Letters

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

In Peter Noel's article "The Unfinished Mayoralty" [August 14], former mayor Dinkins cites the dismissal of the lawsuits against himself and former police commissioner Lee Brown as proof that they acted properly during the Crown Heights riots. That is pure spin, as the judge found no such thing. The suits were dismissed on procedural grounds, due to the finding that as municipal officials, they enjoyed immunity from such actions.

Dinkins himself said in 1992, "The police department did make tactical errors in judgment and deployment of police officers in the early hours of the disturbance, which may have delayed a return to normalcy."

The governor's report on the riots stated, "Mayor Dinkins later acknowledged that the police had been using techniques for a peaceful demonstration, but not for violent civil unrest."

Peter Kaufman
Brooklyn

Peter Noel replies: Kaufman is one of those fringe, revisionist historians former mayor Dinkins warned about. What's upsetting to him is that Dinkins and Lee Brown were cleared of the ridiculous charge of handcuffing the police while blacks participated in a pogrom, and that these two African American leaders are not now rotting in jail for their sins against the Jewish community.


FAUST AVENUE AND 10TH STREET

Developer Gerald Rosengarten's declaration that Theater for the New City was not involved in the decision to construct a 16-story luxury condominium on top of its building at 10th Street and First Avenue [Letters, August 14] is fantasy. TNC's similar denials that it is separate from the development and had nothing to do with the air rights transfer ["Tower of East 10th Street," Tom Robbins, July 17] are equally wondrous.

In fashioning its "Faustian bargain" ["Theater for the New Condos," James Hannaham, August 14], TNC officials asked the city for help, agreed to the sale of the air rights, attended community meetings with developers to advocate for the condo, and voiced strong support for the project in the media. Publicly framing its dilemma as, essentially, "build it or we'll be gone," and without seriously considering other options or reaching out to its neighbors for input, TNC ensured that the tower would be built.

To suggest that TNC bears no responsibility for bringing this behemoth into our neighborhood is beyond the pale of believability. And still the entire story of how this building got here has not been told.

Sarah Wilkins
Ad Hoc Coalition Against the TNC Tower
East Village


DOGFATHER

I'd like to note that in your piece about "Smithee" films ["Camera Obscura," Jessica Winter, August 7], your comments on the circumstances concerning Supernova are not accurate.

The film had already been re-edited by the management at MGM and its director, Walter Hill, had already resigned from it before I got involved. As a member of the board of MGM, I lamented this situation, contacted Hill, and proceeded to try to have the film given its chance in a new version with the director's permission.

Francis Coppola
Manhattan

Jessica Winter replies: My piece neither stated nor implied that Coppola was somehow responsible for Hill's dismissal fromSupernova. What Coppola calls "a new version with the director's permission" actually precluded the nominal director's involvement; it's self-evident that Hill refused to attach his own name to Coppola's re-edit.


GRASS GUZZLERS

Add the "hemp car" ["Refill Madness," Erik Baard, August 14] to the ranks of the electric car, the solar panel, and the windmill.

How much longer will we continue to ignore viable alternatives to irreplaceable fossil fuels? How much drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Preserve will we tolerate instead of long-term solutions?

I was shocked to read that biodiesel technology, which reduces emissions, extends mileage, and is renewable and cheap to produce, has been available for years. Why is this the first I've heard about it?

Katherine Clark
Queens


TASTELESS TACTICS

Reading the article "Dining Out on Cheap Labor" by James Wong and Tom Robbins [August 14], I was troubled to learn that the owners of the Tuv Taam kosher food plant, which has locked out workers engaged in a union organizing drive, are observant Jews. As a Jewish person myself, I feel that the owners are not only going against the principles of Judaism, but are also perpetuating Jewish stereotypes. In Hebrew school I was taught to respect my fellow man, Jew or non-Jew. There are always two sides to a story, but it saddened me to see this article.

Roxanne Grandis
Manhattan


WRESULTS

Way to go, Nick Mamatas, on your article "Everything's Fake but the Deaths" [August 14]. For an article in a non-wrestling publication in the semi-mainstream media, I must congratulate the author on researching the many facts that were essential to the story. A similar piece appeared in The New York Times a while back, but did not contain nearly as much insight as this story did.

By going to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, you ensured that you ended up with a story that would impress the hell out of Internet wrestling fans. I hope that deaths in wrestling are history, and I agree that it all comes down to long road trips; drug abuse, many times brought on by medication for injuries that haven't had time to heal; and lack of necessary time off.

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