Community Soapbox …

Written by NYPress on . Posted in West Side Spirit.


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More Rent Reg

Rent regulation is crucial in this city (“Rent Spike Denied,” April 26), and was instituted to prevent profiteering by landlords in a market short on available apartments. That it protects the majority whose median income is $37,000/year is important—but it would be better if more tenants, not fewer, had those protections.

James Harmon knew three apartments in the building he inherited were subject to rent regulation even then. He nonetheless bought out his brother’s share. Rent regulation—like the fire, health and zoning regulations from which he benefits—were part of the scene from the get-go.

—Sue Susman

 

Use Your Horse Sense

My country horses (“Horses Can’t Cope,” April 26) have never been in an air-conditioned or heated building; they don’t have sprinklers in the field, nor do they have fan-waving slave boys to feed them bonbons while they lounge in their hay beds and fret over the next week’s weather forecast. They are coping just fine living pretty much as horses have for a long, long time—only without the fear of being dinner to a saber-toothed tiger.

Horses grow a thicker coat in winter and shed it in spring; come summer, they sweat. They accept weather without questions or self-pity. So stop projecting. When horses are not visible near Central Park, it does not mean that they are now riding around in air-conditioned taxicabs.

—Sarah Bellepeppa

 

Don’t Cut Tobacco Program

The proposed $5 million cut to the New York Tobacco Control Program by Gov. Cuomo and the state Senate yields troubling news for those who have hoped to prevent tobacco addiction in our nation. Smoking tobacco continues to kill 1,200 people—daily. For every smoker killed by his or her addiction, the tobacco industry is creating two new smokers under the age of 26, a trend that should alarm everyone.

Big Tobacco knows how to peddle its products to unsuspecting youth. More than a million dollars an hour is spent to market tobacco products in this country. Nearly 1.5 million kids will try their first cigarette this year, with 75 percent of these children continuing to smoke into adulthood even if they intend to quit within the next few years.

Unfortunately, despite public support for funding to the New York Tobacco Control Program, our legislators in Albany have routinely reduced funding. In the past four years, New York has cut funding for tobacco prevention programs by 52 percent, from $85.5 million to $41.4 million, and now Gov. Cuomo and the state Senate want to cut more. New York currently spends less than 2 cents of every dollar in tobacco tax and settlement revenue to fight tobacco use.

I encourage all New Yorkers to visit www.yourethecure.org to learn more about ways to stop the continued cuts to the NY Tobacco Control Program.

—Dr. Susanna Horvath

Chair, American Heart Association’s New York City Advocacy Committee

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