February 27, 2006

Mom School
Chris Smith’s column about the Nurse-Family Partnership is wonderful and timely [“The City Politic: Mom School,” February 20]. NFP is an amazing program, and it really deserves our attention and support.
—Kiley Fitzsimmons, Manhattan

Mom School: a well-written, clear, concise article that isn’t about ridiculous teenagers! An article full of hope for a better New York! Please continue this kind of coverage.
—Valerie Logan, Manhattan

As a member of New Jersey governor Jon Corzine’s Transition Team for Child Welfare, I felt that Chris Smith’s column skillfully brought together the big-picture policy with the personal story of helping one mother be a better parent. Howard Dean decreased the incidence of child abuse in Vermont by 43 percent by providing new mothers with information about substance-abuse programs, domestic-violence programs, health-care programs, day-care programs, parenting classes, etc. Ninety-four percent of the new mothers requested follow-up help. Thank you for educating the public about this issue.
—Nancy Erika Smith, Montclair, N.J.

Clive Thompson’s “Blogs to Riches” [February 20] assures all of us pent-up types that there will be a brighter future. Though for the past four years my primary business has been D.J.-booking for high-end events, I turned to blogging last September when I didn’t qualify to officially register for New York Fashion Week. I was told that I couldn’t be a part of it. This season, I officially registered through my blog thequestforit.com and attended sixteen designer shows, all as a result of my new little enterprise.
—Tia Walker, Manhattan

Regarding your article about blogs: I’ll admit I’m a “rightie,” which is hard to be in this town—that is, I’m purple-shading-to-red on issues ranging from the war to unions and school vouchers to eminent domain, so there’s no artifice when I say that any article documenting the growth and impact of New Media on Old Media that includes Wonkette, the Huffington Post, and Daily Kos but omits The Corner at National Review, Free Republic, and Lucianne really can’t be taken as serious inquiry into the relative weight and popularity of political and “culture war” blogs. Free Republic has a higher Alexa ranking than any of the sites in your article and lags behind No. 1 Boing Boing in the critical “sites linking in” statistic by a negligible amount. In all fairness, Democratic Underground ought to be in there, too. There, I did it. I outed myself as a Conservatibertarian (a “South Park Republican”) in front of all my liberaleft friends and neighbors. Wow, that felt good.
—Sean Lord O’Sullivan, Manhattan

Spring Fashion
I’m writing to express my dismay over the spread “Keeping Up Appearances,” styled by Harriet Mays Powell [February 13]. The young woman living in poverty with creditors after her, her inability to pay the electric bill, her living in substandard housing just so she could wear her gowns—was all this supposed to be a satirical look at fashion? I found it genuinely insensitive given the recent events of Hurricane Katrina and the growing stratification of the classes.
—Katrina Van Wormer, Seattle, Wash.

World Peace
Well-intentioned as they may be, neither Deepak Chopra nor Jeff Dunn have a grasp on reality if they believe that slapping a logo on a can of soda will do much to advance the cause for world peace [“Intelligencer: How to Reposition a Brand Called ‘Peace,’ ” by Jada Yuan, February 20]. If they truly understood what brands are for and how they work, they would apply real street tactics to existing brands dedicated to fighting for causes, instead of creating yet another ineffectual organization that’s little more than a monument to themselves.
—Rob Frankel, Los Angeles, Calif.

David Smith
Mark Stevens’s article about David Smith is right on target [“Mr. Smith Goes to New York,” February 13]. I grew up in Bolton Landing and had the privilege of playing among his sculptures in the field. I’ll never forget it. Every time I see his sculptures in a museum, it saddens me that no one can display them the way he did, outside.
—Karen Eckhoff, Manhattan

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February 27, 2006