Letters, Week of Aug. 14, 2014

Page one offends

To The Editor:
Re: “Sophomore Report Card for Avenues: The World School (news, July 31, 2014)”

I found your front page article about Avenues to be incredibly offensive on many fronts.  I feel so sorry for those parents who complain that their privileged children have to encounter the “unsavory characters” who have lived in our neighborhood for years before Avenues was even conceived of. Gee, if these “unsavory characters,” (which I’m assuming is a euphemism for the homeless), could afford the $45,000 tuition to send their own children to Avenues, maybe they would behave in a less offensive manner.
Alice Ellerbeck

End ‘broken windows’

To The Editor:
Eric Garner died from police brutality. We extend our deepest condolences to Eric Garner’s family and loved ones. FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) stands in solidarity with all communities impacted by unjust policing and brutality, including people of color, transgender and queer people, and homeless and immigrant communities.

FIERCE is an LGBTQ organization led by youth of color. We have been organizing local grassroots campaigns to fight police harassment and violence in the West Village for more than 14 years.

As LGBTQ youth of color, we are unfortunately intimately familiar with the type of targeting that stems from “broken windows” policing. FIERCE organizes against the violence, harassment and discrimination LGBTQ youth of color face from “quality of life” policing practices.

LGBTQ youth of color are often targeted for minor offenses, such as blocking a sidewalk, graffiti and homelessness itself. These policies have not made New Yorkers safer. On the contrary, these policies have proven to be discriminatory as low-income New Yorkers and communities of color disproportionately experience hyper-aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses. LGBTQ youth of color often experience a cycle of criminalization, as a result.

As Darielle Harris, a FIERCE member, stated, “We strive for a New York City where racial and gender profiling and unnecessary force from the NYPD are no longer realities that plague our community. What happened to Eric Garner is unacceptable and, frankly, disgusting.”

The NYPD must be held accountable for Eric Garner’s death. The mayor and Police Department commissioner must end their broken-windows program immediately.

LGBTQ youth of color say, No Justice! No Peace!

FIERCE is a member of Communities United for Police Reform.
Jai Dulani (co-director, FIERCE)

Animal agriculture will foul our waters

To The Editor:
Recently, the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo residents was fouled by animal waste. With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again in our own state.

The problem has become pervasive. Waste from chicken farms has rendered ocean off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.

Animal agriculture dumps more pollution to our waterways than all other human activities combined. Principal pollutants are animal manure and fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris, and pesticides from feed cropland. Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds microorganisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.

Effective regulations to limit dumping of animal waste into water supplies have been blocked by the meat industry.

Fortunately, every one of us has the power to stop this outrage three times a day by saying ‘no’ to polluting meat and dairy products. Our local supermarket offers ample alternatives. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine provides useful recipes and transition tips.
Nico Young

Reader Comments from ChelseaNow.com

Re: “Secret Parks of Chelsea” (feature, July 17, 2014):

Another thing that is scarce and getting scarcer in Community Board 4 is public open space — which is why 20th Street Park is a cause so dear to many thousands in the Chelsea community. It’s no surprise to read that our community board ranks last in Manhattan for proximity to parks.

With the potential for 11,000 new units of affordable housing to be built in our district over the next several years, it becomes even more critical that our local leaders recognize the need for new public parkland for everyone in our growing community to enjoy.

Bravo to Chelsea Now and Chelsea’s officials for recognizing the need for both more affordable housing and a new park!
Allen Carter

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