We’ve tamed them, so we owe them
Re: Editorial, “Squirrels: To feed or not to feed?”, T&V, Jan. 19
Thank you for the excellent editorial on the knotty squirrel issue in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper. We live a few blocks outside the complex and for decades have walked in to visit friends. Whenever we did, there were squirrels making eye contact and sitting in a begging stance. If we passed them by they would follow and repeat eye contact and begging.
This was two or three decades ago so I have to disagree a bit, i.e. these squirrels are not fully wild and haven’t been for generations. They’ve learned how to prosper in the middle of their humans who have trained them in how to get some of their sustenance.
In The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery the fox says “…you must not forget (this truth). You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
It seems to me that your suggestions for what to feed and cleaning up are wonderfully constructive to help all of us to be responsible in every way as we acknowledge that the squirrels are our semi-tamed neighbors.
One last thing. I talk on a regular basis to people in upstate New York (near Saratoga) and in Cambridge, MA. Both people complained this past summer that their squirrel population had exploded (normally we never talk about this). Has anyone noticed an increase in numbers of our squirrel population?
Joyce Kent, Gramercy
This is what democracy looks like
Yesterday (Saturday, January 21) may be my most joyful and energizing experience yet as an American. Over the past year, in the wake of the Trump ascendancy, I’ve pondered what it means to be American. One thing it implies is the peaceful transfer of power, which we saw in the inauguration.
Another is the peaceful right of protest, freedom of expression.
In how many countries would you see both things happen, just one day apart? That is one of America’s gifts to the world. To me this is American exceptionalism.
The crowds were enormous — and peaceful. The atmosphere was one of politeness and kindness — among grandmothers, kids in strollers, little girls, men and women of all ages.
The signs expressed the gamut of causes — from women’s rights (many “nasty woman” references, “this pussy grabs back”) girl power to immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ, black lives matter, health care, climate change, all sorts of resistance starting with impeachment, anti-fascist references, and tearing down walls. Feelings ran from anger (dump Trump), to comedy, to hope (love trumps hate, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together), to resistance. The chanting of “this is what democracy looks like” says it all.
I thought, we are the majority. The popular vote proved it, the marchers showed it.
This is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. It’s about an alternate vision of America — one of inclusiveness and mutual support. Of building bridges between individuals and communities. Talking to Trump supporters. That is my America!
What comes next? No one knows. But the resistance has begun. Coalitions will form. Everyone can have a role. Everyone can participate. This is part what of what it means to be an American.
Samuel J. Tilden
Thank you, T&V and readers
Thank you so much for once again spearheading such a successful toy drive to benefit the parents and children here at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, It’s hard to believe that you’ve been doing this for years and the response from the community, as always, was overwhelming. On the behalf of our patients, I want you to know how much we appreciate your — and their — continued support and generosity. Thanks again for all you do.
Bonnie Robbins, PhD
Coordinator, Children and Family Services
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Enough from ‘name withheld’
Re: “Feeling left out to dry,” T&V letter, Jan. 26
Awhile back the paper told its readers that it would really try to limit “name withheld upon request” letters to the editor.
It upsets me to see how you have failed to honor that in many many letters over the months.
Feeling dry and left out is really a beaut. Name withheld why pray tell? More importantly, I am furious that you would not check the veracity of name withheld’s missive.
A quick phone call to management and a check with a few residents would have revealed that residents have been notified for months of the new charges.
Your integrity is in question with this reader. Sad and mad.
Mary Travers, ST
Focusing on charters isn’t the answer
Chris Hagedorn’s editorial in the Jan. 26 edition of T&V (“The dog fight over charter schools”) seems to imply that the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is due to her success with charter schools in Michigan.
A close look at her record shows that schools in Detroit have among the lowest levels of student achievement in the nation. And her emphasis on vouchers for education seem to have driven much needed resources away from public schools.
Marc J. Frankel, ST