We can assure you that countries in Africa do not need expensive, patented, imported and ecologically unstable genetically engineered technologies to solve our problems. We already have hundreds of highly nutritious, well-adapted and open-pollinated traditional crops, which continue to be overlooked, overshadowed and even stigmatized by the current push to monocrop a handful of introduced crops.

Kristof Nordin


District 1 debate points

To The Editor:

Re “District 1 candidates debate without Chin; Marte cool under fire” (news article, Sept. 7):

I’ve been involved with the work to restore Rivington House to the community and to ensure this never happens again since 2014 (and as members of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition since 1993). None of these three candidates’ analysis of what happened is accurate. Councilmember Margaret Chin has been advocating at our side every step of the way.

Within the recesses of arcane processes of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services — where Jim Capalino had access and deep ties — Rivington House was undone. It was his language from decades before (when he first lobbied to lift the property’s protections) that was used in the eventual lifting of the deed restrictions.

This is election-time posturing for easy applause. And to be honest, we aren’t giving up on the mayor, either. Advocates advocate, win allies, work on policies that are inclusive and keep fighting for the best outcomes for the most vulnerable (who are all of us someday).

Regardless of where you stand on sharing the Elizabeth St. open space with affordable senior housing, it was an affront to the former evicted patients living with AIDS that candidate Christopher Marte brought the Elizabeth St. Garden to pose in front of Rivington House to make the case for their own cause with the building as a mere prop, given that the Friends of Elizabeth St. Garden had hired Capalino’s lobbying firm in 2013 and that he’s worked for them pro bono ever since.

Everyone has the right to have their fight — but it lacks all integrity to use the plight of the Rivington House residents while taking support from one of the key enablers of their eviction.

I was involved in the Chinatown Working Group (chairing the C.W.G. Education Working Group) since before 2009. Councilmember Chin was involved early on, as was Ed Ma, who worked to initiate it because he saw gentrification coming. The leadership of the C.W.G. was targeted by some of the very groups who now decry the lack of movement. We spent years dealing with personal attacks (instead of policy issues). That delay caused core Chinatown stakeholders and C.W.G. leadership to leave the group. It meant we lost those stakeholders — yes, including a small minority of developers whose politics I may abhor, but they were stakeholders — and we lost time.

The plan was stymied and the real estate developers happily marched on. It would have required difficult compromises to move forward that no one liked but would have given us traction and protected many, many tenants. City Planning had the final say and they weren’t budging on accepting the whole plan.

In my opinion, that is how we got Extell. Now the fight, no matter who you vote for, is to push Chin’s legislation — if you care about that issue.

K Webster


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