By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
WHICH 'CIDE ARE YOU ON?
Thank you for Sylvana Foa's excellent Letter From Israel on the slaughter of innocent toddlers, teenagers, and women by the suicide/homicide bombers of the second Intifada ["Targeting Toddlers: The War on Non-Combatants," June 11]. This kind of coverageespecially on the study by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, detailed by Foashould give pause to those who still think there is an irrefutable PR bias in favor of Israel. I doubt that it will, but without reports like this nothing important will be discussed. Bravo!
END OF INNOCENTS
Thank you for printing Sylvana Foa's article "Targeting Toddlers." As a student at a progressive private high school, I often feel that I am expected, or even obligated, to support the underdog, but in this case I cannot. The carnage in Israel is brutal and disturbing on both sides, but imagine being in that ice cream parlor, imagine being in that discotheque. Were I an Israeli teenager instead of a New Yorker, I could have been there. How can suicide bombers turn recreational places for young people into terror zones? It is sad to think that anyone could stoop so low as to attack innocents, and I hope that you will continue to print pieces on the side that many people seem to wish to ignore.
The recent addition of the Letter From Palestine column by Kareem Fahim is a good and significant change for the Voice and for American mediaand a refreshingly objective counterpoint to Sylvana Foa's bad-faith liberal shilling for Sharon. Still, it would be nice to hear from the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon and the U.S. Can this be arranged? Perhaps a "Letter From Sabra" or a "Letter From Jersey City"?
American University of Beirut
Anthony Kaufman's prediction of the demise of indie films ["Ghost of the Machine," June 4] reads like his opening: another in a long line of articles bemoaning the state of indie film production. Nothing new. Indie film has always been difficult and always will be. As the college teacher of six of the Blair Witch creators, I know what a long shot they were and how their film "made it."
Real artists in any medium are pioneers, and usually rebels as well. Nobody gives money to pioneers, much less to rebels. Acknowledge this fact and realize that if someone is getting a grant or a picture deal, that person is already behind the cutting edge. They call it the cutting edge because, if you live there, you likely will get cut open. And, as your guts spill out, if you are good and also lucky, the entrails will enthrall the onlooker.
Ah, but then artists are strange anyway.
Professor of Film
University of Central Florida
WE SHALL DEFEND OUR ISLAND
Can you tell me why your "Summer in the City Preview" [June 4] found it necessary to disparage the Roosevelt Island community with slanders such as "You'd have to be heatstroked or on heavy drugs to want to go to Roosevelt Island" or "If the hallucinogens start to kick in, wander the streets of this Twilight Zone no-man's-land" or "And don't worry if you find that you dropped a 'bad one'; there are plenty of mental health facilities on the island with trained professionals to help talk you through it"?
Has your writer, Ken Switzer, actually visited here since the island dropped its previous name, Welfare Island, in 1973 and became a planned community of 9500 people? Did Switzer bother to detour from the riverside promenades to discover Main Street, with its schools and shops and churches and, oh yes, New Yorkers?
The alms house and the penitentiary and insane asylum are long gone, with only two chronic-care hospitals remaining to remind us of our history. The "mental health facilities" that Switzer referred toin fact, there was only one facilitymoved in 1895. The prison population moved to Rikers Island in 1935. Today's community provides for United Nations diplomats and workers, a large disabled and senior population, and ordinary families raising children on our safe streets and green playing fields. If your reporters are unable to find their way to Roosevelt Island, they might at least consult the historical timeline at www.nyc10044.com to get their facts right.
Switzer's snotty remarks do flippant disservice to proud Roosevelt Islanders who created a charming small town in the heart of the Big Apple. Shame on him!
Matthew M. Katz
Roosevelt Island Residents Association
If a critic is going to deliver one of those clever zingers, please make sure that he knows something about what he's "zinging." Michael Atkinson, in his review of The Sum of All Fears ["Flights of Clancy," June 11], jokes that the neo-Nazis must have known the Ravens would make it to the Super Bowl, since they nuked Baltimore. However, if you're even a casual football fan, you know that Super Bowls are played in cities that are selected well ahead of time, and thus have nothing to do with who is playing in the game. Which is why the New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in New Orleans this year. Come on guys, that's just lazy.
Los Angeles, California
In Lina Katz's "Dance (Get Down on It)" (Sound of the City, June 4), Gregory Heller was misidentified as chair of Manhattan's Community Board 3. The Community Board 3 chair is Lisa Kaplan. Heller chairs the board's Economic Development Committee.
FOUR 'VOICE' WRITERS, CONTRIBUTORS TAKE ANA FIRST PRIZES
Voicewriters Michael Kamber and Greg Tate, photographer Andre Souroujon, and cartoonist Ken Fisher have won 2002 Alternative Newsweekly Awards. Kamber took first place in feature writing for his series on illegal immigrants titled "Crossing to the Other Side." Tate won first place in arts criticism. Souroujon won first in photography for his cover photo of downtown Manhattan overlaid with a pre-September 11 postcard of the twin towers. Fisher, who does the strip Tom the Dancing Bug under the name Ruben Bolling, took top honors for a cartoon appearing in more than five papers.