Our organization is working with tenants throughout the city to get their representatives to support these initiatives. While we certainly demand that councilmembers vote to renew the rent laws with no further crippling amendments, that is not enough.

Kenny Schaeffer
Vice Chair
Metropolitan Council on Housing

Gay Pride

Michael Musto was, as usual, right on in his Teletubbies commentary ["Purple Passion," February 23]. It's so disappointing that whenever some well-known bigot serves up a great chance for someone to make a gay-positive statement (like saying, "Yeah, Tinky Winky does seem a bit sissyish. Oh, well, so what? Is that so WRONG?!?"), almost everyone takes the bait and gets all defensive, indirectly agreeing that, yeah, it is pretty awful to be suspected of being queer— even if you're an alien stuffed creature (or whatever those 'tubbies are!).

Thanks, Mike!

Kevin Horsted
Washington, D.C.

Reverend Teletubby

Michael Musto is kind in assuming that the Teletubbies audience is Reverend Jerry Falwell's "intellectual peer group." [February 23]

Let's face it, Jerry Falwell can find the evil in a Dunkin' Donut with nothing more than the size of the hole and the color of the sprinkles to support his argument!

Falwell falls into the category of individuals who believe that masturbation causes blindness and that Pepsi and Pop Rocks can kill!

Eventually, his revelations will become so absurd that even his staunchest supporters will question his blind zeal in the search for sin in America.

Stacey R. Warren

Neigh, Trebay

Having been A New York carriage horse driver and owner for the past 12 years, I found Guy Trebay's article about my industry ["Hack Work: The Not-So-Quaint Lives of New York's Carriage Horses," January 26] disturbing and downright ridiculous.

Trebay lists four agencies that govern the industry, and then says it is underregulated. I would like to know a business that is regulated by more agencies and on such a regular basis. If our school system had the same amount of supervision, it wouldn't be in as bad a shape as it is!

As for the "raw harness chafings," or "girth galls," Trebay mentioned, this condition occurs in the wintertime when horses have much heavier coats, and despite the appearance, is not harmful to the horses.

There are many European cities that have successful carriage trades: Dublin, Galway, Vienna, and Barcelona, to name just a few.

The accidental electrocution of the carriage horse Jackie, described in Trebay's article, was a tragedy that could not have been avoided, and that could have happened to anybody.

Stephen Malone

Resting In Peace

If James Bradley, in preparing his article "West Village, R.I.P." [February 16], had interviewed anyone who has lived on West 11th Street for more than a year, he'd know better than to wax poetic about the demolition of the two-story garage at 359 West 11th Street.

This garage housed a paper-recycling facility whose trucks belched exhaust, set off car alarms, blew their air horns, and rattled the windows of homes along our decidedly nonindustrial street in the wee hours of the morning. I am all for mixed use in our neighborhood as long as it doesn't involve air and noise pollution.

Nonresidential neighbors should respect those of us who have to sleep next to their workplaces. And journalists shouldn't romanticize the demise of establishments that don't.

Joanna Oltman
West Village

James Bradley replies: I did not romanticize the paper plant; my point was that a two-story building was demolished to make way for a nine-story one, and that such development does not bode well for the West Village's character and ecology.


Reading Nat Hentoff's columns defending the women allegedly dumped by Bill Clinton, I thought I'd puke.

Hentoff is so protective of these women, all over the age of 21 at the time of their alleged assignations with Clinton. Yet when it comes to abortion— a legal medical procedure that can save the physical and mental well-being of females (some as young as 12 and 13)— Hentoff says no way, and is quite willing to relegate us to the back-alley butchers.

If Mr. Hentoff is so concerned with the rights of those women mistreated by Clinton, why isn't he as concerned for their right to safe abortion, so that they, too, can live and get on with their lives? Or does his concern for these women stop at the entrance to the butcher's back alley?

Marcella L. Tobias

Nat Hentoff replies: I am sure the president would have helped secure an abortion for those women— even though the developing human beings at issue are just like you and me.

Cunning Critique

I write to praise Michael Feingold's recent review of Death of a Salesman ["Durable Goods," February 23]. Too often the average American theatergoer confuses screaming and crying with brilliant acting. Feingold seems to be the only reviewer of this play to see past the icons of the character, the play, and the playwright.

Leslie Bramm

Queer Quill

Amy Taubin's review of Shakespeare in Love ["Very Bard Things," December 15] neglected to mention the theory that Shakespeare was gay. In fact, it has been suggested that he wrote many of his sonnets, particularly the one he pens for Viola in the film, for young boys, not young girls. I expected The Village Voice to deal with this issue when all the rest of the media ignored it. What gives?

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