Letters to The Editor, Week of April 26, 2018

‘Thanks for believing’

To The Editor:

Re “Real news! Ex-publisher Butson endows award” (news article, April 19):

Thank you, Ms. Butson, for believing in my innocence. This award can help other wrongfully convicted people, because facts do matter, as they finally did in my case after more than 18 years in prison for a crime I didn’t commit.

Mr. Solnik is one of my heroes for his unwavering pursuit and exposure of the truth in my case.

You have my support, respect and deepest appreciation for what The Villager’s reporting has done and continues to do!

Fernando Bermudez


Hotel doors auction ironic

To The Editor:

Re “Chelsea Hotel doors auction bidder sweet” (April 19):

Very good piece, Cary, comprehensive and well-written.

I hope some of the Chelsea magic rubs off on the purchasers of these famous doors to nowhere.

I can’t help but think of Ed Sanders’s satire on the cult of celebrity — pubic hairs of the poets, which were sold at the Peace Eye Bookstore in small plastic packets.

How sadly ironic that the Hotel Chelsea doors drew big bucks while our fellow artists, musicians and poets continue to starve or must slave at unwanted, energy-consuming day jobs if they are not celebrities.

Thelma Blitz


Why arrest ‘arch artist’?

To The Editor:

Re “Police chase our ‘living statue’ from park perch” (news article, April 19):

If the questions is “Why suddenly arrest this performer after two years of leaving him alone?” the answer may be in a New York State Supreme Court case now pending. The park rules are being challenged on equal-protection grounds relating to the enforcement of the rules against visual artists as compared to performers. The last time this disparity was brought before a court was in 2011. As soon as oral arguments were about to be held, the city defendants went to Washington Square Park and issued summonses to all the performers, and arrested some, so as to make it appear they were doing equal enforcement of the park rules.

Performers may find themselves under pressure once again as the city tries to create new fake evidence of equal protection being in effect.

Ironically, based on the May 2013 amendment to the 2010 revised park rules, performers are exempted from the requirement that they be 50 feet from a monument.

In other words, this performer was not guilty of violating the park rules they arrested him for.

On Page 1 of the park rules for visual artists and performers, you will see that performers in Washington Square Park are exempted from all the restrictions, including the required distance (50 feet) from any monument.

Robert Lederman
Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)


‘No’ on membership clubs

To The Editor:

Re “C.B. 2 alcohol problem: Committee in ‘bar brawl’” (news article, April 12):

The reason I vote against establishments like those listed in this article are because they are anti-nightlife. As private clubs, they seek to completely isolate themselves from the community. They allow the elite to pay a hefty sum for membership, in order to segregate themselves from the masses outside.

We have tons of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood (open to the public, no less!) that are desperate for the dollars that are being siphoned away by these playgrounds for the rich that impose strict membership requirements. That is against everything that I believe a community should be.

And, for the record, while I was not at the Board 2 State Liquor Authority Committee meeting in question, the only intimidation or threatening behavior I saw during this process was from a supporter of this application for the Groucho Club.

At the full board meeting, I watched as he harassed a volunteer board member, took photos of him, and pestered him while the meeting was in session.

Those are bullying tactics I would expect to see coming out of Albany. It is disappointing to see them being used against volunteer board members of C.B. 2.

Joseph Gallagher
Gallagher is a member, Community Board 2


Jackie, Hank, unity

To The Editor: 

Major League Baseball honoring the 71st anniversary on Sun., April 15, of Jackie Robinson integrating the sport reminded me of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field and Hank Greenberg. It was a time working- and middle-class men and women of all ages, classes, races and religions commingled in the stands rooting for Jackie Robinson and his teammates regardless of ethnic origin, game after game.

Ordinary Brooklyn residents could ride the bus, trolley or subway to Ebbets Field to see their beloved Dodgers. Everyone could afford a bleacher, general admission, reserve or box seat. Hot dogs, beer, other refreshments and souvenirs were reasonably priced.

Just as Jackie Robinson fought racism in the 1950s, the Detroit Tigers’ Hank Greenberg had to do the same with anti-Semitism in the 1930s and ’40s. Robinson and Greenberg both document the long-lasting relationship between African-American and Jewish athletes and fans standing together for decades in support of each other.

Larry Penner


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, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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