Bad manors

As a former tenant and tenant-activist, I can tell you that I very much appreciate your occasional pieces on an area of criminality that affects thousands yet goes largely unenforced on Long Island and elsewhere— that is, landlord crime (Paper tigers, News, Oct. 7). The reason for the lack of enforcement or even overmuch concern from District Attorney Denis Dillon and others is the prism of class through which this crime is viewed. Landlords are seen as good people, perhaps doing something bad, while “street” crime is seen as bad perpetrators doing bad things.

Even the pieces run by the Voice are usually flawed, as the Oct. 7 piece was, in that no comment was obtained from the district attorney on the violations of law alleged. The only hope for legal redress the mostly hard-working poor and often minority immigrant tenants have, as those routinely victimized by criminal landlords, is for their plight to be publicized and for crooked landlords to face severe punishment— no different from the “street” criminals that they really are.

Robert W. Mays


A Bug’s Life

Concerning “Pesticides and Propaganda” (News, Oct. 7), Lalo Guerra [of the Long Island Beekeepers Club] states that Nassau County used to do periodic spraying in order to keep mosquito populations down. Guerra also infers that if these sprayings were continued, maybe we wouldn’t need a massive air attack now. I would like to know why the periodic spraying was stopped. Was it due to public pressure by environmental groups that believed the spraying was dangerous to their health or for other reasons? How many environmental groups were probably jumping with glee that periodic spraying was stopped?

I am not an anti-environmentalist. In fact, I am an environmental professional whose job centers on the proper use and handling of chemicals and chemical waste. What frightens me is that there are a lot of “green-minded” people out there with little or no scientific background who influence public opinion and government policy based on extremely limited knowledge of the long-term or life-cycle effect of their opinions. They mean to do the right thing and mean to help humans and the environment, but my job has taught me that you cannot understand the effect of chemicals unless you have been educated in the sciences and have worked in the field for years. Unfortunately, I also believe that our policymakers suffer from the same lack of knowledge.

Talk to some chemists, industrial hygienists and others who make their living working in the field of toxicology and then write an article that helps people form an opinion.

By the way, my sister had encephalitis when she was in high school. It’s a horrible disease, and she suffered permanent brain damage. I’d rather die of cancer in my 80s than get it.

Thanks for letting me air my opinion.

Debbie Bauer


Sad song

We are writing this letter in response to Ian D’Giff’s review of Warren Von Kruck’s Tattooed White Trash [Digital LI, Oct. 7].

First of all we would like to thank you for the kind words, such as “Jimi-meets-Stevie-Ray virtuosity,” “testosterone-driven guitar solo” and “the fretted pyrotechnics.” They were gratefully appreciated. However, Warren did not play any instruments on the tracks listed. “Two Timing Blues,” “Set Me Free,” “The Way She Does” and “M.I.A.” were recorded over one year ago by the band Talkbox. Although Warren did write the lyrics and sing lead vocals on these tracks, he did not play any instruments. For Warren to try and take credit for all our hard work over the years is appalling.

The main purpose of this letter is to give credit where credit is due. The members of Talkbox are as follows: Tim Tiarks, guitars, backup vocals; Steve Culotta, guitars; Kato J. Peragine, drums, back-up vocals; and Jon A. Valente, bass, back-up vocals.

The Members of Talkbox St. James

Where’s the beef?

Best of Long Island ’99 [Food & Drink, Sept. 30] missed the best hamburger category. The winner should have been Cheeseburger Cheeseburger of Port Washington.

Wendy And Larry Penner

Great Neck

Talk Back!