Secondhand information

Re Lynn Yaeger's 'Riches to Rags' [April 2–8]: Loved, loved, loved this column. I especially loved the part about the Gray Mausoleum of Klein standing silent and empty. I live in central New York, where even the Dollar General stores are getting scarce. And I buy about 90 percent of my clothes (except shoes, underwear, and, once in a blue moon, jeans) at thrift stores. (I'm retired, don't go anywhere much, and if I do, I have enough fabulous stuff to wear to last me until my dying day.) But let me inform you of this: Unless frantic hordes of rag-pickers from NYC are combing the thrifts for treasures to resell back home, there's nothing to buy in the thrift stores! Seriously. Donations are way down. What is there is nothing but utter junk, and not even all that much of it! Maybe it's the change of season, someone said. I'm thinking that maybe everybody is holding onto those iffy last-year's outfits they were thinking of donating after Christmas. I'm afraid they're going to close some of the thrifts if this continues. If the SallyAnn shops can't make a go of it, what hope is there for the stores in the mall?

Sally Barry

Liverpool, New York

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Brain death

Re David Mamet's 'Why I Am No Longer a "Brain-Dead Liberal" ' [March 12–18]: Mr. Mamet, your piece is a work of art: thoroughly conceptualized and brilliantly, beautifully presented. It's one of the best pieces I've read in years. You write like a dream!

Brent Bozell

Media Research Center, alexandria, virginia

Slugging percentages

Re Wayne Barrett's 'Bruise Brother' [April 2–8]: Barrett's article singled Joe Scarborough out as Hillary Clinton's No. 1 basher on MSNBC.

As a Hillary supporter, I disagree. The fact is that MSNBC has declared war on Hillary in order to promote the candidacy of Barack Obama. In my opinion, Scarborough is rather mild in comparison to the over-the-top venom that spews from Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Both men use their entire programs to engage daily in predictable Hillary bashing.

Reba Shimansky


I liked most of Wayne Barrett's article about Senator Clinton and the media. However, I disagree with his lumping Olbermann's criticism of Hillary with that by right-wingers. Criticizing Clinton is not the same as being part of the right-wing critics of Clinton.

Sean Mulligan

Alpharetta, Georgia

Stepping on toes

It is a very sad day, and a lamentable comment on our priorities in New York City, when Deborah Jowitt, a major, long-serving dance critic, is cut from a full-time staff position to a freelancer.

The Voice has always had a respected place in the dance community. Now the Voice has compromised its standing as a voice for the arts in NYC and the nation.

Very sad.

Carol K. Walker

Purchase, New York

My concern is that dance is getting put behind and on the back burner. Since 1955, the Voice has been a place for artists and art lovers to seek information. Why is it that dance is always pushed aside?

Amanda McAlister


Dance is the only reason why I pick up the Voice. If you don't have regular dance reviews, then I won't bother bending over. Please return to fielding a regular dance page with a regular staff critic.

Philip Sandstrom


The Voice has the "voice" to keep dance and all of the arts alive with your far-reaching calling card of a newspaper. Set an example. While the National Endowment for the Arts struggles to keep supporting artists, you should be in the forefront of fighting for the cause. Continue your level of essential dance coverage by keeping Deborah Jowitt—an icon in the history of dance—front and center on the dance scene.

Doris Ressl

Assistant Professor of Dance

California State University

Dominguez Hills, California

By undermining the dance-writing staff, you've become just one more pointlessly cranky, less than curious, drearily mainstream paper to not read or advertise in.

Toni Taylor

Pi Dance Theatre

Can't we all just get along?

Re Nat Hentoff's 'Whose Promised Land?' [March 26–April 1]: Nat Hentoff's article concerning the violence in Israel was deeply moving and presents the most important question that one can ask: When will the bloodshed end? In my opinion, neither side has any justification to take lives. Is it really impossible for people of Jewish descent and those of Muslim descent to live together? To share their culture and work together? Why is that so hard? We all live and breathe the same air, see the same sun, drink from the same well. We are all human. Maybe it's time we started living up to our name.

Joe DeVita

Massapequa Park, New York

It is tiring to read Hentoff's insipid commentary. The entire settlement/colony of Hebron has erected a statue in honor of [Baruch] Goldstein; he is a martyr to those who are being supported by the Israeli government. Palestinians are living under occupation.

Joe Havermann

via e-mail

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