By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
The keys to understanding and respecting each other are active participation by people choosing to live and be educated in diverse communities not morally based legislation or socially based schools curricula.
In a letter in your December 8 issue ["Green Goliaths"], Harry Bubbins accused community garden advocacy organizations of being untrue to the cause of saving community gardens.
Bubbins asserted that advocates appear "all of a sudden" at com-munity board meetings and then cease to have contact with gardeners. Perhaps our presence would have been clearer to him had he attended several prior community meetings. The outreach that we do with gardeners to community boards is a very real, ongoing process.
Community gardens are like a beautiful patchwork quilt stitched across the city, each with its own design and necessity, keeping communities warm and safe. They are as diverse as the neighborhoods that tend to them, and we must acknowledge their various cultural landscapes. Each of these gardens has its own truth.
As advocates, we must respect these landscapes. The battle to keep community gardens is a worthy one, and to win it will take a lot more than self-congratulatory gossip and reactionary diatribe.
The Am Way
Joanna Cagan's article about NBA owners ["Billionaire Boys Club," December 1] contained several erroneous statements regarding Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos and his Amway Corporation.
DeVos, not his father as Cagan's piece stated cofounded Amway in 1959.
As an Amway distributor, I can tell you that Amway does not tell people that "they can strike it rich by reselling the items and recruiting new distributors." We are prohibited from promoting Amway as an early retirement plan or any other such big payday. Also, Cagan's language implies that an Amway distributor gets a commission for sponsoring someone. Distributors receive no such reward for sponsoring people.
Cagan quotes from Mother Jones about Amway's 750,000-person U.S. sales force, referring to "[T]his ever-growing network... heavily influenced by the company's dual themes of Christian morality and free enterprise." I have been an Amway distributor for over three years and Amway Corporation has had no influence on my Christianity. And I have also never been told to "vote conservative no matter what," as one distributor quoted in the article said we are told to do.
James La Regina
Mount Tabor, New Jersey
Editor's Note: Amway's cofounder was misidentified due to an editing error.
Re Karen Houppert's article on the police raid at the Hells Angels' clubhouse on 3rd Street ["City on Trial," December 1]: It cracks me up that after 30 years, the NYPD is still trying in vain to close down the Angels. There is plenty of other shit the city could address instead of bothering the Angels. They are an East Village fixture. Leave them alone.
New York City
Re Karl-Eric Reif's "The Death of Hockey" [December 8]: The reason hockey has failed in America is that it is a Canadian sport.
Most Americans don't understand sports from other countries, such as English football and cricket. The same is true for hockey. Americans want hockey to be about fighting and scoring goals, not the flip pass, backchecking, and class-act athletes. There is no showboating- tellin'- everyone- what-ya-just-did- dancing- in-the- end-zone bullshit in hockey, which makes it unappealing to American mass sports fans.
Hockey will always be the red-headed stepchild in American sports, probably because it is a sport that 90 percent of the population did not have access to at a peewee or high school level.
Barry Walters's review of Teletubbies: The Album was mad dope [December 15]. It's not too often that you peep at a review of a kiddie cut and it makes you want to go out and snatch it up.
Walters says he checked it out because he was "hearing so much about the connection between Teletubbies and drugs." Now that I'm thinkin' about it, somebody had to be trippin' off something to create a Teletubby.
West Orange, New Jersey
Thank you, Peter Noel, for your article about black-power advocate Kwame Ture ["Soul on Ice," November 24]. It is sad that many young people areunaware of Ture's accomplishments fighting against racial injustice. I had no idea who Ture was until I went to college through the aid of a program that helps students of color.
At college, I learned that an education makes a person of color a threat. Kwame Ture was a threat because he didn't keep his mouth shut about the evils of U.S. imperialism. We must learn about our history and the great individuals such as Kwame Ture who contribute to it, or we will never become conscious of the things we must fight to change.
Voice Of Soul
I agree with Vince Aletti's review of Whitney Houston's new CD, My Love Is Your Love ["Look Who's Ticking," December 8].
Since 1985, I have been patiently waiting for the true power of her voice and being to be unleashed simultaneously on an unsuspecting public. Much like Jennifer Holliday, Houston has an instrument requiring those who work in concert with her to treat her and her voice as one unit. Deviating from this approach has resulted in several mediocre CDs for which Houston cannot be held soley responsible. The new one hints at being the release we're all waiting for.