PREVENTING FUTURE TRAGEDIES
There is a sad parallel between Rivka Gewirtz Little's article "Gideon Busch's Death Unlikely to Bring NYPD Policy Change" [December 10-16, 2003] and Anya Kamenetz's "The Suicide of Mr. A: A Mentally Ill Inmate Slips Through the CracksInto the Path of a Subway Train" [January 14-20, 2004]. Both articles describe the tragic deaths of two New Yorkers whose lives could have been spared.
Gideon Busch might be alive today if the police officers responding to his emergency had acted differently, or if different equipment had been available for use by these officers. If Busch had received more effective mental health treatment and additional community support, perhaps the tragedy might have been averted as well.
Nathaniel Atkinson might be alive today if the city of New York had provided him with an effective discharge-planning model, rather than employing a team of highly paid legal talent to obstruct the implementation of the Brad H. court order.
The NYPD has begun to make necessary changes. Why are those responsible for Brad H. compliance failing to do the same?
Fred A. Levine
THE OTHER SIDE
I was disappointed by Cathy Hong's "Field Tripping" [January 21-27]. The only involved parties Hong interviewed are Stevie Kohler, who appears to be Scott McPartland's biggest fan, and Ann Ryan Hughes, McPartland's employee. What about students on the other side of the argument, or even better, McPartland himself?
Even more egregiously, Hong failed to consider the seriousness of sexual harassment. From what I can tell, not even McPartland's supporters contradicted the charges. Almost anyone, whether a tenured professor, a contracted businessperson, or any other senior employee, can and usually will be fired for substantiated allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Visionary, liberal institutions like the Voice have helped make this so.
Re "Field Tripping": As a recent Gallatin School graduate, I was shocked when I found that Scott McPartland had resigned. With a luminosity of intellect and a penchant for the dark, hidden corners of science and philosophy, Scott was unmatched as a professor. Unfortunately, despite his charisma and generosity, he was also a target of an insecure and corrupt administration that operates almost entirely in secret. Mohammed Bamyeh was the first victim of the suspicious, cloak-and-dagger system of Gallatin's administration; Scott is the second.
Gallatin's official philosophy espouses a nontraditional, nonconformist approach to education. Under Dean E. Frances Whitewho during my time there had rare contact with studentsit has been anything but. The loss of Scott is a great one to the school. I am currently doing a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, and it is to the intellectual rigor and care of professors like Scott that I owe this. It is sad that future Gallatin students will not have the fortune to cross paths with the genius and spirit of this man; it is also unfortunate that current professors at Gallatin must operate under such circumstances.
Re James Ridgeway's "Wesley Clark Answers the People's Questions" [Mondo New Hampshire, villagevoice.com, January 15]:
Your biased reporting on General Clark is becoming ridiculous. George McGovern, Michael Moore, and many other progressives are comfortable with Clark, but you, in your ultra-liberal self-righteousness, will not be happy with anyone other than Howard Dean as the Democratic nomineea nominee who cannot handle the pressure, who has fumbled away a big lead already, and who will lose to George Bush in a landslide. Your paper and Matt Drudge have a lot more in common than you realize.
Hartsdale, New York
In his January 15 Mondo New Hampshire piece on Wesley Clark ["All Quiet on the Northern Front," January 21-27], James Ridgeway seems to impugn the candidate for his usage of the description "Albanian" for the displaced Muslim peoples of Kosovo. Ridgeway writes that Clark "called them 'Albanian people,' though people in Kosovo do not consider themselves part of Albania," as if to suggest Clark has a less than full understanding of the ethnic dynamics and identities of the conflict. In fact, the description "Albanian" refers to these peoples' ethnicity, not citizenship, and it is nearly universally accepted as the most accurate way to name them. Ridgeway and the Voice should both do their homework and avoid the sort of false, cheap, and ultimately self-condemning insinuations that seem to be highlighted in this story.
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Ridgeway's "John Edwards's Goody-Two-Shoe Politics" [Mondo New Hampshire, villagevoice.com, January 14] went a long way toward creating a false impression about Edwards's campaign events. Are we to believe that every media outlet covering them has somehow disguised its footage by only shooting film of Edwards's staff while the remaining crowd sat stoic and skeptical? Coverage of the same events tells a contrary story.
I have heard John Edwards speak and inspire people like no political leader since John Kennedy. He has whupped the Helms political machine in North Carolina. He has beaten the big corporate interests in court, has spent a storied career fighting for the little guy, and hasn't taken any money from special interests. His message is far more than "goody-two-shoe political slop."
Due to an editing error, a critical fact in Wayne Barrett's story was inaccurately reported last week ["Sleeping With the GOP," February 4-10]. Roger Stone's name was substituted for Charles Halloran's in a sentence about payments from the campaign. Halloran, not Stone, collected nearly $5,000 in expense reimbursement. The campaign owes Halloran, not Stone, $50,000 through December 31. It's the only time Halloran, not Stone, can recall running a campaign on trust. As the story reported elsewhere, Stone's services were "donated," a potentially illegal "in-kind contribution from a professional consultant."
Also, Wayne Berman is not a registered lobbyist of the Carlyle Group, as reported in the same piece. Common Cause described him as "lobbying for Carlyle," but was apparently referring to the seven-figure finder's fee Berman was paid by Carlyle for pension-fund placement. Also, George H.W. Bush left Carlyle late last year. Tommy Hallissey was inadvertently left off the research credit for this story.
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