Letters to the Editor — July 30, 2023

Get rid of sheds
I applaud Mayor Adams and New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo on their instrumental plan to remove unsightly sheds and scaffolding from city sidewalks (“Adams presses city to ‘shed’ scaffolds,” July 25).
The mayor’s plan will open sidewalks to create a more walk­able city and more vibrant neighborhoods. Increasing pedestrian access will also lead to more foot traffic for local businesses and act as a crime deterrent.
I am pleased that this public space and safety issue is now getting the attention it deserves from the mayor.
Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director, Citizens Union, Manhattan

Shoplifting crisis
My heart goes out to Donna Hansbrough, the Georgia Lowe’s worker who was fired by her company after she stood up to shoplifters (“Worker fights theft, gets ax,” July 23).
Mrs. Hansbrough was injured fighting off criminals — pitiless brutes who shamefully punched an elderly woman — but her cowardly and gutless bosses punished her instead. It is a terrible injustice to her.
It is clear that this situation of total impunity for shoplifting cannot continue. It makes a mockery of the rule of law, it threatens harm to ordinary citizens, and it could collapse the retail economy altogether once stores start closing down after their inventory is looted. Something’s got to give. It’s a problem on both sides of the Atlantic.
I pray Hansbrough bounces back from this incident, and I hope it prompts companies to think seriously about how to do better.
Robert Frazer, Lancashire, UK

Dairy cruelties
Thank you for “Researchers have a cow over plant milks” (July 26).
The article states that people avoid cow’s milk for health, ecological sustainability and “other reasons.”
Would those other reasons include intensive confinement of animals, mutilation without anesthetic, involuntary impregnations, babies being separated from their mothers, male babies being forced to suffer so their flesh can be a “delicacy” and so on? These are standard procedures for the majority of the meat and dairy industry.
James Scotto, Yorktown Heights

Remember Till
Leave it to a man of compassion, empathy, tolerance and decency like President Biden to spearhead the establishment of memorial statues to commemorate the savage murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy whose “capital crime” was to have allegedly whistled at a white woman (“Biden honors ’55 slay vic Emmett Till,” July 26).
Calling to mind Emmett Till will not be popular in some parts of the country in which America’s racist underpinnings are deemed too uncomfortable to acknowledge.
The president’s actions bring comfort to surviving members of Emmett’s family and to all whose lives have been impacted by racial animus.
Oren Spiegler, Peters Township, Pa.

RIP, Tony Bennett
It was sad to hear the passing of Tony Bennett (“Life of iconic crooner,” July 22).
No one could sing like Bennett. His voice was unique. He never lost that smooth voice.
I can remember when I was just a kid, my sister came home from the record store with a 45 record she purchased. It was a song by Bennett called “Rags to Riches.” I must have listened to that song thousands of times.
Rest in peace, Tony. You will be missed, but your music will go on forever.
Robert Johann, Queens

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