Letters to the Editor

Don’t exterminate — relocate!

To The Editor:

Cruelty-free rat management could succeed in Tompkins Square Park; it did for us. Do we really want our beloved park seeded with poison — dangerous to wildlife, children, dogs — and poisonous to our idea of our park?  Aren’t cruelty-free and earth-friendly solutions the Village ethos, and the park’s? Surely a better example to children!

We live in both the East Village and out of state. Last summer, spilled birdseed attracted rats.  We wanted no poison on our property: We’d solve the problem without harming rats. The Health Department agreed, confirmed that rats’ spreading rabies is a myth, and stressed that removing food sources and covering garbage bins are essential to any solution — applicable to Tompkins Square Park.

Working with a local animal rescue, we humanely live-trapped the rats, using the “Tuffy 24” steel rescue trap with smaller mesh, from Tru Catch.  For bait — bananas, apples, bread, peanut butter.   

Check traps frequently. Harmlessly release trapped birds or squirrels. Fill rat holes with soil; when holes aren’t reopened, rats are gone. 

We trapped all 25 rats, and transported them to a suitable, remote location, which we dubbed “Ratopia.” Recently, flooding threatened. The rescue retrapped every rat, relocating them to uninhabited higher ground, “New Ratopia.”

Surprisingly, the rats were smart, endearing, engaging. Some dislike rats, but all beings deserve our compassion. Our food-littering helped increase Tompkins Square Park’s rats. It’s our responsibility to remedy this humanely, without violence. We can!  Animal rescues and community groups could volunteer to help trap and transport. It’s pretty easy to do.

So far, at our out-of-state place, we’re rat-free.  Accrued good rat karma! 

 C. White

A happy median for cyclists

To The Editor:

Re “A bridge plan gone too far? Bikers have an idea of their own” (news article, Sept. 1):

Wouldn’t it make sense to continue the two-way bike path down a protected median along the middle of Delancey St., all the way to Bowery? The Department of Transportation’s “meet-up area” at the foot of the bridge is guaranteed to create a congested mess, and it just dumps cyclists onto adjacent streets that are not well set up for cycling and are not the destination of many of the cyclists.

Instead, create a traffic-light-controlled median along the length of Delancey, from which cyclists can turn onto whichever north-south street they need to get to. Plus, it would create a better pedestrian refuge area in the median.

David Bergman

This BID could be BAD

To The Editor:

Re “Back Chinatown BID” (editorial, July 21):

Years of the L.M.D.C.-funded Chinatown Partnership have not made business better in Chinatown. Within blocks of Councilmember Margaret Chin’s and the Chinatown Partnership’s offices, there are still vacant storefronts since the post-9/11 closure of Park Row. The same leadership would be at the helm of the Chinatown BID.

In total, the area’s already financially burdened small property owners and businesses would have to pay at least $1.3 million per year for the BID. The bad economy will probably put some out of business, but adding a BID could be the lethal blow for even more. 

So, ironically, putting a business improvement district in Chinatown will not improve business. The BID will employ some people to tie up and replace bags at the corner garbage cans and perhaps pay for some frilly features as “window dressing.”

Sadly, the Chinatown BID’s budget of $1 million for sanitation costs, which comes to almost $3,000 per day, will not improve business anywhere close to what the BID will cost. Meanwhile, the BID will pay more than $200,000 a year in administrative costs. Will Wellington Chen continue to benefit with the lion’s share of this cost in salary? Will the cost of a Chinatown BID mean not only higher prices in Chinatown, but more storefront vacancies?

 Sandy Goldstein

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

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