April 16, 2007

A Continuing Education
Fortunately, i had a long, slow subway ride. Otherwise, I never would have got through enough of Phoebe Eaton’s down-putting, trivializing prose to discover that Courtney Ross, a woman I don’t know, was actually doing something worthwhile for kids in her schools [“The Continuing Education of Mrs. Ross,” April 2]. I know the fashionable version of objectivity is to be evenhandedly negative—especially when dealing with a woman of power and strong views—but the strength of New York Magazine has always been having a heart as well as a head, if only because it cares about the unique city it criticizes. Next time, I hope this talented writer will feel less need to show she is superior to her subject, and more comfort in being positive as well as negative—which is, after all, the only way to be objective.
Gloria Steinem, Manhattan

It was with a sense of disbelief that I read Phoebe Eaton’s portrayal of Courtney Ross as some sort of distant “Goddess”: This is not the same person I know and work with. I have seen her on her knees interacting with young children, or simply pitching in, countless times. Her financial and spiritual generosity is almost without peer in my experience. As a board member of both Ross School and Ross Global Academy, I can attest that major decisions concerning either school are made by the board as a whole. It saddens me to read such a mean-spirited depiction of such an extraordinary person.
Nicolas Combemale, Bridgehampton, N.Y.

She’s Just a Girl
Reading your article on teenage sex slaves [“Working Girl or Sex Slave?,” by Jessica Lustig, April 9] was disturbing for many reasons. First, it proves that the child-welfare system is neglectful and ineffective for a vast majority of children. The problem is just too immense. Second, what about the responsibility of the parents of this 13-year-old child? And why does this child have no rights? Women and young girls are still second-class citizens. It’s also interesting that Lucilia danced at Club Kalua—where three years later “family man” Sean Bell held his bachelor party. I’d like to see Al Sharpton defending the rights of innocents like Lucilia the same way he is fighting for the rights of Bell’s family.
Erin Hendrickson, Selden, N.Y.

I, Proud Countryman
As a native of Columbia County, I was more than a little annoyed at the tone of Karen Schoemer’s “I, Citiot” [April 2]. Schoemer’s piece offered clever insight into a New Yorker’s move upstate (not an easy transition, to be sure), but I found her portrayal of the upstate inhabitants quite insulting. We’re not the slack-jawed yokels Schoemer would have you believe, and we don’t need New Yorkers to institute progressive changes in our community. It’s because of this elitist attitude that we label our snobby neighbors to the south “citiots.”
Michael Di Caprio, Brooklyn by way of Niverville, N.Y.

Bloomberg and the Ordinary Citizen
As a former supporter of Mayor Bloomberg and a person who never fails to vote, I can name two reasons I will never again push the lever for him that were not mentioned in Chris Smith’s insightful “Mike’s Managerial Missteps” [“The City Politic,” April 2]. The most important was his throwing Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village to the wind, showing no appreciation for the effect of breaking up the most stable middle-income, law-abiding community in the city. Then came the it’s-only-a-bit-of-snow ticketing of cars frozen in ice. These two incidents showed me how out of touch this mayor is with the reality of New York City below his elevated income level.
Carla Caccamise Ash, Manhattan

Corrections: In “Letters” (April 2), the wording of a letter to the editor from Janice L. Schacter was changed from “a person with a hearing loss” to “people with hearing problems,” owing to an editing error. And, to clarify, installing an induction loop in a New York City taxi costs $200 to $300.

April 16, 2007