Nike’s flag sneakers disrespectful
Re: “It Seems to Me,” T&V, July 11
While Christopher Hagedorn’s belief that the Betsy Ross flag sneakers were “cool” might be true and while Colin Kaepernick’s reasoning against the Betsy Ross flag sneakers I believe to be faulty at best; both sides of that argument missed a far more serious and important point.
If the Betsy Ross flag sneakers had been sold to the public, what would have happened to those sneakers when they wore out? From my point of view, throwing those sneakers in the garbage would have been little different then from throwing any other American Flag in the garbage. Total disrespect!
The proper retirement of the American Flag requires a ceremony at which old and worn our flags are burned. The ceremony appropriately concludes with the call of the bugle: To The Colors.
I am glad our flag has been spared the mass disrespect the sale of the Betsy Ross flag sneakers would have later created.
What’s a picture really worth?
To the editor:
It is difficult to answer Steven Sanders’ question, “What’s the picture worth?” (T&V, July 4). (The picture shows the body of Oscar Alberto Martines Ramirez and his daughter, Valeria, floating face down in the reeds on the shore of the Rio Grande.) I understand Mr. Sanders’ disgust, but I do not understand what it is he would have us do. Do we say (that) the picture says: ‘Let them in!!!” or do we say that the picture addresses those who would leave Central America: ‘No vaya a Los Estados Unidos porque el viaje es muy peligroso!’ Or perhaps, just perhaps, do we commit to something like “Iraqi Freedom”—invade a few Central American countries, and clean them up, so that those who left might return?
Mr. Sanders seems to think that our choice for today was made years ago, and he has Emma Lazarus’, The New Colossus, and our Declaration of Independence to prove it—though I don’t see the Declaration being exactly helpful to those who have left their homeland. But if Mr. Sanders is going to rely on what “made America exceptional,” then I think that he and we will need to be more specific about the past tense and history. We need to get beyond his answer, “It is the place to where the poor were free to immigrate.” We will need to ask the further question: what made this the place to where “the tired and the poor, the huddled masses, [and] the wretched refuse” might immigrate? We owe that clarity to ourselves and to those who (now) risk their lives.
If we fail to do that, then we will have turned our values into ahistorical self-propelled clichés.
John M Giannone
Don’t ‘experiment’ with 14th Street
The Town & Village news articles over the last two weeks, in total support of a proposed DOT busway for 14th Street, offer no data on alternative plans. I support continuing to allow cars on 14th Street, and not allowing DOT to “experiment” on our small side streets, which will result in increased pollution, traffic jams and decreased safe access for elderly, strollers and disabled.
I support reinstating bus stops and allowing left/right turns off of 14th Street, since there is to be no full shutdown of the L train. We now have SBS bus service on 14th Street. Please note that other streets have this same service and all those scenarios allow cars.
During the preliminary part of this “experiment,” which I fear is being foisted on us as final, many large apartment buildings have lost their loading areas and vital accessibility. No one can explain how move-ins, move-outs and deliveries can still occur. It seems erratic and too hasty. None of this is a rich/poor issue. It’s practical because it affects anyone and everyone: drivers, pedestrians, bikers, shoppers, owners children and the elderly, who use these 14th street environs each day. Our attorney who filed our case understands this, and even he is representing us pro bono.
The current “experiment” reads as if it were drawn by newly-minted PHDs who do not live here. It strikes us as out of touch. We deserve better.
Stern, supportive enforcement is needed on ubiquitous bikers so they might better observe and follow local traffic laws. Throughout all the years of walking my dog, strolling, shopping, commuting, I have always felt the head-spinning risks of speeding bikers on sidewalks and in crosswalks, running traffic lights perilously close to me at every turn. I urge a moratorium on any additional bike lanes until a comprehensive review, backed by current political will, is conducted. I understand that the bike lanes double as important access for emergency vehicles, but which lanes are “common sense routes,” and which ones might actually be expendable? More research and consideration, please. Thank you.
West 15th Street