Letters, Week of Feb. 5, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Feb. 5, 2015

Won’t cut Silver any slack

To The Editor:
Re “Shel-shocked: Silver to resign as speaker over corruption charges” (news article, Jan. 29):

I don’t get the “Silver was great for progressive causes, therefore he should get the benefit of the doubt” theory. Yeah, he was a great progressive. But that’s not saying anything. It’s very easy to be a liberal progressive in one of the most liberal cities in the U.S.

In fact, Silver (deservedly so), would have gotten flak from his constituents and would have been voted out of office long ago had he not worked on marriage equality and affordable housing. These issues are laudable, certainly, but it’s expected.

And the key to legalizing marriage equality really was the state Senate. Getting same-sex marriage passed in the state Assembly was no challenge at all, considering the majority of members were Democrats.

I like Silver’s politics, fine. But he never really took a stance that would ever seem to be controversial. Other local assemblypersons who have been around him are also good progressives and also have brought home the bacon. But what if they were caught defrauding the taxpayers? They wouldn’t be cut the same amount of slack and would be asked to resign their offices.

Doing your job, on the surface, does not qualify you too to maintain respect, or even your seat. And on top of that, Silver, up until his 2008 primary-election challenge, didn’t deliver constituent services in a fair way. A specific niche of his support base got first dibs until the local daily newspapers, 38 years later, starting harping on his obvious favoritism.

Sorry, but our former speaker doesn’t have an honest bone in his body. I applaud state Senator Brad Hoylman for his reflexive honesty. He didn’t need to think, for he realized that what Silver did was fundamentally wrong.

And this is more than a criminal complaint. These are the results from a six-month long investigation. Let’s tell our local assembymembers to stop playing dumb and genuinely fight for transparency and honest government. Now is the time to put your money where your mouth is, for the whole state is watching.
Dodge Landesman

Time for Albany term limits

To The Editor:
We badly need term limits. The speaker post should not be a lifetime or until-indicted position.
Michael Gorden

Tarnished Silver supporters

To The Editor:
Re “Shel-shocked: Silver to resign as speaker over corruption charges” (news article, Jan. 29):

It’s fascinating to see local pols trying to talk their way out of this. The fact is, everyone knew Silver was corrupt, and defenders like Glick are unindicted co-conspirators. Why defend his so-called “accomplishments,” when almost all of them were driven by personal greed and special interests — not the common good? Do the ends really justify the means?
Matt Apfel 

Albany enablers embarrass

To The Editor:
Re “Shel-shocked: Silver to resign as speaker over corruption charges” (news article, Jan. 29):

So much for the myth of speaking truth to power that used to be a part of Village politics. 

It’s a pathetic dereliction of the public trust. Our elected leaders (and voters) point to Kansas and Arizona politics as national embarrassments, yet allow the most entrenched and embarrassing of all, Albany, to fester and become even worse.

Good for Brad Hoylman for being the only one with any guts.
Patrick Shields

Council’s same cynical game

To The Editor:
Re “Mayor and speaker are M.I.A. on small businesses” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Jan. 22):

Déjà vu all over again. The City Council game plan on any bill that addresses exorbitant rent increases will be the same as it has been since former City Councilmember Ruth Messinger introduced her bill during the Koch administration. The Council will just run out the clock. Stall, stall and then stall some more. The Council will call for more studies, hearings, legal opinions, etc.

No bill has ever made it to the Council floor for a vote, and this is by design. Councilmembers can hold press conferences and pledge their support for a remedial bill as long as they are not required to vote on it. Council bills that go nowhere are the opium of the people. The City Council needs to vote on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act or get off the pot.
Alfred Placeres
Placeres is president, New York Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Restores your faith

To The Editor:
Re “Finding common ground in sound; Religious groups jam together for one love” (news article, Jan. 29):

Thank you so much dear Villager for covering this, the Sixth Annual Spiritual Sounds evening. 

I know you and all present felt a genuine, infectious, deep joy with being together in one room.

We rotate the host site each year. Last year was in the wonderful Town and Village Synagogue. Our first was held at Middle Collegiate Church, then Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, then the Bhakti Center, etc. 

It’s important to note here, the person who did the lion’s share of the work, the prime organizer for this year’s event, was Father Chrisopher Calin. In addition to him, thanks are due to Father Michael Suvak and Tom Downey and their beautiful Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection on E. Second St. We are so indebted to them and their congregation for welcoming us to such a beautiful, heartwarming evening. 

Father Calin and Rabbi Larry Sebert of Town and Village Synagogue read aloud our Joint Affirmation Statement of the Local Faith Communities of the East Village, which the faith leaders wrote together after the first official gathering at the Sixth St. Community Synagogue in May 2009:

“We, the local faith communities of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, stand here together before you in peace, and as one humanity.

“Here in the Lower East Side, with its over-250-year history of people from all corners of the world, all faiths, languages and cultures, seeking refuge from great oppression, hatred and poverty, we have had to learn and re-teach ourselves repeatedly about the advantages of and the goodness in tolerance and respect while living side by side.

“Let us honor the work of those generations before us who labored together, to feed, nourish, educate ourselves, build bridges, share our joys and cultural celebrations, and to establish our unique houses of worship next to each other.   

“We gather toward healing (in times of acts of hatred/prejudice), prevention, respect and understanding, in the strength of our deep common values. We wish to encourage and reflect the greatest shining strength of our city and our nation, the best in us, our unity in our diversity.”
Anthony Donovan

A beautiful evening

To The Editor:
Re “Finding common ground in sound; Religious groups jam together for one love” (news article, Jan. 29):

It was indeed a beautiful evening to see the different places of worship all in one accord. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Certainly we know there is no segregation with God.
Evette Clarke

Was dogs’ best friend

To The Editor:
Re “Robert Marino, 61, leading voice for city’s dog owners” (obituary, Jan. 29):

Bob was an amazing man. As Lynn said, every dog owner in New York City owes him a debt of gratitude. New York’s current off-leash accomodations would most likely not exist without Bob. And he was always available to consult with dog groups from other parts of the country on establishing dog parks and off-leash areas. He is sorely missed.
Mary McInerney

Good matzo memories

To The Editor:
Re “And that’s how the matzo crumbles; Streit’s to make exodus from Lower East Side” (news article, Jan. 22):

When I was a child living on Rivington St. in the early 1950s, my mother and I would sometimes walk over to Streit’s to be handed a fresh, warm piece of matzah from one of the bakers. There was a window, perhaps there still is, from which they would hand it to you.

All these years since, I have always bought Streit’s matzo — in Cambridge, Mass., and now in Central Vermont. I go out of my way to find it because I have always thought it tastes the best. I didn’t know if this was only nostalgia or something I was really tasting.

Based on your farewell article, it really was something special in their baking process, the natural cooling you describe. I hope they keep this quality in their next place of business. I’ll be on the lookout Passover 2016.
Michele Clark

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