Letters to the Editor

Dear Old Grandma

To the Editor:

Hilton Kramer’s review of the enjoyable traveling exhibition Grandma Moses in the 21st Century [A Critic’s View, “Grandma Moses Is Back, And She’s Enchanting,” May 21] was a welcome read.

Ms. Moses painted not on canvas but on Masonite, a composition board normally used in the construction trades. She found this material very practical. It is reported that once, when a customer asked for 10 paintings and she had only nine, she reached for a saw and cut a picture in half to satisfy his numerical quota. This story reflects how Moses’ astonishing fame was built upon her independence, honesty and uncomplaining work ethic-all done with humor and to good effect. These were qualities particularly cherished by Americans during the 1940’s and 50’s.

Steven H. Miller

Executive Director,

the Bennington Museum

Bennington, Vt.

All Steamed Up

To the Editor:

You might be interested to know that Con Ed [Editorials, “Con Ed’s Dirty Air,” May 14] has two other oil-burning boilers in operation at their East River Generating Station at 14th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan.

Con Ed is proposing to “repower” the 14th Street plant by adding two boilers, but they claim that these new boilers will burn only natural gas, except during emergencies. Con Ed wants a non-interruptible flow of natural gas through the Bronx and Manhattan, but no such gas line exists to date-and Con Ed gets to determine what is an “emergency.”

They also want to apply pollution credits from the Waterside Steam Station to the East River Station. These pollution credits will allow Con Ed to dump tons and tons of toxic pollutants into our environment over and above what the law allows, yet the state D.E.C. has awarded Con Ed the permits.

Politicians have condemned New York City residents to “severe non-attainment status” as far as meeting Clean Air Act requirements, and now they proclaim that we have an energy crisis. We don’t have an energy crisis-we have a leadership crisis!

Debra K. Hevner

President, Downtown Residents

for Community Empowerment

Manhattan

Arma Columnistique Cano

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Michael Thomas [The Midas Watch, “Let Me Be Your Guide: I Understand Bush Men,” May 21] for his insightful article. He reveals the biases of Maureen Dowd and Joe Conason. Neither of them has printed one fair article on our President since the beginning of the year. One can only hope that those two will one day find it within themselves to lay down their arms and join us in discussion of political issues without the vitriol and personal destruction that were the hallmarks of the Clinton era.

Ryan Medrano

Manhattan

Beauty Bias

To the Editor:

“I find white people more beautiful”-you wouldn’t print that, and if you did, you would be condemned as racist. So why, in your May 7 issue [“Alice Roi, the 25-Year-Old Designer, Is Thinking Girl’s Anti-Shoshanna”], does Alice Roi assert that “I find black and Hispanic people more beautiful”? This condescending pandering is merely sugar-coated racism, and stupid as well, since Hispanics are of many races.

Tom Oleson

Gig Harbor, Wash.

Win, Place or I.P.O.

To the Editor:

“Nags and Thoroughbreds on the Street” [Heard on the Bloomberg, May 28] insightfully notes the many similarities between stock-investing and horse-betting, and quips that one difference between the two is that, at the track, chiefs need not write quarterly reports. But unnoted is a major distinction that makes all the difference.

What makes stock markets inefficient is irrational traders (dumb money), whose trades cause prices to differ from values. Since the life of a stock is indefinite, rational investors (smart money) won’t always correct these mistakes.

At the racing track, inefficiencies arise when the odds being set by bettors are inconsistent between betting pools-for instance, when more is bet on a horse to win than to place-or when a daily double pays more than a parlay (taking the winnings of the first race to bet on the second). But these inefficiencies can be corrected by the smart money in the very last few minutes before the race.

That may explain why so many Wall Street denizens spend so much time at the track.

Lawrence Cunningham

Manhattan