R5 Letters to the Editor: October 2011


I read your article regarding some of the families from Westchester who lost their loved ones in 9/11. Let’s not forget all of the other Westchester families whose names weren’t mentioned in the article.
– Gail Pagnozzi, Pleasantville

Suburban Power Plays

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I’m Editor-in-Chief Esther Davidowitz’s big-city friend, “Dan,” whom she slams as a Manhattan chauvinist for daring to suggest that compact, walkable urban neighborhoods offer more by way of community than traffic-bound suburbs.

But Esther is right about one thing. The urban-suburban conflict is not really a “mine-is-better-than-yours” rivalry. Rather, it’s about power. Over the decades, the ’burbs have made an art form out of skimming off the benefits while leaving others with the costs. Sure, Westchester has got excellent schools and low crime rates, but that’s because the inner cities have been stuck with more poor people than they can afford and all the social pathologies, welfare expenditures, and special-education costs that go with it. Suburbanites’ friends in Albany and Washington have arranged things so that they wind up contributing remarkably little to immense infrastructure costs. Yet inner cities have been saddled with the lion’s share of the costs in the form of pollution, pedestrian fatalities, and wear and tear.

Not that it’s all Westchester’s fault. America has been warring against its cities ever since Thomas Jefferson cheered on a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia on the grounds that it would “discourage the growth of great cities in our nation; and I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man.”  Not much has changed, has it?
Dan Lazare, Manhattan

Oops! In our September feature on Westchester’s 9/11 families, Rani Walz was quoted as saying that her husband, Jeffrey, told her “I love you” in his final voicemail to her. However, her additional comment that “he never said ‘I love you’ when he left a message—ever,” was, in fact, a reference to his message habits with his mother (whom he also called and expressed his love to on 9/11), not his message habits with his wife. We regret the error.

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