Steinbrenner tramples parks

The spirit and energy of Rosa Parks in refusing to give up her seat on the bus lives on right now in the Bronx where the community is fighting to keep its park free from private developers. Near Yankee Stadium a classic story is unfolding of a large private entity, George Steinbrenner and his Yankee Limited Partnership are seizing public parkland, Macomb’s Dam and Mullaly Parks, from the minority neighborhood with complicity from the corrupt Bronx political machine and spineless city government.

Billionaire Steinbrenner has the gall to build his new Steinbrenner Stadium on these neighborhood parks, subsequently tear down the real “House that Ruth built,” Yankee Stadium, and expect the state and city to spend over $200 million to “re-create” separate and unequal parks five years later. These proposed replacement “parks” will be artificial turf, far from the present sites and even on top of garages!

The community is fed up and fighting back! Check out their web site packed with investigative reporting:

Recently the local press has featured stories of this racist land grab by Steinbrenner. The Parks1 Campaign ( writes, “The story is far from over and developing rapidly.” Please sign their petition and contact your elected officials.

A reader

Bronx NY

Contacting Colin Powell

Colin Powell appeared in Marin County recently. His appearance for many of us was a disappointment. He defended the administration’s Iraq position by saying the CIA made them do it, saying every intelligence service knew Saddam was a threat and needed to be taken out. There was more, of course, and all disappointing — except for his support of McCain’s position on torture.

I should like to forward to Colin Powell a letter to the editor of the Pacific Sun also expressing disappointment with Powell’s words.

Do you know to what address I can send correspondence to former Secretary Powell?

Dorsey McTaggart

Via e-mail

Death penalty

The 1,000th person to be executed in our country since 1976 was recently put to death in my state. I wish that North Carolina had gotten national attention for doing something else.

I have always been against the death penalty. I think that our government should always try to avoid taking human lives in any situation, and in some cases the prisoner might really be innocent. Since 1973 at least 122 prisoners have been freed from death rows thanks to DNA testing, witnesses recanting their testimony and other second chances.

If the death penalty really is a deterrent, then why don’t they televise it? And why don’t they execute all killers? Whether you call it manslaughter, homicide or murder, taking a life is taking a life. What really bothers me is that many “pro-life” conservative Christians would support something that the Roman authorities did to Jesus.

Didn’t Jesus say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and “Whatever you do to the least among men you also do unto me”?

Chuck Mann

Greensboro NC

Better weather ahead

Thank you for your work. It allows us to dream that the “obvious reality” that nothing will change in North America is wrong.

I do not know how and when, but I can tell you that the working class of your country will, by its consciousness, climb up to the skies.

So, I continue to read you, like I read the thermometer to know if it is cold or warmer. And we all know that “aprés la pluie, le beau temps” (after the rain, the nice day).

Daniel Paquet

Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec

David Cohen

Thanks for the tribute you paid to David Cohen on his passing to the next realm (PWW 10/29-11/4).

I moved to Philadelphia in 1967 to go to law school and immersed myself in local politics. Working for David Cohen and Joe Coleman was such a blessing as they tirelessly applied themselves to making life more equitable for all citizens.

Now, I focus on the need to get more people involved in the political process as the next presidential election fast approaches.

Cletis Harry Beegle

Tucson AZ

L.A. Times pulls a fast one

The Los Angeles Times announced it is slashing 85 people from its news staff, despite millions in corporate profits. This means watered-down coverage of local, state and national news. Politicians and corporations who should be held accountable by vigilant watchdog journalism will instead be covered by a staff that is stretched too thin.

Equally outrageous, Californians are being deceived about why these cuts are happening. Despite reaping huge profits that most businesses would envy, the Times’ corporate owners in Chicago simply aren’t satisfied — they want more. The Times points to things like “rising newsprint costs” to distract the public from the real reason for the cuts.

The Times’ corporate owners think they can get away with this because nobody is paying attention. But we’re starting a petition to show the strong public opposition to these cuts.

Please sign the petition at:

Joseph Hancock

Los Angeles CA

Vets for Peace

It was a chilly day and because of the 28 mph wind the wait to march seemed even longer. Once we began however, it was wonderful. In spite of the political decision made at City Hall, it was a glorious contingent. As one participant put it, “You know you are relevant when City Hall treats veterans in such a disrespectful way.”

The NYPD kept us waiting one and three-quarter hours to no avail. Our Veterans for Peace float and contingent marched and chanted various slogans, along with the familiar “Bring them home now!” Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Moe Fishman and Matti Mattson rode on the float along with Cindy Sheehan.

The reception we received along the 5th Avenue route “exceeded my expectations” as another participant said, and right she was! Those chilly winds did not dampen the camaraderie among those that marched.

The latest polls show 68 percent of the American people are against this war of occupation which has taken over 2,000 U.S. lives, thousands of Iraq’s and is bankrupting every city in the nation.

Gabe Falsetta

New York NY