Letters, Week of Nov. 28, 2013 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Nov. 28, 2013

A degree but no planet?

To The Editor:
After traveling across the country by train and visiting numerous schools on the East Coast, I have observed a growing number of students who are concerned with the investments of their institutional endowment. I am one of these concerned students.

While colleges and universities across the nation accept and teach the science of climate change, they backhandedly invest their money in the very companies that perpetuate the climate crisis. This double standard can exist no longer.

Students from more than 350 colleges have actively started to point out this contradiction between their schools’ values and their investment philosophy. New York University, the college that I proudly attend, is one these schools that has taken a moral stand on climate change. The school has recognized and taken steps to address the fundamental reality that the unabated burning of fossil fuels will bring about globally felt consequences. I myself have been driven to direct action and activism because of the reality that my generation and our children will face. I want to live in a world that is not plagued by frequent droughts, fires and superstorms.

I am part of N.Y.U. Divest and we are here to ask President Sexton and the N.Y.U. board of trustees to divest the New York University endowment from the companies that produce these toxic fossil fuels. President Sexton, what is the use of my degree if I don’t have a planet to live on? Please divest for our future.
Alex Suber

Like we have any say

To The Editor:
Re “Let’s embrace this key moment for Hudson River Park” (talking point, by Paul Ullman, Nov. 14): “We should take our new seat at the table?” What table might that be, exactly? If the answer is that anything that is shoved down our throats has to be either accepted with fake “negotiations” designed to make the citizenry falsely believe that they have had a voice in what happens — think ULURP — or else we don’t get even the appearance of a say, I say it is all over. This thing was put together in the middle of the night without public input. Period!

What? Are you suggesting that some “make nice” appeasement negotiations under ULURP would have resulted in saving St. Vincent’s Hospital or stopping the N.Y.U. 2031 plan? What are you smoking, mister?
Nick Fritsch

Need to transition to stevia

To The Editor:
Re “De Blasio and transition team tour transition tent” (news article, Nov. 21):

I would like to get our newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio to nuance his stance on the soda ban initiated by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The fight against morbid obesity and diabetes can only be won if we ban high-fructose corn syrup from our beverages, and replace or supplement sugar with stevia. You can look up this research, and you will see that the incidence of obesity and the onset of diabetes among New Yorkers correlate with the replacing of sugar in our sodas and drinks with high-fructose corn syrup.

I hope that this information is at least considered.
Vincent Nunes

Which way to the ‘old Village’?

To The Editor:
Re “It’s time for final push to pass small business bill” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Nov. 21):

This morning two tourists stopped me on the street asking me to point them in the direction of the “old Village.” I responded that most of the old places were gone — in their place, banks and luxury fashion stores. Their best bet was to pick a side street where, because of landmarking, the housing looks the same, although a new breed have moved in. If New York City is to maintain a rich cultural life and the kind of neighborhoods people actually want to live in, there needs to be affordable housing for people and for businesses.
Melinda Holm

A crisis for small businesses

To The Editor:
Re “It’s time for final push to pass small business bill” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Nov. 21):

The city has been throwing money, tax breaks, incentives, matching money and infrastructure improvements for big developer projects driven by big real estate for a long time, with zero to retain mom-and-pop businesses. We do need a basic fair lease renewal process for small business in New York City, which would address this single largest issue of the loss of our small business on local main streets in every community in all five boroughs. This would stop the bleeding of up to 1,200 small business closings in New York City a month! This is a crisis and commands attention and action.
Steven Barrison
Barrison is executive vice president, Small Business Congress of New York

Wasn’t Tweed’s Tammany anymore

To The Editor:
Re “Monument to machine politics, Tammany Hall is landmarked” (news article, Nov. 21):

Boss Tweed was dead more than 50 years when the Tammany Hall headquarters at 100 W. 17th St. was erected in 1929, and neither he nor the Tweed Courthouse downtown had anything to do with the building that was landmarked. More representative of Tammany’s leaders in 1929 were Al Smith and his key aide Frances Perkins, who led the Democratic Party and the nation to enact the social welfare programs of the New Deal, including Social Security, the Fair Labor Standards Act and protections for unions. These programs, in many ways under attack today, created the modern middle class. By emphasizing a crook like Tweed as representative of Tammany rather than Smith and Perkins, you do a disservice to the city’s history, as well as the building itself.
James S. Kaplan

Growing need for senior care

To The Editor:
Re “VillageCare’s legendary night” (news brief, Nov. 21):

As a former vice president and recording secretary of the Friends and Family Board of Executives of Jewish Home Lifecare / Bronx Campus, and a friend and neighbor of many VillageCare care recipients, I say congratulations to the organization and to Ms. Passannante-Derr. Their work will only become more important, and more necessary in the next 10 to 20 years. Support should continue, and be enhanced. It will be a crucial defense for our neighbors with a lack of options. Well done. Keep it up.
Patrick Shields

 

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