Letters, Week of Sept. 24, 2015

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

D.I.D. ‘went Rove’ on us

To The Editor:
Re “Cude and Gault win big in district leader election” (news article, Sept. 17):

I congratulate Terri Cude and Dennis Gault on their election as district leaders in Part B of the 66th Assembly District. They did a good job of meeting voters by knocking on doors and standing outside of supermarkets and I wish them well as they go forward. Jean Grillo and I totally respect the will of the voters.

As district leader, I always felt it was important to conduct our progressive politics in a positive fashion. And I am certain that Terri and Dennis would have been successful without the negative campaigning from local Democratic clubs, specifically, the Downtown Independent Democrats.

I fully understand the rough and tumble of politics. But mailers that stated that Jean and I were personal recipients of city funds were an outrageous attack on our integrity and honesty. There is no other word for these statements other than lies, and it needs to be said so our future local elections don’t look like the national campaigning that we all think is so dreadful.

The public, which we were honored to serve, can make decisions without this mudslinging and really deserve elections that simply provide the positions of candidates and their qualifications.

Finally, the suggestion that elected officials automatically support incumbents is not accurate and a review of recent elections proves that. But the most important takeaway is that all future candidates in our very special corner of the world should commit to running positive campaigns and reject the Karl Rove-style tactics that the Downtown Independent Democrats used.
John R. Scott

Opponents spread lies

To The Editor:
Re “Cude and Gault win big in district leader election” (news article, Sept. 17):

The most recent district leader election was won by Terri Cude and Dennis Gault and I wish them well. I especially hope they never face the type of lies that were directed at me and John Scott and deeply hurt our families.

It’s said that a lie travels around the world before the truth even gets it boots on. Never has that been truer. There appear to be some folks who think that politics is just a game and it doesn’t matter what you say because there is no downside to slander during an election. But I believe that we risk turning off more voters and certainly deterring many good people from getting involved if these activities are not challenged. I don’t think the distortion and lies were necessary for my opponent’s success, but someone did.

The notion that I wrangled a cushy job with the Board of Elections, or that I was paid a ridiculously high salary is a dangerous figment of someone’s imagination. I’m an employee who started at the bottom ($11.99 an hour) and I’ve risen to the extravagant salary of about $40,000. What’s dangerous is the six-figure imaginary sum printed, for all to believe, in campaign mailings — obviously, the total of all those $40,000s. The fact is, I could lose my rent-stabilized apartment if that fake salary meant I was inching close to earning something near the luxury decontrol cap, which I clearly do not.

But the most disturbing attack was on the Tribeca Community  Emergency Response Team (CERT). These are neighborhood residents who stepped up after the World Trade Center attacks and were trained by the city’s Office of Emergency Management to assist neighbors in the event of a disaster.

I’m proud of these individuals and I’m proud of my service with them. The City Council provides grants for the supplies required by the team, and O.E.M. has a detailed inventory of those supplies, from flashlights to communication radios to safety gloves. But a last-minute mailing filled with distortions or lies suggesting these grants went to me personally left no opportunity for rebuttal.

Ambush politics may be the stock and trade for a few destructive people in our community, but it is up to the press to shine a spotlight on these schemes and retrieve fair play for our future elections.
Jean B. Grillo

An icon is gone

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

Adam Purple was an icon in a pre-gentrified East Village. I used to see him all over New York City on his bike seeking horse manure for his Garden of Eden — which was trashed by the Koch administration. He did undergo persecution in the name of regress.

Let’s remember him as one who was into saving the Earth.

I used to take my daughter, Rachel, there when she was small. It’s unfortunate my grandkids wont get to know him.
Aron Pieman Kay

A Purple salute

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

He was a radical gardener working in the world’s most urban landscape. His point was not that it could be done. His point was that it should be done. It is a lesson learned with great admiration for the teacher.

Yes, I am wearing purple as I work in the garden today.
Lawrence White

Living with Adam Purple

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

I lived at 184 Forsyth St. from 1977 to ’79 before the hoopla but in front of the stupendous garden. Perched on the third floor, I watched it grow.

Adam’s letters to the city continued to get bombed-out buildings torn down, plus there was the organized arson of the times. So while I started with sun from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., two years later I had sun from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.!

Adam allowed me in for $50 a month, which was used for oil. In that abandoned building, I studied and warmed myself by oven light and heat.

Adam stopped firefighters from smashing my windows to fight the fire in No. 182. He had me remove all the slate stairs from the frames on all six floors and flip them off the fire escapes to make a walkway around the garden. Additionally, he noted, it would cut down on the vertical junkie traffic in the building.

He eventually had me fill the place up to the third floor with chairs, toilets, couches and furniture in order to stem the horizontal traffic, as well.

He would tell me to photograph the neighborhood since it was unbelievable. But as a 16-year-old I was too young to realize that decades later it would be a different type of unbelievable.

I feel like Rutger Hauer in “Blade Runner” since with Adam Purple gone, “all those moments will be lost.”

I recall the map I drew for my girlfriend when she would come to babysit Nova Dawn, Adam and Eve’s newborn daughter from that time. I directed her to go past the three-piece-suited old-school Bowery “bums,” I put a skull and bones for her to avoid Forsyth Junkie Laden Park, told her to grab me some food at Yonah Schimmel, then go past the very last strip of hookers that dotted Forsyth, past No. 186 — boarded up and taken over by fleas — to the white door, then lift up the mail slot, reach in and to the right and ring the bell. When Adam let’s you in, I told her, grab some of the magazines in the doorway (addressed to names like Bilme Lader or Takin Fofree) for reading material.

It’s a time in my memory that is difficult to relay to others. There was the year he grew an entire concentric circle with weed and the Keystone Cops routine event that played out when the cops found it  — wow! The events of the ’77 blackout, particularly along Orchard St., a few blocks east. The material is almost seemingly endless.

Adam Purple, a truly unique Zoo Yorker, R.I.P. I wish I had seen you in modern times to say thank you.
Larry Friedman

Diamond in the rough

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

Adam Purple was a gardener on Forsyth St. when it was very rough here. I lived on Forsyth from 1978 to 1990, so I do remember it well. He built, out of love and sweat, one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen.

The phrase I remember most, from one of the (many) community meetings trying to ward off the looming destruction of his garden and home:

“I’m from Missouri — show me.”

Missouri is known as the “Show Me State,” in honor of a state congressman who famously said: “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

Adam Purple built a garden here when it mattered, amid burned-out buildings and no hope during a time when we didn’t even merit real estate speculation.
K Webster

All about Mama Earth

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

I loved seeing Adam, Eve and the young ones blading up First Ave. like a snake moving along the asphalt. It always shifted my perspective on the day, seeing them that way, knowing their lives were thoroughly intentional and about Mama Earth.

Adam exemplified the back-to-the-land movement, except he did it in the concrete jungle!

Peace to you, Adam.
Leslie McEachern

The Original Mr. Natural

To The Editor:
Re “Adam Purple, gardens godfather, 84, dies biking on Williamsburg Bridge” (news article, Sept. 17):

Digging my hands

in horse dung

I learned how bacteria

can save the planet

Each turn of soil,

each plant, each

brick or slate laid

Give back

to the People

what remains

ours, always

So let the worms

relieve my bones

of marrow

and give beauty

and nourishment

to those

who follow me
Richard Chilton

Great churches coverage

To The Editor:
Re “A tale of two Catholic churches in the East Village, now merged” (news article, Sept. 10):

This was a sensitive and extremely well-informed article about a deeply emotional subject. Similar events are happening in other cities as neighborhoods change, religious views shift and the Church adapts to the modern age.

The Villager and the writer, Mary Reinholz, should be congratulated for this coverage.
Nat Segaloff

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