Dan Thomas-Glass
Berkeley, California


Re Scott Seward's review of El-P's Fantastic Damage: Wow. Did El-P sleep with someone's girlfriend? To whoever is responsible for handing out records to the writers who review them: Thank you for not letting Seward come near anything my band Atmosphere released. I don't know if my mind is complex enough to understand what he's talking about, much less emotionally stable enough to endure the way he attacks the albums that he doesn't like.

Sean ("Slug") Daley
Minneapolis, Minnesota


When Geoffrey Gray interviewed me about his article "War of the Gardeners" (July 23), I told him then that I was not the "primary author" of Intro 206, the bill pending in City Council that would create an inclusive planning process for balancing the city's need for both community gardens and housing. And the bill, which was not accurately explained in the article, was not a "secretive" effort.

In the aftermath of Giuliani's 1999 threat to auction off over 100 community gardens, a diverse group of greening groups, which did not include the Municipal Art Society, gathered to draft legislation to ensure more community input into the future of garden sites and to create a mechanism to preserve many gardens permanently. The MAS was invited into this coalition in 2000 and was an ardent advocate of the bill then and again when it was reintroduced recently as Intro 206 in a slightly modified but substantively consistent form.

More Gardens, which claims to have been excluded from the legislative drafting, was invited to participate in 1999 but ultimately withdrew because the coalition's bill did not guarantee that every community garden would be preserved. More Gardens' decision to split with the coalition for philosophical reasons was perfectly legitimate, but it is disingenuous for them to claim that the bill was done secretively simply because they disagreed with its approach and removed themselves from the coalition.

Holly M. Leicht,
Director of Design,
Planning & Advocacy
Municipal Art Society


Wayne Barrett's ironic reference to Giuliani and McCain as "two national war heroes" ("The Reflective Rudy," July 23) is representative of the inconsistency between the mass adulation Giuliani has received and his actual job performance. Is he being deified because he was at Ground Zero and then shed tears at the funerals of firefighters and police officers? Isn't that what he was paid to do? Is it because he told the city and the country that New Yorkers were stronger than any terrorist attack? With an army of police to protect him, he reminds me of Roosevelt telling us we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

During his tenure I complained in vain when I choked on the stench of garbage on Burnside Avenue and again when a local disc jockey played music so loud I had to shut the door to talk to my family. My son had to attend private school because the local schools are a failure.

This illustrates beautifully what H.L. Mencken once said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

Nathan F. Weiner


As a woman who had an abortion in my fifth month of pregnancy I read with disdain Jennifer Block's article on second-trimester abortions ("Emergency Landing," July 9). In my personal experience, I was coaxed by someone to abort my child. Contrary to the idea of free choice, I believe many women abort because of outside pressures.

Block can call the founder of Haven Coalition "the patron saint of abortion access," but many of us who had abortions believe we were deceived and not properly prepared for the possible physical, spiritual, and psychological consequences. As I interpret the July 9 cover, Dorothy is living a nightmare in Oz—I think that sums up abortion for a great number of women.

Theresa Bonopartis
Harrison, New York


The commotion caused by Amy Phillips' review of Sonic Youth's Murray Street ("Sonic Euthanasia," July 16) is funny. The article appeared so inarticulate, poorly written, and cute, I assumed it was a bad inside joke. After reading the letters it attracted and re-reading the review, I still believe this. There's no way Phillips could have written a line like "The noisy parts aren't noisy enough and the pretty parts aren't pretty enough" with a straight face. If I am correct in my assumption, I salute her for pulling the best prank I've encountered in a long time.

Tony Rettman
Trenton, New Jersey


In "Summer of Love" (July 9), Judith Levine states that her erotic awakening to a camp counselor (in 1967) would not be viewed as innocent today. True, because today's Western societies have decided to protect the minority of weak and vulnerable people at the cost of denying the majority of resilient, aware people the kind of experiences which enable them to grow as human beings. Some may call it political correctness, but I call it appropriate care in a civilized society.

Maclean J. Storer


Thank you for Judith Levine's article. I knew she had to have some positive early "sexual" experiences for her to be as open-minded about sexuality as she is in her book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex. This article should be read by all people, especially those who cry "molestation" or "rape" every time sex between an adult and a minor is mentioned.

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