Letters

A MOTHER'S HOPE

Jennifer Gonnerman's compelling story of my son's struggle with mental illness most of his life has succeeded in giving purpose and meaning to his death ["Losing Joshua: Portrait of a Suicide—One Teen's Torment," October 29-November 4]. I was moved to tears as I read the article. However, this time they were not only tears of sadness and despair, but tears of hope.

Hope that perhaps this article can help another family from having to struggle and fight to save their child's life, hope that they will not lose the fight.

Hope that Timothy's Law will be passed in the New York State Senate so lives can be saved and families will be able to obtain the health insurance coverage they deserve and need to keep their loved ones alive.

Debra Graham
Phoenix, New York


NO BLAME

I want to thank The Village Voice for "Losing Joshua." It is the first time I have ever read an article regarding suicide that doesn't blame the victim (or family), but rather acknowledges that those who choose to end their lives are suffering deep within. Perhaps this is a new beginning for the world of journalism. May other publications follow suit!

Jami Engebretson
Salisbury, Maryland


AND THE HEALING HAS BEGUN

I applaud Jennifer Gonnerman for addressing the serious issue of suicide. As pointed out in "Losing Joshua," the country does not realize just how many people suffer from depression and just how many people die because of it. As a survivor myself I can relate to Debra's thoughts and feelings and hope that your article touches the public as much as it did myself.

I only wish that all those who have access to the Voice today read Gonnerman's article and become more aware that this is a topic everyone needs to be sensitive to. As people learn that it is not a embarrassing subject they will become more open to healing not only themselves but others affected by it.

Thank you for this article!

Ben Runyan
East Village


NO EXCUSES

I'm deeply saddened to read of the demise of The Score. In addition to losing a consistently excellent sports read, we are also now without excuse when caught perusing your naughty back pages.

Joseph Jesselli
Little Italy


THOSE WHO CAN, TEACH ELSEWHERE

Wayne Barrett's "The Best of Bloomberg's School Reform" [October 15-21] neglected to mention the single most important move of this administration: Joel Klein's successful mission to allow the city to hire thousands of uncertified teachers unable to pass an embarrassingly simple test.

Also, while Barrett considers teacher pay "competitive," even with the raise, Nassau schools regularly pay $25,000 per annum more than New York City. The city has gotten and will continue to get precisely what it pays for. Currently, that includes the very worst qualified teaching force in the state.

Arthur Goldstein
ESL teacher, Francis Lewis High School
Freeport, New York


NO TO JOE

I couldn't agree more with Rick Perlstein ["Day of the Spoiler," October 22-28]. The Democratic machine consisting of "Republicrats" like Lieberman can blame Nader for losing the election, but the fault lies more with Lieberman. In addition to his conservative views and policies which pushed many to vote Green, he was a selfish man who ran both as a senator and a VP candidate, just so that he personally wouldn't lose. He obviously did not care if we all lost.

This pattern of selfishness continues. As Perlstein so eloquently wrote, "Joseph Lieberman adds nothing to the Democrats' chances in 2004. He does, however, take things away."

It is time for Lieberman to stop being so selfish. He should drop out of the race now—it's clear he will probably screw things up again.

Christina Fong
Grand Rapids, Michigan


TOLLIVER'S TRAVAILS

Re Gary Giddins's "Vanished Hard-Bop Trumpeter Resurfaces With Many Friends" [October 15-21]:

It is wonderful to know Charles Tolliver is performing again. But it is not true that he disappeared until now. In the '80s, he performed at Birdland. He did not disappear; he was ignored. He is truly one of the greatest living musicians in this country.

Joseph F. Stark
Chicago, Illinois


DOING THE RIGHT THING

I wrote a letter to the editor regarding Bill Landis's "Go E-Mail the Doctor" [October 15-21]. This is in response to his response to my letter.

Mr. Landis,

It is extraordinarily presumptuous of you to say "the regular uninsured Joe doesn't get your attention or the necessary medications from doctors like you." You assume I'm one of the pain medicine doctors you referred to in your article. I'm an emergency physician, and I not only very liberally treat pain in the emergency department, I also very liberally give out prescriptions for the very same medications (such as hydrocodone) that you refer to, when they are indicated. The difference from an op is that I am standing in front of my patient, I have a real (vs. "virtual") relationship with that patient, and I am able to make a decision in concert with that patient regarding the appropriate therapy.

Working in an emergency department, I see the devastation of addiction on a daily basis, whether it is hydrocodone, a benzodiazepine, or alcohol.

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