By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Re Maria Luisa Tucker's 'Motel Sucks'[December 26, 2007January 1, 2008]: I lived two doors down from Albert and Felix until last June, when I moved after six and a half years. Thank you. The article captures the life and spirit of the building. When I lost my 12-year-old dog to cancer, neighors knew and cared. When I met my wife (who lived at 31 Bank Street), people genuinely shared our hapiness. When we had our two daughters there, our neighbors were a key part of their lives every day. We celebrated happy events and shared sad onesas a community.
I worked at St. Vincent's and lived at 1 Bank, so it really was my home, and the people were truly neighbors and friends. You can't always say that in the city, and, sadly, you can't say that much about that area any more. We miss NYC, but we really miss our friends at 1 Bank Streetevery day. I wish them luck.
Re Michael Musto's '2007: Back Atcha!' [La Dolce Musto, January 28]: In his end-of-year celeb list mentioning Larry Craig, why didn't Musto also give kudos to how Matt Lauer bravely interviewed Craig to show that they're both closeted, self-deceiving homosexuwait, everyone's telling me they came off like polar opposites. I always get everything backwards.
ET TU, BRUTE
Re Sean Gardiner's 'Cops on Steroids'[December 1925, 2007]: I wonder if Gardiner has any idea of how difficult it is to be a police officer. If he did, he wouldn't be so quick to criticize the officers who have been accused of taking steroids. Officers are forced to regularly deal with violently aggressive peoplemany of whom are strung out on crack and other drugs that make them far stronger than the average person. If some officers have made the mistake of resorting to taking steroids to deal with this dilemma, then we should have plenty of sympathy for them. After all, they're not doing it for vanity. They're doing it to make it easier to protect all of us.
John Francis Fox
NYPD administrative aide
One Police Plaza
A Voice letter writer ['Unfriendly Fire,' December 26, 2007January 1, 2008] says that even though they get "despicable" pay, New York City cops go to work every day protecting the Voice writers and "all the other cop haters" in New York.
My question is this: Given the long, sordid, and continuing history of the NYPD in shooting and killing unarmed black and Latino peoplemany of them obviously guilty of no crime whatsoever and many of whose names you probably know as well as I do if you live in this cityhow could only 35,000 cops possibly protect that many people?
Re ''Prose and Cons'' [Letters, January 28]: The two letters you printed in response to Graham Rayman's ">'Do Not Go Directly To Jail' [December 26, 2007 January 1, 2008] prompted me to write, even though I apathetically did not after first reading the article. Yes, Geoff King, you are "an insulated white boy living in Queens," and I am an upper-middle-class, 58-year-old white woman living in Queens who has had to visit Rikers. Furthermore, I believe that you most likely do know someone who has visited Rikersthey just knew better than to tell you about it.
In response to the letter from "tical": Not everyone at Rikers is a "murderer/rapist/thug," and not every visitor is a "girlfriend/wife/partner-in-crime."
'Nuff said. I have enough Geoff Kings and "ticals" in my own life to shut me up.
It seems that writers in the Voice are always attacking cops and sympathizing with criminals. Two weeks ago, there was an article about how a whole bunch of cops are on steroids and how this can lead to police brutality and shootings, etc. It portrayed cops in a really negative light. Then, last week, there was an article about criminals that had commited murders and had been released this year, and it was all about how they served their time and how they were enjoying their freedom and trying to get their lives together. I may be a lot less sympathetic toward these guys than the Voice writers because I don't think that anyone deserves a second chance if they murder someone, but c'mon, why are you always dehumanizing and vilifying all cops, yet humanizing and sympathizing with criminals?
HE FEELS BAD
Re Michael Clancy's 'It's a Woman's World' [December 26, 2007January 1, 2008]: Here we are, on the first anniversary of James Brown's passing, and this is the best you can come up with? A story about his possibly jerking somebody out of her royalties?!
Having met Betty Newsome a number of times and finding her to be an incredibly sweet ladyyes, James probably did rip her off, but come on. Give the man a little more respect than that.
His acquisition of radio stations that he once shined shoes in front of as a poor Georgia youth, his walking the streets after the King assassination and getting rioters to actually go home, his changing our legacywith one song ("Say It Loud")from Negroes and coloreds to proud blacks, his changing of music by placing the emphasis on the downbeat: These are far more important stories, in my humble opinion.
Carlton J. Smith
DISH AND DAT
Re Michael Musto's La Dolce Musto: I cannot believe you didn't do a series of 2008 blind items for the end of the year. I was bitterly disappointed.
Los Angeles, California
Musto's editor replies: What modern-day Lydecker, who insists that he looks like a young Tom Cruise, swears that he will spill some blind items in an up- coming column whose date is not yet known?